Friday, August 1, 2008

I can't wait any longer, so here's some mini-book reviews...

On an average run-of-the-mill day, if I was bored, I'd go visit HBoO. We'd keep each other company for hours and hours, the time would fly by. If HBoO wasn't around, I'd use my computer to check my email, read news, watch movies, play video games, and/or listen to music while playing guitar. If, for some reason, my computer and guitar were unavailable, I'd watch TV. If there was no TV, that's okay, I would still be able to listen to music on my iPod. If, in some abstract hypothetical situation, I had none of those things, I would just go to work, spending my days earning money...

These are the things I do to entertain myself. This week, however, HBoO is on vacation. My computer crashed. Comcast (those meddling bastards) shut off my TV thanks to an error in billing. My iPod's hard drive crashed. And, to top it off, I smashed my right index finger in a car door, putting me out of work and crushing any hope of playing guitar for a couple of weeks...

...
...
...

..so this is what I've been reading...

Coraline by Neil Gaimen
A little girl named Coraline moves into a new house and discovers a secret netherworld behind a sealed doorway. After narrowly escaping, Coraline's parents become trapped in this world and it is up to her to rescue them.

Three words. Creepy (and) as (and) fuck. I believe this book was written for teens, the story is quite simplistic, but what a chilling tale. Gaimen REALLY knows how to provoke fear in the hearts of his readers. The illustrations helped...

Do yourself a favor and read this one in the middle of the day. Otherwise, expect nightmares.

Barrel Fever by David Sedaris
I read Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Kids in Corduroy and Denim before HBoO let me borrow this one. Apart from the usual hilarious memoirs, this book included a section of short fictional autobiographies taking the perspective of a cast of characters that only Sedaris could dream up. I laughed. I cried. I'm surprised that this was written before the cesspool of entertainment known as the internet came to fruition. Barrel Fever, written in 1994, was way ahead of its time.

World War Z by Max Brooks
A historical account of the zombie apocalypse from the perspective of those who survived it. George A. Romero invented the modern zombie and used his horror to present a political message. If anybody can be named his successor, Max Brooks would be on the short list. His first plunge into the world of the undead, The Zombie Survival Guide, laid out the ground rules. World War Z put those rules to the test. It passes. Throw in some healthy criticism of our society, and you have yourself a damn good book. However, it's not for everybody. Brooks takes his material very seriously, and it shows. It reads like an actual historical account, not a work of fiction, so the casual reader should stay away. But, for those that love zombies or history novels or both, World War Z is definitely worth the read.

Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
A beautiful model gets her face shot off, her homosexual brother dies of AIDS, and a lot of other weird gross shit happens.

Everyone calls Chuck Palahniuk a shock novelist. I don't see it. Maybe it's because I spend so much time on the internet. Tubgirl? *shrug*. 2 Girls 1 Cup? Meh. I'm desensitized. Palahniuk's graphic descriptions of "felching" made me chuckle. This book is fast paced. And confusing. And strange. But that's what I expected, so I can't really complain. I'm not going to spoil it, but the ending is a revelation that makes you go, "Whoa!". But then there's another one. And another one. And another. By the last chapter, my "Whoa"'s became "WTF"'s which became *eye rolls*'s. I don't know. I liked Fight Club. Maybe it's because I saw David Fincher's movie first...

---

That's all for now. HBoO comes home on Sunday, by then I'll have probably read Galapogos and Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and Rant by Chuck Palahniuk. Compy II is still in production, so there may be some more entries like this in the future..:-)

-Matt

1 comment:

meloogal said...

You're welcome :-P

Srsly, I'm glad you enjoyed them. I had a feeling you'd really like World War Z. My favorite of the lot is Invisible Monsters, and maybe Coraline. Invisible Monsters is the most fast-paced (though I agree that the twists can be a bit eye-roll-inducing) and entertaining, and Coraline, although written for kids (and not teens--can you believe it?), is actually the most literary, in my opinion. I'm excited to hear what you think of Rant :o)