Categories
Book Reviews

Lord of The Rings Volume 3 – The Return of The King

“I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”

It’s been a while since I’ve finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy but I held off in writing the review for the last book. Mostly because it took me so long to read it. I could not read more than a few pages and I had to put the book down. It was heavy going. It was slow. It was dull. But it was totally worth it as towards the end the action picks up again and we’re presented with a massively well made social commentary about war and fear.

“What do you fear, lady?” [Aragorn] asked.
“A cage,” [Éowyn] said. “To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”

Categories
Book Reviews

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Imagine a mansion that’s slowly decaying from lack of care. Imagine the house in its glory days and all the people who used to look up at it with wonder and then forced to see it become nothing due to poor money management.

No, I’m not talking about We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I’m talking about “The Little Stranger” – a book I realized was the source of a movie I’ve seen a few years ago only after the first chapter was finished and the little boy broke off an acorn from the house mantle. Sarah Waters sets her latest novel in post-World War II Warwickshire and tries her hand at an Old Dark House.

oliver-zetterstrom-young-faraday-and-tipper-siefert-cleveland-susan-in-the-little-stranger.jpg

Categories
Book Reviews

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

Austen began writing Pride and Prejudice under the title First Impressions in 1796, at the age of twenty-one. She probably wrote the first draft as an epistolary novel, meaning the plot unfolded through an exchange of letters. In 1797, Austen’s father offered his daughter’s manuscript to a publishing company, but they refused to even consider it.

Categories
Book Reviews

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

I’m sure Jane Austen would twist in her lovely grave if she read this book. I’ve picked the audiobook up in an airport and since it’s Spook season, I wanted to see if I can get some zombies action in and see if they’ve managed to combine one of the greatest novels of the 21st century successfully with a hoarde.

They didn’t. The book was a massive fail.

Categories
Book Reviews

Max Brooks – Zombie Survival Guide (Der Zombie Survival Guide – Überleben unter Untoten)

I thought it would be quite cool to change my listening preferences for a while and dab into the amazing German language on my way to work. And it was absolutely the right choice when I was presented with some amazing words – “selbsmord” (literally killing of self – suicide) and “hinterhältigen” (devious)

The Zombie Survival Guide is the key to successfully warding off the undead, a constant threat to humans. Through comprehensive information, this survival guide covers the full range of potential attack and defense techniques. He gives advice on zombie-safe living, explains the physiology and typical behavior patterns of zombies and describes the most important items in the fight against these devious opponents.

Categories
Stephen King

Stephen King – Misery Book Review

I think everybody’s read Misery by now or has at least seen the absolutely fantastic movie from the 90s about a writer’s biggest nightmare: an obsessed fan.

Apparently, the book came to be when Stephen King had been asked for an autograph at a diner by a woman who called herself “his no1 fan”. He then started thinking (in his very Stephen King manner), what would happen if there was such a fan, an obsessed individual, who would have no qualms in torturing the author to receive the best ending for a series. Maybe he was thinking about the hoards of Dark Tower fans asking for the next instalment?

Categories
Book Reviews

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards

When I picked up the Reader’s Digest collections of stories, this is the one I really wanted to read, but I had to start with a crap one called “An Offer you can’t refuse”.

In the year 1964, a set of twin is born in the peaceful house of a country doctor and his young lovely wife. The delivery doctor recognised that the girl has Down Syndrome, and suggests that the child is given to a home as they have short lives and can suffer from heart defects.

Categories
Book Reviews

A man called OVE by Fredrik Backman

“Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.”

I picked up this book due to a Twitter thread of GoodReads asking readers what their favourite book for 2018 was and A Man called OVE appearing in most of the comments. Yeah, I know, majority rules! And I can say with my hand on my heart that this book has made me cry, made me laugh, and made me feel wholesome again.

OVE is your typical grumpy old man but underneath the surface, he is kind, determined and has a big heart (literally). His thoughts are that actions weigh more than words and he is true to his thoughts – doing more than talking.

“Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say.”

And when his thoughts drift towards suicide, it’s a question of principle.

Categories
Book Reviews

Arrival: Film tie-in book by Ted Chiang

I have had this book in my bookcase to show that I’m not at all small-minded after hating on the Arrival movie that came out a few years ago. I carried an unpopular opinion that the alien encounter movie designed after the short novella by Ted Chiang called Stories of Your Life and Others was actually a big pile of poo. It should not have been released with a strong teaser trailer indicating a possible invasion when the actual subject matter was the use of linguistics in order to communicate with the alien species.

arrival-final-trailer-and-new-poster-arrival.jpg

Categories
Book Reviews

Basic Instinct by Richard Osborne

So this was an interesting read! I remember watching the old movie ages ago and when I saw the book in a charity pile, I decided to give it a go. Let me tell you, it will go back to the charity pile.

With the exception of two very well written sex scenes lasting the whole of 2 pages, the book had little to offer in terms of dialogue, build-up and tension.I keep wondering whether it’s because I’ve already seen the movie and I knew that the cold-hearted woman with the ice-pick, la femme fatale, was actually it.

BasicInstinct_12236191599_5.png