Bitter Scheherazade

Bitter Scheherazade

Boredom is a terminal illness that will one day kill me. 

 

Review
3 Stars
On This Day in History: I Threw Gutter Floor Water on Some Hippies Because Capitalism
Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan  Cain

Bought a physical copy used

 

  1. There is a word for “people who are in their heads too much”—thinkers.
  2. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.
    3. The next generation of quiet kids can and must be raised to know their own strengths.
    4. Sometimes it helps to be a pretend-extrovert. There is always time to be quiet later.
    5. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is the key to finding work you love and work that matters.
    6. One genuine relationship is worth a fistful of business cards.
    7. It’s okay to cross the street to avoid making small talk.
    8. “Quiet leadership” is not an oxymoron.
    9. Love is essential; gregariousness is optional.
    10. “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” —Mahatma Gandhi

 

I, uh, have been backlogged with my reviews as of late. Case in point: I read this back in May and am only just getting to it.   If there is a positive to my lazy-assing, I do believe that the further I get away from something I've dealt with, the closer I get to being able to vocalize exactly what I feel about something.  So, there's that.

 

Anyway, I have scarecly seen this one in at work, so that was how I knew that it might just be something special. Let's be clear here: I view books like this as tending to be next to useless in terms of information, and their calls to action on the part of the reader to better themselves - well, let's just say that they ring hollow.

 

Nevertheless, it was after I had begun to read this that I realized that if this book was indeed a call to action, it was a horse of an entirely different color than what I had envisioned.

 

In short, this book is best characterized by the baseline of its pulse: has one hell of an opener, or otherwise I wouldn't have even bothered, a middling center and an okay ending - as long as you close the book before the actual last chapter.  This all evens out to an "okay" book in my opinion, and that's for any person in general who wants to read this.  You can pass on this one if it doesn't look like something you'd want to borrow from the library to enjoy.

 

I would, however, recommend this book for anyone who considers themselves to be introverted, or is close to someone who is. This book identifies the way that preconceived notions of how the quiet(er) people tend to be cast as untrustworthy, unsavory, wrong as it is, and offers not only background on this, especially in America, while offering panacea to the social ailments for such people.

 

It reads like a comparison/ a contrast between how the two far polar opposites work and live, as well as a history/sociological analysis of introversion in general. We get something akin to Freakonomics, but for introversion, with each chapter sort of standing on its own, for good or ill. If I have a problem with the historical aspect of this book, as well as the mood in general with this book, it is that even though I often find myself not as big a fan of extroverts on a personality level, the book does that group of people a disservice - hell, both groups - by painting famous introverts in this heroic light that simply is not true and then pussyfooting around this idea that extroverts can be incredibly untrustworthy.. To wit, the bit about Gandhi seems to more reflect that truth that Cain wants to believe, as opposed to actual reality, which is that even introverts are fallible and prone to being tot he far side of the personality, a.k.a, a hermit.

 

It is this zealous attitude that refuses to admit to mistakes made on that part of these people that Cain uses as examples that really weakens my attitude towards the narrative that she is weaving. With this attitude towards introverts of days past and the way that it jumps all around with this episodic feeling that feels unmoored, lost, it can sometimes come off as something like a Chicken Soup for the Shut-In's Soul.

 

 

The Introvert King

 

At best, it offers new insight on the whole social aspect to what it means to be a human, not just for introverts, but for extroverts as well. It really makes you think of the instances in the past, when you may have chosen one person over another due to sheer ability to channel their ease in social situations - and how that's dangerous and cruel to the socially awkward. The book also introduces these ideas that marry neuroscience with sociology and psychology, creating at the very least an interesting read on a topic that has yet to be fully invested in, at least in western society.

 

Cain greatest failure in the book is her inability to pace the anecdotes that should operate as structural support and reliefs from the information being presented, but it instead proves to be meager a first before being used as artificial life support, force-fed bread in the middle of a light meal, a desperate attempt to fill a void left by not enough actual material to lengthen the book out appropriately. As I always say, I will taken a short book that has all the material it requires and lacking in fattening, time-wasting filler over an artificially, growth-hormone jacked one any day, any time.

 

And then comes the final chapter. Or, as I like to refer to it, Captain Obvious' Epilogue.

 

 

The "advice" being presented here in this chapter is past the borderline in how insulting it is to the intelligence of Cain's audience. Even as someone without children, I already understood every point that she brought up from being a child myself and living in a society where I see family units with children of all ages on a near-daily basis. Please, if you read this, even if you have children, do not bother with this, it is a vestigial limb that should have been severed in a final edit before it ever saw the light of day, you are missing absolutely nothing here.

 

In short - borrow this, don't buy this, and then buy this if you really like this after all.  But seriously, I wouldn't bother.  You read it once and you got it.

Video

What's better than great music? Great music with an amazing video accompaniement!


How can you not be happy, enjoying this music video featuring the music of Fever the Ghost and the usually quite raunchy and off-the-wall animation of Felix Colgrave? 

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
2.5 Stars
Top Story of the Hour: Nothing Happened Today, So Instead We'll Be Playing Music from an Orchestra
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill

Full discolsure: I've recommended this author to a great many people, based solely on his writing for the Legacy collection worthy Locke & Key. Does this book bring all of the boys to the yard in the way that Locke & Key did?

 

dear jude
we will ride at nightfall we will ride to the hole i am dead you will die anyone who gets too close will be infected with the death on you us we are infected together we will be in the death hole together and the grave dirt will fall in on top of us lalala the dead pull the living down(...)

 

Joe Hill is someone that I want to adore on the strength of what he seems to mean. (He's also the only "celebrity" that I have attempted to talk to on the internet, using the magic of Twitter. He... either did not get it or he can go fuck himself for blowing me off *sob*) In case you don't know, Joe Hill is actually the man whose birthname is Joe Hill King, making him - Stephen King's son and therefore most obvious heir apparent. That is, if he can write worth a damn.... Which is something that I would flippantly say, if I had walked into this without having read a good deal of his forays into comic book writing, A.K.A, Locke & Key and The Cape. Holy shit, guys - I cannot recommend either of these enough - I almost forgot about The Cape, because it's about as Lovecraftian in tone, like its brother comic, Locke & Key, as I am into dat country music scene aww yeah, turn that Toby Keith UP n' roll the windows down n' moooovvee

 

#sorrynotsorryexceptthatI'mlegitsorrysososorry


So yeah, I walked into this one a fan of his comic book writing, which, for good or ill, gave me some serious hopes and thoughts about what the rest of his writing would be like. I don't know if he can do classic Stephen King writing as good or better than dad, but with comic books? This guy's got some serious talent all his own.

 

Even if I did not have any sort of a background for what I was getting into by way of my having read the comic books, I got told by Monster Man that the first Plot Point is pretty shocking. As in, there's a moment where he stopped reading altogether because of how jarring the scene actually is to read.

 

So, that's interesting. You know what else is interesting? Why in the fuck Hill thought that Coyne was a good POV to read from.

 

I mean, maybe it might have worked in a more visual form (like, let's say... A comic book?) But reading from the asshole's cradle-robbing, borderline sanctimonious POV is painful. I mean, well done with bringing to life what feels liek an accurate representation of an aging rock star's life, but I think I see now, more than ever, why people have such a hard on for the hero's tale instead of the Asshole's tale. I mean, this is a guy that think he's found someone special with a girl-woman 20 years his junior (gack).

 

Now, this would be more palatable, if that wasn't such an integral part of the story. Because it does, strap in if you find this less than pleasurable to read, because you're going to be dealign with it for most of the book.

 

That is not the only failure of the story. Disappointingly, this story's pacing was completely missing, leaving me with a story filled with scenes overexplaining Jude's reason for this, Jude's memory here, Jude Jude Jude Jude Jude Jude Jude. It bogs the story down, miring what should be something great into something borderline mediocre.

 

This is especially true after the first plot point makes an entrance. Wheras the structure of a normal story would generally have the middle racheting up and up and up, with maybe a few dips here or there, Hill has the concept into much more of a deep plunge and crawl back to the top with pitiful effort. This, when taken with conjunction with Jude's constant thinking to himself about his babyish attitudes towards women and his selfish thought patterns that juse refuse to cease makes this one worth skipping through.

 

It's not all bad - it's just that the true spots that seem to shine through what I can see as something that dear old dad could have done (and, let's be frank here, dear old dad already wrote a road trip story fairly recently, with Doctor Sleep) gets tempered with shit, the sort of thing that makes me wince and wish that it didn't have to be included with the package as a whole - like when you're trying to install an update of some kind, and you find that you've accidentally left a box that forces you to deal with some other skeevy program installing itself along with the program that you actually need. 

 

No Hill, I do not want an old man with a a twin lolita/victim complex downloaded with this copy of Scary Ghost Story.

 

Stay tuned for a more in-depth anlysis of what I'm actually referring to.

 

 

 

The near-murder of Marybeth via Craddock early in the book is a haunting thing to think about. When coupled with Jude's nasty little snuff video story, we get off to what seems to be a great head-start, before we tumble directly into the bramble bushes, head-first.

 

I never quite see where Jude gets the balls to decide that his life is worth endangering two dogs and a nice younger lady who was kind enough to suck his ding dong, but there you are with the plot in a nutshell. Jude had a mean daddy who didn't want him to play music and so he gets to have sex with girls right on the borderline of illegal. Ugh.

 

Jude is the big stink that needed to be cleaned out of this story. It's alright for characters to smell bad, but why does this one reek so much and can we just throw him out please?

The story seems to particularly fizzle out for a long time as soon as the Mystery Van its the road with the dogs acting as stupid plot devices because dogs are angels or some such shit.

 

You know, why aren't cats ever the thing that protects against evil? I want to bring up that it seems racist, but I don't think that cats are a race, per se. I guess peope's reliance on the perpetually naive dog's world leads them to see cats as the polar opposite to the so-called "loyalty" of a dog. I posit that dogs are friends with anyone that feeds them and scratches them behind the ears, whereas true friendship from a cat can take years to foster and earn.

 

So I guess that people who like dogs like the idea of an instant companion, even if than companionship is drooly and... Dubious at best.

 

Speciesm can suck it.

 

So, where was I? Oh, right.

 

The ending creeps my shit out - and not because of anything meant to scare. Jude gets two of his almost criminally youthful females all in one convenient body and it's wrapped up nicely that one of the girls didn't happen to die because of him, but rather because of the villain oh how lovely let's all be happy together a la laa.

 

 

(show spoiler)

 

 

So, this was a book that, just like Joe Hill, I really wanted to like more than I ended up liking, mostly for issues of pacing and characterization.

 

What this is like: the movie Insidious + a road trip + the rock band Black Sabbath. Dump Sherri Moon Zombie on top with the corpse of a near-clone of her. Serve on top of an ash tray and with some uber manly beer aww yeah - hey, wait a sec - there's something weird about that beer, I feel like I've seen it before -

 

Huh. I peeled off the label and there was this other label just under it.

 

It's Castle Rock Ale, but someone put this other label over it.

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
0 Stars
Coincidences are Happening as We Speak
American Gothic Tales - Bruce McAllister, Joyce Carol Oates

"The Last Feast of the Harlequin". A short story by Thomas Ligotti, a part of the American Gothic Tales collection.

 

What is it that buried itself before it's dead?

 

Alright, I confess. I haven't taken writing reviews very seriously - hell, writing in general is not done to the output that it needs to, for me. The sheer amount of housework needed to get done in my apartment feels like it's almost buried me, to some extent. It's not all bad news, however: I've recently come across two of my new best friends in this writing thing, in the form of a keyboard that syncs to my android phone and a book journal.

 

I've been feeling about as popular as this woman, of late.  All I have are inanimate objects, maaan, give me a break.

 

Also, I've been gardening. I know no one cares, but I'm just gonna throw that out there.

 

I PARTY, HARD EVEN

 

Also - gardening in one of the most popular hobbies in America, probably right behind gaming. Because, hey, even I would often prefer playing a day in Gekkoukan High to figuring out if I'm helping or slowly killing my onions. Gah.

 

Where was I? Oh, yeah.

 

So, um, right up there with Barker, Ketchum, Brite and the even less-known McCammon, Ligotti is, or at least, really once was the horror enthusiant's du jor once upon a time, to the tune of about two decades ago. He's just one of the many examples of how the best of the genre - the horror genre - really is defined not so much at its best by the most popular of what is created, but rather by the hidden stuff that never gets popular because the world simply isn't fair. This is my first experience with Ligotti, and I have to say - color me impressed.

 

Reminding me in every way, shape and form seemingly of Lovecraft at his best, The Last Feast of the Harlequin truly gets how to make an homage to the author's style and quite a bit of his flair.

 

A haunting short story, the main problems that I came across in the text is the manner by which there is an excess of description, the very slow nature of the build-up to the story proper as well as the blank slate nature of the protagonist that are all staples of Lovecraft but are, nevertheless, as much as a mistake now as it was when Lovecraft first started writing marrs the work. At best, these aspects of the tale can be attributed as a purposeful homage to the Lovecraft, but at its worst, it comes off as unimaginative, badly planned and ill-paced.

 

What is this short story? It's like if you got your Barker in my Lovecraft and we both took a bite of the ending product and one of us had to eventually admit to the other that both tastes so much like the other so as not to seem all that distinguishable in the first place, so it all works out in the end. I dunno - Barker's always seemed spicier to me, angier, so there's that.

 

 

This tale deals with the truly nasty underbelly of the American small town, with its own insular culture that is not fully understood on a conscious level by its inhabitants but is rather ingrained in them on a subconscious level. The seemingly quaint nature of a town's seasonal festival that takes place during the winter solstice becomes something unwholesome, ominous, disturbing, even. A festival nested secretly within the confines of the other seems more like a rotted core to the heart of the whole thing, begging the question - is it worth digging the center out, if it'll just pull out maggots with it and attract flies?

 

Whatsomore, this story has...

 

Clowns.

 

Now, I want, somewhat desperately, to defend clowns. Look, they do get a raw deal, between the facade that It decides to wear and John Gacy. In my personal life, one of the nicest women that I've ever met has long made her living working at circuses and she is married to a clown (or, I guess you could say, a man who practices the art of clowning) and my heterosexual lifemate has a black velvet painting of a droopy clown in her living room. The thing is this: I got tricked out of a balloon animal by a Shrine circus clown back when I was a kid and I am genuinely scared of Gacy, almost more than any other serial killer, save Andre Chicatilo and It is fucked up in that way that only Him and the Cenobite from the novella The Hell-bound Heart are. So it's a little too easy to be scared of clowns, much like spiders.

 

 

I find that phobias don't much care about the nature of cliches.  Phobias are more interested in laying eggs in your hair or your baby's bassinet while you're too busy being snarky on the internet.


Oh, but the clowns of this story are something a bit special. Greyscale and looking as though they come from the bizarro world, they shamble around town and seem to be almost invisible to the people who otherwise seem to be enjoying the festivities. After the main character seems to make the mistake of harassing one of these sad clowns, he becomes obsessed with the things and finds out that they get picked up by pick-up trucks on the corners of streets at the end of the night. He infiltrates this group and ends up getting taken to the fringes of town into the countryside where all of the clowns are dumped in front of the entrance to a massive tunnel, where they walk down until they come into a large chamber. It is in this chamber that we meet the true form of the protagonist's long-lost mentor - now simply known as Thoth. What happens is something so weird that you simply must read it for yourself. All I can say is - the only thing that wins is always Conqueror Worm.

 

The protagonist runs away with his life intact, but probably utterly ruined by some form of a horrible understanding of what Thoth meant when he referred to him as "one of them."

(show spoiler)
!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
4.5 Stars
Wearing Your Favorite Sweater Again
John Dies At The End - David Wong

 

“Fred said, “Man, I think he’s gonna make a fuckin’ suit of human skin, using the best parts from each of us.”
“Holy crap,” said John. “He’ll be gorgeous.”

 

Do you like Cabin in the Woods?   Keep reading - someone besides Joss Whedon GETS it.

 

So.  I finished school for the summer - didn't opt in to do the whole soul-killing experience known as summer school this time around, so I guess I'll be, you know, sort of, kind of, doing what I actually enjoy doing, which is reading, writing and playing video games again.

 

Yay.

 

Anyway, while I was trying to make my body less Blob-like by working out at the gym, I found that my sweaty, unforgivably pale hands felt bereft of, I don't know, somethng.  I cured that by looking probably quite odd by being the only person sweating on a machine while reading a book - not an e-reader device, a paper book.  And, I mean, not on a treadmill - I feel as though I get enough cardio outside of the gym, so all I usually do when I go is the strength machines.  What this means is that while I'm pressing some weighted bar in some manner with my body, if my arms are not in active use, I have started bringing a book to read while I sweat.

 

To the point - I learned just how much time I have to read while I work out when I started reading this and I mostly read this thing while sweating.  Well, re-read; this is actually a long-time favorite of mine, and this is the first time that I have re-read this.

 

Well, what can I say - something like this certainly deserves to be re-read.

 

To whit - it's a very funny, very grotesque, strangely touching story that exemplifies what I see as what I am, on a very specific level, looking for when I read fiction.  The narrator is very much aware of the reader's preseance and the whole thing feels like a show put on for the audience.  A gonzo, ADHD-influenced burst of biting, imaginative goodness forms the heart of a strange tale told from the point of view of a straight man (I use this to mean not that David is, you know, straight, although he is, but in the comedy sense of the term)  in a maelstrom of craziness. 

 

Well, what else?

 

Ride along with this book by the seat of your pants and don't get attached to anything.  It's a rollercoaster ride, a haunted house attraction and an extremely funny action movie all put together with the vesitgal limbs of all of these genres thrashing about feriously.  This is not a bad thing.

 

Between a clone sideplot that reminds me of the episode of Rick and Morty where they took the place of another Rick and Morty following them turning their world into ConenbergWorld and a character arc that is mostly there and delivers more than a few surprises in the form of the realization that the protagonist is actually probably somewhat of a sociopath on top of being a Korrok clone version of himself that killed the REAL David Wong, this book has a lot more to it than shock value or frat boy comedy.

 

The best moments in the book include any John heavy moments, who provides the perfect oppositional energy to David's low key, borderline heartless mindset.    The worst parts of the book are when John is not in the story - thankfully, 75% of the book has John actively in the story. However - there is a period in the story in which there is a year where NOTHING, and I do mean NOTHING - happens, and John's activity in these chapter(s) is light.  It reads a lot like John Dies @ the End lite, and it's a damn shame.

 

The best part of the book, in my opinion - and this is rough to pick, because I guarantee that most readers of this book will pick other parts of the book out instead and would gladly argue this point with me - is the Jellyfish interrogation scene.  Trust me, denying a lot of what John says/does - or, hell, what Molly the Truck Driving Dog does - is hard, but I think I laugh the hardest at the more absurd and well written parts and to me the Jellyfish interrogation is just the best example of the whole thing becaue, dammit, that Jellyfish certainly was hiding something.

(show spoiler)

Not the mostly tightly written/plotted thing in existence, that is not neccesarily a bad thing, but it is evident by reading it that sometimes things just happen and you and Pargin are just rolling through it, no matter the injuries you will sustain along the way.

 

Enough of the criticism shit - I know what you all want - hell, it's all that I want -

 

CAMEL HOLOCAUST

Review
3 Stars
Shh. Be Very Quiet. I Think I Can Hear the Winds of Change
Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 01 - Julietta Suzuki, Tomo Kimura

Spring is here and I have officially run out of excuses for not cleaning.  I have gained all of my original weight back, and that means that I have entered DEFCON 3 and I now have to keep the sugar away through any means necessary.   Since I can't go to the gym three days out of the week (two days because I donate plasma for that sweet, sweet book money) I will need to turn days that I get milked for my blood water into cleaning days. 

 

Just... I can't possibly get those scorch marks out of the carpet where that cast iron got dropped from that fire.   Rugs?  Gah.

 

I got my record player set up in the bedroom, and listening to records while writing in bed is actually a pretty great joy.  Listening to that "Encounter with Monolith" song from 2001: A Space Odyssey on vinyl is an atmospheric, haunting experience.

 

I will have to start cleaning soon, but before I go about doing just that -

 

Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 1

 

Filled with a lot of that Shojo googly-eyed softened close-ups of character's faces as they come to realizations about other people's feelings, most of this is pretty uninteresting and has been done previously already,  HOWEVER - the manga managed to surprise me about, oh, four times or so, with a few laughs to be had, surprisingly enough.   You look at the cover, you know where this story is going to go.  The protagonist is all knees and elbows, literally and figuratively knocking into everything like a seven year old, the guy is all aloof towards her and has adorable fox ears.  The story is all Fruits Basket with its homeless pretty girl with no family and all of these mystical male characters telling her that she's actually super pretty *gasp* and super special somehow. 

 

HOWEVER - this story is apparently contingent on the protagonist becoming powerful as she learns her own powers and grows to Believe in Herself(tm) and I have a soft spot for this type of trope.   Also, I like how in spite of her weakness, she has some real balls and doesn't back down when she gets her mind to it.  

 

I will give this manga one more volume to prove its worth to me, for I do have a sometimes longing for Shojo as long as its lower on the trashy spectrum. 

 

Goddamn shojo,

 

Intense close-ups of the girl characters with their hair fluttering in the wind and a "I just saw a man naked for the first time" look on their faces for a good 1/5 of the manga - laziness, lack of artist ability or ART?  You decide!

Review
0 Stars
Emotions Emotions Emotions + the Wratched Realm of Fan Service
Aria, Volume 1 - Kozue Amano Ghost Talker's Daydream, Volume 1 - Saki Okuse;Sankichi Meguro Claymore, Vol. 01: Silver-eyed Slayer - Norihiro Yagi Ral & Grad, Volume 1 - Tsuneo Takano

In spite of personal shit that makes me feel all

 

I managed to get some serious manga reading done of late.  So, yay? 

 

Anyway, yeah, onwards and... upwards.

 

Aria: Volume 1

 

Light, happy and free of all of the disappointing disgusting fan service that every other manga I have read lately has - even the ones I liked.  It felt like I was coming home when I read this - it was light, and, dare I say, "airy" to read.  I felt like I was watching Hayao Miyazaki or walking down a forest path and just watching the river beyond the line of trees.   Read if you need a pick-me-up, like I did. some of the beautiful imagery and the sense of relaxed happiness made me feel like everything was going to be okay and lovely.

 

Ghost Talker's Daydream, Vol. 1

 

Um, yeah, about that "fan-service".  This is a prime example of how over-sexualizing a character who does not want to be over-sexualized (she repeatedly talks about how she hates aspects of being a BDSM "master" repeatedly and continuously gets into situations wherein she becomes inexplicably nude to others.  It's pretty damn gross.  And it detracts from the strengths of the story itself - this is an interesting premise and it doesn't flinch from the depictions of death and the monster-of-the-week styled stories feel fresh and interesting.  Too bad, really.

 

Claymore, Vol. 1

 

Out of all of the ones that did have fan service, at least this one was classily handled.  A woman who seems to have little in the way of a human soul and a whole lot of demon-enhanced abilities is the star of this series.  Fascinating and dark, this killing machine of a person seems to be learning more about her human side as the story goes on as she continued down a path that is promised to take that very humanity away.

 

Ral & Grad, Vol. 1

 

And then we get into the wratched realm, where we have a woman agreeing to being sexually used by a fifteen year old boy and then we see grown women in the aftermath of having sex.  With a minor.  Oh god why Japan why.

 

After having read a lot of manga lately, can I just request that Japanese authors explain to me the need for exposition dumps?  It's not necessary, if you have skill as a writer.  Jeez.

She's not THAT Into You so Cut that Shit Out
Dark Prince - Christine Feehan Outlander - Diana Gabaldon Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James

I will get into talking about, you know, actual books and things at some point, but I feel as though I have something that I need to talk about at some point, and it's better now than to let it linger. 

 

For the moment, I want to talk about how creeped out I am at - how absolutely GROSS - romantic and sexual relations between men and women have become portrayed in certain books.   I KNOW that there are actual, you know, Cheryl Tunts out there a la Archer who fantasize about abuse in all of its forms, but it seems to me as though the popularity of these stories and their depiction of these types of "relationships" (I call it a cycle of abuse) as normal is damaging.   It also seems to me that the way that they treat these grown adult women is more indicative of how a pedophile treats children that he/she is conditioning and grooming.  I mean, let's call it like how it is - no means no and without full, known consent, any romantic or sexual interaction immediately turns into something seductive and dark into pure rape. 

 

Let's examine for a moment, Fifty Shades and its influence on the American face of BDSM and, more to the point, the fantasy of control and the realities of it. 

 

 

First things first: Fifty Shades is not anywhere NEAR an accurate depiction of a real BDSM lifestyle.  it's simply not - people from this community do not seek outsiders to control (which is exactly what Grey does to Steele - holy fuck these names, though) and this is less BDSM and more like a boss using his control over some idiot to use her physically and abuse her emotionally.  She gets pushed into being the subordinate to King Douchebag and it all kind of escalates completely under his power.   This an abusive relationship.

 

"Abusive relationship" is the term that I want to employ here.  It's perfectly fine to date anybody you want that's a consenting adult, but this relationship borders on a complete lack of consent and that is when it stops being okay.  Add onto that is the constant reluctance that Ana showcases in her desire towards Christian and it seems more like she's less fantasizing about a man and more about spooning with a pissed off wild animal. 

 

If you want more, here's the (now defunct) blog of someone who got silenced by fans of this abuse narrative but whose collection of examples of just how damaging this series being shown as the "norm" of BDSM is in the side bar.  

 

Admittedly, I have not read that particular series, but one does not need to read it to figure out the underlying, sinister relationship dynamic at work.  I mean, for fuck's sake, it's based off of Twilight, the book series that has a narcissist making two men jump through hoops for her and attempts to kill herself repeatedly for attention. 

 

Let's move on to areas that I am more comfortable with. 

 

 

Christine Motherfucking-Daddy-Issues-Feehan.  Or, How I learned to stop caring about my dignity and love the cock.

 

Really, the reason that I am writing this post to begin with is due in no small part to the fact that I read a manga version of one of her wretched one-note books. Which I devoured a ton of when I was a horny teenager.  Fuck I was bent or something when I was younger.

 

The only good thing is that I got out of reading a manga version of her one-note stories about immature immortal guys without self-respect or respect for anyone is that a manga is short.  I spent twenty minutes on it, flipping through the angsty "but I don't waaant the cock" as well as "Dooo want the coooockk" bits and was left with distressingly little else to read.  And then I read the beginning of Aqua, which was so joyously sweet and beautiful that I forgot for the rest of the day my reading experience with Feehan.

 

Where do I even begin?  Let's do bullet points, I feel like this warrants it.

  • All of the guys act like guys who enjoy having females dress like schoolgirls in fantasies and having them baby talk at them about their needs for protection.

 

  • "No." That should be when the conversation ends, at least with these guys pushing themselves physically onto their "life mates."  Which brings me to -

 

  • "Life mate."  This has been used before in fiction, but does it need to be worded sooo creepily, Feehan?  So so so very creepily?  Also, this relationship she has set up necessitates a woman giving her free will up to a guy who will use her as a breeding/fucking machine because his small ego can't withstand her having her own sense of self worth.  Or, I don't know - the guy will turn into a fucking actual monster.

 

 

  • The books are unforgivably the same abusive relationship written over and over again.  When does the woman ever chase the guy?  Never?  Is that not creepy enough for people like Feehan, for a woman to step out of her cliched role as prey and chase down a guy?   Why does the woman always end up in that whole "life mate" ceremony without their full consent and get turned into a night creature without full knowledge of it all?  Why is everyone constantly fucking bleeding even though it feels as though if you're a good guy in this universe, everything's hunky dory once you get some life mate dick in you?

 

Here's how my own Carpathian novella would go, if I chose to write one.  It's short for a reason.  Some Carpathian attempts to force a strong-willed, independent non-breeding machine that he NEEDS into a non-consensual relationship and fuck seduction, he attempts to kidnap her.  Before the inaugural rape/I-can't-control-mysseellf, she burns his fucking house down with him trapped underground.  Stakes him in his heart.   Goes off to a male strip club and works off the tension of the near-rape by throwing dollar bills at guys in a hostile manner until an hour later, when she gets soused enough to start feeling friendly, then she apologizes to the guys she threw money at and leaves with some of her girl friends who show up.  The end.

 

Buddy, if it's your life or raping me, you should just kill yourself and get it over with because it's not happening.

 

I've already talked at length about Outlander, so check it out here in conjunction with what I've written here if you want more.

 

Women, get your shit together and write/read something that doesn't make me want to destroy myself.  i count myself lucky for a variety of reasons to not have had much in the way of sexual abuse in my background, but a big one is how the popularity of this fiction would make any horrendous sexual abuse in my past feel as though it's being paraded in front of me constantly as the primary sexual fantasy of a good deal of women.

 

Well, there's mental teenage girls who enjoy being taken advantage of, and then there's women. 

 

I love you, Sally Soloman

How House Cleaning Works When You're a Misanthropic Monster Thing

My kitchen is (more or less) ready for action now, so to speak.  It'll need to be; oftentimes I do not get around to cleaning in there, except on my days off.  I bought a lot of mason jars and some neat little ten cent bottles that are already pre-labeled for spices and dried herbs, so I made use of what needed to in order to put the dark little cabinet that I keep my spices in check.  It took a lot longer than I wanted to in order to clean everything and to re-season two of my less used skillets, but hey, it's done.

 

Now I just have the rest of the apartment to clean.

 

 

So, hey, I don't know if you realize the gravity of the situation of having to take care of a large book collection that needs to be displayed properly, but I am now having the realization that I am way over my head as I look at the things that I have festooned on the ground. it's too goddamn much, man!

 

I at least need to get to the bathroom this time.  That bath tub is going to start growing a colony of sentient life if I keep it up.  I can't shower with the knowledge that I am washing away a small village of creatures pleading for mercy each time I want to get customer stank off my ass.  I have enough issues as it is.

 

Now I have the choice of what to watch/listen to as I work.  I COULD do my usual viewing of Hoarders to incentivize me to not be that one person one day who shrieks as her grand children are carrying out bags of cat feces with one or two of my books at the bottom of the bags because how dare the bastards not let me go through the biohazard orange bag for maybe that copy of a bad fiction collection that I got for free, anyway, might get tossed out? 

 

OR I could listen to Super Best Friendcast (like I was already doing when I was cleaning the kitchen) and breeze through some FTL and invariably end up playing it more than cleaning. 

 

Any way you look at it, this house needs cleaned before I can properly enjoy spring.  And maybe I can find some more things to sell to subsidize my need for moar things without dipping into my pre-tax return cash money money dollar sign. 

 

Gonna kill this cat, if he keeps bothering my jury-rigged herb garden.  Yes, he will perish.

Selling Your Soul for Fancy Bento Money
Sliver - Ira Levin Berserk, Vol. 1 - Kentaro Miura

I sold what has to be less than 1/6th of my collection to my work place today and expected little.  1/6th of my collection translated into about 4.5 plastic crates, full mainly of the esoteric non fiction that I would never get to any way.

 

I got $75.

 

 

So I sold the vestigial parts of my collection that I have amassed over the years, like a sad hoarder that I am, and bought stuff to help me (hopefully) add to my luck with losing weight.  Like bento boxeeesss.

 

While I waited for my offer, I was reading more into the Levin book that I picked out during my last lunch break.  Color me surprised so far - I am not used to reading much, besides shorter fiction, that has such an adept use of just enough description so as to make you feel as though you can see the story as it unfolds.  I mean, am I the only one sick of pages upon pages of heaped on description so that the pace becomes bogged down and we're being forced to envision everything to the exact, minute, sometimes bullshit detail from the author's imagination?

 

I will say, the old timers of the thriller genre certainly know how to write cinematically. Oh, I also love the manga Beserk, or at least, the first one.  Guts gets shit done, something I can appreciate.

 

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
0 Stars
Outlander - Diana Gabaldon

Outlander: Would You Like Some Rape With That Rape?

 

Outlander uses rape like it is literally the only plot device in the world. Need to create some tension? Add a rape threat! Want to show someone is villainous? Make them a rapist! Have to show that 18th century Scotland is dangerous? Rape! Want an amusing anecdote about a character? Rape! Need some romantic scenes between your two protagonists? Rape, dammit!!

I wrote last week about the show’s seeming addiction to rape to create tension, but compared to the book, it suddenly seems mild. Positively restrained. I lost count of how many times the protagonist finds herself either threatened with rape, or very nearly raped, before the male hero swoops in to save the day. If I added in the number of times our romantic hero “wouldn’t be denied” or won’t take no for an answer, there’d be more scenes or rape or near-rape in the book than consensual sex scenes — and believe me, there are a lot of those as well.

And it boggles my mind, because there’s so much that is good about this book. The historical setting is richly described. The characters are great. It’s a fantasy/historical/adventure novel with a female protagonist whose struggles and decisions are front and center in the story, and that’s great. But any attempt to enjoy the story is ruined by the casual appearance of rape, again and again and again.

 

 

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon’s Abusive Romance, May Come To TV

 

Hey, we all have our quirks. Some of us don’t like the hero to have a widow’s peak. And some of us don’t like the hero to beat the heroine.

Yep, that happens in Outlander. It seems like a really good book–Gabaldon is a talented writer, no question–until our heroine, Claire Randall, tries to escape 1743 Scotland in order to get back to her own time. When she ditches the Scottish clan she’s hanging out with to get back to the magic stones that worked as a portal, she gets herself and the Scotsmen into some trouble. Jamie Fraser, the new husband she didn’t ask for, and who unfortunately the reader has probably fallen for by that point, decides he has to punish her for this.

Claire says he can’t beat her. Jamie says, “Did I want to break your arm, or feed ye naught but bread and water, or lock ye in a closet for days–and think ye don’t tempt me, either–I could do that…”

You’re swooning, aren’t you? I’ll give you a moment.

She says she’ll scream, he basically says, “Ha, ha, you sure will,” and he reaches for a belt. When Claire accuses him of being a sadist, he thinks that’s funny, too. “I said I would have to punish you. I did not say I wasna going to enjoy it.” This ends with Claire, as she describes it, “Half smothered in the greasy quilts with a knee in my back, being beaten within an inch of my life.”

Gabaldon is fond of telling people of Outlander: “Pick it up, open it anywhere, and read three pages.  If you can put it down again, I’ll pay you a dollar.”¬Ě If I’d opened to these pages first, I would have gotten that money, and judging from some other readers’ reviews, I’m not the only one.

Fans dismiss Jamie’s beating of Claire by saying, “It was a different time.” This is a pitiful defense. Human behavior being as variable as it is, it’s a safe bet that some husbands in 1743 Scotland did not beat their wives. Moreover, Outlander is a contemporary novel, and the readers bring more enlightened expectations to the story. Few contemporary romance readers finish a romance about Vikings or medieval knights and think, “That was so unrealistic how the hero never hit the heroine.”

Sadly, some readers opine that Claire deserved it. “I thought it…appropriate since she had endangered everyone and was careless,” says one reader on a forum. Another adds that her ex-husband used to beat her and it was way worse than this scene.

A skillful storyteller can convince the reader of the inevitability of the plot, but the fact remains that Jamie beats Claire because Gabaldon thought it was a good way to develop their love story. The next day, Claire is too sore to sit on a horse–ha, ha! Jamie tells her about all the beatings he got when he was a kid, which is supposed to make his beating her okay. Yeah, I don’t get it either. This conversation ends with Claire saying, for the first time ever,

“Oh, Jamie, I do love you!”

Jamie laughs and laughs, saying how funny it is that she didn’t care about all the good and heroic things he did for her, but when he beat her “half to death” then she says she loves him. Women!

Later Jamie asks Claire, “…Can ye understand, maybe, why I thought it needful to beat you?” She does. Ugh. She adds, “What I can’t forgive…is that you enjoyed it!”

Jamie laughs and laughs again. His beating Claire is the occasion for a great deal of hilarity. “Enjoyed it!…you don’t know how much I enjoyed it.”

Our hero says he deserves credit for not having sex with her right after he beat her, even though he really wanted to. Claire gets angry again, and says, “And if you think you deserve applause for nobly refraining from committing rape on top of assault!”

That is, of course, exactly what Jamie thinks. But at the end of the chapter he promises not to do it again. Flipping through the book today, I notice that Jamie says not long after that he regrets promising not to beat her.

Judging from the Wikipedia summary, one perilous thing after another happens to them in the rest of the book, giving Jamie ample opportunities to be noble, and to get abused himself. Gabaldon seems to love writing about rape. Jamie saves Claire from almost being raped before the beating scene, and apparently she almost gets raped again later, except Jamie says the villain can rape him instead. The villain, being a depraved bisexual, agrees. It sounds as though consent between Jamie and Claire is by no means clear, with some readers characterizing a couple of the sex scenes as rape.

Why do so many people love Jamie Fraser? I’m not sure. Maybe they feel bad for what happens to him later. Maybe his abuse of Claire arouses people who like S&M, even though the scene in the book is nothing like consensual sex play. People can get turned on by fantasy scenarios they would never want to experience in real life. Maybe it’s the Twilight effect: you get a lot of readers who have never read any other escapist romance or fantasy, so they’re like teenagers getting drunk on crappy beer.

I really hope Outlander never gets produced as a series, but if it does, Mr. Hemsworth will not be the star, because he’s too famous. Thank God: it would make me sad to have the guy who played the good-hearted Thor also play a wife-beating hero.

The Wikipedia entry about Outlander claims Jamie doesn’t beat Claire “in a malicious manner.” This is a striking example of a reader imposing her own wishes over the text. We saw a similar thing happen with The Hunger Games when many white readers believed the character Rue, described as having, “Dark brown skin and eyes,” was white. This phenomenon seems to happen when the story doesn’t stick to the reader’s expectations. An innocent little girl must be white. A man who is usually kind must not be an abuser. It’s sad to see such beliefs brought to books, and even sadder to know they are also used to interpret real life.

IN THE WAKE OF ALL OF THE DAMNED RAPE, THREATENED RAPE AND ACTUAL FUCKING BEATINGS - THIS IS MY ONLY SANE REACTION TO LOOKING AT THIS BOOK

 

 

...This isn't even taking into account the "Waterhorse" chapter, in which our idiot protagonist sees the Loch Ness Goddamn Monster.  The fuck?

Review
0 Stars
Giving into that Damned Cover Art
Soul Eater vo.1 - Atsushi Ohkubo Soul Eater NOT!, Vol. 2 - Atsushi Ohkubo Maximum Ride The Manga, Vol. 1 - James Patterson, NaRae Lee Maximum Ride: The Manga, Vol. 2 - James Patterson The Death of Bunny Munro - Nick Cave Negima! Volumes 1-3 - Ken Akamatsu

For the past week or so, my reading material has been... influenced by what looks bright and shiny.  I am now over this urge, but here is my report from the field of judging books by their covers.

 

Soul Eater: Not!

 

I was spooked off of the original Soul Eater series when I saw the first episode and was all like

 

 

But then I flipped through the first couple of pages of this manga and was charmed by the supposed premise of a girl wanting to fall in love and be involved in a love triangle with two boys (weirddd) but ends up the object of focus of two other girls who want to use her as their weapon (don't ask, just accept).   It seemed to be saying that friendship is more important than grade-school, treehouse love, but then we get into the second volume and we get to a five-car train pile-up of generic manga bullshit.   We don't see them progress as students, it sort of turns into this high-school drama/comedy like it's Azumanga Diaoh or something, with stuff going on with students that are cooler than the three we're following.  I'm not against the idea of the focus characters NOT being the bad-ass characters, but only when it's done with great effect and some finesse - instead, when in the second volume we leave the real and awesome shit that the non-NOT characters are up to, then I want to quit reading.  I really just don't care about the supposed awesome antics of school girls at school, Japan.

 

I mean, come on, I lived that shit.  I don't find it all that exciting - that's why I find most teen books to be gawbage, because teen characters are much less interesting than adults and people insist on writing them in little societies that mirror school life. 

 

And then we run into two characters that are crossovers from the original Soul Eater series, and I just about give up. Two street kids who act like diiiiiicks, but we, the reader, are supposed to empathize.  Because they lack basic human manners.

 

Hey, uh, guys, what's going on with the plot of this whole series?  Anywhere?  When are we going to stop introducing side plots and characters?  Never?  Ah.  Ok...

 

So, yeah, I tried the first two volumes and the second one stumbled and fell under the weight of all of the added extras that just end up making the whole thing collapse on itself.

 

Maximum Ride Manga Adaptation

 

And here was one that I did not give a fair shake to, but ended up surprising me.  I mean, I would never end up reading the original books, because based on what I've read, it looks kind of like wet-ass copy from a better science fiction manga or anime with weaker characters, but hey, it's manga. I can read this quick and NaRae Lee apparently did an awesome job transforming whatever it is that she had to work with into something while being pretty skin-deep shojo action fodder into something easily readable and enjoyable in small bursts.

 

Seriously, though, that Korean manga artist didn't even KNOW English prior to working on this adaptation, which shocks me.  Everything in this to me screamed to be an American manga adaptation, but she did an amazing job in not making it look like it was done by a non-American - well, save for the fact that the art is in that minimalistic but still quite consistently pretty look that most manga imported from Asia looks.

 

American manga - uhh guys, are you guys alright? I'm starting ot get worried - I mean, why can't you take the ether rags off of your mouths? Is someone holding all of you hostage? Guys?

...And as for American manga - uhh guys, are you guys alright? I'm starting ot get worried - I mean, why can't you take the ether rags off of your mouths? Is someone holding all of you hostage? Guys?

 

As far as lunch break, action-packed reading goes, I've done better but I've also done far worse.  I would rent or borrow this one, at least based on what I've read.  It's sort of like there's kids with wings on the run from this shadow government that's like the Men in Black who cannot do their jobs properly for whatever reason (and I mean, this time it's BLATANT, from almost killing them on several occasions to outright leaving them alone, stating that they don't want to kill them - wat) and there's a lot of actually quite good character back and forth between the teens and the kid, so as long as you don't think about it too much, then you're good to go.

 

Based on this, I would not waste my time on reading the original book series by James Patterson.  This thing's trains of logic are constantly and consistently looking frayed, with pieces of string peeling loose on its own from the overall thing and you just being unable to stop picking at it and pulling it loose.  I cannot even imagine reading this in novel form - by the half of the first, I would have to quit reading due to the vast amount of stupid.

 

The Death of Bunny Munroe

 

 

Just watch Filth.  It's the same thing - sex addict's life goes down to his lowest - but the movie's far superior.  Also, I don't have to envision pop singer's vaginas.  It's not like I mind, but I like my pop singer vagina thoughts to be kept in moderation.  I'm already having enough trouble moderating my own perverted thoughts as it is, I don't need much additions when it doesn't serve some good purpose.

 

Filth stars the guy who's Charles Xavier in Xmen: First Class sexually harassing the woman who played as Moaning Myrtle via telephone.  The movie wins by default.  It's also far funnier and the main character seems to be more of a guy who can do things instead of constantly and consistently jacking off all the time.   Like have sex.  Or sexually harassing Moaning Myrtle.

 

 

 

 Negima!

 

After a few instances of really impressive art - I mean, waaaayyy more imprressive and detailed than most mangas try for, with a lot going on it the panels - it dried up within twenty minutes of reading, falling into creepy town with half-naked children and assurances that one teen girl wouldn't fall in love with a ten-year old! Ugh, get this creepy shit away from me!

 

 

 

 

APPARENTLY SO

Review
4.5 Stars
Dr. Mutter's Marvels( A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine) - ristinO'KeefeAptowicz

  

 

A good piece of narrative-driven history that is firmly in the pocket of the namesake of the book.  The guy seemed to be a demi-god in his own right, with his skills as an able and skilled surgeon, and on top of that he was also very kind to those less fortunate and worked extensively, almost exclusively, with those needing early forms of plastic surgery.   I went in caring about the Mutter Museum, but I came out caring about Thomas Dent Mutter.

 

How historically accurate IS it?  I really don't know.  I feel like it must have some kernels of truth about the man in there - frankly, when it came to learning more about the time period and the medical innovations that seemed to keep time with Mutter's remarkably short life span, I was more entertained when I was learning about the medical world of the time than I was about the fake "rivalry" between Mutter and Mr. Old Fuck-features, the guy who liked to berate women as they had their gynecological visits.  I mean, even if there was a rivalry, it amounted to nothing in the book.

 

In the end, I came out with a respect for the man who was behind the remarkable museum of medical marvels.

 

And, look, I went a whole review without cat-calling a hot guy.  Who am I kidding?  If not for the fact that this guy, who reportedly wore his clothing to match whatever carriage he was riding in that day, silk-suit wearing mother-fucker in surgeries who never fathered any children with his wife WASN'T gay anyway, then paint me blue and call me a smurf.

 

I'll still sexually harass him, waaayy postmortem, though.  Never stopped me from eyeballing Howard Philips Lovecraft.  Or Lord Byron. Or Alexander the Great.

 

What, what was I talking about?

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
5 Stars
Orbit, the Ways I Love Thee
American Elsewhere - Robert Jackson Bennett
“Oh, propriety,” says Mrs Benjamin. “We’re always so concerned with propriety. Even in total madness, we still stick to our hierarchies and chains of command.”
 
This one feels like if the Fallout game series was written by someone whose idea of fun is to write urban Clthulu-esque horror/science fiction.   I want to devour it, marry it, and make it my book husband, right alongside John Dies @ the End.  I want them to be my sisterwife-husbands.
 
This is an amazing work of almost unparalleled excellence, and I am shocked that I had to find this one on my own.  Guys!  There needs to be something for people to know that this one is one of the best that the bizarre genre has to offer.  Count on Orbit, the publisher, to distribute yet another piece of genius written by a relative unknown that, BOOM, blows other things out of the water like everyone else is writing goddamned candy grams on starburst wrappers.
 
Our main character is Mona, an older, bad-ass woman (yay!) who used to be a police officer and married.  She... is no longer on both counts.  Oh, she also has a grudge against her deceased father and she unequivocally dislikes the hell out of him.
 
She reminds me of Cybil Bennett and I want her gun and intimidation skills now.  Hey - maybe the author's ACTUALLY Cybil Bennett?  ..C'mon, can't a girl dream?
 
It is common, but oft-misunderstood that she settled for Harry's bitch-ass. Girl please, Cybil was FAR too fly to settle down with someone whose gun skills were so... poorly.
 
Mona discovers that she has to reach a town that is supposedly non-existent on every map ever made, and must decide if she wants to stay and live there, all ready for discovering her late-mother's roots and if she can move on from her own personal strifes.  Little does she know that Lovecraft got a hold of the script that is her life and wrote some... interesting additions to her simple plan. 
 
Wink, the town in question, seems like(since we're talking about Fallout here) the black-and-white level that looks like a Leave it to Beaver episode gone fucky.  And we all know where THAT goes.
 
Meanwhile, some people who run a drug ring are encountering some real issues with the podunk desert town that they get their supply from - the odd rituals that they have to do in order to get the okay from their mysterious supplier are causing more and more of a strain on the men and women associated with the drug trafficking.  When something catastrophic occurs, they are forced to wonder if all of the insanity is really worth that sweet, sweet, easy money.
 
This is all really just touching the top layer to the weirdness.
 
So, what's REALLY going on here?
 
S-s-s-spoiillerrsss:

 

Yeah, Mona had a family that she didn't even know about - turns out Mona's mom was an Elder God from another realm of reality.  Kind of a real bummer for her. 

 

So, yeah, remember how I was bringing Lovecraft into this?  I wasn't fucking joking.

 

 

Even for an Elder God, Mona's mom was, incidentally, a complete douche-canoe, an eerily realized narcissist who had many children - all of which she dragged from their homeworld when she got restless, destroyed the joint, then abandoned them in Wink like a true party-girl.  She promised them that she would return one day and planned to never do just that, up and until she could move onto the next big thrill.  Turns out, the one thing she cannot stand is same-ness, so she destroyed a lot of shit in the past and lied to her children about it.

 

Oh, and her children are, just like her, nightmarish, writing worm-monsters that inhabit the bodies of hosts - people in Wink.  You following me on this?  There WILL be a test, that I can assure you of.

 

Here's your teacher!  He looks like the trust-worthy type!

The "children" all reside in some form in the town of Wink, all shades compared to the horror-enducing real form of "Mother" - a giant fucking abomination that is, incidentally, the kaiju-looking-motherfucker that emerged from the abandoned science laboratory of Wink.  And then there's the son that she thought that she had left to die back in their homeworld.  He... REALLY loves Mother, and has more power than her, and the only thing keeping him in check?  A disturbing area that he's kept in that is not unlike the sort of a shindig that the SCP gents could come up with.  It is with his stolen power that his siblings can be murdered, which they are.

 

Mother issues is the secret ingredient holding this cake together, and, boy, is it a sickly delicious one.  Mother was going to take them somewhere else, and someone got sick of waiting for Mother to come back.

 

Mona, it turns out, is the youngest sibling, for the simple fact that her mother, the strangely haunted woman who committed suicide when she was a kid, was actually Mother in human skin.   This monster decided to try on the skin of one of the scientists at the abandoned lab and rode it all the way into a marriage with Mona's douche-canoe father and then got bored. 

 

This brings us to: Mona.  Perpetual outsider, meant to take the bitch down a peg or two.  Cue different dimensions, gun fighting and detective work - interacting with her bizarre siblings and meeting the poor, poor people who (unintentionally) live with the fucking things.   Oh, those poor people - the end of the book is sort of like a Slayer/Dethklok music video, and they're the blood in the raining blood.

 

Anyway, we also get to meet one of my favorite omnipotent gods of all time, Mr. First.  Mr. First has a weakness for a cute girl who works at the diner and he also has a weakness for being Gene Kelly - therefore, quite the flair for the dramatic.

 

Really, Bennett, I can only want to date a fictional god-monster SO much before I become an actual Nightmarekin for him.

 

 

If this does not get turned into a movie somewhere down the line, then I lose all faith in this dimension's people.  I really mean it this time.

(show spoiler)

 

 

I mean, the cover looks... well...
 
It's sort of just dumb and ugly.  I think it's, ah, growing on me, but it looks stoopid, if I can be clear.  In spite of that, just buy this one if you're a fan of the strange.  Thank me later for the good, solid read.
 
Flaws?  Get  that weak shit out of here.  I want to live in Wink, bitch.
I'm Baaaaccckk

You've been gone for a long ti-

 

 

I lost my will to write, alright?  Hey, that rhymed!  In short:

 

  • Focused on my job and the relationships I've been fostering at said job
  • Barely passed my last Spanish class
  • Began to lose weight
  • Got a cat/mascot
  • Grew close enough to ending school (finally!) that the government is hounding me for monies

 

Whew.  But, who gives a shit about that, eh?  What you really want is a book review.  Oh, and a review you will get.

 

Tonight!

Review
4.5 Stars
Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Blood - Tony Aikins, Cliff Chiang, Brian Azzarello

A surprise hit that I have heard is damn good.  I have not had much of a background with Wonder Woman (perhaps with the bizarre exception being a futanari comic that I found that features a lot of the women from Marvel with a good deal of artistic changes made to the characters - if you have no idea what a futanari is, DO NOT LOOK UP WHAT THAT WORD MEANS) so this was a damn good introduction to the character.

 

A good drama, perhaps all the way to nearly the end, where I lost a good deal of my interest, the art and the story is nicely inventive and Brian Azzarello does not pull any punches when it comes to all of the women in this story throwing down.

Stuff

currently reading

Progress: 198/544pages
How to Grow a Novel: The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome Them - Sol Stein
When Lightning Strikes - Kristin Hannah