Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book 22: Blood Song (only available in E-Book)

Amazingly, this stunning portrayal of a master swordsman and his journey was self published by the author and just recently picked up by a major publisher.  Blood Song is easily one of my top five fantasy books of all time.  It just has everything I want and never pulls punches.  Anthony Ryan expertly toys with the cliches and tropes of the fantasy genre, but never lets his novel devolve into them.  I can't recommend this book more.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Book 21: Dog of the South

Picked up this little ditty cause it was written by the same dude who wrote True Grit, which was great. 
Dog of the South has some interesting characters but seemed to make a big mistake in casting an ancillary character as the main character.  Basically, I wanted to beat the crap out everyone in this book for being so lame.  I just fundamentally didn't like anyone, mostly because they seemed more boring than anything.  I couldn't actively dislike anyone either.  They were just a bunch of kinda sad losers.  The writing is great and there are some genuinely funny moments, but I just didn't buy into it the way a lot of other people have.  The book actually reminded me a lot of Confederacy of Dunces in its revelry of people living at the margins of society, but without the stranglely lovable oaf at the center.  I really want to like this book better than I did as it has several elements that I tend to gravitate to.  But, for a character driven story, I just didn't like any of the characters.  In fact, they elicitied little more than apathy from me, though I found them well drawn and quite hysterical.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Book 20: Wonderful Wizard of Oz

What?  I didn't know that this was actually a book until several years ago.  And now I know why.  It's really not that great.  It's passable as a quick read and it certainly has some interesting elemants, but it's also got some odd diversions that add little to the story and not nearly enough of a few things.  The movie is so iconic at this point that I found it impossible to separate the movie version from the source.  And the movie is way way better.  In fact, I think the movie's superiority over the book exceeds any other adaptation I've seen.  This almost seems the opposite.  The movie isn't just better, it's far far superior.  I think these Oz books would have been largely forgotten if not for the movie.