Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: The Undead in My Bed

The Undead in My Bed
The Undead in My Bed by Katie MacAlister

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the first two stories - vamp porn is best when it's funny. The last one was pretty meh, but it was also the shortest, so that's fine.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Review: Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, this book blew my mind. That first chapter, I wasn't too impressed. It was sort of meh, and I wondered what everyone was raving about and then it ended really abruptly and I was confused. The second chapter, still kind of meh, though it interested me that there was a connection between the two. And then by part three, I was completely and utterly hooked. It's the language, the technique, the fascinating way each connects with the other and how the things that you accept as fact turn out to be fiction, each story nestling into the other like pots in a cupboard.

Plus, a pre-apocalyptic society set in South Korea? Fuck yeah. I really need to see the movie because I can't imagine who/how/why someone read this and thought it would make a good film. I said more intelligent things about this while raving about it to a hasher I bumped into on the bus to Songtan on Saturday, but I'm overtired now and so this is what you get.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Review: Hear the Wind Sing

Hear the Wind Sing
Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read/heard/made up in a dream that Murakami would prefer no one read his first two books. But lately, for really no reason I can pin down, I've gotten interested in the idea of reading books by authors in order -written or published, I haven't obsessed about the details- and until now hadn't done anything with that idea.

Until I found myself bag-sitting while everyone else was running the NQR hash, under a train bridge at night with a podium someone rescued from the trash and a chair I borrowed from a hut-ajoshi, at night under a single street lamp and this is what I decided to click on in my kindle. And in spite of what I expected, considering Murakami's lack of love for this short novel, I quite enjoyed it. It had a lot of his elements: a cat, a slightly misformed character, descriptions of simple meals, music, and a sense of extreme, profound loneliness and the struggle to connect.

I won't start on them right away, but I look forward to the other three Rat books.

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Review: Erase Me

Erase Me
Erase Me by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed episode three o Positron, though not a lot happened. The set up for what will come next was great though.

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Review: Child to Soldier: Stories from Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army

Child to Soldier: Stories from Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army
Child to Soldier: Stories from Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army by Opiyo Oloya

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The low ranking doesn't entirely feel fair, but then, this wasn't a three star read for me, not entirely. Partially I just wasn't expecting such an academic work - I thought it would be more of a narrative nonfiction read. So, the constant references to various thinkers sort of bored me. In general, I found a lot of it a wee bit boring. The section on the history of Uganda was rather on the confusing side and I thought that a lot of the parts about Acholi culture were a bit repetitive.

Where the book really shone was in the two stories of the CI (Child-Inducted) soldiers. They were really interesting. But they didn't feel entirely complete - at the end Oloya talks about how to reintegrate people who are both victims and perpetrators of the LRA, but neither of the stories at all discusses the way in which they were perpetrators. It felt rather one sided.

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