A Monster Calls – Review

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd

Illustrations by Jim Kay

Published in 2011

Pages: 205

Genre: Children’s literature, fantasy

“The monster showed up just after midnight.”

While this may seem a cliché way to begin a tale about a monster, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is anything but. Conor O’Malley is plagued by nightmares; more specifically, he has a recurring nightmare filled with wind, darkness, and letting go of someone’s hand which forces them to be swallowed by darkness. In the wake of this nightmare, a monster appears outside his home and says that it has been called there by Conor. What follows is not a happy tale (those involving monsters seldom are) but an emotional adventure into the crushing weight of guilt lain upon a young soul. Continue reading “A Monster Calls – Review”

The Prince – Review

Il Principe (The Prince) by Niccolò Machiavelli

Published in 1532

H. Thomson translation (1910)

Pages: 71

Genre: Political science, nonfiction

“All the States and Governments by which men are or ever have been ruled, have been and are either Republics or Princedoms.”

The Prince is arguably one of the most well known works of political literature ever written which is saying something for a pamphlet written almost 500 years ago. Written by Niccolò Machiavelli as a guidebook on how to successfully rule, this book has transcended the troubles of its period and holds advice that continues to be relevant today. Continue reading “The Prince – Review”

Eric – Review

Eric by Terry Pratchett

Published in 1990

Pages: 197

Genre: Fantasy, parody

“The bees of Death are big and black, they buzz low and somber, they keep their honey in combs of wax as white as altar candles.”

As brutal as those bees sound, they only serve to introduce the strange occurrences happening not only in Death’s realm but on the Discworld itself. Eric, by Terry Pratchett, takes the classic stories of Goethe’s Faust, Homer’s The Iliad, and Dante’s Divine Comedy and tells them through the lens of parody. Continue reading “Eric – Review”

A Tale of Two Cities – Review

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Published in 1859

Pages: 372

Genre: Historical fiction

“It was the best of times, it was the worse of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

This is arguably one of the most famous opening lines in all of Western literature. At least, the first twelve words are well known. An impressive tome of intimidating reputation, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens spans years, chronicles the growth of its characters, and weaves a narrative through a truly tumultuous time. The French Revolution serves as the setting for this tale of love, betrayal, and the clash between social classes. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Cities – Review”

An impromptu blog: Over 100 followers on WordPress.com!

Well, here we are again celebrating growth on the blog. I will keep this rather short since the book I am currently reading is taking up a lot of my time and attention, but thank you all for coming to my little corner of the internet.

I appreciate that you take the time to read my work on here since it is all done in my free time and knowing that there are those who enjoy what I love to do makes my heart happy.

As a reward for your continued loyalty, here is a picture of my skinny cat. Her name is Nina, she is 12 years old, and she thinks she is queen of the castle. She was totally okay with me taking this picture of her despite the apprehension and annoyance apparent in her face. She also rubs her face on electrical outlets when the mood strikes her.

Nina.jpg

Thank you again to my 101 followers on WordPress.com, the 48 on my blog’s Facebook page, and the 30 on my Twitter. Here’s to the next 100!

Also, I don’t only wear white t-shirts. I realize that most of the update photos feature me in a white tee and that is pure coincidence. If you didn’t notice, then no worries!

Previously: An impromptu blog: Over 50 followers on WordPress.com!

Snuff Fiction – Review

Snuff Fiction by Robert Rankin

Published in 1999

Pages: 361

Genre: Science fiction, alternative history, satire

“The school keeper’s name was Mr. Blot.”

Are you a self-professed anglophile (someone who really likes England)? Enjoy satire and witty writing? Don’t mind the British slang word for cigarettes in that context or have no idea what that means? If any of these statements apply then Snuff Fiction by Robert Rankin is the book for you! Now that this awkward introduction in the inexplicable form of a sales pitch is over, let’s get to the meat of it. Continue reading “Snuff Fiction – Review”