Equal Rites – Review

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Published in 1987

Pages: 264

Genre: Fantasy, satire

“This is a story about magic and where it goes and perhaps more importantly where it comes from and why, although it doesn’t pretend to answer all or any of these questions.”

Focusing on a different protagonist than the previous two books in the series, Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett continues his exploration into the magical world that is shaped like a disc. The first in what are known as the “witches” novels within the series (care to guess why?), Equal Rites introduces fan favorite character Granny Weatherwax and does so with grand fanfare. Prepare for another splendid, if succinct, entry in Pratchett’s most famous body of work. Continue reading “Equal Rites – Review”

In the Woods – Review

In the Woods by Tana French

Published in 2007

Pages: 429

Genre: Mystery, thriller

“Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s.”

If you enjoy this idyllic vision of a summer day featuring the laughter of children in the background, Dixie cups filled with Kool-Aid mix lemonade, and the well-earned scrapes and bruises from an afternoon of playing, do not continue reading. In the Woods, written by Tana French, twists this picturesque scenery it into a crime novel that takes the reader on a journey down the dark paths of malleable memory and the little lies we tell ourselves to make it through each day. Continue reading “In the Woods – Review”

Wishful Drinking – Review

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Published in 2008

Pages: 156

Genre: Autobiography, memoir, humor

“So I am fifty-two years old.”

Many people around the world felt waves of sorrow and grief for Carrie Fisher in the wake of her death last December. It is a strange thing to read a memoir by a deceased person in which they make a joke about their eventual death, but it isn’t all doom and gloom in Wishful Drinking. This autobiography gives the reader a glimpse into the unreal world of a member of Hollywood royalty while simultaneously showcasing Fisher’s quick wit. Continue reading “Wishful Drinking – Review”

American Gods – Review

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Illustrations by Dave McKean

Published in 2001; 2017 Edition by The Folio Society

Pages: 537

Genre: Fantasy, mythology

 

Disclaimer: This review will be different from the norm in that it is split into two parts: a standard, albeit shorter, book review and a specific review of this Folio Society edition. I am endorsing this product through my own volition and belief in its high quality.

Part I: The Story

“Shadow had done three years in prison.”

American Gods has been in the spotlight quite a bit lately with the recent television adaptation on the Starz network. This review, however, covers the book written by Neil Gaiman, upon which the show is based. American Gods follows the life of ex-convict Shadow Moon after he is released from prison, learns his wife died in a car crash, and meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday. What follows is a meandering road trip across not only the geography of America, but the cultures and beliefs that came across the sea in the hearts and minds of immigrants. Continue reading “American Gods – Review”

When We Were Orphans – Review

When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro

Published in 2000

Pages: 336

Genre: Crime novel

“It was the summer of 1923, the summer I came down from Cambridge, when despite my aunt’s wishes that I return to Shropshire, I decided my future lay in the capital and took up a small flat at Number 14b Bedford Gardens in Kensington.”

When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro begins with a flashback to 1920s England from the protagonist’s vantage point in the 1930s. What follows is a strange and straining stream of consciousness that attempts to tie together the genres of drama, crime thrillers, and war. Such ambition could be lauded if it were successful; in the case of When We Were Orphans, however, the clues lead only to a disappointing conclusion. Continue reading “When We Were Orphans – Review”

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger – Review

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Illustrations by Michael Whelan

Published in 1982

Pages: 224

Genre: Fantasy, western

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

It is difficult to find a more enigmatic line among Constant Readers (Stephen King fans) than the opener to The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger. Beginning the tale of the eponymous character and his trek toward the mysterious Dark Tower, The Gunslinger combines the genres of high fantasy, Westerns, and horror to create an earnest, if somewhat problematic, introduction to King’s magnum opus. Continue reading “The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger – Review”

Sundown at Sunrise – Review

Sundown at Sunrise by Marty Seifert

Published in 2016

Pages: 366

Genre: True crime, historical fiction

“Henry Petrie was a proper Episcopalian who was prominent and well known in western Redwood County, a large rural county in southwestern Minnesota.”

Intimate and accurate details are absolutely integral to creating realism within fiction; Sundown at Sunrise by Marty Seifert, however, places all of these details in all the wrong places. The novel tells the fictionalized account of a real ax murder in 1917 rural Minnesota, but what promises to be a thrilling story of love and murder serves better as an instruction manual for early 20th century mechanisms and courting practices. Continue reading “Sundown at Sunrise – Review”