Saturday, September 21, 2013

Night Film

              Okay, so the rundown is as follows. Night Film is an amazing book, one with more dark twists and turns and odd imagery than the staircase in House of Leaves. I heartily recommend buying it, it being a good "art mystery" with some fantastic elements and a plot that will stay with you long after the book closes. The plotline follows investigative journalist Scott McGrath as he tries to unravel the mysterious suicide of a reclusive film director's daughter with the help of two strangers who find themselves connected to the mystery and indeed the victim. The pros are that it's well-plotted, the dialogue sounds natural, and the world is fleshed out to the degree that you want to know more about Cordova's work.

               The bad bits are that the world of Cordova distracts from the plot in places, that the book itself isn't interested as much in the death that incites the plot events, and the whole mess ends with a "thud" rather than a decisive close. A fifty-page thud that offers some questions about the nature of obsession, but seems to be disinterested with answering any of the numerous questions it poses. 

               But in total, I completely recommend this book, I'm looking forward to what Marisha Pessl may do next, and I definitely enjoyed reading it.

More, as always, below. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Tetherballs of Bougainville

     Okay, so the rundown is as follows. This is a Mark Leyner book, and like the previous book I reviewed by him (The Sugar-Frosted Nutsack), it's a strange and difficult read for anyone not looking for off-the-wall absurdity. While not as difficult a read as some of his other works, it's still not particularly easy. 

       This is, however, a good absurd "memoir" about adolescent life living with a father on the run in an insane world, and I must say that it's more accessible than some and I have never read anything like it in my life. Leyner treats the absurd as commonplace, and it works wonders despite the book's inaccessibility. 

      The good bits are a vivid, vibrant world full of grotesque and blackly comic touches that make up a sort of "commonplace absurdity" allowing the reader to immerse themselves in the insanity, even to luxuriate in it.

      The bad bits are that the book is a holy terror to read, and the simple fact that it is very hard to access and get into for anyone not used to Leyner and his particular brand of weird. However, should you be able to get beyond this particular setback, the book is worth a read.

More, as always, below.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Half-Made World

    Okay, the rundown is as follows. Felix Gilman has written an amazing book here that is dragged down at the end of its length by characters that don't completely matter and a plotline that stops instead of ends. While a "no ending" ending can be pulled off well, this one isn't, and makes me question how many of the reviewers read the book to the end.

              However, it is brilliantly written (if disappointing in places), and if you can enjoy the journey more than the destination, I'd recommend this to anyone with a love of weird fiction and steampunk/dieselpunk narratives. Take it out from the library and give it a whirl, maybe you'll find more here that's cool than I did in the end. 

More, as always, below.