All posts tagged: review

Review: The Sugar Frosted Nutsack, by Mark Leyner (2012)

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books

“Even those who consider all this total bullshit have to concede that it’s upscale, artisanal bullshit of the highest order.” About a year ago, I thought that it might be difficult to summarize the plot of Thomas Pynchon’s latest novel, Bleeding Edge. This line of thinking feels very quaint to me now, as I’ve entered what I’m going to call the “Post-Nutsack” era (P.N.) of dealing with strange storylines due to Mark Leyner’s masterful book The Sugar Frosted Nutsack. […]

Review: Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons and Dragons and the People Who Play It, by David Ewalt (2013)

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books / role-playing games

Musical Accompaniment: “Ready to Roll”, by Flashlight Brown I’m not entirely sure for which audience David Ewalt’s Of Dice and Men was written. Is the book intended to be picked up by absolute newcomers to the concept of Dungeons and Dragons, or tabletop roleplaying altogether? Is it supposed to be of interest to people who already play, but are interested in the story of the game’s creation? Or is it for readers interested in a memoir of a […]

Review: Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer (2014)

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books

Musical Accompaniment: “Where the Wild Roses Grow”, by Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue “If I showed you the roses, would you follow?” The twelfth expedition set out thirty years after the mysterious appearance of “Area X”. All women this time out, the unnamed explorers numbered among them a psychologist, an anthropologist, a surveyor, and a biologist, our narrator. The Area, which once featured a coastal town, is now an Eden untouched by human industry, full […]

Late to the Party: The Slynx, by Tatyana Tolstaya (2000)

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books

Two hundred years after the great Blast, people still live around Moscow as best they can, they’re just a bit different now is all. Sure, there’s been some Consequences out there, but some of them are cool, like Nikita Ivanich’s ability to blow flames out of his mouth, or Head Saniturion Kudeyarov’s illuminating eye-beams. Not everyone is stuck with cockscombs growing out all over their body, or whatever the hell it is going on with that […]

Review: The Weirdness, by Jeremy P. Bushnell (2014)

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books

Billy Ridgeway’s not in the greatest shape at the moment by any stretch of the imagination. An aspiring author, he spends most of his time either making artisanal sandwiches for the better-off-than-he-is who frequent the shop he works at, or trying desperately to get his writing published. On the eve of his first launch party, after finally getting a story in at a small literary magazine, Billy wakes up to find a strange person in […]

Late to the Party: Anno Dracula, by Kim Newman (1992)

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books

I’d heard about Anno Dracula for a long time before actually getting my hands on it. When I was in high school, one of the big genres I liked to read was alternate history. I worked my way through Harry Turtledove’s work up to that point (Guns of the South and Ruled Britannia were especially good), devoured Philip K. Dick’s masterwork The Man in the High Castle, and found one of my favourite short stories of […]

Late to the Party: Old Filth, by Jane Gardam (2004)

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books

Some long-time readers of this blog may recall my struggle to finish reading Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time, a twelve-book long cycle of books taking place mostly in London between the two World Wars. The short review of Dance? Don’t bother. I read six out of the twelve books and was basically bored silly the whole time, as Powell was much more interested in looking at different social strata of England pre-1939 […]

Late to the Party: Consider Phlebas, by Iain M. Banks (1987)

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books

Bora Horza Gobuchul is a Changer, a member of a humanoid species with the ability to shape-shift into the identity of another person over the course of a few hours. This unique ability makes him a perfect spy for the race that controls his section of the galaxy, the long-lived, three-legged religious zealots called Idirans. The Idirans are engaged in total war with another galaxy-spanning force known as the Culture: a technocratic, anarchic and hedonistic […]

Review: Vampires in the Lemon Grove and Other Stories, by Karen Russell

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books

  While I was on vacation this summer, I had the pleasure of reading Karen Russell’s first novel, Swamplandia! If you haven’t checked that book out yet, I would really recommend it: it’s alternatively hilarious and depressing, has an amazing sense of place and time, and the insistence on using the exclamation point every time the Swamplandia! park is named makes me chuckle even now. So it was with great anticipation I dug into Vampires in […]