Bogart, GA, United States | Member Since 2013
At first, I wasn't sure I was digging the pace of this story, and I wasn't sure just how all these odd elements I'd read about in the summary were going to fit together. I was pleasantly surprised. The writer brought out a lot of evolutionary biology inspired aspects of Steve the sea monster which really made the story more realistic (at least as realistic as a story about a sea monster can get), and the whole town being off their meds was the perfect catalyst for a good ride. The premises Moore used were believable and fit together so well, and the guy has such a great sense of humor, that really came out in this book. Give it a listen. I definitely recommend it!
This was entertaining. And I loved the Sookie books. But, I don't think I loved them enough to appreciate another series that is so much like them. It's like the author replaced vampires with zombies and gave the condition a medical cause instead of bringing in a bunch of supernatural stuff. The mystery part is a little boring and the main character catches on to what's going on a little too slowly. It's your typical supernatural investigator mystery with a first person, female point of view, though the writing is nice and balanced for the most part. The narrator makes some characters sound like they have a serious learning disability too. All in all, if you really miss Sookie then you may want to give it a read. I'd recommend it for light reading but I don't think I'll be getting into the series.
So many random situations and incredibly odd creatures are just thrown at you repeatedly throughout this story that it gets to the point where you're like, where are you taking me? It reminds me of a Philip K Dick that way, but I thought it could have used a bit more linear progression, just to establish that it's a story and not just a chain of wierd events in some guy's life. Maybe that's just because I'm so used to traditional story structures, with clear beginning, middle, and end. This was kind of all over the place, but I still really enjoyed most of it. I didn't find the humor too crass and poo-centric like many other reviewers. It was crass, but in a really funny way, and poop jokes really don't seem to make up nearly as much of the material as some seem to believe. It's in there, but not so much that it's at all off putting.
This is an amazing story. It's so imaginative, so personal, so sparely written. But it's dark, and it's dark in a way that creeps up on you from deep within your subconscious mind. The feeling it left me with was like utter loneliness and like being deprived of direct sunlight for too many months in a row. These things were intentional on the author's part though, it's all a part of the character's experiences.
Still, difficult to get through at times. Also, knowing what Philip K Dick went through with schizophrenia will make it even more sad. The feelings of loneliness and alienation and instability that came through this work for me, they seemed to be at least partly a result of the reflection on mental illness that the story inspired in me. The writing seems heartbreakingly personal.
This book was so long and made such thorough effort to be rooted in reality that I almost lost interest and quit listening around 6 hours in, but it picked up quickly after that. If anyone with less skill than King had written this story it would probably have just sucked. In the end I felt like even though I didn't love it, it was still a worthwhile read.
There was lots of...we'll call it "penis-centric" stuff, which seemed very realistic and personal as it came through the first person perspective of a man who hadn't been with a woman in four years. I found that kind of jarring, but some would say that's a mark of meaningful art (that it's emotionally jarring, not that it involves penises, though I'm sure there are some people who think penis art is the height of taste).
The one awful rape scene was really difficult to listen to, though it was necessary to the story and not terribly drawn out.
The dream sequences seemed a little much to me at times also. They got so crazy that they stretched things in all directions at once, then the guy would wake up and it'd be back to the comparatively sober story line. The contrast seemed so abrupt that I had a little trouble suspending my disbelief during those parts and it made me get a little impatient with those more sober stretches of real life drama.
All in all though, this guy is just a great writer. He can do wrong, sure, but he's been at it so long that he just knocks it out of the park these days, even if his chosen subject matter isn't your personal favorite every time. I wasn't looking for a ghosty possession story. When they stop making the "Paranormal" movies my taste for ghosts may return. But Bag Of Bones has such a firm root in reality that the ghosty stuff, while not totally satisfying for me, was still pretty awesome as a result.
I've loved the Edge books, though my love has decreased with each installment to the series. This one tears it though. I think I've seen behind the curtain now, and what's back there is a big, obvious, repetitive formula.
Don't get me wrong, the author is madly creative with her world building and all of her books are strongly built and entertaining. It's her character creation that drops the ball.
I think every Andrews book I have read (the first four Edge books and Clean Sweep) is based around the same exact type of romance.
The man is drop dead gorgeous and incredibly strong, but he has a very arrogant and highly chauvinist approach to the main protagonist, who is always the hard luck woman. He insults her and very rudely hits on her and assumes that she is weak, but soon finds that she is also powerful. As the book goes on her totally justified hate for him turns into lust, then love when they both realize that they just happen to be perfect for each other.
Along the way, there are many opportunities for them to exhibit their awesome powers and fall in love.
What I like about these books is the depth and depravity of the more evil characters, and the more adult subject matter pertaining to the hardship of the characters lives and the ugliness of their worlds. That, and the extensive plotting and twisting that these stories manage to go through even with their somewhat one dimensional character roles.
The stories were cool because they offered up so much imagination aside from the base romantic formulas in the first few books. I didn't feel like this particular installment offered a whole lot of substance in that area though, and I've felt like that creativity has waned increasingly since the first book, rendering this one a bit tedious and transparent.
I've read that this book wasn't ever thought of as one of Lovecraft's best, but that's saying much for Lovecraft, because it is pretty awesome. His style was wordy but in a very classical and illuminating way. This could have been your typical haunted house story or ghost tale, but it is much more in its creepiness and substance.
I only gave four stars because of the way the story began; a little slow now and then, though still so deeply creepy. I felt like the beginning was a little rushed and had a sort of bored tone to it.
Other than that, this story had a slowly building suspense that was just masterful, it was very insightful and honest when it was about how a writer might feel about his more ardent fans, it expressed the joy and process of writing in a way I'd never thought about before, and it really explored Annie's mental illness and made her more and more frightening until she became a monster.
I think it seems as though writing Misery might have been an act of catharsis for King. I hope it helped him in some way because i think it could be used as a bit of an emotional compass for other writers too as they're enjoying immersion in the awesome story, which is about them in a way. For everyone, non writers and all, this story kicks a**. I never lost interest or felt the author's poetic inclinations distracting me from the story, and was far from disappointed with the end. Fantastic book. Now i guess I'll have to watch the movie!
It's stories like this that remind me that Neil Gaiman is a deeply traditional story teller. He spins new mythology which sounds as though it's been passed down and embellished and honed over centuries. The musical part of the production really made it more of a "production" than just a reading too. I thought it set the mood beautifully.
Okay, I didn't hate this book or the narrator. I really wanted to like it. But what began to make that harder and harder in the beginning was that the details of what was going on when, who was who, where the characters were, etc seemed to be either missing or hard to follow. I think they were just so briefly mentioned that they were very easy to miss. The fact that the story was so reliant on a dense plot full of little details, not all of which mattered, and skimped on character development didn't help.
What really was the final straw for me, after I'd gotten to about mid book and was really no longer following the fine details of the plot, was the continuously, boringly tense tone. The main character was always tense. Always. It's not that she necessarily felt that way in the story all the time, though she often did--she was just written in that style in her dialogue and thoughts. She doesn't drink, she doesn't wear makeup, she doesn't give in to fear easily, she's not in the market for love every time she sees a pretty, dangerous man, she's always working--these are all admirable qualities-- but things like this seemed to function as a way to keep her always at a distance from other characters. It contributed to the tense and sober mood of the whole story, which can be a good thing if it isn't allowed to get tiresome. The main character's continual use of the words "MY GOD." whenever something big was happening really didn't help bring any grittiness to that mood either, though it seemed intended to.. Actually that just made it kind of cheesy.
I didn't get to know, or really want to know her characters. I didn't especially want Anita to further explore a relationship with any of them. None of it really excited me. The author wrote some really cool scenes though! She showed some creativity with that, for sure. It just wasn't enough to carry this largely featureless ball of plot and tension past the finish line in my opinion.
I think this story was really something special, even though throughout the first half of the book I wondered if this was the work of a talented, but then inexperienced author. I wondered this because the first half was marked by a lack of sensory detail. I like stories that put me in the setting and let me feel what is happening. The atmosphere here wasn't incredibly immersive, and also the author kept using the same figure of speech to describe character's emotional reactions again and again (everybody's always sucking their teeth in disgust, or sucking their teeth to show some other negative emotion, it gets weird). I thought the story skimped on detail fairly often, though not in a way that crippled it. Altogether, once it gets going this is a really cool story. It's culturally immersive and graceful and full of cool voodoo stuff. The ending was especially fitting and satisfying too. Worth the cash.
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