Goodreads review: Bad City Blues

Bad City BluesBad City Blues by Tim Willocks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another out-the-door read, I began this in order to get it off my shelves. I’m trying to downsize books, and I felt that this would be a good read-and-donate, so away I went.

I may have to reconsider this plan of action.

While this is the second Willocks book I’ve read, it’s the first of his to be published. Green River Rising was my first, and it’s undeniable that while that book is more polished, Bad City Blues is more viscerally interesting. There’s certainly a sense that Willocks is working out ideas here, and the writing sometimes veers close to formula, but in genre fiction, that’s hardly a cardinal sin.

Willocks’ writing here is resolutely Southern-fried gothic violence. There’s touches of Chandler and Cain, with sweaty balls; religion, robbery and the fuckery love leads you to are foremost. (more…)

Running out of Forgotten Sands

So I finally reached the end of my Prince of Persia saga, and have found it’s concluded not with a bang, but a whimper. A pretty whimper but a whimper nonetheless.

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is not, as you’d expect from the cover, a tie-in with 2010’s moustache-twirling film. (more…)

Goodreads Review: Burial Rites

Burial RitesBurial Rites by Hannah Kent
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time to enthuse: this is one of the most striking first novels I’ve read in a long time. It’d sat on my shelf for a while, and I grabbed it as I hustled for a bus, so I approached it with no real expectations. So to end up reading something that came across as a more astringent cross between Atwood’s Alias Grace and the austere bones of Miller’s The Crucible was a surprise, to say the least.

Kent’s book is rooted in history and tells of the final weeks of Agnes Magnusdottir’s life. It’s the story of the last woman executed in Iceland, (more…)

Prince of Arse?

My sporadic attempt to play through the Prince of Persia games continues apace with a whip through 2008’s Prince of Persia. Fancy a trailer?

There you go.

Firstly, wow. I know that I’ve most recently been playing fancified versions of the original console trilogy, but this game is very pretty – almost pretty enough to counteract a few of its glaring flaws. In this episode, you’re wandering around and stumble into a battle between a couple of gods who’re somehow involved in a family matter.Maybe.  (more…)

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

Well, in a minute. There’s been a lot of Goodreads reviews popping up here, largely because I’ve been churning through the Preacher trades. I’ll write on other stuff soon, no doubt, but until then enjoy something missed from my ’90s challenge posts – non-Australian music. This album was one I listened to a lot and it still remains one of those with no volume ceiling: no matter how much you turn it up, it could always go just a little further.

More anon.

Goodreads review: Preacher, Volume 9: Alamo

Preacher, Volume 9: AlamoPreacher, Volume 9: Alamo by Garth Ennis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, here we are.

It’s kind of odd reviewing Alamo, the final collection of Preacher trades, as it simultaneously is a review of a collection of issues of the comic, and the run as a whole. It’s something you’re not going to read unless you’ve read the rest of the run, and if you’ve managed to stick through the other eight trades, you’re probably in for the long haul anyway. (more…)

Goodreads review: Preacher, Volume 8: All Hell’s a-Coming

Preacher, Volume 8: All Hell's a-ComingPreacher, Volume 8: All Hell’s a-Coming by Garth Ennis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This, the penultimate Preacher collection, gathers together issues 51-58 and the Tall in the Saddle one-off. It’s a collection that has a fair bit going on, though it’s not as action-packed, necessarily as the others. Certainly, it seems to clear the path for the final volume.

We begin with our main trio split, still. Tulip is kept in a drugged haze, and through her escape from chemical bondage (and creepy sex) (more…)

Goodreads Review: Preacher, Volume 7: Salvation

Preacher, Volume 7: SalvationPreacher, Volume 7: Salvation by Garth Ennis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This Preacher trade gathers issues 41-50 of the regular run of the series, and focuses squarely on Jesse’s path after splitting with Cassidy and Tulip. It’s something of a refractory period in the story – Custer regroups and finds strength again – but it’s also home to some of the series’ more interesting foes, so it’s a worthwhile read. And that’s without counting the insight into the padre’s past this handful offers. (more…)