Author: CaptainFez

Curmudgeon.

Goodreads review: Shōgun

Shōgun.Shōgun by James Clavell.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

When I was a small boy I remember my father having a bookshelf full of hardbacks. And the one I remember most clearly, for some reason, is Shōgun, James Clavell’s 1100-page whopper. I can still recall the smell of it.

I had always been mystified by the book. I remember it being on Dad’s nightstand, with a golf-club bookmark through it. I remember its cover as the first place I ever saw the handle of a Japanese sword. And when I was older, I remember finding endless copies of it at op-shops, usually for somewhere around the two-buck mark. (more…)

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A brief interruption

You may have noticed that there’s been scant – well, no – posting here in the past couple of weeks.

That’s because I’ve been overseas. On holiday.

See? That’s me in Japan.

While in Japan I read airport novels (hello, James Clavell, after many years of avoidance) and walked a hell of a lot. So there’s not been much in the way of reviewing or writing.

That’ll change soon as I’m home (now) and in need of distraction. Expect more soon.

(Though let me preface any future content with a lamentation that there’s no Family Mart near my house. Because if you know, you know.)

Goodreads review: 100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition Book III

100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition Book III.100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition Book III by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

It’s time to descend, once more, into the world of noir. Bullets, broads, and a buttload of blood. But this is 100 Bullets so by this point in the collection, your squeamishness has either seen you tap out, or your enthusiasm has you fired up for what’s coming.

Pictured: the reader.

(more…)

Goodreads review: Ricochet: David Bowie 1983: An Intimate Portrait

Ricochet: David Bowie 1983: An Intimate Portrait.Ricochet: David Bowie 1983: An Intimate Portrait by Denis O’Regan.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

This is probably going to be quite a short review, because there’s not a whole lot that can be said about the book in question.

It’s a book of photos.

Of David Bowie. (more…)

Goodreads review: Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country.Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

You know how sometimes you can leave a book on the to-read pile for a little too long?

How the excitement you had about reading the thing – the “Ooh! Can’t wait to get to that one!” anticipation – somehow becomes bigger than you’d intended, thus creating an expectation that the book can’t possibly surpass?

That’s me with Lovecraft Country. (more…)

Goodreads review: 100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition Book II

100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition Book II.100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition Book II by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

It’s time for ghetto arsekickers, Italian-descent mobsters, the neon of gambling, the prick of the needle and the luck of the draw. It’s time for losers who think they’re winners, and winners who’ve got fuck-all. And it’s time for a briefcase of untraceable bullets.

Oh yeah. And cock-suckin’ birds.

Guess it’s time for another load of 100 Bullets then.

(more…)

Goodreads review: Killing Commendatore

Killing Commendatore.Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Ah, Murakami. My old buddy. Ole pal.

His works are among the first I came to when I began reading weirder literature, and so I feel great affection for him. I loved his strangeness, and then – later – I loved his plainer works, his more natural narratives. And perhaps, above all, his non-fiction titles.

And every time he puts out a new one, I snap it up. Because in each title is the kernel of hope that I’ll be dazzled the way I was when I first grabbed hold of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Kind of akin to how I keep buying albums by bands I idolised in university, in the hope that their albums will spark the joy I’ve been seeking since undergrad days.
(more…)

Goodreads review: 100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition Book I

100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition Book I.100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition Book I by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

What would you do if you were cornered by a craggy-looking dude with a briefcase? A briefcase that’s meant for you? A briefcase that contains some papers, a pristine gun and a number of untraceable bullets? With the assurance that anything you did with those items would be completely free from legal consequence?

DON’T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE, MOTHERFUCKER. 

(I mean aside from whacking your most hated YouTube celebrity repeatedly.)
(more…)

Goodreads review: Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci.Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Walter Isaacson’s made no bones about his interest in genius. I mean, he’s written biographical surveys of Albert Einstein (undoubtedly), Benjamin Franklin (yep), Steve Jobs (well…) and, er, Henry Kissinger (ahem) among others. Now, he turns his gaze towards a guy who we normally gaze towards – well, his works, anyway. Leonardo da Vinci.

Ah stuff it. Ignore the terrible segue and look at this ripped geometric dude instead.

You’d think someone so artistically significant would look a bit more enthused with his immortality.

Whew, crisis averted. (more…)

Oishinbo: Izakaya

Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 7 - Izakaya: Pub Food.Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 7 – Izakaya: Pub Food by Tetsuya Kariya and Akira Hanasaki.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Well, I guess it’s over.

This is the final volume of translated tales from Oishinbo. And what better way to end than with a beer and an attempt to teach an actor how to drink sake properly?

Foam judgement incoming.

Oh, and some food created by a homeless gourmand? And some headhunting? And a relationship-fracturing food fight? And the choice of educational pathways? And the birth of some children? (more…)