Goodreads reviews

Goodreads review: Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Omnibus Vol. 1

Clive Barker's Hellraiser Omnibus Vol. 1Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Omnibus Vol. 1 by Clive Barker.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

I guess I must be a glutton for punishment? I mean, I recently reread The Hellbound Heart (and found it wanting, alas) after forcing myself to sit through all the movies in the Hellraiser series. So of course, it was only natural that the next cab off the cultural rank was almost 600 pages of comics set in the same world, eh?

Nag nag bloody nag. (Also, check out those guns!)

Thankfully, this collection wasn’t a waste of time or good suffering, which is probably a better deal than you’d get from a Cenobite drop-in.
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Goodreads review: The Hellbound Heart

The Hellbound Heart.The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars.

I suppose polishing off a Gothic fancy where death plays love’s fiddle put me in mood for something a little more grim, so I decided to revisit Clive Barker’s novella of puzzles and bad dates, The Hellbound Heart.

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Steady on there, Frank. 

Jesus wept, indeed. (more…)

Goodreads review: Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights.Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Let me in (ah) your window (oh ho ho ho).

C’mon, you were thinking it. I know you were. I was, the whole way through. As the introduction indicates, it’s a rare text that can not only birth film adaptations but also pop chart-toppers. (And accompanying dance routines.)

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Goodreads review: The Medusa Touch

The Medusa Touch.The Medusa Touch by Peter Van Greenaway.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars.

Like a lot of people, I first came to this book because of the film of the same title. That film – though different in some ways to the book – is a classic of weird UK cinema, featuring Richard Burton as a suitably bitchy novelist with a catastrophic chip on his shoulder. Suffice it to say, I was intrigued enough to find a copy of the book to see how much it differed.

The book features less glaring ham.

(If you’re in Australia, you can watch the film for free here. Do it.)

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Goodreads review: Akira, Vol. 3

Akira, Vol. 3Akira, Vol. 3 by Katsuhiro Otomo.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is another brief review, largely because it feels kind of weird to review Akira per-trade rather than as a whole.

Boat trips are fun.

(No, it doesn’t. It just fits in with my must finish it! feelings – though I’m trying to pace myself with it. I mean I can’t read manga all year, can I?) (more…)

Goodreads review: Akira, Vol. 2

Akira, Vol. 2Akira, Vol. 2 by Katsuhiro Otomo.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I guess a lot of what I wrote in my review of the first volume of Akira is applicable here: it’s something technological and dirty; something full of speed and movement, yet manages to not advance the story particularly far.

(Well, that’s not entirely true. The story told here hints at Bigger Consequences Yet To Come, even though the whole volume is essentially one lengthy chase sequence.)

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Goodreads review: Shots

ShotsShots by Don Walker.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Laconic and dry. That’s probably the write-up you’ve got in mind for Shots, songwriter Don Walker’s first book. And you’re probably not all that far wrong. But that reductionism is a disservice: The book is dry, with one economical eye on the door, but there’s a lot more going on.

The book is an autobiography, more or less, but it’s not a lot like that of his on-again off-again bandmate Tex Perkins, say. It’s a collection of images gathered together under the names of places that exist, or are a state of mind – Home, Carr’s Creek, Kings Cross, The Road, Paris and so on – but they flit, moment to moment. (more…)

Goodreads review: Powers of Darkness

Powers of Darkness: The lost version of Dracula.Powers of Darkness: The lost version of Dracula by Bram Stoker and Valdimar Ásmundsson.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

This book serves as a re-translation of an early Icelandic translation of Bram Stoker’s bitey classic, Dracula. The Icelandic version of the Count’s tale dropped in 1900, only two years after the first translation (into Hungarian), and is notable because there’s evidence – lovingly detailed in forewords, afterwords and footnotes – that Stoker was in touch with the Icelandic translator of the work, Valdimar Ásmundsson, founder of the newspaper Fjallkonan, providing information from draft versions of the English text to work with.
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Goodreads review: Soviet Bus Stops

Soviet Bus Stops.Soviet Bus Stops by Christopher Herwig.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

A great example of a book that does exactly what you’d expect, Soviet Bus Stops is the outcome of years spent travelling through the former Soviet Union by Canadian photographer Christopher Herwig.
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Goodreads review: Infinite Jest

Infinite JestInfinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

So I finally read it.

You know, the brick. The thing. The book. The enormous tome. The encyclopaedic novel of encyclopaedic novels. The objet d’enthousiasme I’ve been lugging across the world since 1999, a brick-sized chunk of narrative excess that I’d promised my then-partner – a DFW army footsoldier for life – that I would read, such was their enthusiasm for the wordy luggage-filler.

So, this.

Secondly, the secret.

It’s not really that difficult. (more…)