Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Book Reviews!

The Strain: Book One of The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan from William Morrow: This one is a REAL page turner; not Literature, but DAMN good. I truly hope that Del Toro (Director of Pan's Labyrinth & The Devil's Backbone) makes a movie out this tale of NYC infected with a Vampire virus. Sections of this book were good enough to remind me of Matheson.

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill from Harper Paperbacks: This was fun, but not as enjoyable for me as Hill's collection of short stories 20th Century Ghosts. Joe Hill has made a fan out of me, and I'm looking forward to his next novel. You can follow Hill on Twitter HERE.

The Dylan Dog Case Files by Tizlano Sclavi & assorted Illustrators from Dark Horse: Um...not quite what I expected here...maybe I was fooled by the cover by Mike Mignola of Hellboy fame? The six stories of Paranormal Investigator Dylan Dog collected here seem somewhat scattershot, and the revolving door of artists certainly doesn't help. But, I guess this stuff is HUGE in Europe...so what do I know?

The Photographer: Into War-torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefevre, & Frederic Lemercier from First Second: A smart and experimental mix of photos and illustrations that tell the true life tale of a Photographer that travels to Afghanistan to document the work of Doctor's Without Borders. Guibert is without a doubt one THE BEST working in the Graphic Novel medium at the moment.

The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio from Doubleday Religion: Now this was different. Not an all-out insane demonic tell all, as much as an insider's look into the training and daily lives of Catholic Exorcists. Worth the short time it took to read.

The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck from Penguin Classics: I can see why this one is often a subject of debate among Steinbeck fans as this novel is nothing like his work from the 30's & 40's. Focusing on the downward spiral of American morality in the 1960's, The Winter of Our Discontent is an excellent read due to the novel being full of Steinbeck's searing insight into human nature.

City of Thieves: A Novel by David Beniof from Plume: A very fun read full of humor, action and introspection. It's the tale of two young Russian men searching for a chicken in a ravaged and starving St. Petersburg under siege by the Nazis. Isn't that description enough to make you want to read this one?

BUtterfield 8 by John O'Hara from Modern Library: Now this is some good stuff! I read somewhere online that "O'Hara wrote like we wish Fitzgerald did"! A tough story of loose women, lapsed Irish-Catholics, rich, spoiled WASPS, and the underbelly of NYC in the 1920's. An excellent novella.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman from HarperCollins: The story of a living boy raised by ghosts in a graveyard (think The Jungle Book). An entertaining read that seems to lose steam by the end. Parts of the book are incredibly imaginative though and Gaiman has no peer when it comes to presenting old cliched ideas in new and very strange ways. Added bonus: the copy I read was full of beautiful, offbeat Dave McKean illustrations!


B.STANK said...

Damn... you read ALOT!

John A. Walsh said...

Yes. YES I do.