Thursday, October 16, 2003

Haven't mentioned books in a while. I have decided not to continue listing every single book I purchase (I blame laziness), but only those about which I have something to say. For instance, I recently got Monstrous Regiment through work. It's Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld book. I was reading the cover blurbs and came across yet another comparison between Pratchett & Tolkein. (Or maybe it's just the same quote used over & over. I haven't looked that closely.) The only similarities between the two that I can see is that they're both male & English and that their writings contain fantastic elements. The Discworld books are fundamentally about people, and Middle Earth was Tolkein's attempt to create a mythology for Britain. The only thing I can think of is that the reviewers that make these comparisons don't read SF or fantasy & so Tolkein is the only name they can come up with. (Or perhaps they think it's the only name the public will recognize.)

Another recent acquisition: Stray Toasters by Bill Seinkeiwicz (not linked because Amazon only has the out of print Marvel/Epic edition from 1991). So glad this is back in print. I've been kicking myself for not buying the previous edition for over 10 years now. Damn, I wish Seinkeiwicz still did as much comics work as he used to. But I'm sure other venues offer him much better pay.

Today, another book I ordered through work arrived. (I've accelerated my orders since I know this resource will be going away soon, and there are so many books I want.) The Sandman: King of Dreams by Alisa Kwitney. It looks like an interesting exploration of the comic series, although a hefty chunk of the book seems to be taken up with full-page reproductions of pages from the comics with no commentary. If you're buying this book, presumably you already own the graphic novels, so what's the point of the reprints?

I'm still reading Lolita. This is the first time I've read any Nabokov. I'm finding Humbert very creepy and wondering how much of his narrative I can trust. I am also glad that the cover is subdued. I do most of my reading on the bus, and considering the reputation this book has, I am happy that I'm not reading an edition that advertises to everybody "Hey, this guy's reading that dirty book about the child molester!" I haven't seen either of the movie adaptations, and I wonder how they handle the unreliable narrator problem in the different medium. I'll have to watch one or both after I finish the book.

I've also read a few graphic novels that I'll mention later.

Two recent acquisitions: Wings of Desire purchased from my Gold Box (one of the exceedingly few times I've found something that I even considered buying) and Muppets Magic: From the Ed Sullivan Show, an early birthday gift from Gemma & Dee. (Thanks!) It was interesting watching these early skits. Several of them were redone a decade latter for The Muppet Show. There's one piece in particular (about a lizard eating worms) I remember. I thought "Boy, that lizard looks like Kermit." And, sure enough, the original version featured the familiar frog (even if he wasn't as familiar then).

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