John Connolly: The Book of Lost Things

I wanted to read The Book of Lost Things even though I disliked Connolly’s The Gates. I had an intuition that The Gates was a less well-developed book, maybe even rushed a bit to capitalize on the market created by The Book of Lost Things. And I was right — The Book of Lost ThingsContinue reading “John Connolly: The Book of Lost Things”

John Connolly: The Gates

Warning: This review is more than a little mean. I’ve mentioned Henry Jenkin’s introduction to Interfictions 2 once already. In it he makes an excellent point about genre: when we read genre fiction, we want it to conform somewhat to our expectations of the genre — but we also want it to somewhat confound ourContinue reading “John Connolly: The Gates”

John Cook, Mac McCaughan, Laura Ballance: Our Noise – the Story of Merge Records

Three quick endorsements of Our Noise: I read every word within a 24-hour span I’ve already purchased some Merge recordings I hadn’t previously heard The palpable enthusiasm of Ryan Adam’s (slightly incoherent) intro almost makes me want to hear what he’s been up to lately The structure of Our Noise is pretty genius: there’s aContinue reading “John Cook, Mac McCaughan, Laura Ballance: Our Noise – the Story of Merge Records”

Cassandra Clare: City of Bones

City of Bones, the first volume of Clare’s young-adult supernatural series Mortal Instruments melds tropes and themes from sources such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Wars, Meyer’s Twilight books and Rowling’s Harry Potter in a way that sometimes felt a little calculated, but still kept me flipping pages. Three little gripes: The author’s nameContinue reading “Cassandra Clare: City of Bones”

Jerome Charyn: Johnny One-Eye

I appreciated the craft that went into Johnny One-Eye, but I didn’t enjoy it very much. It’s not the sort of book I usually read, but I picked it up hoping it might be something of a cross between HBO’s John Adams and Barth’s The Sot-Weed Factor. It’s much more like the former than theContinue reading “Jerome Charyn: Johnny One-Eye”

Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

There is so much that’s good, even excellent, about this novel that I feel a little churlish for stating that the primary impression it left me with was one of disappointment, but that is the case, and the disappointment doesn’t arise solely as a consequence of the many accolades and awards heaped on it (althoughContinue reading “Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell”