Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy’

27th May
2009
written by Steph
Wonder no more!  Read it!

Wonder no more! Read it!

I’m a bit bummed that this long weekend was graced with gray skies and intermittent rainstorms rather than lolling about by the pool and using the grill, but dreary days can have their perks!  Sunday afternoon, I plucked Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from the shelf as I’d never read it before and proceeded to read the whole thing through OUT LOUD to Tony as we lazed on the couch.  I don’t know why it took me 26 years to get to this book, because it was so much fun.  For some reason I had built up in my mind the belief that Carroll’s language was rather cumbersome and confusing (I know I tried to read the story when I was younger but could never get past the first few pages), but this time round I simply found it delightful.  I knew the guy had a penchant for poetry, but I didn’t know he had such a fondness for puns (boo to all of those people who say puns are the lowest form of wit and humor – I love them!).  I was particularly amused by Alice’s dialogues with the Hatter and with the Mock Turtle and Gryphon, and the trial at the end was really very funny as well.  There was a good deal of snickering on both Tony’s and my part as I read through this book.
Poor Bill!

Poor Bill!

The story was at times manic and completely absurd (I can’t help but feel that kids might find it confusing at times, but what do I know?), but I thought it had a lot of charm and really appreciated it’s playful spirit.  I loved Carroll’s approach to the English language as well as how sprightly all of the characters are.  The copy I read was a hardback, annotated version (complete with lovely illustrations), but I read the story straight through without pausing over the footnotes and asides.  I know I’ll definitely re-read this story in the future, and look forward to spending some time poring over the details and trivia that might allow for a richer second read through.  My volume also contains Through The Looking Glass (which Tony tells me is far weirder), which I will read when I feel I need a dollop of nonsense to cleanse my reading palate.  I highly recommend this lovely little romp to anyone looking for a smart, diverting read. Rating: 4.5 out of 5
7th May
2009
written by Steph
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link

I doubt it...

When I reviewed Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth earlier this year, I stated up front that I’m not really a reader of short stories.  I always find the first part of anything I read to be the hardest slog as I work to attune myself to the writing and ensconce myself in the world of the story.  With short stories I feel like I’m doing this the whole time because just when I feel I’m in synch with a story, it ends and I’m left wanting more, but instead have to dive into a new story.  While I had serious problems with Unaccustomed Earth, the one thing that did impress me about it was how easily I slipped into each story, and moreover, each one felt like a complete entity that did what it said it would: it told a story.  But I’m supposed to be talking about Stranger Things Happen, right?  I’ve already reviewed Unaccustomed Earth!  Well, I give all this preamble simply because I’m a bit at a loss with respect to this collection, and in large part that’s because half the time I had no idea what was going on in any of the stories, and just when I thought I had a handle on them, they ended rather abruptly… the curse of the short “story” strikes again! (more…)
26th March
2009
written by Steph
The ghost was in love, but I was more "in like".

The ghost was in love, but I was more "in like".

Twenty pages into reading The Ghost in Love, I realized it was not going to be at all the kind of book I was expecting, but rather than being disappointed by that, I was actually kind of stoked, because even if the book was totally defying my expectations, it was doing it in the best possible way.  I had expected a little bit of the otherworldly – the book does have the word “ghost” in the title after all – but I hadn’t expected it to be quite so fantastical, and also so, well, funny.  For some reason, I thought the book would be more somber and aching in its tone, but the tone was far lighter and wittier than I thought it would be.  Don’t get me wrong, there were moments in which Carroll writes some beautiful descriptions of love and memory and it’s all very lovely, but he’s also got a sense of humor, and I like that too. (more…)
23rd February
2009
written by Steph
Doesn't this look like it's a creepy movie rather than cheery?

Doesn't this look like it's a creepy movie rather than cheery?

This weekend Tony & I went to see Coraline in 3D.  We hardly ever go out to see movies, since we have a Netflix account which means that movies come to us instead, but I figured that that extra third dimension might add something pretty cool to the movie-watching experience, so we got off our lazy butts and ventured out to the theater. [As an aside, I will mention that we did head out about 2 weeks ago to go see Slumdog Millionaire, but traffic was a beast near the mall AND then when we got there the theater was a complete zoo for reasons we could not understand.  Literally people were lining up outside of the theater in order to buy tickets.  But to what film?  Surely all those people couldn’t have been that into He’s Just Not That Into You, right?  Anyway, we stood in line for the automated box office for about 15 minutes, eating all of our blueberry yogurt covered raisins meant for the film in the process, after which point we still hadn’t purchased tickets and decided that we would just go home.  So essentially, we went to the movie theater and ate a box of candy but saw no movie.  Awesome.  Also, we have still not seen Slumdog, but I guess given that it just won the Oscar, we probably will now.] (more…)
18th December
2008
written by Tony
1990

1990

Okay. So, apparently everyone thinks Kurosawa is a genius. The best Japanese director ever. Don't get me wrong, it's not that he's necessarily bad at what he does, it's just that what he does tends to leave me high and dry, especially in the case of this particular film. I've seen Seven Samurai, even liked most of it (God, it is long), but as films go it wasn't transcendental or even really all that remarkable. Now wait, before you crucify me, let me explain. It is a good film, and it is deserving of the heaps of praise lauded upon it over the last 50 years. However, it's a good film for reasons that don't really play into my viewing enjoyment. It was the inspiration for The Magnificent Seven, and it is often cited as the first film to use the plot device of gathering heroes to fight a battle. It was an enormous success when it was released in Japan and is one of the few Japanese films to gain wide recognition in the west. On and on and on, the innovation and the power and the glory. (more…)
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