needs more demons?

irreverent opinions on books

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Entries from May 2009

Lee Irby: 7,000 Clams

24 May 2009 · No Comments

I think the worst thing about becoming a baseball fan for me is getting infested by the magical thinking associated with the sport. This intricately-plotted, noirish crime novel features Babe Ruth (as a Yankee, in the 1925 offseason) and I found myself vaguely worried that reading it was somehow disloyal to my team.
But there’s [...]

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Tags: #-title · historical · i-author · mystery · suspense

Benjamin Parzybok: Couch

17 May 2009 · 1 Comment

Benjamin Parzybok’s Couch delivers exactly the experience I expect from a first novel. It’s rough in spots (particularly the end; I thought Parzybok wrote himself into a little bit of a corner), but it shows considerable promise and leaves me eager to see what Parzybok writes next.
Couch is the story of three roommates who have [...]

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Tags: c-title · fantasy · p-author

Neil Gaiman: Coraline

17 May 2009 · No Comments

I loved the film Coraline although I expected not to (I’m not a Nightmare Before Christmas fan). I started reading Coraline the novel expecting additional richness and strangeness that had not fit into the film, and instead discovered that with one interesting (and somewhat controversial) exception, Coraline the film is one of the most faithful [...]

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Tags: c-title · fantasy · g-author

Charlie Huston: Six Bad Things

09 May 2009 · No Comments

I liked Six Bad Things, but not nearly as much as its predecessor Caught Stealing. In first novel Hank Thompson is a basically ordinary guy abruptly thrust into an over-the-top noir situation; by the time the second novel opens, Thompson isn’t so much a regular Joe anymore, so the book lacks the charm of the [...]

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Tags: h-author · s-title · thriller

Paolo Bacigalupi: Pump Six and Other Stories

09 May 2009 · No Comments

At its best, Pump Six reminds me of George Saunders and Lucius Shepard: Saunders for the wry yet disturbing cautionary near-future dystopias, Shepard for the core of outrage that runs deep through these stories — except where the anger of Shepard’s breakthrough fiction was directed at U.S. imperialism, Bacigalupi seems driven by environmental issues. “The [...]

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Tags: b-author · p-title · science fiction

Charlie Huston: Caught Stealing

01 May 2009 · No Comments

What if somebody had a heart attack reading an exciting novel, and the Surgeon General determined that some novels ought to have medical warnings, and an MPAA-like board — the Literary Medical Review Committee, say — was formed to review and rate books? Then Caught Stealing would have a banner on the front cover that [...]

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Tags: c-title · h-author · suspense