Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Books, Books, Books!

I've been stockpiling reviews. Okay, not really, I just haven't gotten around to blogging about them. CampNaNo will do that to you.

Book Numero Uno

My French Whore- Gene Wilder

Honestly? A disappointment. Cute story, but that's about it. His memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger, was soooo good that I had really high expectations for this book, and the writing just didn't reach them. It was simple, unelegant, not that funny, just...not Gene Wilder. Not the way that I know he can write.

That said, it wasn't a horrible book. It was a simple, easy to read novel. Great for those hot days when your brain feels like it can't commit to anything too strenuous. If you want a look at Gene Wilder's actual writing skills though, pick up Kiss Me Like a Stranger.

Book Numero Dos

A Year in Provence- Peter Mayle

I have a soft spot for travel memoir. Especially when the travelust is particularly strong. This memoir from the late 80s, and the first in a trilogy that I will undoubtedly read because this is, after all, the year of the trilogy, is about the first year in Peter and his wife's life after they buy a house in Provence and move away from their life in England.

Expect to encounter old houses, strange neighbors, the token contractor/architect that you find in all books like this, and lots and LOTS of food. Food is what the French live for, and I guarantee reading this book will make you hungry. If you haven't had the pleasure of french food, get yourself across the pond at some point in your life. This from a person who doesn't even like food. It's amazingly rich though, so if you have a sensitive stomach...just be aware.

Highly recommend the book, especially if you are like me, and long to be wherever you're not.

Book Numero Tres

V for Vendetta- Alan Moore

The first graphic novel that I was exposed to was Alan Moore's Watchmen and I was pleasantly surprised that a comic book could have such a good story, in addition to meaningful pictures.

Again, Alan Moore's writing is solid. The story is a good one, about the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust in which England becomes a fascist state, disposing of people of color and homosexuals the way the Jews were exterminated in World War II. Only V, a survivor of the concentration camps has the ability to engineer an overthrow of the government and create anarchy.

As I said, the story is good. Engaging, thought provoking, Alan Moore quality. The pictures were not as good as the ones in Watchmen. Evey, the orphan girl and heir to V's empire was so inconsistently drawn that I occasionally had a hard time recognizing her. The pictures were also colored dark, which I know was intentional because it was meant to convey the tone of this dreary fascist England, but sometimes they were so dark I had a hard time figuring out exactly what I was looking at.

Still recommended, because again, the story is good. So are the characters. In fact, so is the movie. But obviously, read the book first.

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