What the Hell Did I Just Read – Review

What the Hell Did I Just Read By David Wong (pen name of Jason Pargin)

Published in 2017

Pages: 371

Genre: Horror, humor

“It rained like we were a splatter of bird shit God was trying to hose off his deck.”

If you think that the above sentence uses profanity unnecessarily, then this isn’t the book for you. What the Hell Did I Just Read is the newest book by author Justin Pargin, written under the pen name David Wong, who is the protagonist of the novel. Covering everything from seemingly immortal government agents, a drug called Soy Sauce, and the mystery of why John ordered so many silicone butts while under the influence of Soy Sauce are just a few of the plot points that will have the reader chuckling and blowing air out their nose with nearly every page. You want to hear a story? Well buckle the eff up! Continue reading “What the Hell Did I Just Read – Review”

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Steppenwolf – Review

Der Steppenwolf (Steppenwolf) by Hermann Hesse

Published in 1927; first published in English in 1929

Basil Creighton Translation

Pages: 218

Genre: Fiction

“This book contains the records left us by a man whom, according to the expression he often used himself, we called the Steppenwolf.”

Metaphysical and internal speculation abound in a tale of struggle between man and metaphorical wolf. Written by German author Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf is a tour-de-force of poetic prose, hallucinatory description, and internal conflict that speaks to any who feels at odds with the world and society in which they live. Following a mysterious man who refers to himself as the Steppenwolf, the story twists and turns into the fantastic, forcing the reader to wonder what is real and what is in the man’s mind. Continue reading “Steppenwolf – Review”

Norse Mythology – Review

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Published in 2017

Pages: 293

Genre: Mythology, Norse mythology

“It’s as hard to have a favorite sequence of myths as it is to have a favorite style of cooking (some nights you might want Thai food, some nights sushi, other nights you crave the plain home cooking you grew up on).”

The above sentence is probably not what one would expect to introduce a collection of Norse myths. Those intimately familiar with Neil Gaiman’s work will not be surprised that he jumped at the chance to retell the myths he loves most from Norse Mythology. The aptly titled Norse Mythology is his love letter to the tales of the Vikings, which feature not only action and suspense, but love, lust, poetry, and shapeshifting tricksters. In an attempt to pay homage to the stories that so deeply affected him, Gaiman succeeds in creating an accessible book to guide a new generation of readers into the nine realms. Continue reading “Norse Mythology – Review”

The Mark of the Horse Lord – Review

The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff

Illustrations by Felix Miall

Published in 1965; 2017 Edition by The Folio Society

Pages: 288

Genre: Historical fiction, children’s literature

 

Disclaimer: This review will be different from the norm in that it is split into two parts: a standard, albeit shorter, book review and a specific review of this Folio Society edition. I am endorsing this product through my own volition and belief in its high quality.

 

Part I: The Story

“In the long cavern of the changing-room, the light of the fat-oil lamps cast jumping shadows on the walls; skeleton shadows of the spear-stacked arms-racks, giant shadows of the men who crowded the benches or moved about still busy with their weapons and gear; here and there the stallion shadow of a plume-crested helmet.”

The above sentence describes a scene that could most likely have been taken from a historical account of a gladiator’s life. The Mark of the Horse Lord, by Rosemary Sutcliff, follows one such gladiator from gaining his freedom to becoming a central figure in a conspiracy to reclaim a tribal throne in Northern Scotland. Filled with swordplay, interesting characters, and intricate descriptions that cause the reader to become immersed in this ancient world, The Mark of the Horse Lord is entertaining in its character driven storytelling. Continue reading “The Mark of the Horse Lord – Review”

Dracula – Review

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Published in 1897; 2011 Barnes & Noble edition

Pages: 399

Genre: Horror, supernatural

3 May. Bistritz. – Left Munich at 8:35 P.M. on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late.”

One would not suspect such a beginning to the most famous vampire story in the world, but it is the nefarious tendency of the undead to sneak up on their victims that this introduction replicates. Dracula, by Bram Stoker, follows the conquest of London by a melodramatic lord of the undead. After purchasing an estate in England, Count Dracula travels by ship to begin his malicious intent, only to be challenged by friends of the very man who helped him with the financial transaction that put his plan in motion. Told through the correspondence of the brave souls who stand up against this dark malice, Dracula created the template for the vampiric menace and kick-started a golden age for tales about the creature of the night. Continue reading “Dracula – Review”

Charlotte’s Web – Review

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

Illustrations by Garth Williams

Published in 1952

Pages: 184

Genre: Children’s literature

“Where’s Papa going with that ax?”

Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White, is a classic and well-loved children’s story. The tale follows Wilbur; the runt of the litter, he is beset by the possibility of death from birth, but is saved by the kindness of friends. A book for children containing such themes as friendship, loyalty, growing up, life, and death, it is no wonder that it has remained as popular all these years after its first publication. Continue reading “Charlotte’s Web – Review”

Peace – Review

Peace by Gene Wolfe

Published in 1975

Pages: 264

Genre: Fantasy, ghost story, supernatural

“The elm tree planted by Eleanor Bold, the judge’s daughter, fell last night.”

Though this sentence seems imbued with significance, it will ultimately become one lost among thousands in the course of reading Peace, by Gene Wolfe. The story follows the rambling memories of Denny Weer; his thoughts run from one into another as flashbacks and flash forwards meld together, creating a spiderweb of connections in his mind. Life, death, pain, love, loss, the permeability of human memory, and sorrow all get their due time in this twisting tale about a man’s life. Continue reading “Peace – Review”