Showing posts from September, 2018

Princeless Books 1-3 (Save Yourself, Get Over Yourself, The Pirate Princess)

Princeless Books 1-3 (Save Yourself, Get Over Yourself, The Pirate Princess) Jeremy Whitley, et al., 2012, 2014, 2015 Read Harder Challenge 2018 - A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image Premise: Princess Adrienne can’t believe her father hired a dragon and stuck her in a tower. She’s had it with expectations and decides to save her sisters herself. I read the first arc of this book in issues back when it came out, and I had such fond memories of it that I picked up the first three collections. And it’s good, but my recollections were perhaps overly rose-colored. To sum-up: It’s got a great premise, but the execution is a bit rocky. The first issue and the first arc are fun overall, but a lot of the jokes rely on easy pot-shots at fantasy tropes or wordplay that’s only clever the first time. None of this is bad, just... one-dimensional, I guess? The plot meanders far too much. The first book is Adrienne getting out of the tower, heading home only to disco

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood Truman Capote, 1966 Read Harder Challenge 2018 - A book of true crime Premise: The true story of a multiple murder and its aftermath. True crime might be enjoying a recent popularity boost, but Capote’s classic is still one of the pinnacles of the genre. For this challenge, first I tried to read a more recent book, but I gave up under the weight of a well-researched but interminable narrative. This book, on the other hand, is tightly narrated and carefully structured to maintain emotional tension. Some responses to this “nonfiction novel” claim that not every bit of dialogue and nuance of character is truthful, but the research is clear to the reader without ever being overt. The various threads - the lives of the victims, the feelings of those left behind, and the psychology and history of the murderers - are skillfully interwoven to build a story with the kind of fully realized texture that is rare for any type of writing (fiction or non) to achieve. Much

The Diamond Age

The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer Neal Stephenson, 1995 Hugo winner - 1996 Premise: In a world where people are bound together only by their philosophies and their nanotech, men try to control the future and girls raise themselves with the help of a special book. This isn't the worst Hugo-winning book I've read. That honor still belongs to Stand on Zanzibar. But this is one that I would not have finished reading if it weren't for this project. The beginning is very promising. Nanotech designer Hackworth is in an interesting position, faced with the puzzle of how to teach children raised in a wealthy coddled society to be innovators and leaders. His solution is The Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, a "book" which operates as a highly advanced interactive teacher, using classical fairy tale tropes to encourage learning and independence. One copy of this book, smuggled into existence by Hackworth, intended for his own daugh

Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles

Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles Mark Russell, Mike Feehan, et al., 2018 New Release! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review. Premise: In the 1950s, anthropomorphic animals and humans alike struggle with McCarthyism, censorship, and homophobia. One flamboyant pink-furred playwright is caught between all three. Collects Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #1-6 and the backup story from  Suicide Squad/Banana Splits Special #1 . I'm only passingly familiar with most of the Hanna-Barbera characters from this era, but I think this reimagining does some fascinating things by extrapolating out from basic character traits. The core is, of course, taking the extravagant and theatrical mannerisms of Snagglepuss and making him a closeted Southern playwright working in the style of Tennessee Williams. The whole piece has the heightened language and high melodrama that I associate with Williams' work, in fact. The story is