Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stephen King's IT

IT by Stephen King

Date Started: 15th Feb 2007
Date Finished: 27th Feb 2007


So I finally finished my second Stephen King novel. It took me a considerable while, being 1114 pages long, and I was reading it during CNY, which of course limited my reading time with all the open houses and all.

Anyway, it was well worth the read. If I had to describe it in one word, it'd be 'epic'.

Here's dictionary.com's definition:

–adjective Also, ep·i·cal.
1. noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style.
2. resembling or suggesting such poetry.
3. heroic; majestic; impressively great.
4. of unusually great size or extent

IT definitely is all of the above, other than no.2... =P

The thing that amazes me most, is that King managed to take a really lousy storyline, and turn it into the most amazing story. I mean, come on, a monster from long ago who preys on kids and eats them? How cliche is that? Granted he wrote this story back in the 80's, so it probably wasn't *so* cliche then. But after reading and watching so many horror stories and getting really bored with the same old same old, this book is really something new.

Written more than 20 years ago, and still much better than most horror stories today. And like I said, it's a *really* lousy storyline. He made it good. He made it intense. He made it an epic.

The last time I described a book this way was after I had read The Count of Monte Cristo. Now that, was an epic. But The Count of Monte Cristo had a great storyline! And IT had a really bad one. Again, I have to exclaim at what a great writer King is!

I'm really wondering why I had such a hard time reading his novels before. I must get them out again and read them.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stephen King's Cell

Cell by Stephen King

In my previous post, I reviewed this book as one of the best horror novels I've ever read, and I said that I could see why, from this book, that Stephen King is considered a master storyteller.

However, I realized that many veteran Stephen King fans are saying that his current books are not as good as the ones he used to write. Having never read any other of his books except this one, I guess I'm not expert enough to compare.

I'm currently reading a classic SK book though, so pretty soon I'll be able to judge.

But honestly, regardless of how good or bad his older books are, I really think the way he crafted this book is damn good. Forget about comparing his older books with this one, just compare it with any other horror writer and you won't be able to deny his genius. Note the way I keep saying SK *crafted* this book, rather than just merely wrote it. It's a craft, it's a masterpiece, and SK is a fine artist.

I don't get people who say the book isn't good. It might not be as good as his older ones, but if it's better than the others, it's still pretty darn good. If you were never an SK fan, or into horror novels at all, I'd get it when you say you don't like his work. But if you were always a horror fan, tell me, even if his writing has degenerated, where are you going to find another better horror writer?

As I said, I haven't read his older books, so I'll come back with my thoughts when I'm done. But in the meantime, if you think what I've just said is crap, and if you can point me to better horror writers, then please feel free to enlighten me.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Grab Bag of Reviews

Well, I'm a little late with my reviews...*sheepish* Sorry! As the books I read piled up, I kept putting reviewing off, which is obviously a bad idea, because they pile up even more. LOL!

So I decided to just write a sorta general review of the books I've read since I last blogged, and then after I've caught up, I'll write 'proper' reviews for the books I'll read in the future. I can't remember much about the earlier books I read anyway, which normally happens when I don't blog fast, so I've learned my lesson and I'll blog asap next time. =P

Anyways, here are the books I've read since the last time I blogged:

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Date Started: 14th Dec 2006
Date Finished: 16th Dec 2006


Well, this was a fun read, as Neil Gaiman's books usually are. His books are always a little mixed between reality and fantasy...the lines are always a little blurred, and that's exactly what I love about them. His books are portals into another world, reading his books are like opening the doorways and staring right into a fantastic world.

Reading Anansi Boys, I was torn between screaming in frustration at all the misfortune faced by Fat Charlie, mostly caused by his brother, Spider, and laughing my head off at how ridiculous it all was. Everything works out in the end, but the journey is so exciting, so unbelievable, so stressful, you just have to sit back and let it take you wherever it's going.

Enjoy the ride, Gaiman is always a joy to read, and this is another one of his gems.

Cell by Stephen King

Date Started: 16th Dec 2006
Date Finished: 18th Dec 2006


Would you believe this is my first Stephen King novel? I've always wanted to read his books, and I've tried many times, but never managed to finish one. My first purchased King novel was Dolores Claibourne, which I bought a long long time ago, and couldn't get into. I tried Carrie, and It, and his Dark Tower series, but never finished any of them, until now. It's not that his writing is bad or anything, it just happened that I never finished a single one.

Now that I've finally finished one of his novels, I can see why he's so successful. This book is a work of genius. The storyline is basically similar to all those zombie movies which are so popular recently, but the way he crafts the book is amazing. Most horror movies or books try to scare you with gory and suspenseful scenes, and then shock you when something suddenly jumps out of the closet, King builds up horror slowly, logically - yes, logically- and it scares you because you think, oh my god, this could actually happen.

Reading a King novel for the first time, I finally understand why he's so popular. He's a master at his craft, and I can't wait to read more. I'm getting out all my other King books, and I'm going to finish them this time.

Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

Date Started: Fall 2006
Date Finished: Spring 2007


I bought Book 1, 2 and 3 many years ago, I believe it was in 2001, and I've read Book 1 and 2 many times before. I started Book 3 but didn't finish it.

Recently I read them all again, and I was awed by what I got out of them. I believe my understanding of the world, life, and my views have changed since I last read these books, and reading them again brought me to another level of understanding.

In my humble opinion, this book is a must-read, whether you believe in a God, or in many Gods, or Goddesses, or if you don't believe in a God at all, it doesn't matter. There are a lot of hard truths in the books, but whether it comes from God, or from Neale's subconscious, or even if he made it all up, there is a lot of wisdom in these books. Read it, and you will never feel alone again. You will live your life differently and see everything with new eyes.

Children Who Have Lived Before by Trutz Hardo

Date Started: 26th Dec 2006
Date Finished: 28th Dec 2006


I've always wondered about reincarnation. I definitely believe in it, but my curiousity about life and beyond always lead me to read books like these.

This book is a collection of case studies of possible reincarnations. I believe anyone with an open mind and a desire for truth who reads this book will have no doubt about the possibility of reincarnation any longer. All these cases can't be hoaxes, and there is just no other explanation for the behaviour and knowledge of some of these reincarnated souls.

If you have an interest in reincarnation, or if you're looking for more evidence to support the theory, read this book for yourself.

Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

Date Started: 11th Jan 2007
Date Finished: 13th Jan 2007


This was an easy book to read, obviously. I thought I'd read it because it's a classic children's book, and it's being made into a movie with Dakota Fanning, who I really like. But hype aside, it's a wonderful children's book. I love Charlotte and I thought she was the kindest, bravest, wise, and intelligent soul.

A lot of it was hilarious, all the antics of the characters, both human and animals, were exaggerated and 'caricaturized'. But it was also sweet and heart-warming, touching and a little sad too. Read it if you love animals, miracles, comedy, and a good story.

Fantastic Voyage by Isaac Asimov

Date Started: 20th Jan 2007
Date Finished: 24th Jan 2007


I was taken in by the storyline; four men and one women journeying into the living body of a man? A great story if I ever heard one. Asimov is known for his futuristic tales, most notably I, Robot, which was made popular recently as a movie, but while his name is a recognized one, I've never read any of his books.

This book was made into a movie about more than a decade ago, I didn't watch it either, but as I said, the storyline hooked me.

What hooked me even more, was the way he made the voyage exciting for readers. A journey into the living body of a man? Definitely an interesting story, but how do you make it less of an anatomical lesson and more of an action-packed adventure? Well, how about if the fate of the entire world lies in the success of that journey! Hooked yet? Yeah, me too. So I read it, and I loved it.

Panic by Jeff Abbot

Date Started: 24th Jan 2007
Date Finished: 26th Jan 2007


It's weird, I remember I enjoyed reading this, but thinking back now, I don't remember much about it.

I remember the basic storyline, but not much of the details although this was the most recent book I read. I guess it's a good beach read, a thriller, but not something you'd ever read again for anything other than a 'one-night-stand'.

It's exciting and quite plausible, and definitely scary, discovering your mother dead and finding out that your whole life was a lie. It's a great story, without much of a foundation, sort of like a beautiful person without much of a personality. You'd be fascinated with the way the person looked, and you could probably spend hours marvelling at the perfection of that person's features, skin, and hair.... but probing for something deeper would leave you entirely empty-handed. It's still well worth looking at though.

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