Book Junkies

    • Update

      7 years ago

      Book Junkies

      So yeah, it's been a while. But that doesn't mean I haven't been reading. Here are some of the books Ive gone through:

      - House of Leaves.
      - Rule of the Bone.
      - The Denial of Death.
      - The Rebel Angels.
      - Nickel and Dimed.
      - American Gods.
      - Dune.
      - The Pot Book.
      - The Devils Are All Here.
      - Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
      - Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.
      - Love in the Time of Cholera.
      - Battle Royale.
      - Jimmy Corrigan The Smartest Kid in the World.
      - The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

      A lot of you probably already know about House of Leaves and I'm pretty sure you'll agree with me when I say it's awesome. And you'll look great in public reading it. ;) Dune is awesome. Get educated on your marijuana facts and read The Pot Book, its got mad creds. Battle Royale's kind of sick, but if you're kinda sick, then you'll kinda like this book. Honestly, I've seen/heard/read asians doing crazier things (no offense). Jimmy Corrigan is a graphic novel. It's a little depressing but Chris Ware's got it down. Read his other stuff too.

      Anyway, happy fuckin' reading.

      Jess

    • Book Review: As I Lay Dying

      8 years ago

      Book Junkies

      I couldn't finish J.G. Farrell's Troubles. It was yet ANOTHER one of those books where the characters go back and forth (lameski). I also read Eat This Not That, which is pretty much about calorie intake at your favorite restaurants. I lol'd.

      RIP Salinger.


      Book Review

      Title: As I Lay Dying.
      By: William Faulkner

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      Synopsis:

      The story revolves around a grim yet darkly humorous pilgrimage, as Addie Bundren's family sets out to fill her last wish: to be buried in her native Jefferson, Mississippi, far from miserable backwater surroundings of her married life. Told through multiple voices, it vividly brings to life Faulkner's imaginary South, one of the great invented landscapes in all of literature, and is replete with the poignant, impoverished, violent, and hypnotically fascinating characters that were his trade mark.


      Finally. Finally, an older piece of literature that isn't such a god damn snooze. Instead of a bunch of small little trips (that I'm obviously now very resentful of), it's follows this cluster of amazing characters on one, single, agonizing trip. Going from Point A to Point B is tough for the Bundren family, as they have to drag their demons, and their dead matriarch miles to Jefferson in a wagon, 'cause they sho is country folk.

      These country folk, whom we see as simple and primitive, are actually very complex. And so is the writing at times. Faulkner's style can be garbled and hard to understand. There's a lot to read between the lines, and you'll find yourself wondering what the characters are really thinking. It isn't overly thick, so it's okay to spend a little time rereading things. There's a lot to discover, and in no way was this book boring.

      This has definitely become one of my favorite books. It's probably safe to say that a story about life on the prairie couldn't be any more mesmerising. It revolves around personal qualms, money, and has a somewhat surprising ending that was both cute and very, very disturbing.

      "She is going to die," he says. And old turkey-buzzard Tull coming to watch her die but I can fool them.
      "When is she going to die?" I say.
      "Before we get back," he says.
      "Then why are you taking Jewel?" I say.
      "I want him to help me load," he says.
      My mother is a fish.
      I could just remember how my father used to say that the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead for a long time.
      He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack . . .


      5 out of 5.

      Jess

    • Book Review: On The Road

      8 years ago

      Book Junkies

      Book Review

      Title: On The Road
      By: Jack Kerouac

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      Synopsis:

      Essential Edition handsomely packaged with french flaps, rough fronts, high-quality paper, and a distinctive cover look

      On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac's years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady, "a sideburned hero of the snowy West." As "Sal Paradise" and "Dean Moriarty," the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance.

      Kerouac's classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be "Beat" and has inspired every generation since its initial publication more than forty years ago.


      When I got this book, published by Penguin, it seemed a little thin in my hands and I thought it'd be a quick read. But I had to devote a lot of time to the book because it's really very dense. And in no way did I ever tire from this book, because even though Kerouac goes into mega detail, it's great detail and never slow. It's literally jam-packed with sights and sounds and experiences. This was my first gateway into the 1940s, a generation I don't hear too much about since time seems to skip from the roaring '20s to the hippie '60s and '70s.

      Kerouac's insights spike near the beginning and the ending. In the middle, there's a lot of goings-on, mostly "Sal" and "Dean" criss-crossing the country in the backs of strangers' cars. They leave behind a lot of parties, women, jazz, and illegitimate children (due to Dean's chronic madness and adultery). Sal takes the usual form of reserved observer while Dean talks obsessively in his insanity.

      The book makes a few references to Hemingway, which I think Kerouac was himself inspired by. Reading this book was like reading a contemporary almost-satire written in the 90s. I didn't know much about him myself until I read the the information on the first page half way into the book. I couldn't believe the guy died in 1969, let alone had the book published in 1957.

      I dig it.

      I heard a great laugh, the greatest laugh in the world, and here came this rawhide oldtimer Nebraska farmer with a bunch of other boys into the diner; you could hear his raspy cries clear across the plains, across the whole gray world of them that day. Everybody else laughed with him. He didn't have a care in the world and had the hugest regard for everybody. I said to myself, Wham, listen to that man laugh. That's the West, here I am in the West. He came booming into the diner, calling Maw's name, and she made the sweetest cherry pie in Nebraska, and I had some with a mountainous scoop of ice cream on top. "Maw, rustle me up some grub afore I have to start eatin myself raw or some damn silly idee like that." And he threw himself on a stool and when hyaw hyaw hyaw hyaw. "And throw some beans in it." It was the spirit of the West sitting right next to me. I wished I knew his whole raw life and what the hell he'd been doing all these years besides laughing and yelling like that.
      Dean took out other pictures. I realized these were all snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered, stabilized-within-the-photo lives and got up in the morning to walk proudly on the sidewalks of life, never dreaming the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, or actual night, the hell of it, the senseless nightmare road. All of it inside endless and beginningless emptiness. Pitiful forms of ignorance.
      Suddenly I had a vision of Dean, a burning shuddering frightful Angel, palpitating toward me across the road, approaching me like a cloud, with enormous speed, pursuing me like the Shrouded Traveler on the plain, bearing down on me. I saw his huge face over the plains with the mad, bony purpose and the gleaming eyes; I saw his wings; I saw his old jalopy chariot with thousands of sparking flames shooting out from it; I saw the path it burned over the road; it even made its own road and went over the corn, through cities, destroying bridges, drying rivers. It came like wrath to the West. I knew Dean had gone mad again.
      These people were unmistakably Indians and were not at all like the Pedros and Ponchos of silly civilized American lore--they had high cheekbones, and slanted eyes, and soft ways; they were great, grave Indians and they were the source of mankind and the fathers of it. The waves are Chinese, but the earth is an Indian thing. As essential as the rocks int he desert are they in the desert of "history." And they knew this when we passed, ostensibly self-important moneybag Americans on a lark in their land; they knew who was the father and who was the son of antique life on earth, and made no comment. For when destruction comes to the world of "history" and the Apocalypse of the Fellahin returns once more as so many times before, people will still stare with the same eyes from the caves of Mexico as well as from the caves of Bali, where it all began and where Adam was suckled and taught to know.


      4.8 out of 5.

      Jess

    • Book Review: The Death of Common Sense

      8 years ago

      Book Junkies

      itz so ded n hur wer r al da ladeez @? 14/m/cali


      Book Review

      Title: The Death of Common Sense
      By: Philip K. Howard
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      Synopsis:

      America is drowning: in law, legality, bureaucratic process. Abandoning our common sense and individual sense of responsibility we live in terror of the law, in awe of procedure, at war with one another. Philip K. Howard has written the explosive manifesto for liberation--one of the most talked about sociopolitical treatises of our time. Citing dozens of examples of bureaucratic overkill--everything from the labeling of a window cleaner as a toxic substance to the U.S. Department of Defense spending $2 billion on travel and $2.2 billion processing the paperwork for that travel--THE DEATH OF COMMON SENSE shows how far we have wandered, how we got into this mess, and how we can--and must--get out.


      If you're into politics and nonfictiony stuff, this book's a sweet treat. It's not thick at all--as that would be contradicting one of Howard's points about the needless million pages of paperwork and virtually unreadable content.

      The book is separated into four different parts (excluding acknowledgments and sources), but he doesn't seem to follow his own guidelines very well. It's nice that he tried to organise his book, but he has a penchant for citing examples and just going on and on with them. The good thing is, though, that you'll like these examples and it'll keep you reading. Hopefully. That's the plan anyway.

      He doesn't saturate the book with too much law jargon, keeps everything simple and to the point. Unfortunately, his last part, the presumed conclusion of solutions, was a tad weak considering he pretty much restated the point he frequently made throughout the novel anyway. But one solution is clear and hiding in plain daylight. Law shouldn't be what makes the final decision.

      Real people tend to have their own way of doing things--a little borrowed, a little invented, and so forth. Law, trying to make sure nothing ever goes wrong, doesn't respect the idiosyncrasy of human accomplishment. It sets forth the approved methods, in black and white, and that's that. When law notices people doing it different, it's giant heel reflexively comes down.
      Friedrich Hayek, the Austrian-American economist and Nobel laureate, devoted much of his brilliant career to describing how rationalism could never work. How can anything good happen, Hayek asked, if individuals cannot think and do for themselves? Rules preclude initiative. Regimentation precludes evolution. Letting accidents happen, mistakes be made, results in new ideas. Trial and error is the key to all progress. The Soviet system of rules and central planning is doomed to failure, Hayek stated with confidence fifty years ago, because it kills the human faculty that makes things work.
      Look up at the Tower of Babel we are erecting in worship of perfectly certain and self-regulating authority. It admits no judgment or discretion: that, indeed, is the mortal sin it exists to eradicate. No one should ever, never ever, be allowed to exercise discretion: In matters of regulation, law itself will provide the answer. Sentence by sentence, it prescribes every eventuality that countless rule writers can imagine. But words, even millions of them, are finite. The range of possible future circumstances is infinite. One slip-up, one unforeseen event, and all those logical words turn into dictates of illogic.


      ANRKEE!! /rage

      4.0 out of 5.

      Jess

    • Book Review: Next

      9 years ago

      Book Junkies

      So Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year to all. And no, I don't give a damn if you're Jewish or whatever. 'Cause Christmas just doesn't feel like Christmas this year. Christmas BLOWS this year.

      Anyway, done with the fall semester and near the end I just got inundated with all this crap. Not to mention I had a streak of classic books I ended up reading and, for the most part, couldn't stand. I hit up the Books You Fancy thread and I snagged Wuthering Heights and Pride & Prejudice. I don't have ADHD, but I guess you could consider that as the reason I gave up on both of those books half way through. Yes, the style of writing is lovely (and agonizingly boring), but I don't understand how anyone could stay interested in a plot that consists of visiting one another's houses over and over again. I don't get it.

      I did, however, finish my first Hemingway book, A Farewell to Arms. All of you, I'm sure, know of all these books anyway, so I didn't bother doing a review on them.

      So after those, I decided to pick a book (that I had anyway) that any brain dead person could have read.


      Book Review


      Title: Next
      By: Michael Crichton
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      Synopsis:

      Welcome to our genetic world.
      Fast, furious, and out of control.
      This is no the world of the future--it's the world right now.

      Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why an adult human being resembles a chimp fetus? And should that worry us? There's a new genetic cure for drug addiction--is it worse than the disease?
      We live in a time of momentous scientific leaps; a time when it's possible to sell our eggs and sperm online for thousands of dollars; test our spouses for genetic maladies and even frame someone for a genetic crime.
      We live in a time where one-fifth of all our genes are owned by someone else, and an unsuspecting person and his family can be pursued cross-country because they happen to have certain valuable genes within their chromosomes. . . .
      Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what is seems, and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn. Next challenges our sense of reality and notions of morality. Balancing the comic and bizarre with the genuinely frightening and disturbing, Next shatters our assumptions, and reveals shocking new choices where we least expect.
      The future is closer than you think. Get used to it.


      Basically every example in the synopsis is the plot in each story. The different stories are usually connected. Crichton has thoroughly researched the genetic field and has provided potential real-life situations via-fictional stories. The characters are all made up, but the information he uses is all true (hopefully).

      The style is easy and the complexity is relatively low, despite the scientific and law jargon. So if you're looking to wind down after a semester, Next isn't a bad read. If the easy reading may not interest you, the fact-in-fiction probably will. But don't be looking for any incredibly shocking plot-twists, 'cause they aren't there. Either they're relatively predictable, or you're just like, "Oh. Well that's interesting."

      All in all, read it for the learning experience. It's reading for entertainment, not for thinking. You draw a lot from it, so you can skip all the text books and get to the interesting stuff.

      Sample:

      "Let's face it, Mr. Burnet," he said, "you've been screwed. It turns out your cells are very rare and valuable. They're efficient manufacturers of cytokines, chemicals that fight cancer. That's the real reason you survived your disease. As a matter of fact, your cells churn out cytokines more efficiently than any commercial process. That's why these cells are worth so much money. The UCLA doctors didn't create anything or invent anything. They didn't genetically modify anything. They just took your cells, grew them in a dish, and sold the dish to BioGen. And you, my friend, were screwed.
      "Who are you?" Burnet said.
      "And you have no hope of justice," the young man continued, "because the courts are totally incompetent. The courts don't realize how fast things are changing. They don't understand we are already in a new world. They don't get the new issues. And because they are technically illiterate, they don't understand what procedures are done--or in this case, not done. Your cells were stolen and sold. Plain and simple. And the court decided that was just fine."
      "The ultimate lesson is that science isn't special--at least not anymore. Maybe back when Einstein talked to Neils Bohr, and there were only a few dozen important workers in every field. But there are now three million researchers in America. It's no longer a calling, it's a career. Science is as corruptible human activity as any other. Its practitioners aren't saints, they're human beings, and they do what human beings do--lie, cheat, steal from one another, sue, hide data, fake data, overstate their own importance, and denigrate opposing views unfairly. That's human nature. It isn't going to change."--McKeown (actual article).


      3.3 out of 5.

      Jess

    • Her Fearful Symmetry

      9 years ago

      Book Junkies

      Top of the list of films I won’t be seeing this week is The Time Traveler’s Wife, a film based on the work of Audrey Niffenegger. The most obvious reason of course being that the book is always (always!) better than the movie. The second most obvious reason is that both time travel and inner monologue-heavy relationship growth are subjects that are never going to make as much sense when slashed to fit in a film. At least, this is obvious to me. Whoever set out to create and fund this film seemed to think otherwise, proving that people in Hollywood use the area above their neck primarily to store dandruff. My friends who have seen this film (without reading the book) couldn’t work out what the hell was going on, a fact I find immensely satisfying. Who doesn’t like to be right?

      Oh and also: Eric Bana? Why?

      Time travel and relationship growth were the main elements and the main strengths of The Time Travellers Wife, an actually quite enjoyable love story that slipped through my defences a while back by masquerading as sci-fi. It’s a shame then that time travel is absent from Niffenegger’s most recent work, Her Fearful Symmetry, and relationship growth is conspicuously diluted among an ensemble cast. But there’s a ghost and a cemetery and good-looking twins that sleep in the same bed, so it has to be worth a look, right?

      The premise is that two rather pointless twins inherit a haunted flat and have to live in it for a year before they can sell it. If you can get over the stunning unoriginality of that premise, and the extreme kitschness of using twins to up the quirky factor (it didn’t work), then odds are you’ll actually find this pretty absorbing. The plot meanders a bit at first, largely because the twins themselves have no life and spend most of their time sitting round the flat, but ultimately it takes you places you don’t expect to go. This is a good thing, as was the vague sense of uneasiness I couldn’t shake after finishing the book. Any book that follows you around even when you think you’re done with it gets a star from me, and a shiny gold one at that.

      The writing was not distractingly bad, which is pretty much the first thing I look for in a book these days when deciding whether to read it or instead re-gift it to a friend I don’t like, but it’s not unique enough to say much more about. Unless you want to count not being distractingly bad as being unique in itself. And if you do, I commend you sir. You and anyone who can look at a best-seller list and deduce that it’s not only cream that rises to the surface. Turds float too.

      Moving on. As I mentioned, there are a bunch of main-ish characters in this book. The most compelling relationship development is the growing tension between the twins, from which most of the conflict in the book derives. There are a couple of romantic relationships, only one of which really rings true (that of a couple separated by the husband’s obsessive compulsive disorder), but they’re all fairly functional as far as moving the plot along goes so I’m okay with that. The ghost is a ghost, not a lot to say there, and the cemetery sounds like somewhere I’d like to visit one day. In an alive kind of way.

      The characters are mainly likeable, which is always a plus, and when they’re annoying it’s in a way that makes you want to keep reading to see if another character calls them out on their bullshit. As opposed to wanting to hurl the book aside and find someone nearby doing something stupid, so you can call them a moron and get it out of your system.

      Some elements of the story do feel a little contrived, and as with every buggering story that has twins in it there’s some mistaken identity drama, which was neither necessary or all that relevant. On the other hand, some elements of the story are touchingly human and in places the characters’ frustration is near tangible. This book is definitely a human drama rather than a ghost story, if you had to pigeonhole it; but then it’s not a pigeon so why bother?

      In conclusion I have to say it reeks a little of forced quirkiness, probably to cover up an initially uninspiring plot. But the plot gets progressively better, it’s generally pretty readable, and as an indicator of how absorbed I eventually became, I’ll mention that finishing it kept me up way past my bedtime. I like sleeping almost as much as reading, by the way. If you’re going to buy a Niffenegger book, get the Time Traveler’s Wife. If you’ve already bought that, by all means get this as well. If nothing else the spines kind of match and they’ll look cool sitting together on your bookshelf.

    • Book Review: The Filth x2

      9 years ago

      Book Junkies

      I finished this a WHILE ago, but I needed to read it again to really understand it. It's taking me a while to get through Pride and Prejudice, so I'll throw this one up. The_Boxman liked it enough to give it a 5/5, so I had to read it myself. See his review.


      Book Review

      Title: The Filth
      By: Grant Morrison

      filth.jpg

      (See other summary stuffs from The_Boxman's review.)
      Summary:

      Are You:
      Troubled by persistent, nagging soul-aches?
      Unable to sleep in old-fashioned three-dimensional space?
      Exhausted from supervising worlds that only you can see?
      If so, then take heart: cooling, soothing relief from reality is here with THE FILTH from Morrwesterskco--now available in prescription strength!
      [Picture of sperm.]
      The experts agree--nothing is more effective for shrinking painful existential eruptions: DON'T SUFFER FOR A MINUTE LONGER--GET THE FILTH TODAY!


      Okay, so as I was typing what I could that The_Boxman didn't, I wanted to mention something about the Watchmen comic. Then I saw that The Comics Journal said something that it was "Like WATCHMEN before it." While you're reading it, you'll notice a strange, almost twisted mirror-like resemblance to the Watchmen graphic novel, only it's a lot weirder and injected with a lot of sexual content. But don't be put-off, it's nothing like pornography, despite all the references and images. In fact, if I know you humans like I think I do, you'd be siked for it, no matter how much you refuse.

      So this guy undergoes an emergency parapersonality purge. He goes from one guy to the next (Greg Feely --> Edward Slade). In the process, he loses his memory of his supposed "real" self, and forgets his duties. In the meantime, as he's trying to remember himself, Mother Dirt and his team--which make up The Hand--force him on bizarre missions. Philosophical epiphanies ensue. They battle giant bug-like creatures and sperm (the giant part also applies to semen).

      It's set in the future a couple decades and people have apparently degenerated to mindless violence and freak fetishes. There's a whole slew of antagonists which makes things hard to keep track of. That's why I had to read it twice. There's just a lot of stuff, and somehow it all interlocks. The second time through (if you decide to read it twice, let alone once), you'll pick up on all the foreshadowing.

      Expect sex, a crazy monkey assassin, mechanical dolphins that don't like to be patronised, and cryptic messages on bloody tampons. It's all so colorful.

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      Sweet dolphin, m i rite?

      Despite some confusion, I don't regret this read and I look forward to more Grant Morrison. I dig it lots and I suggest it to all who liked Watchmen and want somethin' a little more fucked up.

      4.6 out of 5.

      Jess

    • We3

      9 years ago

      Book Junkies

      You guys just seem to be getting spoiled this weekend with yell0wsn0w's Snuff review and twopointoh's review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

      So I'll just add in another review to the mix.

      Comic Review

      Title: We3
      By: Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

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      Summary:

      Deep inside a top-secret U.S. Air Force research facility, a revolution in cybernetics is taking shape. Using ordinary domestic animals for their test subjects, the scientists of Project AWE have created a new class of cyborgs - flesh-and-metal creatures to rule the battlefields of tomorrow. The projects crowning achievement is a trip of prototypes code-named WE3 -- each one custom build and trained to work as specialists within a team. With their nervous systems enhanced and supplemented by cutting-edge military hardware, WE3 are the ultimate smart weapons-- programmable yet autonomous, loyal yet utterly ruthless.

      But successful as they are, WE3 are still only prototypes, to be dismantled when their testing is complete. Inside their fearsome mechanical shells, however, are three lost pets whose amplified traits include the will to survive-- an instinct which proves to be stronger than their new makers knew. Faced with destruction, WE3 runs-- out into a frightening and confusing world, where they are now as much of a threat as those who hunt them. Relentlessly pursued, WE3 fights with the combined firepower of a battalion-- and a faint, warm memory of somewhere called "Home."


      Go out and buy this. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I can continue with the review. The book is filled with lots of violence and action with a surprising amount of heart. Being a man my emotions stay firmly locked inside, but I'm not ashamed to admit this brought me close to tears.

      What you have is three innocent and lost animals searching for their way home after being stolen and used by the government to kill their enemies. They're scared and frightened and lost and when you strap them with a tank's worth of weaponry, you know this can't possibly go well. This 1 (Bandit), 2 (Tinker), and 3 (Pirate) are all incredibly sympathetic characters portrayed with only extremely basic speaking methods (taught to them by the humans who ran the experiment) and their actions, all these characters seem extraordinarily well-rounded despite being animals.

      Which brings me to my next point. Now normally, both in book and comics I'm always heavy on the dialogue loving so when I picked up We3, I was caught off guard by how much I loved it. The story is told mostly in images with very little dialogue (mostly from the human characters and the brief speech patterns of the animals as mentioned beforehand), and it really, really works. Though the action can be really frantic at times, mostly due to the panelling chosen for these scenes where there are large primary images overlaid with dozens of tiny panels showing extreme close-ups of individual actions. But outside of these times the art really lends itself to the animals, they look so adorable and sad at times that I wanted to hug them.

      Alright...hold on. I needed to get my balls back.

      Okay, so another things I really liked was how they portrayed the animals speech. Each one talks differently with their own little tourette like speech habits. I think my favourite had to be a cat, because it's so radically different then how I'm used to the handling of feline speech in...well...everything. Sure, it's normal for talks to talk simplistically like they're a little dumb, while cats get to talk like sophisticated elitists, but here, they're all pretty much on the same level, with the cat talking in a...well...hissing kind of way. I'll admit, through my first read I didn't like having to read what the animals said and found it a bit infuriating when trying to figure out exactly what they meant, yet now I find it to be the only appropriate way this could have realistically been done and it grew on me.

      Might I add the Missing Posters for each of the animals interlaced within the story are adorable and tragic and worth a mention on their own.

      Samples:
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      We3%202.JPG

      4/5

    • Book Review: Snuff

      9 years ago

      Book Junkies

      Check out twopointoh's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Review) because it's so amazing and she's a lot better at this than I am. But I don't get a lot of time to post reviews, so I do them when I can.


      Book Review

      Title: Snuff
      By: Chuck Palahniuk

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      Summary:

      In the crowded greenroom of a porn-movie production, hundreds of men mill around in their boxers, awaiting their turn with the legendary Cassie Wright. An aging adult film star, Cassie intends to cap her career by breaking the world record for serial fornication by having sex with 600 men on camera--on of whom may want to kill her.


      Alright, so any of you bible-thumpers, prudes, and/or kiddies under the age of 18, you might as well stop reading now.

      First of all, let's get this straight. If you don't know who Chuck Palahniuk is, you should be shot. Secondly, he's written books like Fight Club, Choke, and Diary, all of which I've read. Thirdly, if you know how Chuck writes, you know you would be picking up this book to laugh at the dark satire, not to get a quick load off and ruin the pages like your mother's trashy romance novels. Not once will you feel arousal, because this book is just too disgustingly hilarious for you to get a chance.

      The story takes the point of view of four people. I hear he did this in Rant (something I'd also like to read), so I guess he wanted to try it out again. Mr. 72, whom believes he's the son of Cassie Wright , Sheila the talent wrangler, Mr. 137 is a failed TV star, and lastly, Mr. 600, Cassie's ex-lover-fuck-buddy-thing . For 90% of the book, these four characters are standing in a basement whose floor is slick with baby oil, whose air smells like pot and potato chip, and men stick to one another thanks to all the bronzer they're wearing. The other 10% of the book is flashbacks of Sheila assisting Cassie, for either a run where Cassie sticks kegel ball up her twat to help strengthen it , or for a nice wax session.

      Another habit of Chuck's is to add in a lot of fun facts. People saw that in Fight Club, and I got $100 on it saying that someone tried making a bomb out of nitro glyceride. You can learn about all sorts of things, like getting rid of cellulite and what stars did back in the day to look good. I know that seems boring to you now, but in Chuck-speak, it's interesting--I swear. He loves to surface all the embarrassing and not-so-attractive side of people, and this book is no exception. He shows how very unsexy porno is. But I guess, being that you all are very internet savvy, that you know what I'm talkin' about. I know you've seen porn, and you know I know it. And we all know that porn really isn't that sexy, but we jerk to it anyway for the hell of it.

      By the way, the Vatican has a slew of dicks they chiseled off of statues. All sorts of dicks. Marble, obsidian, you name it. They were replaced with fig leaves.

      Added to the dark humor is a few plot twists. Funny plot twists. You'd like them, I swear. And the ending? Probably the most bizarre ending I have ever read in my life. Ever.

      Mr. 600

      Standing around, the four, five hundred dudes shift from one foot to the other. Dudes stare at the monitors hanging from the ceiling, Cassie Wright riding cowgirl on the boner of Cord Cuervo as he sits in his wheelchair, she's bracing her weight with one arm planted on the plaster cast of his fake broken leg. The fact nobody's walked out, it's a testimony to what dudes will endure for a piece of ass. If there was a free, hot piece of snatch waiting on top of Mount Everest or on the moon, we'd have a high-speed elevator already built. Commuter space flights every ten minutes.

      Shiela

      The real genius was to make it a competition. The erection race. Plus, studies show that when males are placed together in close proximity before a sex act, their sperm count will rise. These studies are based on dairy farms, where bulls will be staked in groups near a fertile cow. The resulting harvest will yield greater volumes of viable semen. Stronger convulsions of the pelvic floor, maximizing the height and distance of expelled seminal fluid.
      The science behind a good money shot.
      Increased affinity and surface tension. Higher viscosity. The physics of a good facial.
      A biological imperative, only better. Basing porn films on modern dairy-farm procedures. Trade secrets that can destroy the romance of any good gang bang.
      True fact.

      Mr. 137

      I could tell Bacardi that the electric vibrator was first marketed in the 1890s. The first household appliances to be electrified were the sewing machine, the fan, and the vibrator. Americans enjoyed electric vibrators ten years before electric vacuum cleaners and irons. Twenty years before electric frying pans were brought to market.
      To hell with housework, our top priority has always been between our legs.

      Mr. 72

      Some money orders I mailed, and nothing ever came back. But the first package I got was a Cassie Wright pocket vagina, the premium, limited-edition, numbered version. Number four thousand two hundred. Totally museum-quality. Mint condition. Small enough I'd carry it to school in my jeans pocket, with my left hand tracing the folds and soft hairs of her. In Modern American Studies, I'd sit in the back row with my left fingers Brailling, blind, deep in my pocket, until I knew every fold and wrinkle by heart. Ask me the state capitals of Wyoming or Phoenix, and I'd shrug. But ask me anything about the pussy flaps of Cassie Wright, and I could draw you a map.


      This isn't the best book of all time, but it is the best book about a gangbang.
      5 out of 5.

      Jess

    • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Review)

      9 years ago

      Book Junkies

      Warning: due to the reviewer’s impressionable nature, this review may contain words like ‘exceedingly’ and ‘disagreeable’. Also: traces of nuts (balls!).

      Well, I shot myself in the foot with this one. I’m not going to dwell on my hatred for the works of Jane Austin just here, I’m sure there’ll be time for that later. I will merely say that I resolved not to bother with reading the original Pride and Prejudice before I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (hereafter referred to P&P&Z) by Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith, and that this was a spaztard decision. I’m blaming Jane Austin for writing books I’m too lazy to read. And being born.

      The main reason it was a spaztard decision is because I’m now in no position to judge how good the parody was, not being familiar with the subject of the parody. Any comparisons I make therefore will be based on what I looked up on the internet and my hazy recollection of being made to read Emma in high school. The two seem fairly similar anyway, if memory serves, as they’re both entirely about people taking it in turns to visit each other. Pride and Prejudice at least has a few additional plot events, most of which are contingent on no-one being able to keep a goddamn secret. And in the current revision, zombies.

      Elizabeth is an independent (in a turn of the century, heavily corseted kind of way) young woman who wishes only to fight zombies, while her mother wants to see her married. She meets Mr Darcy, whom she hates on sight, until one by one secrets about his past and present behavior emerge. In effect he turns into the kind of stud-bucket my friends drool over when played by Colin Firth. There’s some other stuff, some sisters and some running around, but I don’t want to waste much time summarizing a famous book that either you don’t care about or you’ve already read.

      Most of the original text has been kept, so if you’ve read Pride and Prejudice expect serious deja vous. What Grahame-Smith has done is modify the odd passage with zombie encounters and- believe it or not- ninjas. Evidently he was trying to cram in as many internet memes as possible, to make the work accessible to a wide range of nerds. I’m surprised there weren’t any pirates. Oh wait, the sequel is Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Presumably the third sequel will be about Emma falling in love with Chuck Norris, who would at least punch the face of some of the more annoying characters.

      Actually, in that respect P&P&Z was bang on. Pretty much any character Austen intended to shit you up the wall, probably to make a point about something, Grahame-Smith then places on the bumpy end of an arse-whooping (or similarly just fate). I expect I’m not the only one to find this cathartic- I warmed up to this book considerably after Mr Darcy got his first kick to the head for behaving like a disagreeable twat.

      Another thing this book did well was the consistency of the prose. If they hadn’t contained zombies, I’m not sure I would have been able to pinpoint which parts were the Grahame-Smith additions. I’ve read reviewers who call Grahame-Smith lazy for leaving 85% of the original text untouched (a statistic I pulled out of my arse by the way) but I personally am inclined to suspect it’s very difficult to imitate another author’s style. Or rather, to do it so well that the gratuitous addition of zombies to their work flows seamlessly.

      What I did find jarring and out of place were Mr Darcy’s occasional references to balls (testicles!). In a book where raunchy humor is otherwise absent, having a character dropping jokes about testicles (nadgers!) out of the blue was more confusing than funny. And this is from someone who is agreeably acquainted with the hilarity of male genitalia (furry bagpipes!).

      But apart from this small complaint, what is there to dislike about P&P&Z? Well if you’re me, the 85% of it that’s pure Austin. And because there was so much more Austin than Grahame-Smith, I found it dragged in places and was generally a trying endeavor.

      I can’t really point the finger at the quality of Austin’s writing though, or even my earlier complaint that the plot was basically a long series of visits. This is disappointing, because I was going to try and work the phrase ‘exceedingly crap’ in somewhere (look I just did!). But if I’m honest I have to say Austin pretty well nailed some of the fairer sex’s less appealing traits, and my annoyance stems from how we’ve little we’ve changed, feminism notwithstanding. Reading this book reminded me that we can burn bras until our nipples reach our knees, but at any social gathering a group women will always start to bitch about whoever happens to leave the room. And nothing will make one woman see flaws in another faster than suddenly having to compete with them for the attention of some guy. Gah.

      Anyway, my somewhat confusing conclusion is that despite being reasonably good, I can’t guarantee any one person will find P&P&Z enjoyable. If you like Austin, cramming nerd memes and immature gore into her work may not seem like a desirable upgrade. If, like me, you’re all about nerd memes and immature gore, you will probably find instances of them too few and far between.

      Today I’ll leave you with Mr Darcy (ie Colin Firth) dripping with studliness (and fair-trade coffee).

      fairtrade04b.jpg

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