Tag Archives: Fiction – Novel

GALBRAITH — The Cuckoo's Calling

Three notes on Galbraith

I had not realized I was looking for proof (the kind I could attest to) of J.K. Rowling’s hand in The Cuckoo’s Calling—published (and I daresay written) under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith—until I found it. There it was, something familiar, a reassurance. Once I’d found it, I let what semblance of a literary hunt there was in my head, and fully threw myself into Robert Galbraith’s vastly confident story. (At the back of my mind, though, there remained with every turn of the page: Pride for what Rowling had accomplished, pride at the pride she must have felt when something came to life once again under her hand.) [Continue reading.]

GOSS — The Thorn and the Blossom 01

Redundancy, as love story

The draw of The Thorn and the Blossom—helpfully subtitled, “A Two-Sided Love Story”—is its physicality. The cover—that is, the box/case—is strikingly lush (and I have a barely-curbed fondness for floral, as my linen can attest to); the book itself is in an accordion-fold binding, all the better to tell the mirrored stories; Scott McKowen has four illustrations simulating woodcut prints, all the better to evoke the medieval-tale overtones that the novel tries so very hard to push forward. That is: Theodora Goss’ novel is foremost an object, a very beautiful one—and that’s it. [Continue reading.]

SIMSION - The Rosie Project

Working with the cliché

I welcomed The Rosie Project because it knew it was working with a cliché, and it dug within that cliché for some human adorababbleness. It knew the limitations set by the trope, and had fun with it anyway—in the process delivering a completely absorbing book about an absolutely fascinating man trying to figure out this Human Interaction business. The Rosie Project is, essentially, a cliché that worked well. It makes one thankful for clichés, really, and for authors who know what to do with them. Augh. Goddammit, I really enjoyed reading this goddamned book. [Continue reading.]

ROWELL - Fangirl

Rowell round-up

I have read three of Rainbow Rowell’s books. They were good, I suppose. Some were better than others, I’m more certain. There were, quite absolutely, a lot of Feels being thrown about. Where’s the humanity in that, Miss Rowell? [Continue reading.]

BRONTE - Jane Eyre 03

“More vivid kinds of goodness.”

When I closed the book, it was as if I’d been cut adrift. Having been submerged so intensely in Charlotte Brontë—to have cared, again, and always so immensely, for Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester—to have realized something about myself and about the small, still Janet—and then having to return to the real world. Returning to the real world and my mind realigning to look upon landscapes as stormy moors, to look upon clusterfucks as madwomen in my attic. To spy Blanche Ingrams and Mrs. Reeds and St. Johns and scolding my brain whenever it strays towards what Rochesters this world has to offer. And to look upon that book now closed and replaced on the bedside table, waiting for the next time I’ll read it again as though it were the first time, as though it was just another marker in this long-and-longest bibliophiliac constancy. [Continue reading.]


Clean slate

Apologies in advance for whatever craziness you may find in the post that follows. I’m feeling a little strange—I’m running on a cocktail of painkillers and antibiotics and the threat of ache and sleeplessness and worry. (Nothing strange about all that, though, except for the antibiotics.) (I need to go visit my grandfather in the hospital [he was rushed there this morning, pneumonia, goodness, our hearts can’t take this anymore], and I need to let the haze pass, and so now I’m sitting in a café with too much sunlight and too much people, and I’m hoping the relevant parts of my brain align at the soonest.) [Continue reading.]


Approximating normal

I’ve been—knock on wood—sailing calmer waters lately. Sure, my ever-lengthening list of gripes remains handy, but the clusterfucks are at a manageable, if not tolerable, level. I’m only able to articulate this now, actually—at the close of a day that’s oddly restful despite the terrible weather and the work that comes with it; at the close of a weekend that was fun and the happy kind of exhausting, give or take a few grumbles from my frail, mortal body. I’m in a good mood, if only because I’m not in a foul mood. Yeah, that’s cheery. Here’s another: The reading’s picking up, if only because the reading actually exists. [Continue reading.]

0422'13 - ADLER  & ARIKHA7

08232013: Mood swings

Recently, I’ve shyly crawled toward reading material that’s not precisely comfortable. I’m all too aware how my mind has refused to be biddable these past couple of months, but now it’s yearning for a challenge—almost missing having to be told to fucking stay still and focus, because there is much goodness to be had. Which is why I’ve been reading a re-issued novel about I-still-don’t-know-what-but-I-like-it-anyway, and a virtual textbook on the history of humourism. Welcome, dorks. [Continue reading.]

KING - Joyland

Funhouse of fear!

I’ve said over and over that Stephen King and I go way back—it all began when I filched his mass markets from my mother’s dresser at nine, and scared the crap out of myself when I read them under the covers thereafter. In the years that followed, my mom and I would unearth remaindered copies of his books at secondhand shops; I’d rediscover him via the blessedly extensive collection at the college library; I’d return to him again and again, via a life- and love-consuming quest of the Dark Tower or some sanity-shattering mission to save JFK’s life. Steve and I, we buds from way back. So: Of course I’d devour Joyland. That delightfully pulp (and faithful to the content!) cover, and the invitation: Who dares enter the funhouse of fear? Pshaw—YOU KNOW I DO, STEVE. [Continue reading.]

GAIMAN - The Ocean at the End of the Lane


Here’s the thing about Neil Gaiman and myself: I am not quite a fan of his writing. That statement borders on a hanging offense: But it’s not like I hate him? I’ve had not infrequent brushes with his literary work over the years—I have a fuzzily nice memory of the Sandman oeuvre [if I had a tonfuck of money to spare, I’d get them in a heartbeat]; his American Gods will always be dear to me because that was the book I was (sort of) reading during the summer of my crazy seventeenth year—but, I’ve come to realize that the Neil Gaiman I have grown fond of is what he is (perhaps, what he’s cultivated himself to be?) online: Engaging, terrifically patient, seemingly clueless and comfortable about his rock star status all in the same breath. I mean: I suppose I like him as a person, but I must admit to ambivalence re his writing. [Continue reading.]