Since it seems to be a thing now...


the log )



READING NOW
school stuff
(about thirty texts in whole and in part, mostly in part)





(carry overs from 2011, on [extended] hold)

Among Others, Jo Walton
Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62. Frank Diktter, Frank Dikitter


ON HOLD
Molesworth (Penguin 20th century classics), Phillip Hensher, Ronald Searle Geoffrey Willans
Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children, Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman (misplaced-ish)
The Word for World is Forest, Ursula K. Le Guin (left at mom's on kitchen table!!!)
Aw man, I've been WONDERING what the heck ever happened to Paula Volsky!!!

More books! There will be more books!

*happy happy joy joy happy happy joy*
I dreamed about e-books.

No really. I dreamed about comparison shopping e-readers and purchasing and creating e-books (I don't actually know how to create an e-book), and also lining them up by size like large white dominos.

I am still quite baffled at people who go "Ten dollars FEELS right," and consider this an argument. (I feel that I should be a millionaire and have a private island. This feeling has nothing to do, however, with the laws of reality and cause-and-effect. Not to say that feelings are irrelevant to the argument...but they are not the argument.)

On the flip side, I have kind of refused to buy an e-book until prices go down across the board (devices and text) myself. *sheepish* I have refused to do this, however, without taking into account that a goodly chunk of the cost of producing a book, pre-paper-binding or pre e-formatting, goes to... well... ME. And my counterparts. So I've totally fallen for the "paper books are realler!" trap. Even though I KNOW how much time, frustration, and effort my own part takes, even after acquiring editors and whatnot have had a crack at the things. And proofreaders come after me. And I have bitched extensively about book publishers paying me nearly (and sometimes MORE THAN) 50% less than magazines do! Shame. I hang my copyediting** head.

Ay-yi-yi, I am staring at my book log pages and despairing. Look, if I promise to link you to thebookdepository.co.uk from now on, would it be okay if I left my Amazon links unchanged for now and just...trust you all to only read the info but actually buy from Book Depository? (Free shipping worldwide, no lower price limit, and the UK gets many, many books faster than we do -- I've had "The Dragon Keeper" for nearly five months now!!! And the tend to carry both US and UK covers. ^__^ And everything I've ordered from them I've received in a week or less.)

(Ooooh, and Barnes and Noble lets you use PayPal!! I did not know! I did know, however, that they don't segregate their black fiction writers into a ghetto section in the corner, so they already had that in their favor...)

Also I feel quite terrible that the first thing that popped into my mind upon opening this blog post was "OMG she's so pretty she's like a doll!!" when I should be thinking "Yes, very good, writers of color, take note, support, topics that rarely get dealt with in fiction, yes indeed."

But....she's so PRETTY. She's like a DOLL. *envies* :-) *sneakily parades new book by debut author, hint hint*



---------
** I refuse to copyedit my own LJ. The Net is my vacation time. ~___^
I'm going to do a thing this year. Since my resolution to not buy any books in 2009 (but to freaking read the ones that are already piled up across my floor and blocking my access to BED) died a grisly and humorous death on or about January 2, I've decided that...that's just not feasible. (I will try the "Co-opt Lent" thing again, though. It worked wonderfully last year.)

EXPLANATION
TL;DR )

So. Rules:
Rules, then )

Voila!
Book Log, 2009 )

READING RIGHT NOW:
The City & The City, China Mieville


PRIORITIZED FOR JAN 2010 *blush*
All the Windwracked Stars, Elizabeth Bear
To Ride Hell's Chasm, Janny Wurts (October "Beyond Reality" pick)
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party, M.T. Anderson
Fragments (African Writers Series), Ayi Kweh Armah


Sorta starting but not quite:
Mouse or Rat: Translation as Negotiation, Umberto Eco
The Philosopher's Apprentice, James Morrow
City of Saints and Madmen, Jeff VanderMeer
Nri Warriors of Peace, Chikodi Anunobi

indefinite hiatus )

comments welcome, but screened comments unscreened, now that it's over. ^__^


Annnnnd... see you later, this post! *waves fondly*
Miscellanneous up-catching:

I seem to be on a mission to destroy myself. On Saturday I bit nearly halfway through my tongue in a restaurant (I can eat non-soft foods -- but nothing hot -- again with my entire mouth since yesterday, so it's all good, but I've developed a measure of sympathy for people with tongue studs) and I've somehow managed to lacerate four of my cuticles. It's like I took paper to myself and just sliced away on purpose. I'm not sure how this happened, but I think it might be related to hanging up Christmas lights. Support your local liquid-bandage industry!

The combination of Octavian Nothing and To Ride Hell's Chasm is going to contribute to this destruction, I think. Two books on the systematic dehumanization of dark-skinned people. Hooray.

How can I explain this -- these are very socially correct books, and I obviously don't have a problem with the message that "being mean to darker folks isn't very moral." Perfectly happy to get that message out there.

Buuuuuut...this isn't news to me, this isn't a lesson I need to be taught or a new POV that I've been unaware of, and it really just feels...unrelenting. That's it, there is an extremely unrelenting quality to these works. It's not making me feel like more of a Real Person. It's making me feel battered. Reading time is my escape place, and here I am escaping to a place where the majority of the people would either hate and distrust me or feel that I was furniture. Bleagh. Been there and read that repeatedly, and all that jazz.

I am going to finish them if it kills me, though, because they are well written books. REALLY good, especially "Octavian Nothing." *sob* But I suspect I am not the target audience, even if their authors might think I am.

So I'm reading them in small increments. Interspersed with Fumi Yoshinagi manga. (After "Flower of Life," I have a hard time believing anything anywhere NEAR as joyful as Fumi Yoshinagi manga can exist on earth.)

Also FINALLY read the classic "The Black Cauldron" over Thanksgiving (I'd forgot!) for the first time ever, which is surprising considering the trajectory of my fantasy fanhood. Never encountered it in my childhood, when it might have worked better. I’d tried to read the series before, back in the mid-’90s. The series was in the university library. I dunno. So this time I nicked it from a friend's childhood bedroom. ^__^ (It's okay! I did not remove it from said bedroom.)

Holy redemption-through-assault, is all I gotta say. Jaysus. Better-plotted than the Disney version, though. (Though I still have a small measure of affection for the Disney version -- also first encountered as an adult.)

Oh and — saw finally saw “Where the Wild Things Are,” which was lovely and moving, with one major flaw. (I think Tavie touched on this.)

It’s hard to spoil this extremely simple and basic story, but I’ll lj-cut anyway:

spoilers rot-13'd )

At any rate, the atmosphere is beautiful, the acting great, and the kid who plays Max is a treasure. (For which the director has to get at least half-credit. Directing kids is an undersung talent. This guy got kid Max to act and speak like a kid on-camera -- very natural, with all the pauses and stutters and idiosyncracies that real-life speech has -- instead of like a precocious, punchline-declaiming cuteness generator.)

I think its biggest success is that it made the tiny fears, disappointments and tragedies of normal childhood seem as big and significant as they do when you're actually a child. Which is what it set out to do. So, good film. Go see.
"The Child Thief: A Novel" is having an odd effect on me. How can something be so wonderful and so unpleasant at the same time? (And not in the way you're thinking. Hard to explain.) It should not feel so exceptional, but it does. (A very nice working-in of the Avalon mythology to boot.)

I wanted to go back to the start and read it again as soon as I hit the last page, even though nothing good happens in this book. (I knew I couldn't stomach it -- plus, it is very long -- so I wound up just rereading the last three chapters three more times.)

Is it Brom -- his writing? style? prose? plot? I don't think so...maybe -- or is it just that I have a thing for riffs on Peter Pan? Probably a mix. (Also, the Peter illustrations are adorable. Possibly "adorable" is not the first word that springs to everyone's mind, but it does mine. :-D)

It’s amazing how he manages to put together a book where EVERYONE IS WRONG, and most of them are still sort of understandable in their beliefs and actions. It is a collection of wrong, misguided, and deluded people (and gods, and some incidental elves, and also a couple Pilgrims!!!) and they all get together and cause mutual catastrophe when in reality they all want the same thing. 0_0

And oh my word, the pack mentality, in all its hideous allure.

Okay, so maybe it IS plot.

And damn if he doesn't get Peter Pan right. This is not a mischievous little cute creature, this is a kid who says — in the Barrie original -- things like “To die would be an awfully big adventure” and “I forget them as soon as I kill them” and who is said to “thin out” the Lost Boys if he catches them growing up because it’s “against the rules.” Peter is not quite sociopathic here, because he does remember and he does feel, and does not keep himself aggressively in a state of Happy in quite the same way as he does in the Barrie, but he is... pretty effing deluded, let's say.

Lucky for me -- and I do mean lucky -- I got the Barrie version many, many years before I ever saw the Disney version (and as an adult, that thing is appalling. "Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates" was better. It had Tim Curry! Hell, the Alan Moore porno version seems closer to the spirit of the thing than Disney's does).

I am obviously not as terrifiable as I once was. This thing should have kept me awake for days. I don't know if I could deal with his take on subjects that I DON'T already have built-in affection for. Not enough for a whim-buy, as this one was. NY Public Library, here I come...
Veddy interesting. A comparison of Twilight and Flowers in the Attic.

1. I never, ever was under the impression that the Dollenganger series was YA lit. Un-deep lit, sure, but YA? I had to hide that thing from adults. ^____^ Possibly it was marketed differently in England.

2. I've heard this analysis of Twilight as BDSM before. More in-depth here.

Doctor Horrible Parody! )
Lance Mannion: Harry Potter and the Narrative Ellipses

Michael Berube: Back by Popular Demand

Amanda Marcotte (If I cared more I would protest this vehemently on the grounds that the last thing the Harry Potter franchise -- or any other damn franchise, really -- needs is J.J. Abrams gratuitously appending more @#&*&@#-ing "Slusho" shoutouts and "Big Red Rimbaldi Balls o' Liquid Doom" and other blatant tributes to himself on it. Otherwise it's a fairly good idea. ^__^)
When Gay Marriage Turns Black

...the important point that anti-gay marriage campaigns in the black community, have at once exploited homophobia and racial prejudice. But the gay activists in the District have been able to fight back, not because they've done outreach to the black community, but because they are the black community...."

Here's something...not all that pressing, but a little pressing. It's been on my mind. I have a question (both gender-identity and sexual-orientation related) and would not like to spout off ignorantly, in case anyone wants to weigh in, please? : Read more... )

ADDENDUM: I don't have the book on me now, but if I get a chance I'll try to post the excerpts. Thanks much!
I REALLY want to read this now.

The Daniel Walker Howe one, NOT the religious tract by that Grady dude.

Adam Cadre review
here. A round-up of U.S. presidents, most importantly including the less-familiar ones, up to Polk.

"[....] And of course this is the period in which the philosophical differences of the revolutionary era gave way to the more strictly sectional disputes that gave rise to the Civil War. However, one thing that comes through in Howe's treatment is the extent to which U.S. history has always been the story of two significantly different countries awkwardly sharing a government. Northern history during the period of "What Hath God Wrought" is a story of canals, of textile mills, of dismal Dickensian cities, of discrimination against the Irish. Federalists such as John Adams had hoped that the War of Independence would represent a separation from Britain, but not any great departure — the way a grown son might really want to leave home without actually rejecting his family and all it stands for — and in the North, this was more or less the case. But whatever problems the North had were magnified to nightmarish proportions in the South. [...]"
One hundred-odd pages into "Kushiel's Mercy" and I feel more than a little frustrated. Read more... )
This is actually the second half of a two-part post. Part one hasn't been written yet, though copious notes have been made. This being a quickish one-off, I think the planned masterpiece in pieces on my key drive deserves to retain its part-one status. Don't ask.

I've been trying to figure out how to phrase this, since I need to put Europe and North America in one category, and the West Indies in another, but...they're both "The West." West Indian... and Hollywood?

Consulting Wikipedia gives me, in a roundabout way, "Folklore" and "Popular," which I think might serve my purposes.

Discussion for Today: The Zombie

My Daddy told me stories... )

You would think, from all this, that I do not rec The Forest of Hands and Teeth. You would be wrong. I rec it heartily to all zombie enthusiasts. It's really quite atmospheric. Just do not count me among your zombie-fancying numbers. Brrrrrr. Freaks. ^_________^



notes )

Miscellany

Apr. 17th, 2009 03:02 pm
On the blog "Judge a Book by Its Cover": Oh. My. God.


Still slogging through (that sounds more negative than it is) "Maximum City." It's a good, if troubling read, but taking me longer than I thought it would -- partly because it's not, as I'd thought (and as it starts off as), a memoir. Instead, it's reportage, meaning we've got the author interviewing and writing his impressions of many different people at differnt levels of power and social strata in 21st century Bombay. Different characters, different narratives, therefore way too easy to find stopping(-and-getting-sidetracked-by-another-book) places. I'm being good, though -- I'm taking it AND NOTHING ELSE on the subway, so it's my commute reading.

Last Sunday, I read "The Forest Of Hands and Teeth," which was... full of impact. Good lord. I'm going to do a separate post on that one, actually, but what stands out to me is that the prose is so nicely crafted that I find myself overlooking that I hate both the plot and the genre. Further, there are what I think are some significant plot holes, and an overall side effect that I'm not sure was intentional -- and yet I still have to recommend it. (How much am I willing to overlook just for stylistic prowess? This might explain why I can't plot for shite.)

Yesterday I (almost) finished the short anthology "Mean Streets" by Jim Butcher, Simon Green, Kat Richardson, and Thomas E. Sniegoski, the last two of whom I had never heard before. Was rather unmotivated to read Richardson's piece for reasons I couldn't explain if I tried, but I'll give it a whirl later on.

Sniegoski, "Noah's Orphans" -- this guy is interesting. I think I have a slight bias against his piece as it deals with a trope I more or less surfeited on back in my 'Sandman'/Vertigo/James Morrow years, i.e. fallen angels running around and doing things on earth, interacting with humans (trying not to spoil there). I think the piece might have been stronger if it were longer. I do love the ideas. I'm under the impression that he's done novels in this vein -- I'm gonna check them out. His prose is competent, if not as transportive as others I've read on the subject (but that's not fair, I know). In sum -- a grieving incognito seraph solves the murder of a very long-lived Noah. Yes, that Noah. (See? This is a hook!)

Actually, "stronger if longer" would be my complaint against all three stories. I think Green's piece, "What a Difference a Day Makes," suffers the most from the truncated length. There's not much there there, and there's really not much for the main characters to even do, so John Taylor winds up...talking a lot. In sum: an out-of-place, noir-genre-typical dame comes to the Nightside looking for her husband. They go find husband.

Some might argue that this is all that ever happens in the Nightside books -- dame needs help, case gets solved, Green's imagination is freaky and twisted -- and they would be right. That will appeal to who it appeals to; the problem here is that in short form, the action that would make up the bulk of a full-length novel plot feels both short and tacked-on. John talks a lot. A LOT. Not only is he the narrator, with all the exposition that entails, he also has to explain everything to Distressed Dame, and comes off sounding unbearably smarmy. When he's narrating a book, he still doesn't come off as the nicest guy, but in a novel there are still things for him to discover -- here he's pretty much just an obnoxious know-it-all from start to finish. Especially in the sum up. It's just John talking some more. You don't even see the resolution -- John just tells us what he's going to do and what it all means. Not even as the narrative voice -- it's quoted speech to another character! Overall it just reads very awkwardly and perfunctory. The Nightside is not a series of Great Depth or anything, but this one lacks a lot of the characteristic joy. It doesn't feel like Green was having much fun.

I've read another Nightside short story by Green, which was from the POV of a different character -- as a reader, you don't know this guy, you don't know his game, and you don't know if you're supposed to support him. It's freaky as hell and much better than this one. I'd like to see Green do more of that -- explore other characters.

Jim Butcher, "The Warrior." Again, I've a bias. I'd just finished reading "Small Favor," and so with this story, I knew exactly where I was; this piece follows chronologically, and pretty much directly. Butcher uses his characteristic straightforward prose to tell us what happened to Michael's sword after he was shot...see? I'm talking about it like this is stuff you already know. Which might be the root of the problem -- this is probably not the best entry point to the Harry Dresden universe. Taking that into consideration, it's a solid story. In sum: somebody is threatening Harry's friend Michael, a Knight of the Cross, in regards to Michael's sword (one of three holy swords made from the nails of the Cross). Harry solves this.

I very much like how Butcher characterizes Michael throughout his series. Michael is a Christian -- a real, literal, sincere, non-ironic and non-bitter Christian, who has the courage of his convictions without ever seeming inhuman. The character isn't used to bash or to preach -- Michael is no Flanders, and no Inquisitor either. He's not self-righteous or hypocritical, or an overbearing evangelist, or even someone you have to mind your P's and Q's around (although you should try not to "hell" and "damn" too much, especially around his numerous kids), and while he's got a wise word or two, he's NOT a walking homily by any means -- he's a guy who loves his family and fights monsters for God and whose faith is strong enough to actually protect him, and comfort him when it does not protect him. His wife is strong and admirable, even though un-magical. His kids are happy and well-adjusted, even the rebellious oldest daughter. It's really lovely. The whole family is. (Especially once we got past that "Nobody trusts Harry, but he can't earn trust by just TELLING THE DAMN TRUTH because he has to keep his magic secret" trope that infested the first few books. That is not my favorite trope, can you tell?)

The story does wind up being validation for Harry in a "It's a Wonderful Life" vein (see, again this references the previous book, although I think it's explained pretty well in-text), and that felt a little bit twee to me, as well as slightly jarring since I'm just coming down off my Narnia kick of December to March: According to Aslan, no one gets to find out someone else's story. ~__^ But I liked it. It was heartwarming.

There's nothing here so far that makes me want to proselytize this book in all caps or anything, although I do feel like Dresden fans will be missing a piece of the puzzle if they don't read Butcher's story. But it's a diverting read and I do ultimately recommend it.
I am this close to putting the Al Aswany on Indefinite Hiatus as well. The translation is clunky and there are incredible stumbling blocks of the factual-error type in it that are far more annoying than Dajani overusing "Hispanic slang" to the point of Tourette's Foreignitis and making the Latina the "slut" with too much fire in her blood to cope and behave in non-self-destructive ways (which was still pretty stereotyped and over the top, but at least had a cumulative effect, so that you were mostly done with the book before you realized how annoyed you were. To be fair, Nadjani also had an Arab woman behave in self-destructive ways, and was good about showing how Palestinians, especially poor ones, are looked down on even by other Arabs, but it would be nice if the resultant self-destruction did not automatically equal TONS OF SEX, as though this were an '80s horror movie. And at least in '80s horror movies it was not all self-hating sex with people who didn't even like you).

"Chicago" is still a window into how we're seen by another culture, so I think I'll try to slog through, but it really needs to develop some sort of plot pretty soon, because I have Acacia to get to.

I must say I got a bit freaked by what I have been reading today, which might not make much sense, because I didn't blog about the bus driver I've been avoiding all winter since he stopped the bus (rather late at night) with only me on it and wouldn't let me off till I told him my name, which is NOT CUTE. The more things change, the more they don't really. Voila: "Nice Guys of the 1800s"


NO, THANK YOU, JOHN

I never said I loved you, John:
Why will you tease me day by day
And wax a weariness to think upon
With always "do" and "pray"?

You know I never loved you John;
No fault of mine made me your toast:
Why will you haunt me with a face as wan
As shows an hour-old ghost?

I dare say Meg or Moll would take
Pity upon you, if you'd ask:
And pray don't remain single for my sake
Who can't perform that task.

I have no heart? -- Perhaps I have not;
But then you're mad to take offence
That I don't give you what I have not got
Use your own common sense.

Let bygones be bygones:
Don't call me false, who owed not to be true
I'd rather answer "No" to fifty Johns
Than answer "Yes" to you.

Let's mar our pleasant days no more,
Song-birds of passage, days of youth:
Catch at today, forget the days before:
I'll wink at your untruth.

Let us strike hands as hearty friends;
No more, no less; and friendship's good:
Only don't keep in view ulterior ends,
And points not understood

In open treaty. Rise above
Quibbles and shuffling off and on:
Here's friendship for you if you like; but love --
No, thank you, John.


--Christina Rossetti
Goodness. Neil Gaiman gets mad so gently.

Weird dreams, probably due to waking up every two hours for who knows why -- last part I remember is having access to these new and exciting sweet limes -- huge and mostly juice, not pulp, bright green and so sweet that you could eat them directly or make the best limeade. Mmmmm, limeade. I think I'm dehydrated.

Just finished "Deathwish" by Rob Thurman, which...Hmm. I do believe she is quite hitting her stride. Enjoyed it very much.

I'm having a bit of sword-and-sorcery movie withdrawal. There's only so many times you can rewatch various versions of Lord of the Rings, after all. I suppose I could whip out "Troy," except it is a little short on orcs. I would settle for minotaurs. I'm in a mood. I was even willing to whip out a press copy of 300 (French and unsubbed, therefore...not quite useful!), when I realized it was at work in some cubby or other (and also, not so much with the minotaurs) -- so I found myself flipping through channels and captivated by a sudden glance of Iolaus -- Iolaus!!! conspiring evil! -- for Lo, I was watching the second half of Legend of the Seeker.

(Ah, New Zealand. You are our Fairyland, aintcha.)

(So, sort me out, then -- there is an actual series of Terry Goodkind's, er, Randian opus? Really? Hoh-kay. Good to know. All righty.)

(Was there a hint of libertarianism in Xena that I missed?)

There's a certain cheestastic joy that I was once able to take in Xena, and Roar, and even Beastmaster (and to an extent Jack of All Trades/Cleopatra Insert Numbers Here) that I don't seem to be able to anymore. I think it might be that shows in the same vein (by the same production group) made now are just as cheesy, but have no sense of their own inherent funniness. (Okay, Beastmaster had a pretty bombastic seriousness going on there, but it also had that hot half-naked guy, and also Emilie de Ravin being evil and Jackson Raine, who was adorable and amusing and I think part Cambodian.)

Oh, hey!

Feb. 24th, 2009 04:27 pm
Valente talks about her book on Scalzi's blog.

Good. Better to read her summary than mine, seeing as how I haven't read the durn thing yet. ^___^ Better to read her summary than mine also because she's bloody BETTER at it. Behold:

Palimpsest is a sexually-transmitted city.

It is a virus, an addiction, a heaven and a hell. It is a city that lives within the body: those who visit it find their flesh marked with black lines like a streetmap, a tattoo that cannot be removed. The virus is spread through sexual contact–sleep with the bearer of the mark and wake with one of your own, and a lifetime of dreams of a sentient city ruled by a robber-baroness with an army of clockwork insects at her command, a city that has just survived a terrible war that no one wants to remember, a city full of terrible wonders, that creates itself over and over to answer every possible desire. [...] -- Catherynne Valente



(Short story that started it)
"Stormed Fortress" is out!!??

This came out in 2007!!??? And we didn't know?

Have been waiting since 2004 thank you very much! I...I was checking stores! I had my Amazon notifications set! I haven't even bothered starting "Traitor's Gate" (#6) yet!

Here I am thinking Janny Wurts is some kind of dreadful awful slacker, when in reality, it's just that the book is available across the entire English-speaking WORLD...except here. GAH. And it's the conclusion.

On the other hand, this is the excellent thing about the Interwebs. *orders*

(Aw man, I'm going to have to start from the beginning. Which began in 1993. That's seven Neal-Stephenson-esque bloody doorstoppers. I could maim household intruders with those books.)

(I'm rather excited! ^______^)
Hello!

This is me, blatantly and shamelessly pimping [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna's (Catherynne Valente's) new book, Palimpsest, because I love her work. As, er, you might have noticed, if you were one of the people I forced "The Orphan's Tales" on as an Xmas gift recently. Look, I'm not religious anymore, I have to proselytize SOMETHING.)

Anyway -- I'd like this book to be successful for utterly selfish reasons -- namely, so she can write more stuff for me to read!! (And hell, maybe someday I'll need the karma.) Plus, I like seeing good writers get the acclaim they deserve. I am hard-pressed to come up with another writer I've seen who is so good at interweaving intricate threads, making them all come together, making them significant, and making them readable. So, you know. Take a look. *kicks your butts over to Amazon* ^__________^

YouTube trailer below cut )
So yesterday I finished my borrowed ARC of Little Bee, by Chris Cleave.

I find it difficult to recommend this novel highly enough.
I find it very hard to put into words how much you should go and read this thing immediately.

But I can't really tell you about it.

Here's the blurb on my ARC:
WE DON'T WANT TO TELL YOU TOO MUCH ABOUT THIS BOOK.

It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it.
Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this:
It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.
The story starts there, but the book doesn't.
And it's what happens afterward that is most important.
Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.


This blurb is true. There is a lot of funny in this book. It is a pretty damn artistic book. (And really not that graphic, for the record.)

But here's what I want to know -- is this true? Does this really happen? How does this really happen??? My conscious logical mind has accepted it. My conscious logical mind has heard of plenty of same before.

My primal lizard brain says NO. And "What the fuck!?"
the rest is more plaintive than ranty -- I have no answers and I don't like it )

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