lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Finished Stephen King's "Revival" - pretty good, though not to the heights of, say, 11/22/63. Overall it was more a reflection on getting older, mixed with that old Americana, a bit of scientific mystery, and riffs on carnies and religious shows - so far so good - but the end felt disappointing somehow. The climax was well done, but a little too formulaic and didn't really quite fit the rest of the book. It's as if King had a nicely-done vignette with no story to it, which he then decided to weld on to a novel that needed a bit more punch as if to show he could still do that. Overall good, though.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Caught up with a few lately.

MR MERCEDES by Stephen King was mostly OK, a nice enough crime thriller rather than horror, but still somehow lacking. It was somewhat slow and padded, and we know King can do better than that from the modern pulps he's done for Hard Case Crime, but worst of all, every twist - especially the fridging - was spectacularly obvious and predictable. So, always nice to read his writing, but could be way better.

THE LOVECRAFT ANTHOLOGY VOL. 1 is a graphic novel from Selfmade Hero, edited by Dan Lockwood. Doing HPL in a visual medium is always an iffy prospect, because the creatures are supposed to be so freaky that they will drive viewers mad, and any actual visual representation of them is just too twee- I mean, just look at the chibi Cthulhu's you can get. This set of seven adaptations starts off making exactly that mistake, and using the typical Cthulhu design, put edited versions of the narrations. It soon improves, however, after two or three stories. The art is variable, and experimental might be a kind word to use, yet all fits their stories, so I can't complain: it all does the job it's meant to. The collection does improve as it goes on, with The Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Rats In The Walls doing the best job at conveying the Lovecraft feel.

ADVENTURES WITH THE WIFE IN SPACE by Neil (and occasionally Sue) Perryman is a fun read, covering the life of a Dr Who fan, and how one of the best Dr Who blogs came about. Thankfully it's not just a compilation of the blog, but a memoir. It's a bit weird reading a memoir written by someone who's neither a celebrity nor a world changer in some field like science or military campaigning or whatever, but it is funny, sometimes touching, sometimes wince-inducing in an all too understandable way (I doubt it really will convey to non-fans just how vicious some of fandom is, but it has its moments) and ultimately reassuring that real people are actually just good people. Definitely recommended, and - a bit like About A Boy or something - I can kind of see this becoming a 90 minute TV docudrama someday. Maybe for the 75th anniversary...
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)

Correct, albeit very much concentrating on fiction writing (it's hard not to watch TV while writing when you're writing a book about the TV show you're watching, for example!) - and an "aww" for number 11.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
(Yeah it's now 2014, but this is the last of last year's recreational reading)

It was OK, but not a patch on, say, 11/22/63- essentially it's a race against time kind of thing. Actually, it really feels more like a Dean Koontz book than a King one (with a weird caravan-hating chapter I could easily believe had been written under the influence of Top Gear).

Though it's a sequel to The Shining, it works fine if you haven't read that book (or, like me, read it 30 years ago and don't remember it in great detail). The blurb and cover are really misleading, though- it's not that much about what the "Doctor Sleep" moniker refers to - kind of fortunate for those of us who've had to hang around hospitals a lot, as it does hit some truths - and the cat's hardly in it.

Though the plot rolls along nicely, and there are some good twists and tension, the villains really aren't that much of a threat, and it all seems kind of... inconsequential.
So, good, but not classic King.


lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)

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