Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson

Banks is still relatively new on the Eastvale Policeforce after having left a stressful job in London. He originally moved to Yorkshite to find some peace and quiet, but already in book one, Gallow's View, he realises that that is not always so. I this book two, A Dedicated Man, Banks once again finds out that life in the country side is not necessarily as peaceful as he had hoped for. Te friendly universityman Steadman is found killed and hidden under a pile of rocks on the moor. Banks cannot crack the case, since everyone maintains that Steadman was friendly and had absolutely no enemies.No skeletons are coming tumbling out of the closet and Banks must god back to Steadman's past to find small clues.

A good mystery, but the later Banks-books are better,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

With Reverent Hands - check my post at Booklust

 I have to toot my own horn here for a minute. Not just because I am proud, but also because I want all of you to notice that fabulous book that I am highlighting in Aarti's guest-post series With Reverent Hands. I have been a fan of Aarti's blog Booklust for a long time. I first "met" Aarti here on my own blog. I think she came to visit me because I had been agonizing somewhere else about my inability to come out of the closet and ask if I could guest post somewhere. Aarti had an opening in her Rosie's Riveters guest post-series, and I was much honored to do my first guest post there. Also, I can always find an indepth review there, and more often than not, I discover authors I've never read, let alone heard of, before. Not just in the With Reverent Hands-series, but generally.

I am pretty sure most of you know Aarti - I see many of my own favorite bloggers commentning on her blog - but if you don't then check out her blog. And also check out my With Reverent Hands guest post highlighting of a book I am curious to know if you have ever heard about.

Please note that With Reverent Hands is not a meme, so while I have shamelessly borrowed Aarti's badge for this post, I do think you should ask for permission before stealing it yourself ;-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Stand by Stephen King: Captain Trips by Roberto Aguirre Sacasa

I've already read The Stand by Stephen King. Numerous times. The "short" original version, the long "uncut" version, the English version and the translated version in Danish. Yes, The Stand is one of my absolute favorite reads, and has been that since I read it for the first time many years ago. And I like it even more every time I re-read it. But I've never re-read it as graphic novel:

So even though I know the plot and the characters very well, I didn't doubt for a second, that I should get that one, when I saw that Marvel Comics had released The Stand as a graphic novel. I have never seen any of the tv-series made over the book, so I was curious to see how the characters looked in the mind of the makers of this graphic novel.

Since The Stand is a very long book - and probably also for economical reasons - Marvel has chosen to cut the novel into several volumes. First part is called Captain Trips. The title is the same name that the super flu, which wipes out almost all of mankind, has in California. The drawings made by Roberto Aguirre Sacasa are very good. I don't really know anything about Marvel's universe, cartoonists, texters, colorists or series, and I actually like the more oldfashioned style, like Tintin, better. But I really liked Sacasas drawings in this first part of The Stand. Very scary and gross and also much like the images I had in my head before.

The plot in the graphic novel follows the written book (the long "uncut" version) very well although some scenes are left out because of space. So if you don't know the story but want to, you still need to read the "real" book.

A bit about The Stand that I wrote in an earlier post:

The book was first published in 1978 and is thus one of the earliest of King's works.

Imagine the 99% of the world's population wiped out by a flu virus and only inhabited by a few, scattered survivors. The book's location is "just" USA, but that is definitely large enough to make you really feel the chilling atmosphere of an almost empty world. Inhabited by scared
and shell shocked people, trying to come to terms with this new "situation". SK manages to paint a large picture with a lot of great character development both pre- and post apocalypse.

It is not just interesting - it is fascinating, chilling and thrilling to follow the characters as they come to terms with their new world and not to forget their new world order. Because it pretty soon becomes clear that the real horror was not the flu wiping out the world's population. The real horror is still looming in the horizon after survivors begin to gather in Boulder, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Tell Me No Secrets by Julie Corbin

Tell Me No Secrets is a mystery and Julie Corbin's debut. As such it is a great little book with a relatively tight plot, and the persons seem believable. Almost. On the other hand I can't say that I was overly impressed, because this one didn't catch me at all. That is not the author's fault, of course, I just don't think I really ogt my money's worth with this one.

Grace, happily married mom to two teenage girls, lives in a small Scottish town, where life goes on as it always has. People live their lives in a quiet manner, there is gossip, of course, but for the most part life is quaint and calm, save for the unruly Scottish weather. Grace and her family are about to move to Australia for a period of time, but the pretty picture har its dark spots, because Grace is carrying a secret, which has marred her all her adult life. This secret is about to be revealed, threathening to ruin Grace's life, her marriage and her relationship with some of her closest friends in town. Not to mention her relationship with her ageing parents and it will also ruin the whole plan of moving to Australia.

Grace will do anything to keep the secret a secret, and during the course of a few hectic weeks, the situation goes from bad to worse. Her childhood friend, wild and promiscous Orla with the flamboyant French mother and the quiet Scottish father, is threathening Grace on the sidelines, and Grace feels a hatred burning inside her that she didn't thought herself capable of feeling. her colleague - and highschool sweetheart - is the only other person aside fron Grace and Orla who knows about the secret, and soon Grace doesn't know which side to turn to. Her marriage, build on somewhat unsteady ground, begins to crumble when the skeletons start falling out of the closet.

Like I said, the plot is fine, although seen before. The characters who seem believable in the beginning, loose credibilty as the story progress, and all in all I found the storyline kinda un-exciting. But the premise is good, just too bad there wasn't more in Tell Me No Secrets for me. Julie Corbin seems like she is upcoming, and we can hope that her next one will be better. All that said, for a rainy day or a day at the beach, this little mystery is fine.