Book Review: Dune by Frank Herbert

Even though I wrote an article on why this novel is so difficult to adapt into a movie, I didn’t review the novel. It’s time to do just that now.

Few novels have exerted such a tremendous influence on me. Frank Herbert’s masterpiece, and undeniably one of the very best SciFi novels ever written, takes a life of its own over the span of the first few pages.

The universe the story is set in is complex — a vast intergalactic empire working as an intricate mechanism, a lasting feud, and all the treacherous games that are a part of the never ending struggle for power among the powerful.
Continue reading “Book Review: Dune by Frank Herbert”

Book Review: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”

It takes a special kind of humor to make me laugh. This is that special kind. Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman make a fantastic team, and their humor is music to my soul. Even though I loved almost every word they put to paper, I am still aware of the fact that this book might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Especially those who take themselves and the world around them way too seriously. Which is like 90% of the people on the Internet these days.

“Over the years Crowley had found it increasingly difficult to find anything demonic to do which showed up against the natural background of generalized nastiness. There had been times, over the past millennium, when he’d felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there’s nothing we can do to them that they don’t do to themselves and they do things we’ve never even thought of, often involving electrodes. They’ve got what we lack. They’ve got imagination. And electricity, of course. One of them had written it, hadn’t he…”Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.” …”

Continue reading “Book Review: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman”

5 Reasons Neil Gaiman is a Master Storyteller

Neil Gaiman is one of the most impressive contemporary writers. Why? Because he did all he wanted to do? He wrote a bunch of fantastic novels, comics, even scripts. He is the mastermind behind one of the most amazing novels ever written, American Gods. Even the TV Show is great.

Here are five reasons Neil Gaiman is a master writer. Continue reading “5 Reasons Neil Gaiman is a Master Storyteller”

Book Review: We the Animals by Justin Torres

When it comes to things that have a price tag attached to them, literature being no exception, there are certain trends that come and go. In commercial fiction, this trend might be vampires one day and zombies the other. In “real fiction”; what some people call literary fiction, there’s the trend of the autobiographical novel. Part fiction, part truth, these novels appeal to most of the best young novelists out there.

We the Animals is no exception. Continue reading “Book Review: We the Animals by Justin Torres”

Book Review: The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald

From the book’s description:

Unfinished at the time of his death, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon is a story of doomed love set against the extravagance of America’s booming film industry. The studio lot looks like ‘thirty acres of fairyland’ the night that a mysterious woman stands and smiles at Monroe Stahr, the last of the great Hollywood princes. Enchanted by one another, they begin a passionate but hopeless love affair, starting with a fast-moving seduction as slick as a scene from one of Stahr’s pictures. The romance unfolds, frame by frame, watched by Cecilia, a thoroughly modern girl who has taken her lessons in sentiment and cynicism from all the movies she has seen. Her buoyant humor and satirical eye perfectly complement Fitzgerald’s panorama of Hollywood at its most lavish and bewitching.

If the great Francis Scott Fitzgerald would have finished writing this novel, it would have been his masterpiece. Yes, it would have been better than The Great Gatsby, which is my favorite novel of all time, and the only piece of writing I’ve been reading once a year since I was seventeen. Besides Dune. Continue reading “Book Review: The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald”

When The Love Stories of Artists Become The Subject Matter of a Book

When you do your research and want to write about people you never met you undoubtedly end up writing about yourself. You fill in the cracks with personal stories, with your idea of who they were and how the thought, talked, or acted, so it is a real risk that the reader will end up reading about yourself.

As they say, all art is a self-portrait.

Reading the essays from Significant Others: Creativity & Intimate Partnership by Whitney Chadwick and Isabelle de Courtivron I got the impression of reading the typical art book: every artist was the very best, a creative genius, every love story unique, tragic, and influenced by said creative genius.  Continue reading “When The Love Stories of Artists Become The Subject Matter of a Book”

Book Review: Christ Recrucified by Nikos Kazantzakis

The inhabitants of a Greek village, ruled by the Turks, plan to enact the life of Christ in a mystery play but are overwhelmed by their task. A group of refugees, fleeing from the ruins of their plundered homes, arrive asking for protection – and suddenly the drama of the Passion becomes reality.

This could easily be a very short review. There are only two novels that made my cry my heart out. The History of Love and this one. By cry my heart out I mean I had to stop reading because I couldn’t read anymore, my vision was blurry because of the tears in my eyes. That kind of good, that kind of wonderful writing.

I believe that Christ Recrucified is is not so much a religious novel, but more about human nature. What happens to us does not create us, only reveals our inner most selves. It is a novel about greed and envy and how distorted our perceptions of reality, of morality, and our own self-conduct can become because of that.

No matter what you believe in, I highly recommend reading this novel. It might make you understand suffering a bit better, how a true dark night of the soul, and how blessed we are to be living in the kind of society that we live in right now. Continue reading “Book Review: Christ Recrucified by Nikos Kazantzakis”