This is the first hardcover I’ve bought in a while. I read it in October last year and am only now getting around to writing my review. It’s Stephen King, so no surprises that this is a fairly long book. My edition is 592 pages and contains some nice black and white illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. The book’s title is self-explanatory: Fairy Tale.
‘Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher—for that world or ours.’
From the Author, Stephen King:
Early in the Pandemic, King asked himself: “What could you write that would make you happy?”
“As if my imagination had been waiting for the question to be asked, I saw a vast deserted city—deserted but alive. I saw the empty streets, the haunted buildings, a gargoyle head lying overturned in the street. I saw smashed statues (of what I didn’t know, but I eventually found out). I saw a huge, sprawling palace with glass towers so high their tips pierced the clouds. Those images released the story I wanted to tell.”
I devoted a lot more of my free time to growing my YouTube Channel in 2022, which led to more comic books read but less “proper” books completed. Despite this change in hobby priorities, I still published 48 posts in 2022. Of those posts, only 14 were book reviews, 9 were comic book reviews, and 8 were Movie or TV reviews. In total, 31 reviews compared to 34 the year before.
After a quick check on the Wakizashi’s Teahouse YouTube Channel, I see that I made 104 comic book review videos in 2022. Imagine if I’d also posted short written reviews of those comics on WordPress. Definitely something to consider for this year.
In 2022, the Blog got 13,014 views, up 27% on last year. “Visitors” were up 28% compared to 2021. But “Likes” and “Comments” were both down. Most of my traffic came from the United States, followed by the U.K., Australia, Canada, and Germany.
I have returned to Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series and have just started Book 3: The Dragon Reborn. It was Amazon’s TV adaptation that got me back into reading The Wheel of Time. After hearing such a divided reaction to the streaming series, I wanted to return to the source and see what was upsetting a lot of long-term fans of the books. I tried The Eye of the World years ago but never finished it. It just didn’t grab me and I wrote it off as Tolkien fan fiction. I know, I know, it was a rather hasty and foolish decision which I’ve now remedied.
I listened to audiobooks of The Eye of the World and The Great Hunt earlier this year. I enjoyed them both, especially the second book. It felt like Robert Jordan had found his voice and stepped out from behind Tolkien’s shadow. The Great Hunt’s story was also a lot more exciting than the first book’s in my opinion. But I can appreciate the slower-paced set up of The Eye of the World now. I can also understand what many book fans were upset about. The showrunners have changed a lot of the lore, aged up the characters, made some head-scratching casting choices, created new characters and changed some major plot points. Why couldn’t they just adapt the books as they were written?
Taking a leaf fromBookstooge’s book and having some time to kill at work, here is a quote from Patricia McKillip’s 2004 novel Alphabet of Thorn:
“What else did you see?” he asked the odd young woman, who seemed more woodland animal than human. A useful quality in a mage, he thought. Some of us have a harder time forgetting our humanity. ‘Things,’ she said vaguely, remembering them. She took an unconscious step toward him. ‘A tree spoke to me. It looked like a very old man, twisted and slow, with mossy hair down to its ankles and eyes like dead leaves. It did not say much, just my name. I think that’s very strange, that a tree I have never met would know my name. And there were the stags with the fire in their antlers. They did not speak. The warrior followed them.’ ‘The warrior.’ ‘Fully armed, on a white war horse. The warrior wore a great sword with a crosspiece laid with uncut jewels; it looked too long and heavy for anyone human to wield.
A recommendation from Bookstooge, I read Patricia McKillip’s In the Forests of Serre back in July 2020. Her lyrical prose and layered world-building really impressed me and I determined to explore more of her writing. It has only taken me two years to get around to it.
I’m currently about a third of the way into Alphabet of Thorn and I really like it so far. I feel transported to another world when I read this book, and that’s one of the main reasons I love reading works described as “speculative fiction.”
Q. What are you currently reading and how is it so far?
Thanks for reading!
-Wakizashi, *wallowing in the rare luxury of being able to read all day at work; just for today*
Thinking over the past year of blogging book reviews, I’m pressed to remember a truly negative review I posted. I was disappointed with Stephen King’s IT because I thought it was overlong and suffered from King’s tendency to waffle. Also, it was surprisingly dull in parts and had me almost skipping pages. Despite these flaws, I still rated it 2 stars. Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation wasn’t a great read for me either, but I initially gave it 3 stars, mainly because I liked the weird atmosphere and some of the writing style. After thinking more about it, I’ve amended that rating to 2 stars. But if you follow the Goodreads rating system, “2 stars” means the book was “okay.” Is “okay” a negative review? Not really.
Well, another year draws to a close so it’s time to reveal Who’s Dreaming Who’smost viewed posts for 2019. Which authors and books attracted the most clicks this year? Without further ado, here’s 2019’s Top 20 viewed posts:
(Clicking on the number will take you to the review.)
1.The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (2011) Edited by Pamela Jackson & Jonathan Lethem 2.Impostor (1953) by Philip K. Dick 3.Pyramids (1989) by Terry Pratchett 4.Inverted World (1974) by Christopher Priest 5.The Big Time (1958) by Fritz Leiber 6.The Fog Horn (1951) by Ray Bradbury 7.Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson 8.Groo versus Conan (2013) by Sergio Aragones et al 9.Ubik (1969) by Philip K. Dick 10.Burning Chrome (1986) by William Gibson 11.Fairyland (1995) by Paul McAuley 12.The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982) by Philip K. Dick 13.Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) by William Gibson 14.Good Omens (1990) by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman 15.Rosewater (2016) by Tade Thompson 16.The City and the City (2009) by China Mieville 17.Oh, to be a Blobel (1964) by Philip K. Dick 18.White Time (2000) by Margo Lanagan 19.Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home (1973) by James Tiptree, Jr 20.The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: Vol.12 (2018) Edited by Jonathan Strahan
‘There is no singular truth, no fact that cannot be altered, repositioned and resold to the world.’ -“Degrees of Elision” by Cassandra Khaw
Unsung Stories’ 2084 is a collection of fifteen views of our future inspired by Orwell’s classic novel. What kind of a world could we see one hundred years after Nineteen Eighty-Four? It seems almost redundant to ask if Big Brother will still be watching us. In his introduction, George Sandison suggests that these tales are less predictions of dystopian futures than extensions of our present fears. As technology becomes ever more prevalent in our lives, are our fears of too much surveillance and too little privacy warranted?
As the days cool and grow shorter and the darkness spreads its ebony fingers, are you ready for some chills and thrills?
Yes, it’s that time of year again when I make – and often fail to complete – a plan for my October reading. As the theme is Hallowe’en, my chosen genre is horror or any kind of weird fiction. I’m planning to focus on novellas and short stories this year as my reading-time has shrunk over the last few months. So, without further ado, here is my list of stories to read as I tentatively set foot into the October country. Continue reading →
In my last post, I wrote of a “Summer Meltdown” which had left me struggling to read – and especially finish – books. To those who responded, thank you so much for taking the time to read and offer advice or support, I really appreciate it.
The boiling heat of 2018’s summer has finally subsided, and autumn’s cooling touch has brought some welcome relief. BUT I still haven’t reached the end of a book. Wtf?
I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching, trying to find a deeper reason than the summer’s heat knocking everyone out, and I think I’ve discovered what’s been missing.
Let me ask you a question. What was the last book you read that you truly couldn’t put down? You know, the kind of story in which you become so caught up that you resent the time spent NOT reading it. A book or story that you keep thinking about when you’re not reading it. One which you can’t wait to get back to reading once your work or chores are done. Continue reading →