Wednesday, September 16, 2009


By Neil Gaiman

What a good story. My happy return to scary stories was satisfactory. In spite of the atmosphere being very Gaiman, which is to say weird and gloomy, the plot is very simple and ingenious. When I grow up I want to write a story like this.

I most admit that at one point of the story I wanted to stop reading, because it seemed very weird. In fact, I thought that it was another crazy, senseless story, but I continued and I had a pleasant surprise.

Michael told me that Gaiman has said, in interviews, that more adults than children think that the story is scary. I think that this is interesting and true. I have to admit that the story seems overly dark for children, but had I read this story when I was a child it probably wouldn't have scared me at all. That shows that we tend to be scared when we grow up.

A day after finishing
the book, I saw the movie, but no, no, no. It's OK if you haven't read the book. But if you have read it, you wouldn't like that they added a new character. There really was no need to do that.

This is the second book I've read where cats are given large roles in the story. I like how cats can be given a big role to play, and, of course, an unrealistic one, while still remaining the cats we know and love and who drive us crazy.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Catching up

I have a stack of unreviewed books. Unfortunately, I read most of them long enough ago that I can now only barely remember when I finished them, much less what they were really about or more than vague impressions. So these reviews will be out of order and even shorter than usual.

If I'm going to review books at all, I should do so as soon after finishing them as possible. The next book will be one recently finished, since it's still reasonably fresh in my mind, but then it's back to things I finished reading ages ago.


Anathem Anathem by Neal Stephenson

Long and, especially in the first half to two thirds, absolutely absorbing.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Iliad and lucha libre

Yesterday, celebrating my father in law's birthday, we were at a restaurant with loud televisions, showing lucha libre, the Spanish term for pro wrestling. The food was excellent, so good that it almost made up for the two televisions blaring offensively stupid content, the acrobatics of the wrestlers notwithstanding.

There's no excuse for the fact that the restaurant was so noisy, except that everywhere else is—not much of an excuse. The TVs should have been muted.

As usual, I had a book with me. Yesterday, it was the Iliad. Impishly, I thought maybe it'd be amusing to attend an afternoon of lucha libre and to pull some stunt to get myself on television, but instead of flashing some leg or bringing foghorns like everyone else does, I'd show up at the arena, pull out my copy of the Iliad, and read.

Not long after having this thought, it occurred to me that nearly every character in the Iliad, a seminal work in Western literature, would be enchanted by the spectacle of lucha libre.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ulysses in comic form

Ulysses to be serialized in comic form. What's not to like?

Well, surely it'd be more fun with a proper background.

So, all I need to do is to read Ulysses, and I have over two weeks to do it. That probably wouldn't be too difficult [1] if Ulysses weren't based on The Odyssey, which I also have not yet read, and which picks up where The Iliad—also unread—leaves off. All three are on bookshelves in our home already, but what are the chances that I'll finish them all before Ulysses' comic adaptation gets going?

Not very likely, I'm afraid. I don't think I'll be ready to read the comic serialization of Ulysses in two weeks. But it'd be nice if I could.

[1] Ok, it probably would be kind of difficult to read in just a few weeks.