Saturday, February 6, 2010

Reading 'em is easier than writing about 'em

I read all these ages ago but have put off (and put off and put off) writing about them, and now they're due back at the library and I can't put it off any longer.  On the plus side, three out of four of these titles are series installments and there's not much more I need say about them.

Like, f'rinstance, Grave Peril, the third book in The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher.  As I've said before: urban fantasy with a touch of noir makes for a bunch of fun.  This time, Harry Dresden is battling a ghastly Nightmare that's stirring up all the ghosts in Chicago, plus he's got to duke it out with some seriously bad vampires.  It's all fun and games until somebody dies, of course.  I like this series; I like how the mythology builds; I like Harry's dry and self-deprecating narration; I've already got the next book, Summer Knight, queued up in my library list.

I'm drawing near the end of the Endless, sad to say, having just read Volume 7: Brief Lives and Volume 8: Worlds' End of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series.  (The library doesn't have Volume 6: Fables & Reflections which contained short, one-shot stand-alones, so narratively I didn't miss anything.)  In Brief Lives, Delirium convinces her older brother Dream to help her find their brother, Destruction, who abandoned their family and his responsibilities centuries ago.  Worlds' End is another stand-alone-ish volume where some major metaphysical event forces a bunch of travelers, from all worlds and all times, to take refuge at the Inn at Worlds' End.  There, they pass the time by telling each other stories, until a strange and awe-inspiring procession brings the story-telling to an abrupt end.  I was shocked and surprised at the reveal, and saddened, and now - with still three volumes left to read - I know I'm going to have to collect the entire series to have for my own.

The last book left to tell you about is One! Hundred! Demons!, a graphic novel by Lynda Barry which I think I read about on Whitney Matheson's Pop Candy blog.  This is an "autofictionalopgraphy," according to the author, taken from and inspired by Barry's life.  Each chapter is its own story, about a specific "demon" like "Head Lice and My Worst Boyfriend," "Resilience," "Hate" and "My First Job."  The stories are touching, some funny, some pathetic; the artwork is primitive and colorful.  I much prefer comics like the Sandman series with sophisticated art and complex stories, but One! Hundred! Demons! was an interesting peek into one woman's brain.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you are enjoying Harry's adventures. The pre-order price for the next one due in April dropped on Amazon again and I'm tempted to snag it. We'll see if I have any of my tax refund leftover after TV shopping today. :)