Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Conan the Barbarian

Conan is one of my favourite fantasy characters, and as I have mentioned before I have always enjoyed the stories of Robert E Howard. Recently I decided to read my way through the Dark Horse reprints of Roy Thomas' run on the Chronicles of Conan for Marvel. Thomas was assisted by some of the greatest artists of the period, but the two which the series is most famous for are Barry Windsor-Smith and John Buscema.
These comics were a lot of fun, and Thomas quickly grasped what he needed to write to make the stories work. Windsor-Smith and Buscema contribute amazing art and make the whole package sing. I had a lot of fun reading these comics, and each volume has a conclusion written by Thomas informing the reader about little details in the stories, where they came from and any other information he feels like sharing. Overall a lot of fun and fans of fantasy will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Family Life

Families are complicated, and Bruce & Me is a great example of this. The book follows Oren Siedler’s attempts to understand her family through the many road trips she took with her father Bruce across the United States. Not long into the book Siedler’s hippie mother leaves Bruce and runs away to Australia with her new partner. Once Bruce finds out where they are he asks to see Siedler, and she is sent back to the United States to spend time with him. After arriving she quickly discovers that Bruce runs credit card scams and performs identity theft as well as engaging in other criminal acts. Bruce might be living on the wrong side of the law, but it was always interesting being around him, though as Bruce spends more and more time behind bars, this spell breaks.
Bruce & Me is a wonderfully told memoir that reminds the reader that love is a powerful force as Siedler tries to unravel the tangled web that is her father with humour and insight. Bruce & Me is hard to put down and goes to show that families are a law unto themselves.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What the Dickens?

Drood by Dan Simmons is an amazing novel that will keep you enthralled right until the end. The novel deals with the last five years of Charles Dickens life, and is told through the eyes of his friend and author Wilkie Collins. After surviving the massive train accident Dickens becomes obsessed with a strange figure he meets at the crash site known as Drood.
The book takes us through the underbelly of Victorian London and is a vivid picture of these times. The book is also helped by the voice of the narrator, Wilkie Collins, as he also is drawn into Dicken's obsession and he begins to swing between admiration and resentment for Dickens.
Simmons also references a lot of the novels written by Dickens and Collins and this only helps to set the scene further, especially if you are familiar with either of the authors.
Guillermo del Toro is quoted on the cover and I can only dream about him filming a version of this wonderful book.
In the end this book is a masterpiece of storytelling, and I urge everyone to read it.