Karyn S. (kben) - Reviews

1 to 11 of 11
Cell
Cell
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 701
Review Date: 3/6/2008


Fast paced and easy to consume, the master of horror gives us another tale of the apocalypse, this time through the convention of every day technology.

Some have pegged Cell as a redux of The Stand, but that alone speaks volumes. There's another writer who often retold his own stories: William Shakespeare.

Others have complained that the ending left more to be desired. But the ambiguity works. It's not about the details outside of the lives of the survivors. Rather, this is a story about their survival.


The Dead Zone
The Dead Zone
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 367
Review Date: 7/29/2008
Helpful Score: 8


I did run into the same problem I encounter with some of his work. He sets up wonderful concepts and characters in the first third of the novel, they struggle and endure through the second third of the novel, and I spend the final third wondering when the damn thing comes to an end.

Overall, though, The Dead Zone is fun and spooky and weird, which is what I expect when I pick up a King novel.


House of Leaves
House of Leaves
Author: Mark Z. Danielewski
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 145
Review Date: 12/27/2007
Helpful Score: 8


House of Leaves is not s standard novel. Perhaps the literary equivalent to the Blair Witch Project, House of Leaves presents a story within a story, disguised as truth.

The actual text of the book reads as a manuscript, with footnotes by Johnny Truant, the guy who found the aforementioned manuscript in a dead man's apartment. The manuscript itself is about a documentary film about a house that measures larger on the inside than on the outside.

In short, it's a lot of information to process.

The brilliance is not just in the layers, but in the presentation. The actual layout of the letters on the pages play a huge part in the impact of the story on the reader.

If anything, Mark Z. Danielewski does something so utterly smart, so perfect in helping preserve the need for books, real tangible books: He's written a book that cannot be adapted to film, because it's the experience of reading that makes House of Leaves what it is.


Into the Wild
Into the Wild
Author: Jon Krakauer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 1030
Review Date: 7/29/2008


Depressing, yet inspiring. Jon Krakauer explores the final days of Chris McCandless AKA Alexander Supertramp and also delves into the psyche of those who seek to separate themselves from society and immerse themselves in the wild.

As a sidenote, Sean Penn's film serves as a beautiful visual companion to the book.


Jennifer Government
Jennifer Government
Author: Max Barry
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 8/3/2008


Imagine if corporations ran the world, even more so than they do, and the government was just another business, striving for justice, but only if they can find the financial backing to do so.

A fun and all-to-possible vision of the future, Jennifer Government plays out like Joss Whedon and George Orwell found themselves locked together in an ATM vestibule with nothing to do but make up a story.


Lullaby
Lullaby
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 281
Review Date: 7/29/2008
Helpful Score: 1


More mainstream than Haunted and slightly less abrasive than Choke, Lullaby is a fun supernatural mystery. There's also something Orwellian about this book, about his work in general, that examines our culture and asks us, point blank, "What the hell are we thinking?"


Make Your Own Damn Movie!: Secrets of a Renegade Director
Make Your Own Damn Movie!: Secrets of a Renegade Director
Author: Lloyd Kaufman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 12/29/2007


The BEST book for the indie filmmaker's shelf. Lloyd Kaufman provides all the basics and explains just what it takes to make a movie, without any of that pretentious blathering one might find in other filmmaking books.


On Writing
On Writing
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 164
Review Date: 12/29/2007
Helpful Score: 5


Part memoir, part how-to, this is my favorite book about the nuances and elements of writing.

King's an every-man, he doesn't pretend to be anything fancy and he doesn't consider himself to be the end-all, be-all of writing. He simply explains how (and why) he writes.


Running with Scissors : A Memoir
Running with Scissors : A Memoir
Author: Augusten Burroughs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 403
Review Date: 8/16/2008
Helpful Score: 7


I don't think it's fair to write this book off due to "ick" factor.

It's a memoir. This is someone's life. Augusten Burroughs presents an era of his life, the way he perceived it at the time. If you read his later work, you understand that he views the time period that spans the length of this particular book to be a series of very bizarre experiences that he does not consider normal.

But that's the beauty of Running with Scissors. It's the story of a young man who is thrown into the oddest of situations, some of which, yes, are incredibly disturbing. But, as in all of his work, it's Burroughs's dark sense of humor that carries through.


Timeline
Timeline
Author: Michael Crichton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 983
Review Date: 2/3/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Crichton blends quantum physics and medieval history in this adventure story about three grad students who find themselves knee deep in the Middle Ages.

Entertaining, it does drag in spots. The events of the "present" storyline, while vital to the plot at hand, are not nearly as engaging as the jousts and bloodshed happening in Castlegard, three hundred some years ago.


Water for Elephants
Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 4709
Review Date: 7/29/2008
Helpful Score: 1


I, like others, worried that this book was over-hyped, that I would find myself bored and skimming pages just to make it to the final chapter. That didn't happen.

Sara Gruen presents two worlds: A 1930's post-depression train-traveling circus and a present-day assisted care living facility for elderly persons. While most of the story takes place in the former setting, both are populated with vibrant and memorable characters.

Part historical novel, part love-story, part coming of age tale, Water for Elephants is an engaging read about finding yourself and fighting for what you love.


1 to 11 of 11