To be honest I quite enjoyed this. Maybe it was because I was able to read it on its own merits and not having studied it to death at school. (I did study ‘Animal Farm’ and recently argued that it was nearly impossible to now examine that book as anything BUT an analogy for Communism. It’s like Magic Eye puzzles: you can’t help but see it when you’ve had it pointed out to you.)
Already knowing the twists and turns thanks to pop culture it was enjoyable to see the subtle hints towards the ending.
To be frank I’m not going to analyse. There are hundreds of schoolchildren who could do that for me. No snyde “We’re living in a 1984 state” from me!
It can be the case when a book just doesn’t click for you. There were bits that I was reading that my mind wasn’t taking in at all. It is lucky that I knew the plot really from having read a book of Top 10 Dickens stories as a kid. I didn’t care for the characters mostly because I knew what was going to happen. It’s common knowledge how the book ends even if you don’t know the context.
There were bits that I liked. Unsurprisingly these were the opening speech and the last part aka ‘The Famous Bits’. I did enjoy the ending of the book although the melodrama of the penultimate chapter was humorous.
There is an excellent chance I might not like Dickens’ writing style as I never got into the flow of this book.
This does not bode well for the rest of the year.
Maybe one day I will go back to ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ with a fresh pair of eyes.
A friend of mine randomly got a drunk text from a stranger. She then did something that has earned my respect and awe. A transcript of her conversation follows. Some of this may be familiar to you.
Warning:VERY LONG. Also, words that I don't like have been bleeped out. Use your imagination.
[Transcript] Drunk Person:"tortyly drunk riht now. straight men everwhere."
Erykah:"Oh, thank God! I finally made contact! Listen, I need your help, but you're in great danger."
DP:"ni**a say wat?"
E:"Listen, my name's the Doctor. I'm a time traveler, or I was. I'm stuck in 1969 with my friend and I need your help to get my spaceship back."
DP:"u hav a spceshit?"
E:"Yes. It's a big blue box that says 'Police Call Box' on it."
DP:"dat doesnt sound liek a spceshp. gay."
E:"Hey! Don't diss the TARDIS!"
E:"No. TARDIS. Time And Relative Dimension In Space. You see, I'm a Time Lord from ANOTHER planet called Gallifrey."
DP:"y u not there now?"
E:"Well...A long time ago, there was a war and all my people died except for me. I'm the last Time Lord. So I travel through time and space lending a hand wherever I can."
DP:"woahhhh. thats relly sad."
E:"Yes, it is. But now is no time to cry. You're in a lot of danger and you need to help me."
DP:"waot. how r u in 1996?"
E:"I'm in 1969. And it's really complicated."
E:"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff."
E:"Well, try and keep up! Never mind the wibbly stuff. All that matters is that they've taken it! The angels have the phone box."
E:"Have you ever seen like a statue of an angel? At a church or a cemetary or something?"
E:"Well, they're not angels. They're creatures from another worlds. Aliens like me, except they're very, very bad."
DP:"dat maeks sense. they alwys creepeed me out. i thought theyre jus statues tho."
E:"Good eye, you've got. But they're not. They're only statues when you're looking directly at them. Once you look away, they become deadly."
E:"Listen, Lonely assassins, they were called. No-one knows where they came from. They're as old as the universe, or very nearly. They've survived this long as they have the most perfect defence system ever evolved. They are quantum-locked. They don't exist when being observed. The moment they're seen by any other living creature they freeze into rock. No choice. It's a fact of their biology. In the sight of any living thing, they literally turn to stone. And you can't kill a stone. Course, a stone can't kill you either. But then you turn your head away, then you blink, and oh, yes it can! Notice how they always look like they're crying in the cemetaries? They're always covering their eyes?"
DP:"dats nuts! ya, ive seen dat."
E:"There's a reason for that. They're not weeping, they can't risk looking at each other. Their greatest asset is their greatest curse. They can never be seen. The loneliest creatures in the universe. And I'm sorry, I am very, very sorry, it's up to you now.
DP:"but wut can i do? tis was all thrustted uopn me!"
E:"The blue box, it's my time machine. There is a world of time energy in there they could feast on forever. The damage they can do can switch off the sun. You have got to send it back to me!"
DP:"ahhhhhh!!! im scrrd! idk wut 2 do! im srsly gon hav a pnic attck."
E:I'm afraid I can't help you any further. I'm stuck in 1969, but I think you're clever enough to think of something. FIND THE BLUE BOX AND GET IT BACK TO ME! The angels have it and you NEED to find it or it's all going to be over."
DP:"dont go doctr! help me!11211!!"
E:"They're coming. The angels are coming for you. But listen, your life could depend on this. Don't blink! Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead. They are fast, faster than you can believe. Don't turn your back, don't look away, and don't blink! Good luck!"
DP:"ik! angels hng out in gravyards rite? ill check thar 1st."
E:"Wherever you feel the need to look. I have no idea because I'm trapped 42 years in the past. Wherever you do go, just remember DON'T BLINK."
DP:"omfg. holy shit. i'll find teh box and teh angels and ill text u wen i find it. goodbi doctr. uve liked changgged me life."
Review: The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins
Okay. This is the big one. As the Twilight films come to an end, the film of this book is supposedly coming into to fill the void.
Rightly so. Without getting into a long Twilight rant THIS is the sort of book I would like. Yes, the main character can be blind to blinding obvious. “He says he likes me…HE’S A GOOD ACTOR!” But the narration is first person present so you can forgive that. At least she does something and kicks butt rather than mope about a corpse. (That’s what vampires are, love. Animated corpses. Stick to werewolves. They have a pulse.)
The book is Battle Royale crossed with The Wind Singer. (I should read that trilogy again. It was fun.) Twelve distrects send two children to go and fight on television to the delight of the Capital and as a warning. (Go on, raise eyebrows and bash reality TV. I’m not stopping you.) Katniss volunteers to take the place of her sister and thus fights for her life.
Am I saying it was a great book? Nope. But it flows and I got invested so that kept me happy.
It’s another one of those series that I feel might be over-hyped. (The fanfiction I read decided to resolve the ending in the exact say way and I read about four or five. Yes, that was a useful way of ending things but REALLY?) But it’s exciting and I hope the film is good. I’m also looking forward to the worried parents exploding at the fact teenagers are killing each other for sport.
You know how it goes. You have a friend who kind of annoys you. Never pays for himself, a bit of a loudmouth bigot. So you and your friends push him into a ravine because hell, it’s what the Greeks would have done!
The narrator Richard Papen transfers to Hampden College in New England where he joins the Ancient Greek course taught by Julian Morrow, an elite group of just five. Richard manages to get into the group and everything seems rosy. They go on picnics and have holidays. Really it’s like Brideshead but with the homosexual undertones let loose. Then things get ‘weird’…er. The way it is written just makes things like Bachee like orgies in the woods seem like a normal part of life which I guess they are for some.
Due to my upbringing, I know boarding schools are pretty weird places and this kind of backs it up.
Review Rivers of London (Peter Grant, #1) by Ben Aaronovitch
This is sort of a U.K version of the Dresden Files.
A London P.C tries to take witness statement after a grizzly murder. Turns out the witness is a ghost. This kicks things off with vampires and the war between the personification of the various rivers that make up the Thames. And people’s faces fall off which is always a plus.
It’s pretty dark urban fantasy but not to a Constantine level. People do get shot and bad things happen to babies but…there’s a puppet show? Anyway, I enjoyed the book and look forward to where the series will go.