WWW Wednesday 7/8/2015

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What are you currently reading?

Tess of d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

For Study:  The Ramayana by Ramesh Menon

 

What did you just finish reading?

Empire of Sin by Gary Krist

Trollhunters by Guillermo del Torro

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene

Trust No One by Paul Cleave

Awake by Dan Chaon

 

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Trollhunters

Trolls get a pretty bad rep in the fantasy world. They are dumb, slow, dirty, mean. Really the only likeable trolls I have ever seen have been in Frozen…I’ve yet to see Boxtrolls, so maybe those are ok too. But for the most part, trolls are pretty foul creatures.

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The mind of Guillermo del Toro is a wild and crazy place, so when I saw he had a new book coming out, I jumped at the chance to read it. I was not disappointed.

There’s something afoot in San Bernadino. It begins in 1967 when hundreds of kids go missing suddenly. Then, just as soon as it began, it stopped. Now, it’s starting again. Jim, whose dad has always been afraid of his own shadow, is starting to wonder about those bumps in the night. But when those “bumps” come for him, he finds out they are actually recruiting him to help save the town from the real problem–the Voldemort of the troll world. He had been defeated in 1967, but now he’s back, and seriously pissed off.

Trollhunters is no sophisticated novel, my friends, but the kids are going to love it. It’s akin to Goosebumps and Gremlins, and everything wonderful about middle school horror from the 80s and 90s. Deliciously ridiculous and just enough cheese and slime. Put this in the hands of a 10 year old and they will not come out of their room until it is finished. It’s one of those books that you just expect to find on a library shelf in worn paperback–I mean, did the Goosebumps books ever actually look pristine, or did they just come off the printer torn and dirty?

I’m not sure if del Toro has plans for a movie on this one. 2015 is almost too high quality for it. It needs to be on a fuzzy VHS tape. You’ll know what I mean when you read it.

 

NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review. Published June 30.

The Marble Faun

Have I ever told you guys how much I hate Nathaniel Hawthorne?

I hate Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I don’t know why. I’ve never really been able to figure it out. I’ve tried to read The Scarlet Letter several times and have not once been able to get through the whole thing.

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Because The Marble Faun is on the Boxall’s list (along with a few other Hawthornes), I knew I’d have to get to it eventually…but I wasn’t looking forward to it. So, when it came due on my TBR, I figured I might as well get it out of the way.

It wasn’t AS torturous as I expected it to be…better than TSL, but still not great. Kind of wonky, actually. Very much not what I expected from an author I had previously only known in connection to a Puritan shame novel.

The Marble Faun is essentially a book of painting and sculpture descriptions, mixed in with gothic mystery and darkness. At first there is quite a lot of garden frolicking, that made me think of Fantasia or Midsummer Night’s Dream. But then, it starts to turn quite dark, and though I haven’t seen it, I started to make a connection to Pan’s Labyrinth.

And then, all of the sudden, there Pan was. The faun himself was quite a big part of the story, along with quite a dark, deep mysterious place that read an awful lot like the scenes I’ve seen (ha) from Guillermo de Toro’s vision. Now, I couldn’t find any relationship online between the movie and Hawthorne’s book, but I am certainly going to watch GDT’s film this weekend and see if what I have in my head is as interesting as I picture!

Has anyone read and seen both? I’d be curious if I’m the only one making the connection.

As far as the book goes, it wasn’t bad. The prose is typical Hawthorne, just very long and tedious (maybe that’s why I don’t care for him?) so it was hard to stay focused for long, but the lore was interesting. I certainly want to read more about Pan. Miriam was a little annoying though–very egotistical.

I can now say I’ve successfully completed a Hawthorne book. With one under my belt, maybe I can complete some others without scorning…though probably not.

 

Fulfill’s Boxall #84