Showing posts tagged books

I just started reading The Reapers are the Angels, by Alden Bell (pen name of Joshua Gaylord) after accidentally dropping in on a sale in my local indie book store (did I just use an adverb in a post where I intend to bash them mercilessly? (oh damn!, I did it again)). This isn’t going well.

Anyhow… the book starts off very well. The main character is interesting, though it took me a while to get a grip on her age, and so is the setting (Zombie apocalypse? yes please.) Alden Bell’s prose is a mix of Hemingway and McCarthy but slightly less taxing on the reader. So, overall, rather good. But then, much like the zombies in the book, I ran into a literary tool that just won’t die.

And then the zombies stagger in.

The following short paragraph is from a point early in the story where our hero, Temple, enters a house and meets three of the undead.

Temple has forgotten how bad they smell – that muddy mixture of must and putrefaction, oil and rancid shit. She sees a faecal ooze sliding wetly down  the back of the woman’s legs. They must have fed recently, so they will be strong. And they are between her and the stairs.

Did you see that? Did you? How about this, on the very next page:

She reaches behind her, feels around for anything and comes up with a screwdriver which she grips hard and drives into the man’s neck. He lets go and totters backwards, but the angle of the screwdriver is wrong, it goes straight through rather than up into the brain, so he begins to walk in circles gurglingliquidly and opening and closing his jaw.

If I hadn’t been reading about a girl literally kicking the shit our of three zombies I would have thrown the book to the floor. Not because the adverbs are bad, per se, but because they are so frighteningly unnecessary (see what I did there?).

I still recommend the book though.

George Martin, on the other hand, made me shout at one of his books (I’m pretty sure it was A Storm of Swords) when he described a character, just seconds after sex.

His manhood glistened wetly.

Really, George, really? Really?

** EXTRA EXTRA**

This post originally appeared on my *gasp* Wordpress blog, where Alden Bell himself responded in the comments. Turns out he’s not just a good author (despite occasional adverb overuse), he’s also a really cool guy. 


10 Fun Literary Insults
2. “I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”― Mark Twain
6. “She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say ‘when.’”
― P.G. Wodehouse
More on the blog… 

10 Fun Literary Insults

2. “I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
― Mark Twain

6. “She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say ‘when.’”

― P.G. Wodehouse

More on the blog… 

The most important part of a book is the first chapter, the first paragraph, the first sentence.
Read the rest of my thoughts on starting a book right on the blog.

The most important part of a book is the first chapter, the first paragraph, the first sentence.

Read the rest of my thoughts on starting a book right on the blog.

It’s you young folks what’s got to make the changes," she said. "Y’all’s the ones. You got to lead and you got to fight and move us all on up a little higher. And I tell you something else, it’s the ones from the South that’s got to do it, them what knows the fire and ain’t forgot how it burns. Up here too many forgits. They finds a place for theyselves and forgits the ones on the bottom. Oh, heap of them talks about doing things, but they done really forgot. No, it’s you young ones what has to remember and take the lead.
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

The Journey Begins…

I remember feeling like this when picking up a book. What happened to those days?

Neil Gaiman talar um “stuld” á efni á netinu, ólöglegt niðurhal og framvegis. Álit hans kemur etv mörgum á óvart.

Næst á dagskrá

Bókin Room eftir Emmu Donaghue verður klárlega næsta bók sem ég les (í ljósi þess að ég lánaði frá mér Carrion Comfort sem hefði annars verið næst).

Bókin fjallar um Jack, sem er fimm ára og býr með mömmu sinni í Herberginu. Þau leika sér saman á dagin, læra og lesa. En á kvöldin er Jack settur í Skápin áður en Nick kemur í heimsókn.

Jack og móðir hans eru semsagt lokið inni í gluggalausu herbergi, Joseph Fritzl-style. Bókin er sögð frá sjónarhorni Jack og verður án efa áhugaverð lesning. Þá er bara að drífa sig að klára The City & The City

No poet has yet treated the most poignant bereavement of all - that of the man half-way through a detective-story who finds himself at bedtime without the book
P. G. Wodehouse

(Source: foliosociety.com)