Graphic Novels, Novels, Random

dendrobiblio’s Top 10 Reads of 2016

10. Stephen King’s the Dark Tower I : IV (1982 : 1997)

A somewhat difficult one to include, Stephen King’s writing, while always entertaining, is similarly always bothersome. The King-isms build and bug me. The Dark Tower series has been no different so far, with the Drawing of the Three and the Waste Lands, in particular, being hampered by bloated writing and awkward pacing. Wizard and Glass, the fourth of an eight-part series (including #4.5), and the last I read this year, was an absolutely engrossing and addictive fantasy yarn. The horror and post-apocalyptic settings were mostly removed in favor of straight fantasy in an extended flashback story — which was worrisome — but Roland’s tale was so focused and wonderfully-told that it alone puts this series on the list. I hope 2017 lets me finish the the final four books.

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Book Reviews, Short Stories, YA

Russell Hoban’s OOP treasures: Nothing to Do (1964) and the Story of Hester Mouse Who Became a Writer (1965)

Nothing to Do

Nothing to Do (1964) is essentially a forgotten volume of Hoban’s famous Frances Badger series. The only differences are that the hero is a possum instead of a badger, and then-spouse Lilian Hoban’s artwork never got the same color treatment here as with the Frances series.

Walter Possum is bored out of his mind, and typical of kids, he’s taking that boredom out on everyone around him in benign, annoying ways. His pops passes on a method to combat boredom whenever it rears its ugly head in Walter’s life. Walter gets a something-to-do stone to keep in his pocket, always. Whenever he finds himself with nothing to do, all he needs to do is rub the smoothed stone he carries, and ~something to do~ will soon come to him from his environment.

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Book Reviews, Novels

Language and history in Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker (1980)

Ful of the Moon Ful of the Moon,
Ful of the Moon nor dont look back
Folleree Folleroo on your track
Oo hoo hoo Yoop yaroo
Folleree Folleroo follering you
If they catch you in the darga,
Arga Warga

Reading Riddley Walker has been one of the most profound and moving experiences I’ve ever had with literature. Every sentence and every word stuck to me, and I couldn’t help but want to get lost in the corrupted language.

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