Blood on Snow – Review

Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbø

Published in 2015

Neil Smith Translation

Pages: 208

Genre: Scandinavian crime fiction

“The snow was dancing like cotton wool in the light of the street lamps.”

Jo Nesbø sets his 2015 novel, Blood on Snow, in Oslo, Norway circa 1977. Following the events after a contract killer is given a surprising job by his employer, the story dives into the gritty world behind the scenes of the Norwegian city. There is a lot of blood, snow, and questions of credibility as the tale weaves itself in a terminal spiral. Continue reading “Blood on Snow – Review”

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Cabinet of Curiosities – Review

Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions by Guillermo del Toro and Marc Scott Zicree

Published in 2013

Pages: 263

Genre: Nonfiction, collector book

“For Guillermo del Toro, it all starts with the eye – or, more accurately, the lens.”

Guillermo del Toro has come to prominence in the Hollywood system for his work directing the films Blade II (2002), Hellboy (2004), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), and Pacific Rim (2013); however, the truth of the artist and his abilities exceeds that with which many of us associate him. The aim of Cabinet of Curiosities, co-written by del Toro and Marc Scott Zicree, is to open the doors into a visionary filmmaker’s mind and conjure all the wonderful, strange, and sometimes frightening aspects of his genius. From famous movie monsters to Pre-Raphaelite painters, comic books to art cinema, the scope of influences del Toro harnesses in his work is as engulfing as the man’s kind personality.

Bleak House.jpg
The entryway of del Toro’s Bleak House.

Continue reading “Cabinet of Curiosities – Review”

Mere Christianity – Review

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

Published in 1952

Pages: 227

Genre: Apologetics, theology, Christianity

“Every one has heard people quarreling.”

Many people are familiar with C. S. Lewis through his science fiction and fantasy novels, but the author was much more than a fiction writer. A war veteran, an academic, a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien (for a time) and a former atheist, Lewis converted to the Church of England and became what is known as a Christian apologist; those who seek to defend the faith using reason and logic. In Mere Christianity, Lewis attempts to filter the basic beliefs of Christians and present them in a way that is palatable. Continue reading “Mere Christianity – Review”

Geek Love – Review

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Published in 1989

Pages: 348

Genre: Novel

“When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets,” Papa would say, “she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.”

Come one, come all, and see the strange weirdness of Binewski’s Carnival Fabulon! Narrated by Oly, the hunchback, albino dwarf, Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love is an esoteric tale of love, lust, and infatuation that challenges the accepted norms of our society. Embrace the weird, hold onto the ugly, and cast away the normal with a story that is thought-provoking in its blunt honesty. Continue reading “Geek Love – Review”

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Review

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

First published in 1891; 2008 Penguin Classics edition

Pages: 213

Genre: Philosophical novel, English literature

“The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden there came through the open door the heavy scent of lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.”

High class intrigue and the virtues of vice are among many subjects covered in Oscar Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. A tragic tale of beauty, its merits, and corruption, the novel follows the life of eponymous character Dorian Gray. One day, the young man makes a Faustian request that entwines his fate with that of his portrait, and brings him into situations and deeds that make the loftier classes blush. Continue reading “The Picture of Dorian Gray – Review”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Review

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Published in 1999

Pages: 213

Genre: Young adult novel, coming of age story, epistolary

“August 25, 1991

Dear friend,

I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.”

It is statements like this that make Charlie, the protagonist and narrator of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, a likable and identifiable character. His story is told through a series of letters to an unnamed recipient that describe Charlie’s life during his freshman year of high school. Comprised of difficult subjects and, at times, brutal honesty, Charlie’s letters reveal the difficulty of finding one’s place within the microcosm of high school. Continue reading “The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Review”

The History of Love – Review

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Published in 2005

Pages: 254

Genre: Immigrant novel, lost literature, pastiche

“When they write my obituary.”

As befits a story of difficult subject matter, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss begins with thoughts on mortality. A winding tale of love, loss, death, and life, The History of Love is not for the faint of heart; through seemingly disparate stories, the narrative twists itself in intersecting trails to come together in the end and create a story whose sum is as beautiful as its parts. Concerning writers, books, tragedy, and humanity, The History of Love is a book that views interaction and life through a clear lens. Continue reading “The History of Love – Review”