08 June 2004

Still More 50 Books

Oh how I love to read,
I like few things better.
Like a burning, itching need,
Only writing is better.

Well, we all know I'm a lousy poet, no?

  1. Dracula by Bram Stoker. Yes, I finally finished Dracula. I love this book. The structure, the way it's made up of excerpts from journals and telegrams and such always made it seem much more contemporary (postmodern, almost?). It's easy to see why it's an enduring classic. Interestingly, I wasn't as impressed by the faithfulness of the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula (the one with Gary Oldman as the main bloodsucker) as I was last time. When I first watched the moive, I thought Keanu Reeves did a really, really bad job of portraying Jonathan Harker. But then I read the book and thought, "Hunh, Jonathan Harker really is a weenie." But I didn't think so this time (in the book, I mean). He seemed much more like the gentle and sensitive, yet strong, soul that Mina described in her parts of the book. I wonder why I didn't see that last time? Anyway, I also noticed quite a few plot differences between book and movie, though most of them make sense (or could be argued to make sense) in terms of translation from one medium to another. Did you know that in the book, Mina and Dracula don't even meet until near the end, after Jonathan has returned? Interesting.
  2. The Death of an Ardent Bibliophile by Bartholomew Gill. This is one that my sister, Sue, signed out of the library and I decided to read because of the title. I couldn't put the damn thing down. The writing wasn't perfect (but it was good), but the characters were engaging and the setting (Dublin) interesting. And it had rare books in. I read it nearly in one (very long) sitting.
  3. Thirteenth Night by Alan Gordon. Another one Sue is responsible for. I was waiting for her in the car one day, and picked up a book she was returing to the library and started to read the first paragraph. I was hooked immediately, but it was the second book about the character. So I pried myself away and got Thirteenth Night from the library. The main character is the fool Feste from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (which I had to dig out and read concurrently), who returns to town to solve a murder. Imagine all the fools and jesters of old belonging to a secret society.
  4. The Gathering Dark by Christopher Golden. Chistopher Golden co-created the Ghosts of Albion videos along with Amber Benson (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I really liked Ghosts of Albion, so I picked this up tp see what his writing is like. It's very good, but for some reason it took me a long time to get into this. I think it may have partly been because the structure is pretty much the same as any other third-person-multiple-viewpoint genre novel. Show one character doing something for a while, then skip to another character, and so on. Then show things going wrong in the lives of those characters, then finally bring all the characters together. Anyway, the writing was good enough that it did finally pull me in, and kept pulling me back, so I read this rather thick book quite quickly.

So I'm still working through the pile of fiction I got from the library, but I think I may go back to some more cool science once I'm done. For a little while. And then it'll be time to get back to my League of Extraordinay Reading. Either Poe or Verne, probably. Or possibly Wells.

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