Puslapiai

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Vallerie Tasso - Diary of a Nymphomaniac


 The first time when I “met” Vallerie Tasso was while watching her book “Diary of a Nymphomaniac” movie (Diario de una ninfomana) and now I finally got to the book that has been dusting in my shelves for ages. While movie wasn’t bad, book is a lot better, filled with all those little details that makes me love biographies, memoires and even internet diaries people write.

 

  It’s easy to read this book and, as I understand it, it’s the writer herself telling of her life via diary. French girl Vale tells a very interesting story of how life tough her to change her skin (yes, like a snake) and adjust to situations, for only that way we can bring ourselves back on our feet. Oddly, it also tells a wonderful story of how a male-stud is not equal to female-whore/slut. As Val is a nymphomaniac as she calls herself (yes, I could disagree with this a bit, but I won’t), it’s only natural that until the last page of the book she manages to sleep with quite a load of men. And yet I doubt that there will be many readers who will say a bad word about this woman. Therefor – Vallerie Tasso here answers the age old question of “why a man who had many women is a stud and a woman who had many men is a tramp”. I can’t guarantee any love for this book, for it was plainly too simple and easy, as a diary might be in the end, but hell, it’s not a waste of time to spare some for it.

 

  Book is easy to read, easy I guess even for slow-readers. Story is not the most interesting thing you will ever see, but it’s easy-reading and worth at least a six out of ten (6/10). Afterwards you might want to wish to watch the movie too, well, make sure to get subtitles for it and if you live with your parents – you might want them out before you do. (Also, I guess I should add – it’s not recommended for non-adult audience

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Lots of sci-fi in one piece

  I’ve been cleaning my books, searching what could I give to somebody, what could I sell, what is good enough to be a present and my eye got caught by a local publishers published very first edition of fantasy series called “Worlds Fantasy Gold Fund”. The book contained several stories by several different American authors, to be exact, this is what I found:

Isaac Asimov “Nightfall”

  Isaac Asimov always knew how to use simple little pictures we are fully used to, but other creatures might not be and scare us, like some Lovecraft or other genius of “they don’t know what we are and hardly care about knowing”. This story speaks of a distant planet with a hell-load of suns shining over it, people there don’t even know for sure what spins around what, but they also never see night, never see stars. Darkness scares them, gives them claustrophobia. Shouldn’t be worrisome, when you have a bloody load of suns spinning in your sky every minute. Except for the fact, that once in like two-three thousands of years a total eclipse comes and stars appear in absolute darkness. Was universe as small as those people thought? Will stars, as their religion says, truly take the souls and leave man-shell to live on as a senseless beast? Well, that’s the beauty of this book. Go figure it out.
I'll rate this 10-10

Robert Silverberg “To see the Invisible Man”

  A story with a huge load of potential, yet, not used well enough. At some point in future a friend could sue you for being too cold with them. Possible punishment – a stamp, like a seal, on your forehead which indicates society – you do not exist. They are not allowed to see you, therefore they will do everything to pretend – you’re not there. Even if you take something of theirs, even if you come in uninvited – they may NOT see you. Seems fun? Well now think about it. What if you cross the road and some wicked driver remembers “hey, I don’t see that man, right?” and rides right on you. By law, he didn’t see you, he is not punished. And you wouldn’t even get medical treatment – you do not exist for this society!
  Would be all fun and good if author really used this all. Instead he decided to meddle in same old lame little “human nature to be wish other humans” thing. Fuzzy little warm story. Not my type, sorry.
I'll rate this 5-10

Philip Jose Farmer “The Sliced-Crosswise Only-On-Tuesday World”

  Hm. Well… Do you know that story where a man and a wife really loved each other, were really poor but on some special occasion wanted to give to the other something very nice and special, so woman sold her wonderful hair to buy a chain for her husbands most loved clock and that man sold his favorite clock to buy some sort of a thing for her beautiful hair? Well, it’s that, just in different words.
  All is in future, again, yes. In this world people are only allowed to live on specific days, say, you are only allowed to live three days per week, your friend – three other days and those days do not match and you see each other only when you sit in some coffin-like sphere, separated from the world, waiting for your turn to live, therefore – never speak. Here an ancient story of three begins – He sees a Wednesday girl and falls in love. She sees a Tuesday boy and falls in love. But they can never be together. Ever.
  And then they both find a way to be together. Both find the SAME way. And both do it. Are you following my drift? No? Then go read it. I didn’t like it, but somebody might.
I'll rate this 2-10

Robert Sheckley “The Last Weapon”

  Short, not interesting story of a way to destroy yourself. Every, even most well-going civilization is creating weapons. Sometimes those weapons are too perfect.
I'll rate this 1-10

Fritz Leiber “I’ll Met in Lankhmar”

  This is some sort of a middle-story from Lankhmar stories. With this one I have two and loved them both, therefore right away I recommend it.
  Fantasy, not sci-fi world this time. Two hilarious men meet in a most prestigious city of all their world. One is Viking-like, red-haired dude from depths of north. The other one is kind of scrawny, quick and agile, dark-haired from somewhere South. Fafhrd and Grey Mouser. Yes, those are the names. Both are younger than they seem and funnier than they think they are. And while this story gives little impression of theirs, it’s still worth taking. Afterwards their adventures go wilder and wilder, say, once they stole a house. Yes. Whole house.
I'll rate this 9-10

Fredric Brown “The Dome”

  I’d say, the story is too short to leave any impression in general. It’s all about this one stupid man who closed himself in a dome for thirty years to avoid the consequences of a nuclear war. Problem is – what if he missed out on something grander than some petty little war?
I'll rate this 4-10

Harry Harrison “The Streets of Askhalon”

  Alright, now this story impressed me enough.
  I believe a lot of you met the idea somewhere in your life, that religion was dragging civilization backwards, not allowing full-speed progress. In this story we are given this very thought yet in different way.
  There was a nation far in the universe. They believed in the Truth and wanted knowledge only. No gold, no wars, no fights interested them. Just knowledge. That was until a missioner landed by their home, with a bible in his hands…
  Stories like this are seen often in history books, especially those that speak of colonies, Native Americans and all the others. With religion we are given absolutely different state of mind, one that is hard to break through. But just like a hard stone – it can give you little answers, while not caring about your own.
Wonderful piece of story. I’d rate this 10-10.

Ray Bradbury “The Lost City of Mars”

  Another story in oh-so-distant Mars. A story that didn’t use a damn bit of it’s possible potential. Sure, maybe it IS interesting for somebody to read about a bunch of bored snobs or simply rich people who got nothing else better to do but go seek sort of a Atlantis of Mars. And naturally, what technology that brought them to Mars didn’t find – they will find in just a handful of hours. And then it’s up to them to understand so why the hell mars-people ran away from that damned town as if devils were after them.
  I’d rate this 2-10, points for steampunk sense.

Taking it whole, all these stories as one I’d say it was pretty good, yet for this English-attempt-blog I will mark each story on it’s own instead, so that you could pick out what you’d like and what not.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Gustav Meyrink - The Golem

Very first couple of chapters of Gustav Meyrink book “The Golem” (Der Golem) will break into your mind and cause a slight mayhem in that overfilled skull of a reader. But when fever ceases and illusions pass, leaving both reader and hero as single persons – the book will refuse to let the reader go. It’s a wonderful piece of horror classic.

Story filled with occultic and kabbalistic images tells a story of a jew, Athanasius Pernath. I can’t be sure anymore, but I believe it all starts somewhere around the appearance of the Golem in jewish ghetto in Prague. Story must be followed properly, which makes this book second choice if you wished to relax and just slip to some romance. It’s full with wonderful things of course, but at same time you are not allowed to slip, otherwise the fragile dome of miracles will fall. There’s everything there, simple stuff, like creation of cameos, intrigues, even a little detective-like story which rather reminded me books by Dostoyevsky, and beside it all you see signs, visions from Ancient Egypt, from Tarot cards, from Kabbala books. I still do believe that book becomes easier to understand when Athanasius gets arrested. Yes, that happens, spoiler alert and arrest me too for it. There author gets limited tools to manipulate, so story must flow smoothly there. Still, somebody must tell that story. Even if a somnambulistic man who travels in his dreams…

The book is well written, well translated to Lithuanian if anyone cares too. There’s plenty of information and interesting story, with turns and twists, and well held intrigue for ending surprised even me. Trust me, it’s not easy to make me surprised in a book and even less possible with a movie. Yet in this book I honestly loved the mix of all those things that a good horror story needs, a little bit of gothic charm, a little bit of phantasmagoric insanity and two cold, wax-like feeling hands holding the head of the reader, to keep it steady in the book… Read it and you’ll know. I’ll give it 8-10 and will rate it as a good read without a doubt.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Dalia Jazukeviciute - Confession of an Anarchist

At around the time when I began reading properly serious books, I also began to noticed how much do writers struggle to end their book right. It’s really a talent not all find in themselves, yet I am happy to say, that I notice these good endings in books of my native writers, Lithuanian writers, including Dalia Jazukeviciute and her book “Confession of an Anarchist” (LT: Anarchistes Ispazintis), which I finished few days ago yet couldn’t get myself to arrange the thoughts on paper and then into digital space.

It’s worth it to be born. Just so you can deny your mortality.” 9p.

  You read the book and feel it’s influence, influence for self / reader, influence for heroes. I always loved books about heavy readers, who often speak about their books and shelves who are creaking under them. And here I have one more to tell about. So, in this book we visit Katherine N., a reader who is also a not-so-little crazy anarchist. Got to admire her view to life – live and let others live, her simple yet right, yet so rarely seen in real life ideals. Got to admire her flow of thoughts too, as it fills tens of pages, shows a tiny little dialogue and starts again. Specific philosophy of a human being who wishes to simply be as all the rest are. But of course, this book is not about a woman who sat on her books and kept thinking about things. Instead it’s filled with job changes, friend losses, men, fear to become part of the grey mass outside the window. I guess, it’s a book about developing a personality, developing yourself as a person, growing and changing.
  It’s written in first person perspective. Thoughts flow like in Prozac Nation, same heavy stream that leaves you wondering. It’s simple and it’s good, and it’s the first book of this author. There for I will give it 9/10, and while I can’t put it amongst favorites, I will still recommend it to those who can read it, just so, to have some good reading for a day or two.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Jude Deveraux - A Perfect Arrangement

Jude Deveraux, just like Nora Roberts, write what others dare not in fear of creating something cheesy. Yet I have some favorites from both of them, so I thought – hey, why not? Especially as book is thin and little, and it was so worn that I expected something… Sadly, Jude Deveraux book “A Perfect Arrangement” shall receive no compliments and I will not be a Devil’s Advocate this time.
  It all starts in 1882, America. Rich middle-ages lady gets her pond shaken by good-willing sister-wind – let’s find you a husband, my ugly little sis! And all starts. Do you know those movies where one person asks friend to pretend to be something more than just a friend for a night or two and in the end of the movie they actually fall in love? Well this book is a cowboy version of that. A poor one too.
  Taking it from writer’s perspective who JUST writes and cares not for plot – book is written good, ends more or less meet, a high-point or two exist. I assume it spoke of how woman can be pretty without being pretty? An ugly duckling with a fascinating mind? And in the end she turns gorgeous by wearing a whore-dress, literally. So, yes. I’ll rate it 2/10 and will shut up right away.

Pardon me, couldn't find the damn cover.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Bibliophilia

Nowadays I didn’t really felt like writing or reading. Yet I still kept walking around the town, around the books, book stores and libraries. Had enough time to think why all those bloggers who claim to “write for themselves” don’t write into a notebook, or Word document, or don’t set their journals “private” instead, also – why one book store can push out another one out of business so easy, and where all the demand for books go, leaving no offers because of that either? And why there ain’t no bright, correct, clearly visible and nice price tags on books, like on noodles or soda?
  Instead of some store at our local mall, I’m not even sure who went out of business, a new book store has opened. The bad thing about is, is that our old one appears to be going bankrupt because of this. In a way it’s both good and bad. Good – they might make a final sale. Bad – they used to have books we won’t get anywhere else in our town. For instanced, they USED TO have books by our fantasy publishers “Eridanas”. Those guys tend to pick out marvelous treasures from time to time and I would really be sad if they went bankrupt too, because of bigger publishers. And this new book store? Nothing special, nothing interesting.
  I also dragged myself to the library where by purest accident I again took a handful of books and again they are not from the list “to read”. All sorts of silly little romances keep sliding under my claws. But that’s another thing. Either way I wanted something easy, simple, something to help me pass time until there’s something good to wait and expect. Also, in our library they gave light-bulb shaped reflectors, with our town signature-place drawn on it – the power-station. I needed one, so it was a nice little thing. I suggest those nearby going to get one too, for they are quite nice indeed. They’re placed in baskets by librarians, with a big poster above.
  Hmm. What else? Ah yes, copy of my native-language blog. This is THE copy. I can’t promise I will update it fully, as I do that one, but I will try, for there was a demand for it. But then again I have quite a few projects on my hands. So we’ll see, Nosferatus. Pardon my mistakes, by the way...

Native Blog is here: Bibliofilai