‘Book Reviews’ Category Archives

27
Jan

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by Lynn Demarest in Book Reviews

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Viagra samples I haven’t read a single Harry Potter book, viagra samples nor have I watched the movies. Viagra samples Wizards just aren’t my thing. Viagra samples But when Harry and his friends grew up and JK Rowling decided to write something different, viagra samples I put it on my list.

Viagra samples After all, viagra samples how could millions of Potter fans be wrong?

Viagra samples They weren’t wrong. Viagra samples The Casual Vacancy is beautifully written, viagra samples with obvious care and love. Viagra samples That said, viagra samples it’s not a story with a beginning a middle and an end. Viagra samples Rather, viagra samples it is a sketch of a small town with an ensemble cast whose relative station in the small society has no bearing on how flawed they are — and everyone is pretty-well flawed, viagra samples although some have better excuses than others. Viagra samples There is female pedophilia (albeit unconsummated), viagra samples child abuse, viagra samples spouse abuse, viagra samples bullying, viagra samples drug abuse, viagra samples rape, viagra samples but surprisingly no murder.

Viagra samples There are so many characters I got confused about who was who, viagra samples but after about 300 pages (which the lovely writing got me through) the characters suddenly became clear.  I was busy with work and therefore read the book in fits and starts, viagra samples so that may have affected how difficult it was for me to keep things straight. Viagra samples A reference list of the characters is here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Casual_Vacancy#Characters

Viagra samples Introducing so many characters, viagra samples even in a 500-page tome, viagra samples makes it difficult to know any one of them very well. Viagra samples Here are the ones that I remember best:

Viagra samples a. Viagra samples Howard Mollison : The town’s main power broker, viagra samples an obese deli-owner and father of Miles, viagra samples who stands for and wins the city council seat vacated by Barry’s sudden death. Viagra samples Howard’s weight gives him breathing problems, viagra samples heart attacks, viagra samples and a stubborn rash that grows in the hidden crevices of flesh. Viagra samples Fat as he is, viagra samples he apparently manages to have an affair with his female business partner.

Viagra samples b. Viagra samples Samantha Mollison : Miles’ wife, viagra samples Howard’s daughter-in-law, viagra samples who has a penchant for young boys that goes unsatisfied save for getting drunk and kissing a 16-year-old, viagra samples which she notes is legal.

Viagra samples c. Viagra samples Krystal Weedon : Daughter of a heroin addict, viagra samples sister-mother to the toddler Robbie, viagra samples who tromps around in a sodden diaper. Viagra samples In a twisted effort to get her brother away from their mother, viagra samples she decides to get pregnant, viagra samples which will force the government to give her her own apartment. Viagra samples She tells the toddler to wait as she shags a boy (Fats) behind a bush, viagra samples but the little boy gets distracted after finishing the candy she’s bought him, viagra samples wanders off, viagra samples and winds up drowning in the rushing river.

Viagra samples d. Viagra samples Stuart “Fats” Wall : Friend of Andrew Price, viagra samples his relationship with the lower-class Krystal horrifies his parents. Viagra samples His father is a school administrator. Viagra samples He has a sort of “natural born killers” philosophy: To thine own self be true, viagra samples even if you’re a bastard.

Viagra samples e. Viagra samples Andrew Price : Son of Simon Price, viagra samples a huckster who decides to run for Barry’s council seat to enjoy the graft he assumes is part of the deal. Viagra samples Simon abuses his wife and children. Viagra samples Fats breaks into the city website and, viagra samples assuming the role of the Ghost_of_Barry_Fairbrother, viagra samples posts a message that gets his father sacked.

Viagra samples f. Viagra samples Kay Bowden, viagra samples who follows a love interest (Gavin) to the small town only to get dumped by him. Viagra samples Andrew is sweet on Kay’s beautiful daughter, viagra samples Gaia, viagra samples who hates the little town.

Viagra samples g. Viagra samples Gavin Hughes, viagra samples Barry’s friend, viagra samples who falls in love with Barry’s wife, viagra samples Mary, viagra samples after Barry’s death. Viagra samples He breaks up with Kay and then Mary rejects him.

Viagra samples h. Viagra samples Sukhvinder Jawanda, viagra samples daughter of a surgeon and a doctor, viagra samples a black sheep who gains credibility when she tries to save the drowning Robbie.

Viagra samples That said, viagra samples I don’t feel like I know any of the characters that well, viagra samples although I wouldn’t mind reading more about them. Viagra samples In that way, viagra samples The Casual Vacancy, viagra samples felt like an introduction to a town about which much more could be said.

Viagra samples My nits:

Viagra samples 1. Viagra samples A lifetime ago, viagra samples a different Harry (Crews) beat into me and his other writing students that if you fail to bring a character to life before you kill him, viagra samples no reader will care. Viagra samples Of course, viagra samples every Law and Order episode ever written violates this rule, viagra samples and so does The Casual Vacancy, viagra samples which opens with the sudden death of one of the town’s leaders, viagra samples Barry Fairbrother. Viagra samples Even the deaths of Robbie and Krystal — which come at the very end — meant little to me. Viagra samples Krystal’s overdosing on her mother’s heroin also was hard to believe, viagra samples considering how much she hated her mother using.

Viagra samples 2. Viagra samples One chapter ends with Andrew (or was it his friend Fats?) showing his father how to break into the city’s website and become The_Ghost_of_Barry_Fairbrother. Viagra samples The implication was that we’d return to the scene. Viagra samples We never do.

Viagra samples 3. Viagra samples I felt like I was being told how people felt, viagra samples and why, viagra samples rather than being shown. Viagra samples Then again, viagra samples the book might have been 1, viagra samples000 pages had she tried to cram in that much detail about so many characters.

Viagra samples 4. Viagra samples I could, viagra samples perhaps, viagra samples buy one character in a small town knowing about SQL Injection, viagra samples but three?

Viagra samples 5. Viagra samples Does every last character need to be so flawed? There are good people in the world, viagra samples aren’t there?

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 183 user reviews.

2
Dec

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by Lynn Demarest in Book Reviews, Miscellaneous

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Viagra online ordering “MFA in a Box” is a beautifully written book not so much about the mechanics as the psychology of fiction writing. Viagra online ordering The author, viagra online ordering a beloved professor of creative writing in the northwest, viagra online ordering argues that the best authors endeavor like Buddhas to dive into awful truths everyday people wanting to maintain their sanity naturally avoid.

Viagra online ordering Rember echoes the advice of my old writing teacher, viagra online ordering the deceased Harry Crews, viagra online ordering when he implors aspiring novelists to be so honest their mother (and everyone else) despises them — to trust where the story wants to go and go there. Viagra online ordering (A task easier done, viagra online ordering Rember notes, viagra online ordering by authors who reject the idea that stories belong to them and accept the idea that they belong to the stories.)

Viagra online ordering The subtitle of the book is “A Why to Write Book” but I contend that the book is really still a “how to write” book; it is full of advice about how to enter into the forbidden zone where the truth lurks and come back sane enough to keep from blowing your brains out a la Hemingway.

Viagra online ordering One strange thing: Rember rather consistently uses “may be” in place of “maybe.” For me, viagra online ordering it was a little distracting and made me wonder if he couldn’t have used an editor instead of just a spell checker. Viagra online ordering

Viagra online ordering A single reading is probably insufficient.

Viagra online ordering Read King’s “On Writing” first, viagra online ordering but don’t neglect this insightful advice from a man who should know.

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 152 user reviews.

24
Nov

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by Lynn Demarest in Book Reviews, Miscellaneous

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Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 168 user reviews.