October 2, 2008
So enamoured are we with the film adaptation of this book that we forget how utterly fucked up the original story is. Within its pages are a beheading, a heroin-induced coma, a sociopathic android, a poisoned dildo and the megalomaniacal, self-crowned ruler of an enchanted city who keeps order through fear, deception and sorcery. Okay, not the dildo, but still. Of course, when you think about what the children of 1900 were doing – working in factories, eating laudanum, losing their sight in smelting accidents – this book makes sense. Kids back then were tough, and needed stories to match, When’s the last time Dora The Explorer fought her way out of a heroin-induced coma? Never. Because, in addition to having a pussy, she also is one.
On a scale of people from Oz ranging from Beecher to Schillinger, this book is: Adebisi.
September 28, 2008
Before H.G. Wells became morbidly obese and started doing wine commercials, he wrote this book, in which two 19th century Londoners journey to our nearest celestial neighbor. A celestial neighbor, by the way, is good to have when you leave Earth on vacation and need someone to water your plants. Anywho, they discover a highly complex society living beneath the barren lunar surface, like we all kinda knew they would. With its blend of spirited adventure and heady social commentary, The First Men In The Moon is a story everyone can enjoy. Well, almost everyone; conspiracy theorists believe this entire book was a hoax staged by the Nixon administration to draw attention away from the war in Vietnam. Recommended.
On a scale of people mentioned in the Neil Diamond song ‘Done Too Soon’ ranging from Genghis Khan to Ho Chi Minh, this book is: H.G. Wells.
August 28, 2008
After a ‘plague cloud’ 86’s humanity, the last (and most boring) man on Earth traverses the globe waxing philosophical about life, art, architecture, love, and the best brand of wax for waxing philosophical (I prefer Lemon-Scented Heideggerian Pledge, myself). The cover of this book claims it’s a ‘towering masterpiece’, but they must’ve been thinking of the World Trade Centre, because it’s a smouldering disaster of story.
On a scale of clouds ranging from Cumulus to Cirrus, this book is: Cumulonimbus.
June 28, 2008
Future England: London has broken up into city states that are at constant war, and eventually there’s a great bloody melee and everyone dies (melee weapons only give you +4 strength, after all, and leave you vulnerable to ice magic). This book is full of the kind of humor that can only be described as ‘dry’. Actually, ‘dry’ isn’t the word; more like ‘desiccated’. Desiccated, not-very-funny humour. Regardless, it’s described as a ‘comic novel’ and was met with great enthusiasm when it debuted at Comic Novel-icon 1904 in San Diego. To this day a huge contingent of cosplay fans dress up as G.K. Chesterton, and are savagely and contemptuously beaten by other nerds, thus proving that even the lowest and most pitiful tiers of society are carefully structured.
On a scale of Hugh Grant films ranging from Notting Hill to Notting Hill II: Bigger And Notting-er, this book is: Notting Hill III: The Search For Curly’s Gold (by far the best of the trilogy).
May 28, 2008
A U.S. Marine travels to the red planet (Support Our Troops On Mars!) where he engages in a series of swashbuckling adventures amongst the locals. Personally, I find swashbuckling somewhat clumsy, and prefer to secure my swashes with something more convenient than a buckle. Although ‘a swash-Velcroing adventure’ doesn’t sound nearly as exciting.
On a scale of planets ranging from Ork to Melmac, this book is: Omicrom Persii 8.
February 28, 2008
Dunsany is like Eminem. He writes with a simplicity and style that makes you think, ‘I can do that.’ But when you sit down and try, you realize how tight, mad and crazy his science, flow and skills are, respectively. And you hate him for his talent, but you don’t want to dis him because you’re afraid he might write a skit about you fellating Insane Clown Posse. So you squash the beef and read this collection of stories, most of which are about how much he hates his ex-wife. Highly recommended.
On a scale of D12 members ranging from Bizarre to Kuniva, this book is: Kon Artis.
January 28, 2008
A meteor made of gold and worth billions careens towards Earth, sending everyone into a panic. Alas, they are helpless to prevent it, and can only stare, open-mouthed, at the magnificent golden shower about to rain down on them. This novel uses the anarchic profanity ‘zounds’ more than 23 times, making it the Scarface of its day, which explains why it is the most quoted Jules Verne book in hip-hop. Recommended.
On a scale of things Goldfinger does ranging from beckoning you to enter his web of sin to pouring golden words in your ear, this book is: telling you lies that can’t disguise what you fear.