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 25, 2008
Synopsis: an ancient subterranean worm and its human familiar terrorize the English countryside. For the authour of Dracula, this book isn’t very good. Besides being ploddingly slow, it teems with that ol’ fashioned racism early 20th century writers were so free with. Stoker refers to the novel’s lone black character Oolonga (that’s right; the black guy’s name is ‘Oolonga’) as a ‘nigger’ who is ‘a clever fellow – for a nigger’. This kind of rabid intolerance is hard to stomach in any forum, fictional or otherwise. Of course Stoker, being Irish, was too drunk and stupid to know better.
On a scale of stereotypes ranging from Sony to RCA, this book is Poopsounders (‘Poopsounders: When It Has To Sound Like Shit!’)
August 25, 2008
When Eddie Riceburger created Tarzan, he wanted nothing more than to couch the notion that blacks are cannibalistic savages and whites are the representatives of all things decent and humane in a simple story everyone could enjoy. Nearly a century later, we’re still witnessing the effects of the titular character’s popularity in everything from Ravi Shankar’s hilarious novelty song ‘Sitarzan’, to Tarzan brand nostril groomers (“Because It’s A Jungle In There!”). That being said, this book is boring as hell and hard to follow without a Phil Collins soundtrack.
On a scale of writers with three names ranging from Louisa May Alcott to Bret Easton Ellis, this book is: John Knowles.
July 7, 2008
This book takes place during a time when fairy-folk, or sidhe, still walk the earth. The sidhe are a noble people who eschew iron and despise the evil that men do, but, strangely, love the song ‘The Evil That Men Do’ by Iron Maiden. They speak their own secret language, ‘French’, have their own laws and hold a seat in the Mythical U.N. next to the manticore. If you’ve got a big presentation on the sidhe due at work tomorrow that you haven’t started, consider passing off this hauntingly beautiful fantasy masterpiece as your own.
On a scale of strange dreams ranging from being naked in school to building a go-cart with your ex-landlord, this book is: you’re rolling a big donut, and there’s this snake wearing a vest.
May 7, 2008
This book is about an 18th century perfumer who brutally murders young virgins and steals their scents. Which, coincidently, is the same method used by Liz Taylor to make White Diamonds. Not only is this book very interesting and well-written, but the dark subject matter is offset by Patrick Süskind’s use of an umlaut in his name, which makes anything unpleasant seem alluring: löose, rünny stöol. See? Recommended.
On a scale of poorly-selling perfumes ranging from ‘Burnt Toast’ to ‘Hospital Hallway’, this book is: Iggy Pop’s ‘T’aint’.
Fans of Brian Lumley know him as the authour of the Necroscope series (Necroscope is also the leading brand of zombie mouthwash). But he’s also a devotee of the Cthulhu mythos, having added Shudde M’ell the Prime Burrower to H.P. Lovecraft’s foul pantheon. This anthology contains stories by writers inspired by Lumley’s Lovecraft-inspired creations, which is kinda like someone parodying a Weird Al song that parodies a song that wasn’t very popular to begin with. Like if you took ‘I Want A New Duck’ and changed it to ‘I Want A New Truck’. Y’see how silly that sounds? Okay, then.
On a scale of Weird Al albums ranging from Weird Al In 3D to Alapalooza, this book is: Dare To Be Stupid.
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.