Monday, May 28, 2007

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

What a great novel! I could barely put it down. I probably could have sat and taken in the whole thing in a day if I had the time. It is just so interesting. So fanciful and real at the same time.

I loved the characters! I loved the step-sisters. They weren’t so evil after all. Cinderella wasn’t the perfect maiden either. The step-mother was a little evil though, not totally. Her goal was always to create a better life for herself and her daughters. She just did not always abide by her own moral preachings.

The reader sees how reality can create a fairytale. If these actions are passed into history, if words are misconstrued, it can evolve into a magical story. I love the twists at the end. I love the epilogue. I love that the real ending to this tale isn’t tied pretty with a bow. There is love and hate, life and death.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Halfling’s Gem

Bruenor survived. I’ll take their explanation. In the Forgotten Realms, it seems plausible. Especially with his recover time before he joins the others. The Halfling’s Gem wouldn’t have been the same without him.

Almost a perfectly happy ending though. Everyone is at peace. Goals are reached. A grand party about to ensue. Then Regis arrives. The beginning of a another adventure, yes?

I have to say, I’m hooked. I want to know what happens to these characters. Not just the main characters, but all the interesting people they’ve met along the way. Alustriel, the Harpells, Malchor. They’ve traveled to such interesting places too. I know that I’ll be lost in the Forgotten Realms for years to come.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction was so existential. It was like Descartes’s evil demon. But you eventually could hear the evil demon narrating your life. You knew things were happening to you because of the evil demon. You decide to search for the evil demon. When you find her, you realize, this demon is not evil. She’s just a writer trying to tell a story.

There’s also an essence of determinism/pre-determinism here. How many choices are your own? How many have been decided for you? Does free-will play a factor in Harold Krick’s story? Could he have changed his story if he wanted to? We could even talk about cause and effect. Harold’s appearance to Karen certainly caused her to make a change. The narrator’s voice caused Harold to change his behaviours. There is just so much to think about with this film…

Friday, May 11, 2007

Streams of Silver

Streams of Silver was very exciting. I could barely put the book down. Every day I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to Drizzt, Bruenor, Wulfgar, Regis and Catti-Brie. They are just so fabulous. I really do like that Salvatore includes strong female characters in his testosterone filled novels. There are no characters more manly than Drizzt, Bruenor and Wolfgar, each in their own way. I enjoy how each character has evolved from the first book in The Icewind Dale Trilogy. They learn more about the world, each other and themselves. I was concerned that they would become just standard fantasy archetypes, without depth, but that is not the case. The world around them is changing, so they change too.

Spoilers Below

Bruenor fell down the gorge on the back of a big black dragon, while on fire! How could he possibly survive?!? On Fire!!! My husband told me that fantasy novels are a lot like comic books. No one really dies… at least, not that often. The main characters always find a way back. If Bruenor just fell down the gorge on the back of a dragon, I could maybe believe it. The dragon broke his fall or something. But he was ON FIRE! That’s the part that gets me. He’s not Gandalf! Some all powerful wizard. He’s a dwarf. He may be an excellent fighter and a very wise, learnèd dwarf, but he’s a dwarf… and he was ON FIRE! Did I mention that he was on fire? I’m a little stuck on that p

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Anil’s Ghost

Anil’s Ghost really is haunting. I finished it a couple days ago and it’s still with me. Of course, I read In The Skin Of A Lion and that’s still with me too. Michael Ondaatje is one of my favourite authors. I know when I pick up one of his novels, I will not be disappointed.

The reader really feels for Anil. She’s so displaced from her heritage. She just got out of a destructive relationship. She is unsure of her relationship with her “best” friend. She comes to a country that should feel like home and she feels like a foreigner; Anil is foreigner wherever she goes. The story is so intense and mysterious. The ending leaves so many questions.

Something I really liked about Michael Ondaatje’s writing is the way he introduced new characters to the storyline. It was done it through the whole book, but I only became consciously aware of it when he introduced Gamini. Instead of having a character come into the story, then give the reader a little back ground on him, Ondaatje gives each supplementary character their own little story. Before Anil and Sarath come across Gamini, we learn about him in a separate chapter. I noticed this too with the introduction of Palipana, but only with Gamini did I realize he was consistently doing this.

I wonder how the Sri Lankan government responded to this novel…

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Spiderman 3

I feel like I just watched three Spiderman movies. There was a lot packed into the last 2½ hours. It felt crowded. You definitely had to pay attention.

Though that wasn’t difficult. I found myself sucked in, not just feeling for Peter Parker, but for Mary Jane. Maybe it’s a girl thing, but I empathized so strongly with Mary Jane as we watched “Spiderman” with another girl. You could definitely feel for Harry too. The action sequences were so well done; the effects were fantastic.

Was it the best of the three? Some say yes, some say no. I say no. I think I liked the second one the best, in terms of story at least. The third movie does leave it open for a fourth installment, though I’ve heard that’s not guaranteed. I think I’d only like to see a fourth one, if they had Harry come back. There’s something about the dynamic between the three friends that makes you want to watch them. I don’t know how, just bring him back. Or maybe I just have a crush on James Franco.