Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Reviews: Diaries, Historians, and the Dread Pirate Roberts

You know, for MONTHS, nay, maybe even a year, I have been meaning to post more book reviews, and, now, by golly, I have them!
The delay was not so much the lack of reading (though it was far less than I’d like), but more the lack of everything else . . . so, here we are:

I feel like this book, this brief collection of thoughts on the battle of the sexes as perceived by the first man and first woman, are best put in their own words:

Adam--This new creature with the long hair is a good deal in the way. It is always hanging around and following me about. I don't like this; I am not used to company. I wish it would stay with the other animals.... Cloudy today, wind in the east; think we shall have rain.... WE? Where did I get that word-- the new creature uses it.

Eve--All the week I tagged around after him and tried to get acquainted. I had to do the talking, because he was shy, but I didn't mind it. He seemed pleased to have me around, and I used the sociable "we" a good deal, because it seemed to flatter him to be included.

Was that funny? I thought it was hysterical.  
 I laughed through the entire book, which is really a very short read.   Mr. Twain proves, once again, that he is the master of social commentary.  Alongside being an excellent examination of the differences between men and women, it’s also a beautiful story of two people coming together. 
I feel that this should be required reading for any premarital class—it’s fun, enlightening, and touching.

True to Stoker’s original Dracula (best vampire novel EVER—hands down), Kostova composed her novel as a collection of letters and journal entries from various characters.  While this was, at first, confusing (was the main narrator talking to us or reading another letter? Whose letter this time?) and dragged on, laden with intricate detail, the book soon picked up speed and became quite the thriller. 

I wouldn’t classify it as a “fantasy” as much as “historical fiction,” because, despite the hunt for  Dracula, physical vamps take a backseat to theoretical ones. Don’t get me wrong, vampires are definitely present, but they’re almost more of a bogey-man (you THINK you see them, but did you? Are those just shadows or something far more sinister?) 

The story follows the sequence of events following the discovery of a strange red book that contains the account of Vlad the Impaler.  After his mentor disappears, a young man and his newfound collegue (is she a pretty lady? Just maybe . . . ) take off on a search that spans generations. 
I highly enjoyed it, but, like I said, it takes quite a while to get going, and, with 720 pages to cover, the book takes some patience to wade through before it gets really fun, but it's well worth it.  
Most of us have seen the delightfully quirky, witty movie (if you haven’t go find it NOW), and almost all of know the famous “Hello. I am Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die” despite ourselves.  The book is equally a gem.  The prose is beautiful, and the story is a rollicking tale of true love and adventure with loads of the off-beat humor.   I’d dare say I love it even more than the movie, and I love the movie too much.
There’s a downside to this edition, however: 

The book claims to be an abridgement, but it's really all a gag, but to carry on the gag, you have notes from Goldman throughout the book saying, “Hey there! Just letting you know what I cut out!” They’re quite humorous and informative, giving you a brief summary of the tedious "notes" that have been "deleted," but they jolt you out of the story.  It’s very easy to dive right back in, but, at times, I wish I could ignore them.
 Fabulous story, and it's definitely earned a place on my "list of books to read aloud to future kiddos."  Such great fun!


  1. Yes!!! That Adam and eve quote was hilarious! It should be read in premarital counseling. I agree. I need to go get me a copy!

  2. A good mix of books there, I havent read any of these and might just have to read a Dracular novel one of these days :) Im glad you found the time to reviews them its good to read an honest opinion about a book you just cant believe the narrative on the back sometimes, little bit biase if you ask me x


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