Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Time Machine

TThe Time Machine (Signet Classics)The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We read this for book club. It was a good early foray into science fiction. Someone pointed out that it was Wells that coined the term time travel. Indeed, the argument for the possibility of traveling in the Fourth dimension was intriguing and the most logical argument for it that I've come across. Still while the story of the time traveller was interesting, it didn't hold either the interest or horror for me that it would have for earlier audiences. Too much apocalyptic literature these days, I suppose. In fact, The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman must have borrowed a lot from Wells, because it reminded me a lot of each other. It would be nice if someone travelled into the future and found out that we didn't annihilate ourselves, though. It wouldn't be as interesting, but I'm just sayin, it would be nice.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Night Film

Night FilmNight Film by Marisha Pessl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. Though I will add the caveat that I have a readers crush on Pessel ever since I read Special Topics.... And I have been eagerly awaiting her sophomore novel ever since. So I might be biased. But I wasn't disappointed.
First of all, can I say I loved the apps and all the extra stuff that came with it?! It made the book that much more alive, and I sort of became obsessed with it. Yes, I read everything on the "syllabus" and looked up to see if I could find the ending of the story of Bartho Lore. The whole app thing made me giddy and it was not disappointing.
I liked the characters, and loved going down the rabbit hole with them. I didn't find the "multiple endings" annoying, rather it leads to an ambiguity that would have made Cordova proud. Another criticism I came across was that Cordova's films didn't even sound that scary. I think that shows little imagination or understanding of scary is rarely the plot that is scary but rather the way it filmed, the score, the tension, that makes a thing scary. And I assume that Cordova was the master of it. I found it interesting that the plots of his movies all dealt with depravity of man without any supernatural elements. I can't help but think Pessel did this intentionally.
The other thing I appreciated: though the novel had all of the elements of horror...supernatural stuff, S&M clubs, spooky kids, dream sequences, it was all very PG. But in no way boring.
What was distracting, I will agree is the abundant use of italics. At first I even thought there must be a secret second novel made up of the italicized words...there were so many! Also, she describes Ashley with dark hair and then has colored pictures of her with light brown hair...distracting!
Other than that, loved it and will try to be patient for another 7 years while Pessel reinvents another genre.

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