Monday, June 29, 2015

The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft, by HP Lovecraft & Leslie S. Klinger

  • Title: The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
  • Author:  H.P. Lovecraft
  • Editor/Annotator:  Leslie S. Klinger
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library
  • Started: 5/12/2015
  • Finished: 6/28/2015
A rare swing & a miss by Klinger, in my opinion.  If you read through this blog you'll see nothing but praise for Klinger's other new annotated volumes on Holmes and Dracula, but this Lovecraft edition pales in comparison.
I'll start with a remark that might help explain my lack of enthusiasm -- I don't really like Lovecraft.  I don't find his stories fun, scary, interesting.  I've always struggled to read them and to maintain interest when doing so.
Having said that, I have always loved annotations, and in previous works Klinger's annotations were wonderful and really added to the stories.  Unfortunately it appears that Klinger isn't much of a fan of Lovecraft either, if his annotations are any indication.  These were dry, few and far between, and really did not add anything to the works.
I decided not to make separate entries for each story, but I'm going to list out those included so I have a note of them when running searches against this blog.  The stories included follow:
  • Dagon
  • The Statement of Randolph Carter
  • Beyond the Wall of Sleep
  • Nyarlathotep
  • The Picture in the House
  • Herbert West: Reanimator
  • The Nameless City
  • The Hound
  • The Festival
  • The Unnamable
  • The Call of Cthulhu
  • The Silver Key
  • The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
  • The Colour Out of Space
  • The Dunwich Horror
  • The Whisperer in Darkness
  • At the Mountains of Madness
  • The Shadow over Innsmouth
  • The Dreams in the Witch House
  • The Thing on the Doorstep
  • The Shadow Out of Time
  • The Haunter of the Dark

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

  • Title:  And Then There Were None
  • Author:  Agatha Christie
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started: 6/20/2015
  • Finished: 6/23/2015
I had never read this book before, only seen the old movie from the 40's and then various other versions in pop culture.  So the ending was a surprise, in that I wasn't positive of the murder or motives, even if I knew the killer was one of the earlier victims.
Extremely enjoyable book.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Tree of Smoke, by Denis Johnson

  • Title:  Tree of Smoke
  • Author:  Denis Johnson
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library
  • Started: 6/2/2015
  • Finished: 6/19/2015
Continuing with my literary man-crush on Denis Johnson, I listened to his huge novel, Tree of Smoke over the last three weeks.  Like each of the past novels by Johnson, I loved it.  But unlike those other novels, this one has more mixed reviews.  Those reviews, including a particularly harsh one from The Atlantic, haven't swayed my opinion of this work.  I found it funny, moving, and an amazing read.  

I'm going to do my best to take break from Johnson while I still have a few of his works left unread, so I can enjoy them over a longer period of time.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Laughing Monsters, by Denis Johnson

  • Title:  The Laughing Monsters
  • Author:  Denis Johnson
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started:  5/27/2015
  • Finished: 6/1/2015
Much like the infatuation the narrator of this story, Nair, feels for Michael Adriko, my man-crush on Denis Johnson continues unabated.  Much like Nobody Move, and (for me) before that Train Dreams, I could start this one as soon as it was finished. 
It is hard for me to describe what I like (love?) about Johnson's writing.  There is a feeling I get when reading his work... I don't know, but I damn  sure do enjoy it.