Monday, December 10, 2012

Great titles like these are found @ your library.

This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It by David Wong

Kirkus Reviews –

Violence, soy sauce and zombie survivalists abound in this clever and funny sequel to John Dies at the End (2009). One of the great things about discovering new writers, especially in the narrow range of hybrid-genre comedic novels, is realizing that they're having just as much fun making this stuff up as you are reading it. Sitting squarely with the likes of S.G. Browne and Christopher Moore, the pseudonymous Wong (Cracked editor Jason Pargin) must be pissing himself laughing at his own writing, even as he's giving fans an even funnier, tighter and justifiably insane entry in the series. A quick prologue catches us up on Wong and friend David, whose first adventure was chock full of psychotropic drugs and X-Files style paranormality. The great thing about these characters is how normal they are amid the madness. "We're not special, it's just the result of some drugs we took," Wong explains. "Just for future reference, if you're ever at a party and a Rastafarian offers you a syringe full of a shiny black substance that crawls around on its own like the Blob, don't take it. And don't call us, either. We get enough bullshit from strangers as it is." This time around, the boys are trying to mitigate an influx of spidery invaders that soon blossoms into a full-fledged zombie massacre. The humor here is unforced and good-naturedly gory. Anyone who enjoyed the recent films The Cabin in the Woods or Tucker & Dale vs. Evil will find themselves right at home. An upcoming (cult?) film adaptation of John Dies at the End promises to lure new readers. A joyful return to the paroxysms of laughter lurking in the American Midwest.

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

The New York Times Book Review –

This Is How You Lose Her can stand on its own, but fans will be glad to hear that it brings back Yunior, who narrated several of the stories in Díaz's first collection, Drown…Yunior is a gorgeously full-blown character—half the time you want to comfort him, the other half you want to kick him in the pants…In the new book, as previously, Díaz is almost too good for his own good. His prose style is so irresistible, so sheerly entertaining, it risks blinding readers to its larger offerings. Yet he weds form so ideally to content that instead of blinding us, it becomes the very lens through which we can see the joy and suffering of the signature Díaz subject: what it means to belong to a diaspora, to live out the possibilities and ambiguities of perpetual insider/outsider status.
—Leah Hager Cohen

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

Kirkus Reviews –

Treacly fable by pop inspirationalist Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie, 1997, etc.). Dava Sobel and Longitude be damned, God doesn't like people who measure things. Six thousand–odd years ago--is the date a nod to Archbishop Ussher and his proto-creationism?--a fine young fellow named Dor invents the world's first clock and is banished to a cave for the affront, since only the deity is supposed to be concerned with such things, it being the days before hourly wage work and lawyers who bill in 15-minute increments. Dor now sits in a cave, "listening to something. Voices. Endless voices." And what do you suppose those voices want? Yup, time. More of it. Endless time. Or at least a year or two. Writing in his customary staccato ("But Father Time is real. And, in truth, he cannot age."), Albom gives Dor a chance to redeem himself by instructing two hapless earthlings--a man dying of cancer, a teenage girl in danger of dying by her own hand--in the meaning of life. The Little Prince it ain't: Albom seems to have taken the template for his novel from a corporate report, each page studded with boldfaced passages that would seem to signal something momentous; a person in a hurry could well read just those boldfaced passages and emerge with a pretty good idea of the storyline, which is plenty predictable in any event. Still, there are a few useful takeaways, among them these: If you're moribund, a pocket watch will cheer you right up; if you're worried about the prospect of imminent demise, then remember that, as the old dude who cometh from God's side sayeth, immortality "is not a gift." A product less than a book; those with not enough time on their hands might spend what they have more meaningfully elsewhere.

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