Review: The Book That Eats People by John Perry, Illustrated by Mark Fearing

%TheBookThatEatsPeople

Book Information:

The Book That Eats People by John Perry
Illustrated by Mark Fearing
Tricycle Press
Published in 2009
ISBN 9781582462684
38 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

5 out of 5

Ease of Reading Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5

One day Sammy Ruskin checks out this very same book, and he soon discovers that this book has an appetite for – people. GULP. Will this book ever stop eating people? And will you be next?

This book is actually very cute and funny. It is kind of nice turn of events by saying a book that has an appetite for people, instead people who have an appetite for books. The plot, like most other childrens’ books, is very simple. However, it might scare some of the little children. Though, they might become engage in the book, but since I don’t have children, I wouldn’t really know. HEH. :X

Anyways, the illustrations were very well done, and let’s say it matches the feeling and plot of the book very well. Also, you can read/see the text very well against the background. Even though there are no life lessons in this book, the book’s illustrations and plot are just meant to make you laugh and smile. :D

It is a very good children’s book, and I would recommend it for anyone. Though, it might scare some of the younger kids. :P

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

Goodreads 2011

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet John Perry
$New_Bullet Mark Fearing
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet Bookie Woogie

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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2nd Review: The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd

%TheCasebookofVictorFrankenstein
Book Information:
The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday
Published in 2008
ISBN 9780385530842
353 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

4 out of 5

2ND REVIEW. 1ST REVIEW IS HERE.

After Victor Frankenstein goes to London to study at Oxford, he meets Percy Bysshe Shelley. They become fast friends, but with Shelley’s radical views, will Victor get an idea that will put him on the road to darkness?

This is the second time I’m reviewing this because I want to. :X Actually, I’m re-doing some (most) of my reviews so that I can make them (hopefully) better. With this one, I will compare it to the original a little bit more.

Anyways, in this retelling of Frankenstein, Peter Ackroyd makes it out so that a fictional character actually knows historically accurate people. I still find that part of this part kind of intriguing, and it also made this book rather interesting than if the author just told it through Victor Frankenstein’s and a little bit from his monster’s perspective. However, now that I read the original, I don’t know what perspective is better since they both were interesting, so they both get equal points for that.

Although how both Mary Shelley and Peter Ackroyd told the story receives equal points, the descriptions and the growth of the characters actually goes to Peter Ackroyd. With Mary Shelley’s, it is mostly someone re-telling Victor Frankenstein’s story as Victor tells him it, so the growth and descriptions really don’t have that much room to grow. So, basically, I like how Peter Ackroyd tells it because the way he makes the characters grow appeals to me more than the original. Also, in Ackroyd’s version, the person who turned out to be the “monster” was someone Victor Frankenstein knew and maybe even friends with. I found that also very interesting and even gave the monster even more of an identity than Shelley’s version. The characters are also completely different in Ackroyd’s version. It has the same thing happen to a character in each book, but the circumstance and character are off. I also like how Ackroyd did his version in that aspect as well since it had a little bit more depth and development than the original.

Let’s see, some other things that are different, but I wish Ackroyd put in his version. In Mary Shelley’s version, I actually felt like crying and feeling pity towards both Frankenstein and his monster. However, with Ackroyd’s version, it had less emotion. Also, the ending is more disappointing and confusing than the original. The ending in the original is more emotional and appeals more to me.

Now that I had a chance to read the original, I think it would have been better if some of the original’s aspects, like some of the emotion, were in this book. So, I rated it a four stars this time because, despite the original re-telling thing, I like the emotion and ending of the original Frankenstein more.

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

Goodreads 2011

Re-Reading:

This is the 2nd review, 1st review is here.
Not planning to re-read.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Peter Ackroyd
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet New York Times Book Review
$New_Bullet A Study of Reading Habits

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Introduction by Diane Johnson

%Frankenstein

Book Information:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Introduction by Diane Johnson
Bantam Dell
Published in 1818. Republished in 1967, 1981, and 2003
ISBN 0553212478
216 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

4 out of 5

While voyaging through unexplored regions of the ocean where only ice dwells, Robert Walton discovers something more than new regions. He finds a man, Victor Frankenstein, on top of an ice raft. Robert finds a friend in Victor, but he finds out that sometimes knowledge is better left alone through Victor’s story – where Victor was in the same pursuit of knowledge and created a “monster” from it.

Okay, not really a good summary, but it will do. I checked out Frankenstein from my library because I wanted to compare it with The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd, which I will (re) read after I finish this review. :)

Anyways, the version of Frankenstein that I read has an introduction by Diane Johnson, author’s introduction, and a preface by Marlow before the beginning of the actual story part. I read all those, so I will mention how informative and good they are, of course. However, it is up to you, if you read this version, whether or not you want to read them or not. With the introduction by Diane Johnson, it was very err… informative. She writes information over Mary Shelley’s life and how she kind of incorporated it in her story. It also talked about some of the themes that are in the book, so if you want to draw your own conclusions, don’t read the introduction all the way. Anyways, I find it interesting, and it saved me some time because I didn’t have to research Mary Shelley’s life. Anyways, don’t read it, read it; it’s up to you. ;) Next is the author’s introduction. This is where Mary Shelley explains how she got the idea, why she wrote it, and things like that. Not really necessary to read, but it is interesting. Last is the preface by Marlow, where he explains the feelings he had over Frankenstein and makes comments. Out of all the intro parts, I would say that the preface is the least necessary one, and it is only kind of interesting. However, it is up to you whether or not to read them. :D

Anyways, onto the main part of the novel and what I thought about it. ;) Robert Walton tells this novel through letters to his sister, Margaret. Through these letters he retells the story of Victor Frankenstein as Victor tells it to him in some sort of lesson format. Why do I say a lesson format? Hmm… Because like Victor, Robert wants to further scientific discovery, and (I think) Victor wants him to learn that with discovery comes some consequences as he found out the hard way. There are other lessons like you shouldn’t judge someone by how they look because you never know how good they are on the inside. Also, if you treat them harshly just because of their looks, you don’t know how they will react and take it out on someone else. And I guess another one of the lessons is that you shouldn’t create something (like life/a child) if you are just going to abandon and hate it. :( Like I said, a lot of lessons about moral compasses and how you should think before you act, and I like how the author makes all these lessons visible and pull your heart to it.

Now for the things that are both good and bad. Another thing I like is how the descriptions just pull you into the book, and you can just imagine how it might look like, but it does kind of get tiring to read all them to the point where you just skip over it. So, the descriptions are both a good thing and bad thing since there are so many of them. And I think that’s all the things that are both good and bad. Now, this could be good or bad to you, depending how you are, but I don’t think it was really “horror” since I didn’t drop the book and run away. I don’t like horror since I get scared a little too easily sometimes, so the book being kind of horrorless might appeal to some people.

While I loved the lessons, descriptions, and emotions the novel tries to surface on you, I didn’t like how disappointing it was, and how empty some of the actions were. But then again, I think this book is more a “lesson” one than an action or any other type of book. Though, I was still disappointed on how it ended and the lack of details of the actual experiment and other actions, which is why it is rated 4 out of 5. Though, even though it is sort of disappointing and leaves you wanting more, it leaves enough to make you think about things you normally wouldn’t or try not to. Also, the character development doesn’t happen that often in Mary Shelley’s version, so the book is disappointing on that end as well. However, you feel sorry for both Victor and the monster on both ends – and feel like they are both stupid in their ways of thinking.

Overall, the disappointment is a little bit overshadowed by how it makes you think how humane you really are. Also, the lessons it teaches and the emotion it shows leaves a strange mark on your heart. I definitely will read it again because of the emotions it brings out, that is, if I ever decide to re-read it. Though, I don’t think I will check out the same book because this one is kind of falling apart. :X

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

Goodreads 2011

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Mary Shelley
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet The Lost Entwife

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd

%TheCasebookofVictorFrankenstein

Book Information:

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday
Published in 2008
ISBN 9780385530842
353 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

5 out of 5

When Victor Frankenstein goes to London to study at Oxford, he meets Percy Bysse Shelley, and they form a friendship. Will this radical thinker change Victor’s musings into creating life? If he succeeds this madness, what will befall him and those around him?

In this retelling of Frankenstein, Peter Ackroyd makes it out so that Victor Frankenstein, a fictional character, actually knows Percy Bysshe Shelley, Godwin, Lord Byron, John Polidori, and even Mary Shelley, historically accurate people. I find that part of this part kind of intriguing, and it also made this book rather interesting than if the author just told it through Victor Frankenstein’s and a little bit from his monster’s perspective.

The description and characters’ personality were all wonderfully done, but whether it is from solely from this author, borrowed from Mary Shelley, or a combination of his and Mary Shelley’s works, I wouldn’t know. Reading this retelling has made me want to read the original writing of the novel, so I can compare and see how much is his and how much is from the original. Also, the person who turned out to be the “monster” was someone Victor Frankenstein knew and maybe even friends with. I found that also very interesting and even gave the monster even more of an identity.

Let’s see, I don’t really know what I didn’t like about the book, but the ending may be a little disappointing and unfulfilled for some (most) people. To me, the ending is only a little disappointing and unfinished, but the ending is still a little bit intriguing. Also, I think the ending of this book differs from the original. I’m not sure. :|

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

None.

Re-Reading:

Once with a 2nd review added.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Peter Ackroyd
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet New York Times Book Review
$New_Bullet A Study of Reading Habits

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: First Light by Peter Ackroyd

%FirstLight

Book Information:

First Light by Peter Ackroyd
Grove Press
Published in 1989 (Republished in 1996)
ISBN 0802134815
328 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

3 out of 5

#Old_BlueBooks-3_5

With the discovery of an ancient astronomically aligned gravesite in Dorset, everyone is excited over it — well, pretty much everyone. Something or someone is doing its best to sabotage and scare the archaeologists, led by Mark Clare, from digging there and Pilgrin Valley. How is it that something as small as a gravesite will bring together a group of people, who seem to have nothing in common with each other?

I’ll be honest with you. I absolutely hated this book. :| And it isn’t because of a lack of descriptions, which I love to have in the novels I read. I’ll continue with the reasons why I didn’t like the book in another paragraph since there are a lot of them. :( Oh, yeah, there might be some spoilers about the book toward the end of the review. :X

The first thing I didn’t like about this book is that it was really redundant, which is one of the reasons why the book was extremely slow moving. The slow moving plot is another thing I didn’t like about the book. It took about 100 pages just to get the characters digging and for the something/someone to sabotage the dig. Then, it went back to slow moving until the last couple of chapters. The slow moving gets kind of annoying, so I suggest just reading 20 pages each time you read, then take a break, and then start reading again. It kind of eases the pain of it. ;) Oh, also, the book kind of jumps from one point to another, which may be confusing if you don’t take some breaks in between in order to think about it.

Another thing, I found the characters rather, umm, boring and depressing. I’m used to reading books where it shows different personalities for each character, like them being happy, sad, etc. In this book, they remain their depressing selves. I can just imagine a frown on all their faces everyday. I think that’s also what made it so hard to read more than 20 pages in an hour or so because the characters were a little too depressing for me. :(

That’s pretty much the only things I didn’t like about this novel, now for the things I did like about it. Even though it is very slow moving, the characters are depressing, and very little action, I liked how the descriptions were always there, no matter how boring it got. I know I say the book is “boring”, but in a weird way, it isn’t. The author uses poetry, metaphors, descriptions that make it a little less boring, and the author also uses the poetry to bring out a deeper meaning than just having a plot.

I read online that some people might be confused about the ending of the book. I have my own opinions about what it means. Think about it like this the theme mostly is about stars and how everything is connected in some sort of way, it is also about time, change, and death. At the end of the book, the characters realize that even though their find is old, the person’s family still has the right to send them back to the sky to be stars (which you may say God, in some sort of way). Also, that as stars, the souls can still be with their loved ones and watch over them. And that to see every star (soul) in the sky will be nothing but light, which is what one of the characters sees at the end of the book. Well, I that’s what I think what the ending means, whether it is right or not, I don’t know.

Also, I know I put “supernatural” and “horror” as the genre, but it isn’t really supernatural or horror. I just put that because of the summary on the back of the book. Unless you scare easily or are very superstitious, it won’t be the “horror” genre for you. :)

I rated it a three mostly because of the deeper meaning… I would have rated it a two, that is, if it didn’t have that deeper meaning that I like so much. ;) So you shouldn’t read if you don’t like slow-moving, redundant novels. Also, you have to figure out the deeper meaning to really enjoy the book, but you have to get through the parts I found annoying first. :D

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

None.

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Peter Ackroyd
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet LA Times Book Review

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble