Tuesday, 12 February 2008

few updates lately

I know I haven't written a lot on my blog lately, been busy or tired, but hoping to improve my blogging in the future.

Have been reading quite a lot though, nothing beats lying in the sofa with a good book after a hard day's work. Have finished two books since my last post; Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson and Sharpe's Tiger by bernard Cornwell.

Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Vol. 1), is the first book in a series of so far eight books (the author claims the series will, in the end contain ten books. I personally greatly enjoyed the book. The characters are great, the plot is good and complicated and the book introduces quite a new and fresh magic system. I can't wait to read the rest of the books, and recommend this book to other readers of fantasy.

Sharpe's Tiger (Richard Sharpe's Adventure Series #1), is the first book in Bernard Cornwells series of historical fiction about the british soldier Richard Sharpe. Sharpe is a soldier in the English army fighting in India in 1799. He is, after problems with a sergeant, sentenced to quite a flogging, but is instead sent on an undercover mission into the muslims' troops stronghold. Cornwell is an excellent writer of historical fiction. His books are educational and interesting, with memorable characters and a good plot. He writes in a way that is very easy to read, and it is hard to put down the book. This one I also greatly recommend.

Currently I am reading 1984 by George Orwell. Started yesterday and not too far into the book yet. So far I like it, it brings up a lot of issues about politics, privacy and, in my mind, is a big attack on socialism and communism. More to come of this book later.

Hmm, very tired today, have been a lot of work lately and can't wait to hit the sack. So will not write much today, in fact this is it. Until next time


Saturday, 9 February 2008

Dublin and preacher

Have finished Edward Rutherfurd's book Dublin, telling the history of Dublin up until the 16th century. The story is continued in a sequel, which I unfotunelately don't have at the moment. The book was very good, following a few families through the ages, thereby telling the story of Dublin. Rutherford writes in a very interesting way, putting the characters in tight spots, which they often get out of in interesting and unexpected ways, if they get out at all. Definelately, like the rest of his books, a recommended read.

I have also bought and read Preacher Vol. 7: Salvation, the seventh of nine books in Garth Ennis' Preacher series of comics. I absolutely love this series, the plot is great, every page is filled with action, the characters are interesting and stands out, and the story is filled with references to religion, the bible, westerns, history and movies. In Volume 7, the protagonist jesse is at a loss about what to do, just having been shocked by a lot of things. He don't know whether to continue his quest of finding God and make him resume his responsibility. Eventually he ends up in the small town of Salvation, Texas where he meets the sister of his childhood friend. Suddenly, he becomes sheriff of the town and starts a little war against the meat-baron Odin Quincannon. He also takes, later in the story, takes to buttons of peyote in an attempt to figure out what has really happened to him lately. The story is great, violent, sometimes macabre, with many interesting twists and turns. With Ennis' writing, you never really know where the story is going, as surprises keeps popping up. Salvation, a small town, holds many surprises, including the Clan and Jesse's long lost mother. With Salvation, the Preacher Saga continues strong, and this volume was quite a relief after, in my opinion, a little drop in quality in volume six. Have to find the money somehow, to buy the last two issues so I can see where the story ends.

I have also started reading Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Vol. 1), by Steven Erikson. I received this book for Christmas by a friend but has never gotten around to reading it until now. About halfway through at the moment, and so far the book is very good. It is a fantasy book, with a grand scope, several interesting characters, a magic system unlike anything I have seen so far, and a very interesting plot. More will come about this book when it is finished, hopefully during the weekend.

Well, that's it for now I guess. I'm heading back to the couch to read some more. Until next time


Tuesday, 5 February 2008

War in The Sun

Bought the sixth issue of the preacher comics yesterday, War in the Sun, and as soon as I got home from work I went to the couch and read the whole issue. War in the Sun continues the story in good ol' Preacher style. It begins with a background story, this time about Herr Starr, the new allfather of the grail. Then, when the story resumes, we follow Jesse, Cass and Tulip to Monument Valley in Arizona, where Jesse plans to have some peyote to help him communicate with the entity, Genesis, stuck in his head. Everything does not go as planned of course, as both the Starr, with the US army behind him, and the Saint of Killers, is there; waiting for him. The story is still very good and intriguing, allthough sometimes the weirdness can go a bit too far. Cannibals living in abandoned mines, a rejected NASA aspirant making huge, obscene messages in the desert to greet the astronauts in the space shuttle, nuclear bombs, Arseface's dreamworld... It's all there. It almost seems as if the authors are running out of new, original and clever twists in the plot that shocks the reader, and just keep throwing every shocking thing they can think of into the story. The artwork is still brilliant though. In many ways, the issue reminded me of Planet Terror, Rodrigues' Grindhouse movie. But Preacher is still a brilliant series and very much recommended.

The last days, I have been reading Dublin by Edward Rutherfurd, and since I am almost done I will write more about that book later.

Starting my new job in less than two weeks, going through a lot of training now. Lots of new things to learn when going from standing behind the counter at 7-eleven, to running a whole store by myself. Lots of work, but very interesting. Very much looking forward to starting in my new job.

Well, that's it for now I guess, taking an early night today, very tired and have to get up early tomorrow. Think I'll read some more in bed. Until next time


Friday, 1 February 2008


The Dream of Scipio is finished. The book was good, raising a lot of philosophical questions, like is it okay to to bad things if other people would do even worse things if you didn't? I liked the way the story was told, the language was good, the characters interesting and the plot good. A recommended book.

I have now returned to the writings of Edward Rutherfurd, this time reading Dublin the history of, of course, Dublin. The book is written like any other of Rutherfurd's books, where the history fof the place in question is told through the interlocked histories of a few families living in the area. Haven't gotten far but so far the book is interesting, one of the better of his books in my opinion.

Have been working a lot lately, and starting my new job soon. Looks like it will be a lot of responsibility, which I'm looking forward to. Sounds quite interesting. have a meeting on monday to find out more. Had a graveyard shift tonight, and just woke up. Still feel quite tired. Looking forward to working only in the daytime, and having every weekend off. Well, that's it for now I guess. Until next time


Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Yet another Tuesday

Haven't finished The Dream of Scipio yet, but getting closer, should finish it before falling asleep tonight. The book is well written, although I'm not quite sure of what it's about yet. Think it is about the writing of an ancient philosophical text and subsequent analyses of the text. The story follows three men, the author of the text and two people reading and analysing the text. Telling their life story, we see that their life often mirrors each other, even though they live in different time periods. It is written very well, the language is good and easy to read, it is filled with historical information and so far I like it. Most of the story takes place in or around Avignon, with one character living during the time the papacy was seated there. Will write more when I have finished the book.

Other than reading, I'm still working a lot. Looking forward to starting a job with more regular hours. Have a meeting with my new boss next week to settle things out, then hopefully I'll start my new job as soon as possible. Well, that's it I guess. Until next time


Sunday, 27 January 2008

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner is Khaled Hosseini's first book, and became very popular. Now it has even been made into a motion picture. After reading A Thousand Splendid Suns I was a bit disappointed by this book. The book tells the story of Amir and Hassan, growing up in Kabul in the 70s. Amir is the son of a rich merchant, while Hassan is the son of a servant. They grow up together and become friends even though their are seperated by their class differences. Their friendship changes one winter when Amir fails to help Hassan when he most needs it. Amir and his father than moves to the US, struggling to live in a completely new culture. After Amir's father's death, Amir returns to Afghanistan, where he gets a change to redeem himself from his past sins.

The book starts as sort of a childhood memoir, then, in the US, it's more of a drama, bordering on soap opera somewhat. But then, all of a sudden, Amir returns to Afghanistan, turning the book into more of an action book. The first part was good, sometimes, and the second part also had its moments, but the ending felt rushed and forced. The ending wasn't satisfying to me, somehow it felt like the book had been sold, and the author rushed to finish it by the dead line. The characters changed quickly, some turn of events felt strange, others showed up for a short time only to mysteriously disappear again. It just didn't feel right, and upon finishing the book I was left feeling unsatisfied, wondering about a lot of the characters.

Still, the book brings a good look into afghan culture, which probably a lot of westerners don't know a whole lot about. It is an interesting look into a different culture existing in the world today.

I have now started reading The Dream of Scipio, by Iain Pears. The novel tells the story of three men living in different times. Manlius, the Gallic aristocrat living at the end of roman civilization, Olivier, the poet living at the time of the Black Death, and Julien, the scholar living in the first half of the 20th century. All three men shares a love for a woman, and the love of wisdom, philosophy and literature. Olivier builds upon Manlius' writings, and Julien builds upon both Manlis' and Olivier's writings. The cool thing abot the book is the fact that it tells their stories simultaneoulsy, therefore not chronologically. It jumps back and forth in time to show the similarities between the protagonists. Haven't gotten that far into the book yet, so will write more when I get further into the book, or when it's finished.

Until next time


Saturday, 26 January 2008

The Forest and A Thousand Splendid Suns

Worked two shifts yesterday, but still found time for some reading as well. I finished The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd, a very good book just like the rest of his books. I know I have already written some about his books and his other books, and this books falls into the same category. The history of England's New Forest told through the eyes of a few select families, which we follow through the ages. As always, Rutherfurd's stories have quite a few unexpected plot twists, and often problems solve themselves in quite amazing ways. A highly recommended books.

After finishing The Forest i had to go back to work, which I did being very tired. But eventually that shifts was over, at midnight, and I returned home where I started on A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, the author of The Kite Runner, now a major motion picture. Well, I started the book and found it quite interesting, though not one of the best books I've read. While some characters were well defined, others I found to be quite two-dimentional. The language, most of the time good, I found to be a bit simple and boring in other places. The story was good though. I haven't read many books about contemporary moslem life and the story of the 15 year old girl, who loses her mother and is sent away to marry a man 30 years her senior was quite moving. The whole age difference thing between the married couple I didn't find that shocking though, I guess after reading as much fantasy and historical fiction as I have, the notion of teenage girl marrying middle aged men becomes quite normal to read about. I feel like I read about it in every other book I read. Well, back to the book. It was good, it was gripping, despite some flaws. I wanna read the Kite Runner now, the book was that good, it made me wanna read more by the same author.

And then, suddenly, the book was finished and the clock showed a little past 4a.m. I had read the whole book in one sitting, something I haven't done in a long time. While reading the book, I lost all track of time and was transported to Kabul. I felt I was there, with Miriam and Rasheed, Tariq and Laila. I lost all track of time. So the book is good, mesmerising, gripping. It told a story set in a society I don't know much about, so different from western society, but happening now. It is a good book and I would recommend it to anyone.

Well, didn't wake up till 3p.m. today, quite late. But I haven't had a regular sleep cycle in two months. Working during the day, then night, then a few evenings, maybe a day agin, then two shifts a day really can mess up your internal clock. Hopefully I'll get a regular job soon, will know on Monday whether I get the manager position at 7/eleven I want.

That's it for now I guess, gotta go to the grocery store. Only my sister and I are home tonight, so we're having tacos for dinner. I buy, she makes. Until next time


Thursday, 24 January 2008


The other day, when visiting Outland, my favorite books store specialising in Fantasy, SF and comics, I found a new comic I on sale. Fables it was called, and since the first volume was sold for less than 1/3 of what I usually pay for comics, I just had to get it. It looked really good as well, so I ended up buying Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile. In the story, the creatures you read about in fairy tales have been driven from their homeworlds by their common enemy, the adversary, and have fled to New York where they have settled. Their community is pretty much run by Snow White, with the big bad Wolf as their police officer. Then one day, Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk rushes into officer Wolf's office, claiming his girlfriend Red Rose, sister of Snow White, has been brutally murdered. The rest of the story in the first volume focuses on Wolf's investigation into the murder, Pretty interesting stuff, a good plot, cool characters, lots of humor and good artwork as well. The character Prince Charming is funny, while Pinocchio is hilarious. So if you want to meet your favorite fairy tales characters in a new and modern setting, check out fables.

I am currently, upon the completion of London, reading The Forest, still by Edward Rutherfurd. This time, the story is about the history of The New Forest in south-east England. The novel is written in the same style as Sarum and London, telling the history of the place through the eyes of a few select families. Like anything else I've read of Rutherfurd, it is very good. The New Forest has been linked to witch-craft in the middle ages, something Rutherfurd incorporates into the story. In the foreword he confesses his ignorance of the subject, and how he used modern Wicca books to learn enough to write about it. Having some knowledge on the subject myself, I feel the books kinda falls short a bit on this subject. Modern Wicca was revived only recently, and has borrowed a lot from the Golden Dawn and Crowley, and I have some doubts that a witch in the middle ages would use the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, or something close to it. But apart from this, the book so far has been very good, definelately recommended. I am so glad I listened to my mum and started reading Rutherfurd's books.

Well, that's it for now I guess. Until next time


Wednesday, 23 January 2008


Yesterday, I finished the book London by Edward Rutherfurd. The book was really good and is definelately a recommended read. The story, in similar fashion to Sarum, is the tale of several families living in London through the centuries. In a way it is a collection of several shorter stories from different periods in London's history, where the protagonists are all ancestors of each other. Since the history of London is shorter than the history of Salisbury Plains, the jumps in years between chapters weren't as big in this novel, sometimes the same character would appear in two or even three subsequent chapters. I really like this, since it made the reader able to connect more to the different characters. The stories told were all very interesting, teaching you something about history as well as being interesting, and often containing surprising plot twists and endings. So this is a book I recommend for other readers, don't be intimidated by it's length (1300 pages), since every chapter is sort of a stand-alone story.

I have also been reading more of the Preacher. Finished volume 4 and 5 yesterday, and need to buy the last 4 volumes soon.

Preacher Vol. 4: Ancient History,does not continue the plot started in the first three volumes, but instead goes back in time to tell the story of four of the characters you have already met, but not learned too much about, in the preceding three volumes. Saint of Killers tells the story of the Saint of Killers, who he was and how he became the Saint. Written as a western, it has more than it's own share of action and violence, as well as the appereance of the devil and several scenes set in hell. Very entertaining. The Story of You-Know-Who tells the story of Arseface, the son of a cop first set on Jesse's trail, his teenage rebellion and his failed suicide attempt. By shooting himself in the head, but surviving, Arseface ends up with a mutilated face, hence his nickname. The Good Ol' Boys is a very funny action-movie parody, containing two-dimentional cliche characters right out of bad action movies. The whole story is hilarious and so out of place within the larger plot, I was laughing a lot when reading it. The volume itself doen not add much to the Preacher story, but contains three interesting stories about minor characters, all in all I liked it. of course it fits into Preacher in the way that you never know what to expect when opening a new issue.

The next book, Preacher Vol. 5: Dixie Fried, we return to the story of Jesse Custer and his mission to make God stand up to his responibilities. In an attempt to unlock the screts locked up with Genesis in his brain, he travels to New Orleans to try some old-fashioned voodoo. This does not go totally according to plan as they run into a group who Cassidy has met earlier. In an earlier visit to New Orleans, Cassidy meets a fellow vampire, who after becoming bitten reads every book he can find about vampirism and sets out to cope them, word for word. This pisses Cassidy off, who himself liead a life nothing like that you read in vampire books. Cassidy sets out to change his fellow vampire, but things does not go according to plan. This issue also brings a lot of character development. You learn a lot more about the main character, and their relationship starts to change after certain events, like Cassidy telling Tulip he is in love with her. At the end of the volume you have the feeling the characters you have come to love might be a bit different that you thought.

Both volumes are excellent reads, offering interesting stories and good artwork. Ancient History, the fourth volume, is actually drawn bu other people than Steve Dillon, who does the artwork in the rest of Preacher. The result is good though, and it works in a good way. The different artwork gives a kind of different feel to the stories, which are different from the rest of Preacher from the start. In many ways they feel like spin-off stories off the real story.

Well, I've said this before and I'll say it again. Buy the Preacher, or borrow it or get a hold off it in some way.... Whatever you do, make sure to read it. It is a very good story.

Until next time


Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The Preacher

As I already have written, I just started reading the comic book Preacher, and I have to say, they are really good. Have read the first three now, only have five out of ten I think, so might have to do some shopping soon (if I can find the money).

The series starts with Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to Texas, where we first meet the protagonist, Jesse Custer, and his two side kicks; his ex-girlfriend Tulip and the hard-drinking Irish wampire Cassidy. Jesse, who is a preacher in a small Texan town, sees his whole congregation burned to ashes by the half-angelic half-demonic entity Genesis, who also merges with Jesse, leaving Jesse on the run from the law. From Texas, the story continues in New York, where Jesse and his companions not only are troubled by Genesis, but also by the Saint of Killers, out to kill Gensis aka Jesse, and the Reaver-Cleaver, a sadistic serial killer. I won't go into too much detail here since I don't wanna spoil the story if you are gonna read it, but it is good, violent but good.

The story continues in Preacher Vol. 2: Until the End of the World, where we learn more of Jesse's history and how this seeminlgy not so perfect christian ended up becoming a minister. In this volume, God also makes his first appereance, trying to get Jesse to back off his trail. God, you see, one day suddenly left his job, leaving heaven in the care of his angels. Jesse, upon finding this out has decided to find God and make him take up his responsibility again. Cassidy, on the other hands, finds his girlfriend dying of a heroin overdose and sets out, with the help of Jesse and Tulip to avenge her. Towards the end, the Grail also makes an appereance. The grail is a society protecting the ancient and holy bloodline of Christ. Kinda similar to the DaVinci Code, but so much more fun and satirical.

In the third volume, Preacher Vol. 3: Proud Americans, Jesse and Tulip are headed to France, to the grail headquarters, to rescue Cassidy who is held captive by them. Jesse also meets an old friend of his dad, who died when Jesse was only five. Through him, Jesse learns more of his dad, who he only has a fleeting recollection of. Towards the end of the volume, we also learn Cassidy's history, how he became a vampire, what powers he then gained and how he came from Ireland to the America.

All three volumes show, in my opinion, a high level of storytelling ability, the characters are realistically portrayed, you really start caring for them (The scene where Jessy met his father's old army friend gave me goos bumps). At the same time, the story is filled with a lot of humour, black humour most of the time, and arcane biblical references. Also, the different storylines are often told in very different fashions, some time you feel you are reading a western, then an action story, sometimes the style is crime, sometimes drama. Garth Ennis tryly shows his artistic range and his ability as a writer. Supplemented with Steve Dillon's wonderful artwork, this comic becomes very good and I highly recommend it. But you need a strong heart, I reckon, the violence is everywhere and page after page is filled with bloody, gory details.

Well, that was my take on Preacher so far. Still have two more volumes of the story at home and plan to read them soon. I have also been reading in the novel London, of course, and is coming closer and closer to the end. Only about 50 pages left there, so tomorrow's post will be about London, and how I felt about that book after hving finished it.

That's it for now I guess, going back to my reading. Tomorrow I have a meeting concerning my new job, hopefully my boss and I are on the same page and can figure out all the details. The job looks interesting and I hope I end up having it. Wish me luck. Until next time