but I’d be wrong because there is so much more to this book than that. It is indeed about fairies and enchantments and beauty, but it is also about the environment and the nature of man and fate. And about true love and marriage and wondering. About motherhood and growing up and growing old. About pride, vengeance, rage, despair and hope. And, finally, about foolishness and wisdom. A wonderful contribution to our world. Thank you, Ms Tepper.
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26 entries have been written about this.
This is a very nice edition — 3 years ago
printed on high quality paper and filled with colour illustrations by Pauline Baynes. It also has a beautiful map of Narnia and the surrounding countries on the cover which marks a number of key locations from the stories.
I enjoyed reading these stories much more as a child when I was unaware of the religious messages. Rereading them as an adult, I found them overbearing and they interfered with my ability to lose myself in what was happening. Still, the tales have not altogether lost their appeal for me. C.S. Lewis has a wonderful fondness for people and a sympathy for human nature and its various heady emotions and foibles. His characters are lodged forever in my heart.
I don't know what it is about this play. — 3 years ago
The plot’s all there and there are some great character interactions. I especially love the scenes with Prince Hal and Falstaff and the rest of that dubious crew. Tim Pigott-Smith is spot on with Hotspur, capturing that fiery and implacable temperament in an easily accessible way – like those friends everyone has at least one of who tend to get a bit riled up and then there’s no getting through to them.
Despite all this, my reaction to the first half of the play is decidedly lukewarm. Perhaps it’s Jon Finch’s annoying and simultaneously ponderous portrayal of Henry IV (although to be fair, he wasn’t at all boring in his own play, so perhaps this is Shakespeare’s fault). Or maybe it’s the fact that Kenneth Branagh has ruined me for life and poor David Gwillem, though boyishly delightful in his way, can’t command the camera quite enough to satisfy my now enlarged appetites. Branagh, you sod.
Oh well. I shall see how part two goes and perhaps Gwillem will surprise me in Henry V with a bit more authority to go with that spirit.
A review of "Mythago Wood" — 3 years ago
What Holdstock does really well in this book is capture the atmosphere of Celtic mythology. The way it blurs the line between human and beast almost out of existence. Its obsession with love triangles, jealousy and the warrior figure, both male and female. I would recommend this book to anyone trying to get a feel for Celtic myth and its landscape.
A treasure chest of modern fable — 3 years ago
Gaiman’s “Smoke and Mirrors” is a wealth of storytelling. The stories are not all equal in craft and beauty, and I occasionally got frustrated with a few, in my opinion, weak endings, but there were far more than a few gems to make this a worthwhile read. I would list “The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories”, “We Can Get Them for You Wholesale”, “Mouse” and “When We Went to See the End of the World by Dawnie Morningside” amongst some of the best, most engaging short stories I have read in the last couple of years. Not sorry I read this one. No, not one bit.
A review of "The New Weird" — 3 years ago
I enjoyed The New Weird despite Jeff VanderMeer’s snooty introduction and more than a couple of wishy-washy stories. The good ones made up for it and, on balance, I am not sorry I read it. Particular praise for China Mieville’s “Jack”, Jeffrey Ford’s “At Reparata” and Simon D. Ing’s “The Braining of Mother Lamprey”, all outstanding stories that jumped off the page and have lodged themselves, beetle-like, in my brain.
A story about "Rose apple" — 3 years ago
Ate this in Thailand years ago. Shaped like a pear, texture of an apple when you bite into it, but the flavour is quite bland and watery. I wouldn’t eat this if there were sweeter fruits to choose from, but I suppose it’s what you’re used to. If I was living there, maybe I would become accustomed to it.
Why I recommend "Custard apple" — 3 years ago
Because it’s delicious. You slice it in half and eat it directly out of the skin – it does indeed taste like custard! Apparently you can put it in the freezer and then scoop it out of the skin and eat it like ice-cream, but I haven’t tried this yet. My only gripe is that it is outrageously expensive, especially for a locally grown fruit – about R50 per fruit (as a comparison for non-South Africans, a kilo and a half of apples costs about R10.)
I suppose I could give it 4 stars for effort — 3 years ago
but that would be kind of cheating because, no matter how difficult it must be to work with puppets like this, I still did not enjoy the movie very much and that’s what stars are for in the end. Technical skill is not art.
For much of it, I was outright bored and forcing myself to stick it out, which is an almost unheard of state of affairs for me and movies. It is excruciatingly slow and I found that the “what it would be like to be a puppet and how such a world would work” angle was not very well thought through, leading to problems with my suspension of disbelief.
And the plot! Where do I begin?! Sparse, slow, highly predictable. An unreflective regurgitated pastiche of fantasy tropes. And before you get started, this was not a retelling with something new to offer – it was a rehashing. I would recommend anyone even vaguely well-read in the fantasy genre to steer clear of this movie as I’m sure you will be as bored as I was. Perhaps those less familiar with the genre would find it more novel and enjoyable, although nothing will save you from its slowness.
The colour work is remarkable and I found myself completely absorbed in Gaiman’s stories which are a seamless blend of myth, history, religion, fantasy, folk tale and, sometimes, horror. There’s also a whole wad of “bonus features” at the end of the book which give you a glimpse into the conception and evolution of some of the stories, as well as hilarious, somewhat postmodern and darkly ironic, biographies of the various contributors.
I had one problem with one the stories (“The Flowers of Romance” included in the extras at the back) as it came across to me as a glamourisation of rape, or rather a failure to see an instance of rape as an actual instance of rape. But that was one dark patch in a sky of a thousand thousand stars and as such I am more than willing to forgive Gaiman his foible.