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acid42 has commented on (5) products.

Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen
Sick Puppy

acid42, October 8, 2007

What this is: a weird, zany potato-chip novel, the kind that’s greasy and not-too-good for you but which is light and brainless fun. Like a Dukes Of Hazzard TV episode or any of the films starring Steve Buscemi.
___Carl Hiaasen writes in short bursts, often using predictable dialogue, and cliché descriptions, but overall, the writing doesn’t diminish from the wacky experience. Oh, and the climax near the end of the novel is a perfectly zany end for a zany adventure.
___Read this book if you’re: sick or bored, or traveling, or on the beach. Not if you want intellectual stimulation.
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(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)

acid42, October 8, 2007

Let’s get this out of the way first: I watched the animated AKIRA before I ever laid eyes on the actual manga that inspired it. And was blown away by the animation and the themes of teenage rebellion, power and greed. Though, understandably, there seemed to be a lot of loose ends and a lack of characterization in the struggle to remake the story from comics to film. Still, it blew me away.
___And so I finally read the entire epic manga over the course of the past week, slowly at first, drinking in the gorgeously detailed line art, and the complex plotlines, and then frantically near the end, wanting to find how it all played out. And boy, does the film suffer in comparison. (Admittedly, any film adaptation of a story that is 3000+ pages in length will never live up to the original.)
___What author/artist Katsuhiro Otomo has done is to create a world not that distant from our own, where scientific experiments have led to children possessing earth-shattering powers, in some insane scheme to evolve the human to the next step. The boy named Akira is the summation of the experiments, and his power actually led to the 3rd World War. Many years later, Tetsuo, a rebellious teenager whose latent power manifests itself suddenly, reawakens Akira from a cryogenic chamber and the power is loosed upon Neo-Tokyo. The rest of the story is the battle to stop power-mad Tetsuo from wrecking the world.
___If you thought the Spider-Man movies successfully handled the themes of corruption and power, then you will love how AKIRA takes it one step further. The mutated children are able to tap into the energy “stream” of the universe and use it. But when Tetsuo’s hubris and substance- abusive personality comes into the picture, his power only heightens his ego, tainting his usage of the energy and later his own body.
___What you get here are complex story lines coupled with detailed art. And characters that come alive because there is enough space to flesh out their back stories. Some of the most beautiful panels in the manga are the page-wide city destruction sequences (of which there are many), where skyscrapers crumple like paper, and explosions blind the eye. An engaging read, and truly a classic graphic novel, in any language.
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(6 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Angels and Demons

acid42, October 8, 2007

___My comment: It’s pretty implausible. While there are a few scientific facts in the story, there is also a whole lot of scientific fiction. The book is obviously aimed at being turned into cinema, so maybe the need to provide a more realistic backdrop was unnecessary?
___The action sequences are daft to say the least, with the main protagonist making many, many illogical choices and a few intuitive ones that quite literally save the day. (Deus Ex Machina, anyone?)
___Characters are flat and lack substance. The female character (daughter of the murdered scientist) doesn’t seem to add anything to the story except a poorly-conceived romantic angle and of course, providing the master assassin with a final kidnap victim.
___And yet, and yet. The plot was what kept me going. Well-written plot-heavy books are addictive to say the least. The only real bummer is a last-minute plot twist at the very end which made me want to screech in anger. How could the writer do that? Without revealing the ending, all I can say is that author Dan Brown suddenly turned an action-packed thriller into an episode of Days Of Our Lives. Boo!!! Bad ending!!! Fun read in the middle though.
___Oh, and to all my Catholics who (unlike me) might be insulted by the supposedly anti-Catholic stance of this book: don't worry, this is FICTION. Plot-heavy fiction of the cinematic kind.
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(7 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)

The Art of Falling Apart by Mark Dawson
The Art of Falling Apart

acid42, October 8, 2007

Rock band Dystopia make it big! Finally a world tour! Lead singer in a shambles! Songwriter guitarist unappreciated! Other band members in a funk! Their manager, doing dirty deals in order to bring the band higher still. Their opening act DJ obsesses over prostitutes. Groupies! Alcohol! Email correspondence to make the book seem cool! And everyone doing drugs. And then there are the murders. And the people who get away with it.
___True to their name, Dystopia rise fast and are on a quick downward spiral back down to the pits because of ego, hubris and a hedonism matching their appetites to make music.
___So-so writing. Quick, brainless read. Bad behavior, atrocious values. Not recommended for kids. But if you like back-stabbers, rock stars and junkies, then this one's for you.
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(8 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
A Million Little Pieces

acid42, October 8, 2007

It’s written in a grim, gritty, often repetitious first-person point-of-view, but delivers a wallop with its valorous attempt at describing what infinite addiction and infinite rage are like, using finite words.
___The story pulls you into the writer’s head– you become James Frey, you feel as he felt, and experience things as he does while reading the book. And it’s a memoir– meaning it’s all true. (SUPPOSEDLY.)
___But it turns out Frey embellished. A lot. Which, you know, is perfectly forgivable because if adding on to the story aids it, then why not? Except for the fact that it’s touted as a non-fiction book. A memoir for goodness’ sake. And for the fact that Frey himself has said numerous times in many interviews that the book is truthful.
___Investigative website The Smoking Gun uncovered proof that Frey made up most of his “Criminal” career to make himself look worse than he really was. Crucial events such as his arrest in Ohio aren’t corroborated by actual records. And well, it turns out Frey was originally shopping this book around as fiction and consequently rejected by publishers numerous times, before some rewrites and a major overhaul into a “memoir” got it into Doubleday.
___The reason why it’s such a betrayal? The appeal of the book is precisely in the reader thinking “this actually happened to someone for real.” Once that thought is over-ridden by copious amounts of embellishment, it loses its zest.
___And yet. If simply for the psychological hurdles and the way Frey wrote of the addiction he was dealing with, the book still possesses a power all its own. Of course that’s if you can get past the lies.
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(15 of 28 readers found this comment helpful)

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