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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Benjamin Parzybok: IMG A Brief History of Video Games Played by Mayors, Presidents, and Emperors



Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
  1. $11.20 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

    Sherwood Nation

    Benjamin Parzybok 9781618730862

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Customer Comments

onlyoreio has commented on (5) products.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Dark Places

onlyoreio, August 4, 2013

I have admired the way Flynn creates relatable and believable characters since I’ve read her novel, Gone Girl. And that had led me to read yet another of her morbidly twisted, psycho-ridden thriller Dark Places.

The title and the cover of the book, together, almost sum it all. Libby survived the day of the murder of her mother and two older sisters at the tender age of seven, in their home at a farm in Kinnakee, Kansas. She swore then that Ben, her freakshow of a brother, killed them as some sort of sacrificial ritual to the Devil. But now, at the age of 31, she wasn’t sure at all. And so goes the story of how she delved the depths of that nightmarish moment she have locked up decades ago in the place she called the Dark Place, to find the truth she was once too young to get a hold on to.

This is the story of how love, the right kind of love, when cultivated in bad soil, flourishes into evilness. Flynn has made an amazing job of creating unstable, psychotic characters that somehow, in sort of a normal kind of way, relates to us. That as the moment you tread into their minds (through Flynn’s magnificent storytelling), there is a sense of actually believing that grows upon you. And by the end of the day, you will be left with the thought that maybe, somehow, you have or have had that meanness inside you too.

The storytelling was magnificent (I could say this more that twice and still be astounded); the pace just a brilliant. Flynn does know how to build the suspense. You may find yourself holding your breath for pages. And she does know how to make an explosion of a climax where you get to feel cheated, in a good way of course, because amidst the multitude of angles and probability, you’re guesses of the ending, are in no way as good as the one she has conjured.

This is the kind of crime story that actually puzzles, with its number of plot directions that could lead in equally marvelous resolutions. But the one Flynn actually resolved this mystery tops it all, with it quirks and homage to her originality.

If you want a break off the usual, "there’s a crime so there’s a detective" kind of crime novels, this one will suit your needs best. Flynn has a way of being loved, through her characters, her ideas, her storytelling and her ability to construct a nightmare out of an equally horrifying nightmare, that haunts even with our eyes wide awake.
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Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Stardust

onlyoreio, April 17, 2013

This by far is my favorite book of all time.
A wonderful telling of a young man's heart's desire that transcends the sane and reality, and explores the bounds of fantasy and nostalgia. A good read on days when you once again need to believe the unbelievable and to tread the path of the imagination. Read it and relive your fairy tale story all over again.
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Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love by George R R Martin
Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love

onlyoreio, April 17, 2013

I was asked once how long should we continue loving someone who would never be ours. Honestly, I do not know, yet, I don't remember answering it. I just stood there, caught up in the hysteria of realization, of the lack of sense, of the ambiguity of reasoning. Maybe it was meant to be rhetorical, a question that thrives not for answers but for meaning. To borne the sensibilities of unrequited love, of the heartaches we lived through, of the jokes that Fate plays on us. We all have those tragedies. And after reading this "heart-breaking-in-sort-of -beautiful-and-idyllic-way" anthology put together by George R. R. Martin, you will realize you are not alone, and your story, not the only one with a "not-so-happily-ever-after" ending. The book is a soulful rendition of a love song and a death wish, with the varying notes of unrequited love and tragedy, all composed by the magic hands of Fate. Most stories will pinch your hearts once in a while; some will touch your hearts and leave their little finger marks on them. Each story in this magnificent anthology is a mirror of our destinies, written by authors who have been striving to keep the sanity and imagination of this world in counterbalance. And the characters, they are us.
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Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith
Unholy Night

onlyoreio, April 10, 2013

When you are born a Christian, the Bible is the only book you'll ever accept to being 100% true. You will never doubt it. Faith, after all, is the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true. Yet, when you look closely into its pages and read between the lines, you will realize how much details seem to be vague, how the stories jump from one to another, leaving pages and pages of unknown and unexplained phenomena and characters within the vast expanse of its storyline. This is what convinced me to pick this book in the first place, to give Grahame-Smith a chance to walk me through the roads of possibilities that could explain the uncertainties of the Bible. I could say I never regretted it. The stories he weaved to connect each pieces of the life of Jesus are just so brilliant. The background he established to retell the lives of the Three Wise Kings was so believable. The story-telling was paced just right for you to hold your breath without killing yourself; the suspense enough to have your heart skip a beat or two. The re-imagining of the characters and the situations are so cunningly written. A perfect read on days when you need a breath of fresh air from the canonical and the orthodox.
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A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3) by George R. R. Martin
A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)

onlyoreio, January 31, 2013

Love the devious, sinful twisted turn of events.
One day they're dead, the next you no longer know what to believe.
One of those books that will get you hooked up, and will leave your bookish hunger sated and famished at the same time. :)
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