Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dracula - Let me introduce you to the Count ...

Some of you may know I am very much enjoying plowing my way through the Urban Fantasy section of Waterstones at the moment and that vampires, werewolves etc figure quite highly in my book collection.

However, I have a confession to make, up until Monday 18th April 2011, I had never read Bram Stoker's Dracula.
I'm not even sure why, I've only been obsessed with vampires since the age of 11.
First of all, I must point out if you haven't read it, the movies aren't anything like the book (isn't that always the case?) I kept making unfair comparisons between the film starring Gary Oldman which I deserve to have rapped hands for!

The book is written from several main character's perspectives in the form of their diaries. With each character adding their views and progressing the story along. I wasn't expecting this, but once I got into it, it made a good deal of sense.

What is a surprise, and what ultimately adds to the terror of this book, is that the Count's viewpoint is never shown; we don't know the motives behind his actions.

My only other point about this book is that I think I've been spoiled. Particularly in JR Ward's series of books, I have come to expect fantastic fighting scenes to climax the book. Dracula had all the right ingredients; a chase, trapping him at the end, fancy weapons, but it fell decidedly flat.

I would recommend this book to someone who isn't used to the vampire genre of books and/or the level of violence present in books. Again, as with 1984, I can see how it would have impacted back when it was first released, but I feel it just lacks that bit of oomph we've come to expect with vampires and the whatnot.

So, after having found Dracula a disappointment who are your favourite vampires?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sorry I've been away

Sorry I've been away for over a week folks, but we've had a bit of a hectic time over here.

Last Wednesday, hubby and I were involved in a little car crash where we were rear-end shunted. We're both fine, just a bit bruised.

Plus, we were away this weekend seeing our friend's gorgeous new baby, mmm, major nommage!!!

So, with everything else going on, I just didn't get time to put up a new post. However, having just finished Dracula by Bram Stoker, I promise a book review shortly.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Literary Leanings

As it states in my profile, I am a prolific reader. However, in the past few years I have ended up pigeon-holing myself reading mostly from the same genre. I was rather surprised when I came to fill out the list on Facebook how many of the "great" books I hadn't read.

At the end of each book, I intend to write a little review in case you haven't read it. So, on with the first book I've read from the list, 1984 by George Orwell.

The story is sent in an alternative future (it was written in 1949) and follows the character of Winston as he tries to live under the rule of the all-seeing Big Brother. Without spoiling too much of the plot, as you can guess, this doesn't turn out so well.

As I read this, I had to keep reminding myself this was written in 1949. The ideas Orwell came up with seem so plausible for today, that they must have blew people's minds back in the 50s. For example, telescreens installed in everyone's homes. This is where the term "Big Brother is watching you" comes from. I felt generally unnerved when reading this book, as it touches on similar issues as the Matrix; that only a small percentage of people are really aware of what is real and the rest (in 1984, the Proles) just mindlessly going on with their lives, under the illusion of free will. It does get you thinking, could this be real?

This is one of those books I think that should be read when meeting with a group or a class. I don't feel I appreciated it as much on this first read as the themes covered would benefit from further exploration and discussion. I looked up some information on the book this morning to try and get a better idea of what the ending was all about. However, I think when I have a bit more time, I definitely want to re-read it and use the classroom guides to try and get a better grasp.

So, would I recommend it? If you have a passing interest in Cold War era history this would definitely appeal. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone looking for a quick and easy read, this book demands your full attention.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Of Marshmallow Monkeys

When I was a very little girl, one of the jobs I saw myself doing (amongst many others) was being an author. I loved reading Enid Blyton and I thought that it would be the best job in the world to write books for other people to read.

I still think it would be a great career to have, but I still haven't done anything about it. This year, I intend to change all that. As is says on No.8, I'm going to start my novel. I don't know if I'm ever going to get it published, but I need to get the story out of my head and onto paper.

To boost my morale on this project, a friend has laid down the gauntlet and said that if I start to write one, he'll start to write his. So over the coming year, I will get this book out of my head, and get at least the first chapter written.

As for the title of this post, after an evening out with friends my husband received a text from my phone, calling him a "lovely marshmallow monkey". I was not with my phone at the time of sending this text but thought it would be a good challenge to try and fit in the phrase somewhere in the book.

Does anyone have any suggestions for other random phrases to try and include?