As a kid, my father told me that constantly. "Eso es Satanico" referred to Ninja Turtles, Smurfs, Garbage Pail Kids, and even Madballs. I tried to convince him that Scooby Doo wasn't 'satanico' because the monsters were actually angry old men who ran county fairs and not at all related to the devil or he-who-must-not-be-named.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I really, really love what it is that James Kochalka does. And what he does is touching, cute, and shockingly violent at the same time. And by touching I mean surprisingly touching. I've read 2.5 of his books now and they always get me right there. I told him so. I pointed at my chest and said "Monkey vs. Robot got me right there, man." of course, that was when I'd only read Monkey vs. Robot. I've since read just less than half of the first collected American Elf book and now, Magic Boy and the Robot Elf.

It really is a thing of beauty the way he tells these seemingly nonsensical tales that grab you. Almost like a cuter, less developed version of a Jason story.

I suggest everyone go to their local bookstore, grab a cup of coffee, and read a James Kochalka book as soon as possible.

Then buy all of them.

book clubs pt. 3

I actually read Couch before reading Whatever you do, Don't Run, but I wasn't sure what to say about it. I'm still not entirely sure.

Couch was a winding and long read. I was in it to finish it, and I did, but I didn't feel like it was worth the trip.

Three guys-- Thom, Erik, and Tree, decide to carry a mystical, nearly invincible couch to its place of origin. Kind of like a modern Tolkien story. People try to stop them, everyone wants the couch and whatever power/knowledge it may or may not contain within. There's even a Tom Bombadil character.

Couch was an adventure that really, really made me feel hopeless for the characters. Everything was so grueling and sweaty and dark and lost for so much of the book. I felt a little abused by the end. A little taken. Again, just like Tolkien only the end of The Return of the King was worth the trip.

I liked that the character of Erik was kind of a prick, and that Thom had so much heart. Tree was kind of useless.

I read this book for the Elliott Bay sci-fi book club and when I arrived I met a whole bunch of people who really, really seemed to like the book more than I did.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Book club books for to meet people pt. 2.

The last book club went well. There were seven or eight people there, all ready and I guess somewhat excited to discuss The Last Night at the Lobster. It was me and a few ladies in their 40s, and everyone was really kind. I liked it-- people were interested in discussing even the smallest parts of the book and everyone laughed at everything I said.

Whatever You Do, Don't Run was another such purchase-- to get me into a book club and get me talking shit with a new group of people in Seattle. This time it was the new book group, and it went well. The conversation was good, the coffee and snacks even better (Cafe El Diablo).

Take a look at the cover of Whatever You Do, Don't Run. You don't have to look too closely to see that the safari hat the Lion is holding on to was superimposed using MS Paint or Print Shop. It was as if they had no intention of making any effort whatsoever. I picked it up, looked at it, looked at the cost ($16, methinks), and almost didn't buy it. It's not as if Safari-guide non-fiction is something I was dying to read.

I got it anyway, and I guess I'm kind of glad. Peter Allison's book is a bunch of episodes, mostly ending in bad sitcom-style jokes, about being a tour-guide in Botswana. He's not a particularly good writer, but the he managed to pique my interest in what it must be like encounter a lion while walking alone in the Desert. Almost every story involves encounters with animals that can bite, stomp, sting, or squeeze you to death. Sometimes it reminded me of reading horror, because the danger level seemed almost unreal. At one point Allison parties with some of the guests, and one of them gets drunk and wanders off in the middle of the night. The assumption, the book has you believe, is that it is almost impossible that he hasn't been devoured by something.

Whatever You Do, Don't Run isn't a book that gave this book club much to talk about, besides all of the "oh, shit" moments it inspires. Oh, shit. Lions and snakes are like zombies, waiting beyond and sometimes within the small perimeter of the safari camp to devour you.

I guess, for me, Whatever you Do, Don't Run is the definitive summer beach read. You just read this simple book, and its over in a day. Occasionally you say "oh, shit" and you might giggle a couple of times, though I find that hard to believe. I'm going to send it to one of my rarely-reading siblings. I found it that readable.

Also, did I mention I got my job back just over a month ago? Things are better now.

About Me

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Seattle, Washington, United States
I don't have enough time on my hands. I have too much time on my hands.