I love seeing people walking by with little smiles on their face because something small happened that made them happy. Maybe they got a cute text, maybe they got laid, maybe they killed a man. You will never know.
One night ago, I was hours away from here in Cleveland having the best and worst concert experience of my life. No, that’s not an oxymoron. Think of it as two separate shows. Use abbreviations if you want. There’s BTROK (before The Reign of Kindo) and ATROK (after The Reign of Kindo).
[Cannonball Read V] Review #167: I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern
Take two after an accidental key press wiped out my review seconds after I’d finished it. As I was saying the first time, Justin Halpern isn’t halfway near as fun as he seems to think he is. He’ll forever be riding the coattails of his father, whose popularity this book helped me understand.
Though when he stops the funny guy act and gets real, talking about the love of his life Amanda, it’s like he’s a different writer altogether. This is a guy I can relate to and enjoy spending the duration of a book with. He’s like me, but a slightly newer and better model.
If he can find a girl like Amanda, who’s to say I can’t as well? I’ve been down on the chances of me ever finding someone as of late, so I Suck at Girls gave me the hope I so desperately needed. I just wish there was more of that and less of Halpern’s unsuccessful stabs at comedy. Leave that to your father, Halpern.
[Cannonball Read V] Review #166: The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 3: 1955-1956 by Charles M. Schulz
To anyone who’s paying attention, I did skip a volume. I placed an interlibrary loan request for volume two as well, but it couldn’t be fulfilled. Not too surprising, considering the luck I have in similar situations.
Until my sister bought me The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I wasn’t able to read every story in the series due to the library’s only collection being incomplete.
The Pitt Book Center had The Gunslinger, and every other book in the series… besides its sequel, The Drawing of the Three.
The local libraries, oddly enough, have books one and three in Christopher Moore’s vampire trilogy (Bloodsucking Fiends and Bite Me), but not book two.
When I placed a hold request for all six parts of The Green Mile, I got them all at the same time… minus one.
The local libraries have the first two volumes of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, but no more after them.
No branch of the Carnegie Library had a copy of the first Dark Tower graphic novel, The Gunslinger Born, but the Butler library, whose selection of graphic novels is slim and hidden upstairs with the non-fiction, does.
This may or may not have something to do with why I so rarely read series. I should’ve known, with as many volumes as The Complete Peanuts is up to, that this was inevitable. Doesn’t make it any less disappointing, especially given buying a copy is currently out of the question, given what each volume runs you ($20+). I’m sure I’ll find a way to read it eventually, but I can hardly stand reading things out of sequence, and only did it this time because that’s how badly I wanted my Peanuts fix.
[Cannonball Read V] Review #165: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Violence against one’s children, I feel, is never the answer, but Harriet the Spy had me rethinking that stance. I don’t have it in me to wail on an adult, let alone a child; however, if I were to father a child like Harriet, I would consider putting her up for adoption because a) I couldn’t be trusted not to take the belt to her and b) I have clearly failed as a parent and so she’d be better served being raised by someone else more qualified. She makes that red-headed demon from the Problem Child movies seem like a parent’s dream (think Roald Dahl’s Matilda) by comparison.
Alright, I might be overstating my point a wee bit, but Harriet was the literary equivalent of that little girl who spent what must’ve been something like half of my nine hour shift the other day at Walmart letting loose uninterrupted ear-piercing screams that could be heard from one end of the store to the other. She is a hateful, spiteful hell spawn incapable of learning the error of her ways, largely due to having mostly absent parents who foist her off on a therapist the second things get out of hand.
[Cannonball Read V] Review #164: Tale of Sand by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl
Prior to beginning reading, I attempted to flip to the last page to see how many pages there were and landed, instead, on a page near the end on which a naked woman unzips her skin to reveal a man underneath. After the initial feeling of shock subsided, I got to wanting to read it that much more. Jim Henson wrote this? Based on that quick teaser, I was expecting easily his most adult (which is to say, graphic) output yet; however, unfortunately, outside of that page, Tale of Sand has nothing more risque than The Dark Crystal.
That doesn’t mean it’s not an outlier for Henson, much like The Dark Crystal was, when you consider what his body of work mainly consisted of (i.e., children’s programs). You have to laugh at Henson thinking someone was going to invest in this screenplay; there’s barely enough material there for a short film, and it would require an extensive budget to fully realize, meaning anyone who bought it would be almost certain to take a loss on it. Moreover, where’s the audience? I’m sure Henson fans would be intrigued, but who else would want to watch what plays out like a story set entirely within a dream and written through some form of word association.
Anytime it starts to return to some type of normalcy, he mixes it up with what was probably the most out-there and unexpected change of pace he could think up at that point in time. This is moderately amusing, but it left me asking myself at the end what the takeaway was supposed to be. I got hints of a deeper meaning, yet I can’t even hazard a guess at what it might be. Perhaps it’s just an exercise in frivolity, meant merely to amuse, not to be taken seriously and picked apart. I had hoped the discussion that was included of the screenplay would reveal which it was, though I had no such luck.
If you want to see Henson as you never saw him before, read Tale of Sand. But if you’re not a fan, or that doesn’t necessarily pique your interest, you wouldn’t be missing out on much if you were to just skip it.