Overall Impression: Some great atmospheric short stories hidden within a cascade of irrelevant non-fiction.
Phew, I am so glad to have finished this book! What a slow journey, at times I didn’t think I was ever going to finish it. I should mention however, that the reason for my negative rating is to do with this specific edition of the book by Collins Classic. The short stories – my original reason for purchasing, were entertaining and historically interesting. I set out only to buy the famous short story Sleepy Hollow but discovered this edition was cheaper. Getting more pages for a better price seemed like a win win at the time. Hm, turns out not so much… the title is clever, it tends to suggest the book will be full of chilling stories when in fact, there are only three (73 pages worth). The rest of the 332 pages are non-fiction, not quite what I had in mind!
Featuring ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ and ‘Rip Van Winkle’, this collection of inspired essays, stories and sketches established Washington Irving’s reputation as one of America’s foremost authors. Irving’s timeless characters, including Ichabod Crane, Rip Van Winkle and the headless Hessian trooper, jostle for space 31 equally atmospheric and lyrical works in this haunting anthology from one of America’s most distinctive literary voices.
Learning about the author himself was actually one of the most interesting parts of this book! Before I began I had no idea how crucial Washington Irving’s work was to literature, he apparently was one of the first to successfully bridge the gap between America and Europe. He is named as one of the first authors to bring up the idea of copyright to protect author’s work from being plagiarised and was great at using marketing to his advantage. He created the pseudonym Knickerbocker and put up missing person posters suggesting the author had mysteriously disappeared to help gain a buzz of interest around his work. He also created the Christopher Columbus myth Continue reading
You can be the best writer on the face of the planet, but if you don’t have anything to write about you’re screwed.
Lets face it, a writers least favourite past time is having a face off with a blinking cursor, but often that’s exactly what we find ourselves doing. (Wait what…? Did I just call myself a writer? I guess I kind of did.. :S Hmm..lets go with extreme amateur writer, that seems a little more accurate.)
There is nothing I find more frustrating than sitting readily at a computer full of proactive excitement ready to write the best prose in history and then stopping short, because hey there’s just one problem. I have no story.
Perhaps I should backtrack a little. You see, what prompted this spur of the moment post is my Creative Writing class. For my first semester I had to write a 2,000 word short story. I was stuck. Desperately searching in to the depths of my brain I wondered where all my childhood imagination had run off to. I used to have endless ideas zooming around up there but after years and years of not writing anything fiction at all, I felt pretty rusty. Continue reading
Overall Impression: An endless book of fabulous fantasy and childish imagination.
Way back in February after completing a set of exams I decided to reward myself with a book spurge. The Complete Fairytales by The Brothers Grimm was one of those books. Since then, fairytales seem to have become some sort of trend, making appearances in both the TV and film industries. Which does make me wonder, why did I decide to pick up the Brothers Grimm this year? Was it really on a whim? Or did it get into my subconscious?
Another reason I chose this book is because two of the stories are on The Rory Gilmore Challenge (Rapunzel, and Snow White and Rose Red) and being the type of person who never likes to do things half way, I though hey, why not read ALL the Grimm fairytales?! 🙂
‘The stories have immense vitality…no punches are pulled…no emotion is unrepresented’
– Margaret Atwood
Wolves and grandmothers, the seven dwarfs, a goose made of gold…the folk tales collected by the Grimm brothers created an astonishingly influential imaginative world. However, this is also a world where a woman cooks her stepson and an evil queen dances to death in a pair of burning shoes. Violent, funny, disturbing and wise, these stories have intrigued both children and adults for generations.
I actually had to do some research before purchasing this book so I would like to warn anyone interested in reading the Grimm Fairytales to do the same. The reason for this is that there are a lot of books out there claiming to be the complete version, when in actual fact they are not. There are a lot of different volumes due to the fact that the Brothers Grimm didn’t publish them all in one go. The official number of tales is 210, so this is the number you should look for. My version however boasts on it’s back cover 279 stories, and claims to be the only complete edition available because it also includes The Omitted Tales, Selected Tales from the annotation of 1856, Jacob Grimm’s Tales, Published Tales and finally Selected Tales from the Posthumous Papers of the Brothers Grimm. These are extra bonus stories for those that are interested. So if your looking for the best book to go for, I would say this is definitely the one to pick! 🙂
Overall Impression: From government organizations, to battles in WW2, and evil teddies. This book is surely an entertaining mixture.
I received a request to review this book by the author Michael Cargill, it is a collection of three short stories; Shades of Grey, There and Back Again, and Down the Rabbit Hole.
John is not a very nice man. He works for the government. So who has tied him to a chair and what do they want? James is a British soldier during WWII. Tom is a young boy with a terrible secret.
Three stories. Three very different people. All of them battling to survive.
Shades of Grey
This story focuses on John, a man that works for the government. One day he finds himself tied to a chair in an interrogation room. He doesn’t know why he’s there or what they want, but he does know one thing; he’s not talking. As his interrogators try to coax information out of him he fades in and out of consciousness and reminisces on his life. Will he find a way to escape? Does he even want to?
I really enjoyed this story because I felt it was very original, I have never read anything with a setup quite like it. Continue reading
Hello all! Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I’ve been busy, busy, busy. But I’m making up for it now by bringing you Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic’s first EVER author interview and book giveaway! This is groundbreaking news people! It almost makes me….dare I say …a more professional blogger? Mwuhuhu.
Michael Cargill is a fellow WordPress user, and aspiring author. He is here to share a little bit about himself, and promote his new book Shades of Grey! He is also offering a grand total of TEN copies of his book to give away, so please make him feel welcome.
Let the questions begin! 🙂
What made you decide to take the leap and self publish?
I used to send stupid emails to people at work and some of those people said I should write a book. In the end I decided to publish some of the stuff that was in the emails and Diary of a Dork was born. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to do it but after that I realized how easy it was to do. Diary of a Dork isn’t actually a story or anything, it’s just off-beat humor that is very different to my other books. Some of the characters in it live on in spirit on my blog though…
Who is your favorite author?
My favourite author is definitely Stephen King. Continue reading