darlingfox: ([misc] read and learn)
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown.

You'd think I'd run screaming at the sight of the words "a woman of extraordinary beauty", but I was in the mood for historical fiction and I thought that I could try this one since it was new in the library.

I gave up around page 50 since nothing interesting had happened by then. Life is too short to waste on yet another mediocre love-at-first-sight romance novel. There's nothing wrong with liking them or, indeed, in the romance novels themselves if they're well-written. This wasn't. Elizabeth wasn't a likable character and the first person narrative was very distracting instead of immersing.

Even worse for a novel which is supposed to be historical, there was no sense of time or place. I might have continued reading if the setting would have felt like 15th century England, but it didn't. The characters might as well have lived in the Lalafantasyland in the year of the Unicorn.

Note to self: avoid novels with "extraordinary beauties" in the future. It never ends well.
darlingfox: ([misc] read and learn)
Stolen from [personal profile] viridian_magpie.

Bolded - have read
Underlined - read a book from a series or stopped reading a single book at some point

Read more... )
darlingfox: ([khr] clouds are gathering for the storm)
In an attempt to broaden my reading horizons again, I picked up a detective/thriller novel. The backcover made it sound interesting enough and I kind of liked the Finnish title. Unfortunately it ended up being so offensive that I read only about 50 pages and then leafed through the rest just to see if it got any worse.

Of course it did.

I'm talking about Jean-Christophe Grangè's Miserere. I don't know if it's been translated into English and frankly, I don't care enough to check. The Finnish translation is called Viattomien veljeskunta, literally The Brotherhood of the Innocents. Apparently Grangè is very popular both in France and internationally, and this isn't the first novel that has been translated into Finnish. I will not under any circumstances check out to see if his other books are better than this one: even if they were, I couldn't stop thinking that he's a homophobic ass.

Miserere's main characters are two cops, Kasdan and Volokine. Kasdan is old and your typical big'n tough cop. Also very homophobic. I didn't mind this as such when it was revealed because yes indeed, there are people like that and it's not like Kasdan's the only character in the book. Then it turns out that Volokine, who's younger but at least as badass as Kasdan & some kind of a computer guru, admires Kasdan for being, and this is an almost word-to-word quote, "a real cop, not one of those fags who play violin or [something apparently not manly enough] in their free time".

In addition, the characters make very clear, both individually and together, that all gays are promiscuous cheaters. One suspect is a gay prostitute who was a stereotypically offensive caricature of a gay man. Kasdan hated him right away, and without any reason or authority took away his important papers (passport etc., he was a filthy immigrant too). The victim was a closeted gay man, partner of said prostitute (and very jealous, but it's not like the prostitute could help himself because he's so gay), masochist and a leader of a boys choir which, as you might have guessed, made the cops think that he must be a pedophile. I leafed through a hundred or so pages and surprisingly, the victim wasn't a pedophile. He'd been a cruel torturer in Chile instead!


I rate this book as AAAC, Avoid At All Costs.
darlingfox: ([fairy tail] that's just creepy)
Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, 13th chapter (Sam, +7C), rough translation from Finnish:

I was like a bleeding womb where seeds of conscious thought lived in [descriptive stuff that has nothing to do with bleeding wombs]--

I can't believe someone thought that was a good simile to put into a book. It doesn't even make any sense! Bleeding womb like having your periods or like having a miscarriage? And WTF is the stuff about frosty forests and changing seasons after that? Also, how would the POV guy know what a bleeding womb feels like? I mean, what?
darlingfox: ([clamp] if lady luck gets on my side)
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance

edited by Trisha Telep
24 short stories/paranormal romances by various authors

So, I threatened promised to post a review once I'd read this book and behold, here it is. Late because life happened.

Paranormal romance as a genre has become really popular lately, partly (mostly?) because of Stephenie Meyer's novels. I read this because I wanted to know why women read these kinds of stories. I'd heard that these have strong female characters and interesting romances, and I have nothing against either of those. I went through all the trouble of reviewing every story both for my own amusement and because I figured that someone might want to read this. There'll be plenty of SPOILERS for the stories.

24 short reviews (or something like that) )
darlingfox: ([bb] oh to be young again)
I'm reading Pratchett's Nation right now and I quite like it.

However, there's one little detail that probably didn't mean much to Pratchett but does to me (and to many other Finns, I suspect). Or rather, he thought Pilu was a nice name for a man while I think that even Twinkle would've been better.

Unfortunately Pilu is just one letter away from pillu which means pussy.

And I'm not talking about a cat.
darlingfox: (Default)

Day one: a song
Day two: a picture

Day three: a book/ebook/fanfic
Day four: a site
Day five: a youtube clip
Day six: a quote
Day seven: whatever tickles your fancy

Project Gutenberg has two P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves & Wooster novels for share. I recently downloaded them myself: maybe I'll remember to read them now that I actually have them.

I read all the available Finnish translations of the J & W novels many years ago. I should do it again because the stories are amusing, entertaining and very slashy. :P Reading them from the computer screen just isn't the same.

Right Ho, Jeeves

My Man Jeeves

There's also a TV-show in case someone didn't know, starring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. I watched it every morning back when it first aired here, whenever that was. I wasn't the only one; I think most of people did since the show pops up in random conversations every now and then.
darlingfox: (Default)
Snagged from [personal profile] viridian_magpie because I was bored.

The Big Read thinks the average adult has only read six of the top 100 books they've printed below.

1) Look at the list and bold, those you have read.
2) Italicise those you intend to read
3) Underline the books you LOVE. [fingers bleed from coding this already]
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them.

26/100 )
darlingfox: ([g00] you're all unfit idiots)
In order to broaden my horizons, I'm currently reading The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance. It's a collection of short paranormal romances written by various authors. I'm somewhere around story nine (writing short reviews as I go, so I'll post them when I'm finished), and only one hasn't left me rolling my eyes and/or wanting to bash the author's skull in.

I've understood that these stories are increasingly popular among (young) women, and I can't help wondering why. They're certainly not feministic, or if they are, it's only the surface covering horrible caveman-like attitude. The authors don't even seem to realise the real, serious issues their writing may have.

For example, there's this one story about a woman who's more or less a zookeeper of mythological creatures. Fine, except that some of them are highly intelligent creatures. The author/protagonist mentions offhandedly that the resident vampire has gone through every possible test save being set free. I don't know about you, but I can easily imagine what kind of tests those were. Seems to me that the author wasn't able to decide whether the creatures were animals or, for the lack of a better word, humans. When the protagonist did finally get it on with a selkie man, I didn't know whether she was doing it with an animal or a human prisoner/guinea pig. I'm not sure which option disturbs me more.

Still, there's the possibility that the author would've explored that particular subject more if she could've written a longer story (damn it, I want to believe that). It's only 19 pages as it is, and there's a limit of how much stuff you can put in that. The "relationship" between the protagonist and the selkie certainly was delightfully selfish and twisted.


darlingfox: (Default)

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