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Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

In which the supply of metaphor is desperately low and may spark a genre war, especially if those pesky e-books keep at it!

Title: One of Our Thursdays is Missing

Author: Jasper Fforde

Disclaimer for the uninitiated: What you are about to read is a review of the sixth book in a long-running series. Be warned that reading this review will probably lead to severe confusion and potential psychotic babbling without first having read the previous five volumes. If uninitiated, please direct your attention to The Eyre Affair and prepare to enter the world behind the written word. Highly recommended for all book lovers, very comedic, but may contain dodo birds.

What it’s about: She’s baaack! Or is she? My favorite literary detective returns (sort-of) for the sixth installment in the Thursday Next series, and fittingly the sixth book I’ve read this year! I had the privilege (nay, honor) of attending a reading and book signing at Barnes and Noble in New York and am happy to report that Mr. Fforde is as charming and amusing in person as he is on paper. Jasper (I hope he doesn’t mind the liberty!) explained his jumping off point for this book: He had already explored the terrors and challenges of a real person entering the Book World, so he wanted to flip the script and tackle how a book person might feel in the real world. What better way than with a slight shift of focus? The real Thursday is missing, so our book is narrated by the written Thursday.

If you’ve read First Among Sequels (and really if you haven’t, what are you doing with your life? Get thee to a bookstore!), you’ll know that the written Thursday is a bit of a hippie, but also a softer, warmer Thursday and ostensibly the Thursday Thursday wishes she could be. The shift in narrators was actually a welcome change and is the reason I’m dubbing this my favorite Thursday yet! (more…)

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In which I marvel at the extents to which teenage boys are willing to go for love (or to get laid)

Title: Youth in Revolt

Author: C. D. Payne

What it’s about: In many ways, Nick Twisp is your typical 14-year-old. He hates his parents, is covered in pimples, and is obsessed with sex. In other ways, Nick Twisp is an extraordinary 14-year-old. He is capable of unheard of levels of rebellion, all in the name of love. His One and Only is Sheeni Saunders: beautiful, academic, with plans to one day live in Paris with her darling husband Francois and their little dog Albert. Nick will do anything to win Sheeni’s love, going so far as to burn down the gourmet district of Berkley, slip sleeping pills to Sheeni’s interfering roommate, frame a rumored ex-boyfriend for car theft, and dress as a woman for several weeks to avoid the FBI’s detection. Granted, Nick has a lot to deal with. His rebellion is understandable. His over-the-hill mother is inexplicably pregnant by her married boyfriend Jerry, who has the nerve to die after leaving a car in their living room. His deadbeat father uses their court-mandated visits to get some free labor out of Nick and flaunt his latest live-in bimbette. His One and Only Love lives 200 miles away and just when Nick gets himself kicked out of his mother’s house and is able to move closer to his love, she transfers to a French-speaking private school in Santa Cruz! Sexually frustrated much?

Youth in Revolt is hilarious and irreverent. Nick is capable of being extremely crass, but also endearingly sweet. His love for Sheeni, whose fidelity is somewhat questionable, reminds us all of our own first love/obsession/lust/infatuation. His greatest desire is to get laid, something his suave alter ego Francois Dillinger is working towards with great concentration. I have no idea if 14-year-old boys are really like this. I’d love to know. If so, it’s amazing any of them grow to be normal functioning adults. (more…)

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