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Posts Tagged ‘induced a pathological reaction’

8. “Misery,” Stephen King

January 14, 2011 4 comments

Big time author Paul Sheldon celebrates finishing a new book– the first since he killed off the character, Misery CHastaine, who made him famous, but whom be grew to hate– with a bottle of champagne behind the wheel of his car in a blizzard. When his car spins out of control, he is pulled from the wreckage by Annie Wilkes, his number one fan. Annie nurses Paul carefully back to health, treating him as best she can with his badly mangled legs. Soon, though, Paul realizes that she is a dangerously ill woman and as her mental health slips, he finds himself more and more under her power. The two are locked into a battle of minds and wills Paul cannot afford to lose.

I meant to go to sleep more than an hour and a half ago. But I still had that much time left in this audio book and I could. not. stop. I legitmately let out a small, dry sob of terror somewhere near the end of the book. Okay, twice. Maybe three times. And there was one moment where I was so dizzy with fright I thought I might faint. I sunk my entire day into this book and don’t regret it.

If you listen to this audiobook, which I highly recommend, definitely listen to the version read by Lindsay Crouse, which is really well done and gives Kathy Bates a run for her money.

Page count: 352

Page total: 2,217

56. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” Seth Grahame-Smith

August 11, 2010 Leave a comment

While reading this book, I kept saying things like “startling new evidence has recently come to light that Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, was, in fact, an accomplished vampire hunter,” and “were you aware that many of President Lincoln’s closest friends and family members were slaughtered by the walking dead?” and “do you realize that this country owes a debt to not only the evil institution of slavery, but the extravagantly wealthy vampires who, driven from Europe to the US, purchased slaves for sport and food?” and “the vampire-controlled media downplays the startling influence vampires have long had over this nation’s highest offices.”

Sometimes, I’m not entirely sure that I should be allowed to read books. But, clearly, I shouldn’t be allowed to interact with other humans.

This wasn’t the best-written book I’ve ever read– the excerpt from Lincoln’s diary were not really in the president’s voice–, but the idea was very entertaining.

Page count: 336
Page total: 15,230

16. “The Island of Lost Maps,” Miles Harvey

March 21, 2010 Leave a comment

This book details the author’s obsessive research into a series of map thefts perpetrated by Gilbert Bland. Bland would visit libraries (mostly at universities) and cut valuable antique maps from the books, selling them to map enthusiasts.

Page count: 351
Page total: 4,094

15. “Fight Club,” Chuck Palahniuk

March 15, 2010 Leave a comment

I had forgot how different the last fifty pages were to the movie.

Damn, I just want to punch some motherfuckers.

Page count: 203

Page total: 3,743

54. “Blindness,” José Saramago

August 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Really interesting, but very problematic– frequently sexist and blindness exists only as a metaphor for the worst side of human nature. People who experience this white blindness quickly become animals, shitting their beds, hording food, lashing out violently. In fact, the author has them referring to one another as animals: when one character asks the other his name, he responds “what use would names be to us, no dog recognizes another dog” by name (52). So throughout the story, people are referred to by a descriptor. Predictably, the married women are referred to as [whoever’s] wife, and not as autonomous beings. Even the doctor’s wife, whom I will refer to as the woman who could see, is nothing more than her husband’s job.

Liat Ben-Moshe breaks down the problematic theme of blindness in “Disability Studies Quarterly.” I also came across a blog that asks What Sorts of People Should There Be? that comments on a few of the advertising techniques employed by the movie promoters.

Stylistically, Saramago does not use punctuation marks to set off dialog, nor does he use carriage returns. Paragraphs are often quite long. This makes the book difficult to put down, because there are very few natural pauses. I don’t mean difficult in a bad way, nor in an entirely positive way. It took some getting used to each time I returned to it, but once I figured it out, it kept me reading. It also augments the confusion of not yet having learnt how to navigate blind in a seeing world, as the speech sees to overlap and sometimes it is hard to sort out who is saying what.

I did find the book engrossing– while reading I experienced the odd blurring between life and reading and kept forgetting that neither my friend nor I were blind. In my defense, for a lot of the time that I was reading, he was sleeping half-sitting up in the same room, there but not seeing. Also in my defense, I am ridiculous and apparently don’t understand the difference between having your eyes shut and being physically unable to see.

Page count: 352
Page total: 22,864

51. “The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasure of the Obituary,” Marilyn Johnson

August 10, 2009 Leave a comment

This book made me want to a) collect obituaries b) become an obituarist. Its cover is terribly clever and excited the eighteenth century buff in me.

Page count: 223
Page total: 21,937