Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mucho Reviews

We finally got internet access back late on Saturday so I’m trying to catch up on blogging. I won’t be able to get to every post I’ve missed but will get back to regular visiting tomorrow. Today’s post is going to be reviews of books I’ve read lately.

Mark C. Durfee: scent of the garden within
A jam packed collection of poetry, with nearly every inch filled with Mark Durfee's sometimes loving, sometimes bitter, but always accurate words about today's world. This is the third in a trilogy of poetical works, and is the largest in scale. Mark is one of our blogging buddies, of course. For more information, or to order a copy of this book, see Mark’s blog.

Gerald So: We Might Have: Poems
This is a collection of contemporary poems that I read for Kindle ebook. I'm not sure if it's available in other formats. I didn't intend to read this one so quickly. I just got it yesterday. But I read the first few while taking a break from TV and found them addictive. Most are short and pithy. But there's clearly a sound talent behind the words and a lot of feeling in them. I'm 52 now and these poems probably apply most strongly to younger individuals, in their teens and 20s perhaps, but I could easily put myself back in those days and recall when I felt just like this. Good stuff. Gerald blogs here.

Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall: Night of the Living Trekkies
Since this is somewhat of a "gimmick" book, I was afraid it would be awful. But I love Star Trek so I decided to give it a try. It was actually very well done and I enjoyed it very much. I'm very pleased to have been wrong about it.

The key to this kind of thing is good writing and this certainly qualifies. And clearly the authors knew their subjects, both Star Trek and Zombies, and Star Wars to boot. Lots of nice touches, like using episode titles for the chapter titles, and having the dialogue at places reflect the shows.

Kudos to the authors.

Robert B. Parker: Resolution
I didn't think it was quite as good as Appaloosa or Brimstone but it was enjoyable and I feel comfortable giving it four stars.

Christopher Rowley: Heavy Metal Pulp: Pleasure Model: Netherworld #1
I reviewed this on Goodreads and gave it 2 stars and just said I didn’t much care for it. I’ll say a little more here. First the positives. It was a very quick and easy read. It’s heavily illustrated and the illustrations are pretty good. It was well edited and the writing was certainly professional. However, I personally found it fairly full of clichés. I also think the book didn’t quite know what it wanted to be. It sort of acted like it wanted to be an SF, hardcore porn version of a noir detective novel, but the sex was very limited. The SF aspects were not explained well enough for us to clearly see the world in which the story was set. And the noir detective part was certainly rather standard. There was a lot of graphic language but the story itself seemed fairly tame. It also didn’t really have a clear cut ending to the immediate story line, and I tend to dislike that. Even a series book should have a clear cut ending, I think.


Deka Black said...

Poetry is something i read... well, almost never. reasons' Maybe the way poetry was teached to me in the school. Alawys the same authors, year after year.

Plus. i like poem more when is narrative. to tell a story in verses is a feat.

Lisa said...

i am checking out gerald's blog but i cannot buy e-books from amazon, but can from i learned poems are for the young or young at heart who are in love or longing for their lover. there are some poems that describe physical pains but i could not relate to that at all. thank you charles. sounds like you are having a quiet time at home reading and enjoying poetry. don't ruin that by thinking about us:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad your internet is back. I've been wanting to read Night of the Living Trekkies since last year.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Thanks for the Gerald So tip. Saw a couple of his poems online and they look solid, indeed.

the walking man said...

This isn't sister Mary Clarice's poetry by any stretch of the imagination.

Thank you Charles for the pump up.

All I can say to those of you who don't read habitually at least some poetry you are short changing yourself. I had a great teacher, my grandmother who read Browning Yeats, Guest, Crane, Frost, Sandburg and others to me when I was 3 & 4 years old.

I apologize for the way it was taught to you, if it doesn't for a time hang as a painting in your mind, that is not your fault it is the fault of them who tried to force the rote learning and memorization on you. That is sad but I think that now that you don't have someone trying to jam it up your ass, it's time to unpucker and look again.

Though she has had some personal issues to deal with for the past few months try Julie Buffaloe-Yoder @ HERE Personally she is my favorite contemporary poet. Look through her archives and the why of my like of her will become swiftly apparent.

Charles Gramlich said...

Deka, I only started reading poetry in grad school when I discovered Dylan Thomas. I've been a fan ever since.

Oceangirl, Gerald's poems were definitely more young lover and young yearning poems. I could empathize with them, though.

Alex, it's good, man.

Don, yeah, I enjoyed the collection.

Mark, happy to do it. And thanks for the heads up on your favorite poet. I'll check out the link.

laughingwolf said...

glad you're back, charles

have all 3 of mark's books... super!

will look for the others...

BernardL said...

Since I finally broke down and got a Kindle, I'm previewing a whole lot more material. Welcome back to the Ethernet. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, yeah, Mark put together a nice trilogy there.

Bernardl, glad to hear about the Kindle. I find mine quite handy.

j said...

Your description of Mark Durfree's poetry, "sometimes loving, sometimes bitter" interested me. I am definitely going to click the link and check out his blog.

I hope that you have a great week, Charles!

jodi said...

Charles, good to hear all is up and running again. I will be purchasing a signed copy from Mark soon, when we meet for coffee! Wish you were here to join us!

Charles Gramlich said...

Jennifer, thanks. Mark is from Detroit and he writes what he knows.

Jodi, that would be cool. Alas, too far away.