Books, hockey, and a bucketful of snark

Being the musings of a Yorkshire lass living in the USA. I'm a book geek, bird nerd, grammar Nazi, and hockey nut.  Sarcasm is my default setting. 

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Creepy Carnivals

Nights At The Circus - Angela Carter

“The luxury of the place had been nothing but illusion, created by the candles of midnight and in the dawn, all was sere, worn-out decay. We saw the stains of damp and mould on ceilings and the damask walls; the gilding on the mirrors was all tarnished and a bloom of dust obscured the glass so that, when we looked within them, there we saw, not the fresh young women that we were, but the hags we would become, and knew that, we too, like pleasures, were mortal.”

 

After all the rage I've been feeling this week over what's been going on in the news, this book was the perfect antidote. 

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Creepy Carnivals

Nights At The Circus - Angela Carter

Her voice. It was as if Walser had become a prisoner of her voice, her cavernous, sombre voice, a voice made for shouting about the tempest, her voice of a celestial fishwife. Musical as it strangely was, yet not a voice for singing with; it comprised discords, her scale contained twelve tones. Her voice, with its warped, homely, Cockney vowels and random aspirates. Her dark, rusty, dipping, swooping voice, imperious as a siren's.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Creepy Carnivals

Nights At The Circus - Angela Carter

 

Sophi Fevvers—the toast of Europe's capitals, courted by the Prince of Wales, painted by Toulouse-Lautrec—is an aerialiste extraordinaire, star of Colonel Kearney's circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover Fevvers's true identity: Is she part swan or all fake? Dazzled by his love for Fevvers, and desperate for the scoop of a lifetime, Walser joins the circus on its tour. The journey takes him—and the reader—on an intoxicating trip through turn-of-the-century London, St. Petersburg, and Siberia—a tour so magical that only Angela Carter could have created it.

 

I've been meaning to re-read this one for a while now, and this is the perfect opportunity.

 

This is the cover of my copy of the book (ISBN 0099388618) which annoyingly isn't in the Booklikes database.

 

Halloween Bingo 2018 - New Release

Early Riser - Jasper Fforde

Oh but it was good to dive back into Fforde's skewed way of looking at the world.

 

As with Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, I find it difficult to review his books because they are just delightfully bonkers and hard to explain. But if you're already a fan of his stuff then you'll probably enjoy this one too. (I guarantee you'll enjoy it more than endless episodes of Crossroads.)

 

 

Halloween Bingo 2018 - New Release

Early Riser - Jasper Fforde

Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream? 

 

It's like Inception but with Tunnock's Teacakes 

 

 

 

Halloween Bingo 2018 - New Release

Early Riser - Jasper Fforde

This book is the lovechild of Moominland Midwinter and 1984. I would say it's closer to Shades of Grey than it is to Thursday Next. A bit of a slow-burner to start with, but things are now beginning to get going.

 

I think Fforde has mentioned in interviews that he had the Moomin stories in his mind while he was writing this, and he certainly pays homage with a character known as the Gronk (Moomin fans will remember the Groke who appears silently and who freezes the ground she sits on). However, you should probably not confuse Fforde's Gronk with the one that plays football for the New England Patriots.

 

And talking of the Groke, a friend sent me this - It's Fifty Shades of Groke.

 

Halloween Bingo 2018 - New Release

Early Riser - Jasper Fforde

The 'OMG, I can totally see where this is going', Tom Jones joke has taken 96 pages to reach the punchline. And I still laughed out loud. And read it to my husband, who also laughed.

 

Vintage Fforde.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - New Release

Early Riser - Jasper Fforde

'Oh, and let's get any confusion sorted out: lacrosse, our true national game, is intentionally violent, whereas hockey, is incidentally violent, and unless you've got time to spare, don't ask me about counterfeit maple syrup.'

 

Was totally not expecting a bonus hockey reference in a Jasper Fforde novel.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - New Release

Early Riser - Jasper Fforde

Imagine a world where all humans must hibernate through a brutally cold winter, their bodies dangerously close to death as they enter an ultra-low metabolic state of utterly dreamless sleep. All humans, that is, apart from the Sleep Marshalls, a group of officers who diligently watch over the vulnerable sleeping citizens.

 

Charlie Worthing is a junior Sleep Marshall who hears of a conspiracy - a viral dream is somehow spreading amongst those in the hibernational state, causing paranoia, hallucination and a psychotic episode that can end in murder. When Charlie enters the sleepstate himself and wakes two months later, all those who knew about the dream have disappeared...

 

It's not Thursday Next, but a new Jasper Fforde book is always welcome.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Shifters

Magic Triumphs -  Ilona Andrews

“Yes, bad. Look at Daddy ripping the bad man to pieces. Go Daddy!”

 

Well that was an extremely satisfying end to this series. And has made me very impatient for the next Iron and Magic installment.

 

There are plenty of laughs, plenty of kick-ass moments, epic battles, and a couple of 'whoa, I did not see that coming' moments.

 

Not everyone makes it out alive, but I was well pissed at

Saiman's death happening off-page and only meriting one lousy paragraph. The details of his will and burial had better have some pay-off somewhere in the future.

(show spoiler)

 

Oh, and Sunshine Realty totally deserved what happened to them. In fact, they got off pretty lightly to be honest.

 

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Shifters

Magic Triumphs -  Ilona Andrews

Oooooh, I feel as if I've been waiting forever for this one.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Spellbound

Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett

“And what are you doing on it, I would like to know? Running away from home, yesno? If you were a boy I'd say are you going to seek your fortune?"
"Can't girls seek their fortune?"
"I think they're supposed to seek a boy with a fortune.”

 

Luckily, Esk and Granny Weatherwax are a wee bit more enlightened that that.

 

I did enjoy re-reading this book and seeing Granny's first appearance. But I do think her character gets even better in the later books when she has Nanny Ogg to spar with.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Spellbound

Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett

The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, wast to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check on the new-born baby's sex...

 

As Sir Terry himself says, "I suspect that via the insidious medium of picture books for children the wizards will continue to practice their high magic and the witches will perform their evil, bad-tempered spells. It's going to be a long time before there's room for equal rites." 

 

https://ansible.uk/misc/tpspeech.html

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Spellbound

Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett

It had to be Pratchett for this square. And what better than the first appearance by the inimitable Granny Weatherwax?

 

I'm going to have to gallop my way through this one because according to my library, Magic Triumphs is 'in transit'.

Halloween Bingo 2018 - Relics and Curiosities

The Story of the Amulet - H.R. Millar, E. Nesbit

I love how Nesbit doesn't dumb anything down for her readers. I had to go and look up 'oricalchum'. 

 

 

This could also work for 'Cryptozoology'. Don't worry though, the psammead isn't dangerous, just a sarcastic little bastard with a superiority complex.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 65%.

The Story of the Amulet - H.R. Millar, E. Nesbit

I wish you could have seen all the honours and kindnesses lavished on the children and the learned gentleman by those ancient Britons. You would have thought, to see them, that a child was something to make a fuss about, not a bit of rubbish to be hustled about the streets and hidden away in the workhouse.

 

E Nesbit. Not just a good author, but also a damn fine human being.

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