Another week, another pile of books I’ve worked through! I’ll be honest, this week got off to a slow start for me (missed 2 whole days of reading due to various reasons) and I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I wanted to. I was hoping to finish off one or two of the Dresden books, but those got pushed to next week. I did, however, FINALLY start tackling my list of books I’ve been putting off. It’s pretty short, but intimidating: Lolita, Infinite Jest, Gravity’s Rainbow, and Ulysses. Of course I picked the easiest first, though I’m hoping to finish IJ in June so halfway through the year, I’ll be halfway done with the list! Hopefully…
The Devil’s Detective by Simon Kurt Unsworth: Finished May 20th. I was instantly drawn to the name of this one, but before reading the summary I braced myself for yet another boring detective novel with a cool name that has nothing to do with the plot. Thankfully, The Devil’s Detective is about a detective… in hell! He works for demons! He solves murders! He escorts angels around! It’s everything I always wanted and more.
Though this is indeed a detective novel, I’d also hesitantly shelve it as splatterpunk. It’s heavy on the gore and other revolting details of hell: I mean, it’s hell after all. But basically, don’t read this if you are squeamish. If you like demons, devils, mythology, angels, hellish mysteries, plant monsters? Read this. Read it right now. It’s an absolutely brilliant take on what a modern hell would be, and features an amazing cast of characters. The core mystery is not that mysterious, but the atmosphere is amazing, the writing is gorgeous, and the ending… it’s perfection.
Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov: Finished May 22nd. There’s little I can say about this that has not already been said a hundred times. Twisted, lyrical, unforgettable. I mean, it’s Lolita. Though honestly, I was expecting it to be more… horrific? Not to underplay the abuse element, of course, but given the fact that this is a banned book and all I thought it would be more explicitly vile (instead of emotionally vile). Possibly because last year I read The End of Alice and Tampa, books with the same thing but with a more nauseatingly graphic tilt. And I loved all 3 of them.
Never Never Part Two, by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher: Finished May 23rd. I honestly don’t know why I am torturing myself by reading this. I really, really didn’t like the first “part.” Also, this isn’t a serial book, it’s a book they cut up into three sections to draw out hype. Ugh. Honestly, I loved Hopeless, but I become more and more frustrated with Colleen Hoover every time I read a new book of hers.
There’s nothing I can say about the plot (“plot”) without spoiling the first part, but I can say that we get some answers. Well, like one answer. The big mystery is still left untouched for the most part. The thing is… no matter how much I hate this damn thing, I know I’m going to read part 3. I just have to know what happens! It’s like a curse.
The Hellbound Heart, by Clive Barker: Finished May 23rd. Read in preparation for The Scarlet Gospels, which I am SO excited about and hopefully will get to next week (if I can keep up with my Dresden reading). This had a nostalgic glow for me that really vanished on the re-read. Now, I love Clive Barker (and his short story “In The Hills, The Cities” is my favorite story of all time), but this left me feeling a little disappointed. Maybe because what everyone thinks of when they think of The Hellbound Heart/Hellraiser is the Cenobites, who are only in like 10% of this. No joke.
The rest is the story of the humans who have become wrapped up Lemarchand’s box and the horrible world of the Order of the Gash. Which sounds interesting but… the three main characters (not counting Frank, I love Frank) were very flat and one-dimensional. Sweet, doofy husband. Clumsy girl with crush on said doofy guy. Cold-hearted bitch out to kill anyone who gets in her way. It didn’t feel original or inventive, in sharp contrast to the wildly inventive and original world of the Cenobites. But hey, The Scarlet Gospels is focused almost entirely on Cenobite-world, so at least we have that to look forward to.