|Pirates, Zombies, Voodoo, Secret History, Yay!|
Even though I haven’t been feeling very well, I kept reading, and I found some quite interesting books.
Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami is the fourth book in the Rat tetralogy, and also the only book in the series translated into Serbian. Still, it wasn’t too difficult to follow it, once I just accepted that there was some mysterious stuff happening in the previous books, and then there was some mysterious stuff happening in the Dance Dance Dance. Basically, it was about a one man’s attempt to pull himself (and his life) together.
Then there was On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers; you can see the cover of the Serbian edition, done by Zeljko Pahek. The idea behind this book is fun: pirates, zombies, voodoo, loa, Blackbeard, Fountain of Youth, magic, adventures… In his usual manner, Powers writes a secret history, implementing magical events and explanations into things which really happened. The way Powers does it, everything has a logical explanation (involving voodoo and the rules of magic, but still logical), and everything fits. However, I have enjoyed other works by Powers more. One thing which annoyed me in On Stranger Tides were ship parts – yes, there are pirates, and ships, but if I’m going to read half a page about ship parts, and to read it every now and then, I’d like some explanation about those parts, what they do exactly, what’s their function on the ship and so on. But no; even when we’re told that the protagonist, Jack Shandy. has learned the difference between this and that type of rope, we’re never told what the difference is. The other thing that annoyed me were the characters of Jack and Beth; Beth is a damsel in distress throughout the entire novel, she’s there to be kidnapped and rescued and so on, she’s pretty much helpless, and at the end she’s the one saving the day; as for Jack, he used to be an accountant and a puppeteer, then was forced into becoming a pirate, and it turns out he’s extremely talented with cannons (one previously undiscovered talent would be fine), and that he’s extremely talented with all the sailor’s work (we’re not really told what sailor’s work exactly involves, other than sailing and carrying heavy stuff, we’re just told that Jack is talented in all of it).
Too bad, especially since I know that Powers can do so much better than this. The novel is still fun, but it could have been much better.
Then, Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates. It’s based on a real serial killer, and it’s about a dude who fantasizes about having his sex-slave, a lobotomized teenage boy who would adore him and do whatever he wants him to do, so he goes around, kidnaps teenage boys and tries to lobotomize them at home (children, don’t lobotomize people at home! And no, he’s not a surgeon, he just read about lobotomy in a book). The story is told from this dude’s point of view. A quick read, and an interesting one – assuming you can stomach it.
What’s left on my bookpile at the moment are the second and the third books of Dreamsongs by George R.R. Martin, a retrospective of his work; it’s quite an enjoyable read; and Gormenghast, the second book in the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervin Peak, a fantasy (sort of) trilogy where the main character is actually the Gormenghast Castle.That’s about 1600+ pages, and I expect them to be an enjoyable read.