I recently read Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. I picked it up from the library because Lila and I fell in love with the movie, and I was so excited to read it.
Stardust is the story of a young man living near a mysterious fairy world. The young man travels to this world in order to find a falling star to win the heart of a young woman. During the course of the book, the young man finds the star, a lovely young woman, and falls in love with her. They enjoy a series of adventures throughout.
I have to say I am sorely disappointed with this book. The movie is incredible, and I think it elaborates on the concept and story better than the book. The movie gives the story an edge with a sharp timeline instead of a meandering journey, which gives the story an element of excitement and keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. In the book, the plot moves very slowly, and many of the scenes are quite anti-climatic. For example, at the end of the movie (warning, Spoiler!) the young star and young man endure a heated battle to secure the life of the star from a set of evil witches who want to eat her heart for everlasting life. The battle is rich and exciting, the young man and his mother are reunited, the young man finds he is to be king, and the evil witches die. In the book, the evil witch simply walks away from the star, and the young star even gives her a kiss, followed by yet even more meandering as the young man and the star listlessly journey about before returning to the kingdom to lead.
Another thing that really bothered me about the book is the state in which the young man returns to his home town. In the book, he is described as being a raggedly dirty gypsy boy, not readily recognized or accepted by his former community. The movie better illustrates the transformation of the boy into a young man during his journey by presenting him as a fine and handsome, dashing young man with confidence and skills to succeed. For a young man who is destined to be king, this is a better illustration to make.
I did finish the book, but overall found it dull and tedious, and was quite frustrated with the lackluster progression of the plot and development of the characters. This is one of the few, rare cases where the movie is a better choice.
Borrowed The Big Book of Weekend Crochet from the library recently, and thougth i’d post my thoughts. nice – had a handful of really neato patterns in it. the patterns were classic, applying basic stitches and details in an appealing and versatile form. the only drawback – too many baby patterns. I really liked several of the sweater/wraps/cardigan patterns, and one or two tank top patterns. The rest was not to my liking. Do I think it’s worth the 18.00$? No. But I might consider it used for way cheaper.
Old-Time Crochet Made Easy
This is a fabulous book, containing 74 patterns ranging from doilies to afghans to wearables and household items. The pattern instructions are clear and easy to follow, the items, especially the doilies, are beautiful and work up quickly and nicely. Some of the wearables are not very practical, but there are a few patterns for shawls that I’d consider making. Lots of filet patterns, which have clear graphs to follow. I love the potholder and other kitchen patterns, and some of the little misc patterns are neat. Pretty much everything in this book is delicate, lacy, and has a vintage flair. Thread is the emphasis, so if you’re a threadie, definintely check this item out. It runs really cheap used on Amazon and Half.com, so I recommend it for anyone’s library.
Illuminati ~ Larry Burkett
it is bland; like all the other conspiracy theory pulp fiction out there, especially after reading something as divine as Geek Love. i see now that reading Dunn’s book has left me wanting… Geek Love was so rich and full, that other books fail to even come close, and feel empty and hollow.
so back to The Illuminati. based on an ancient, secret organization that achieves total world domination, world power and begins extreme measures of control and annihilation of anyone who believes different from them. the book itself is unremarkable in its style and content, and is completely predictable in its outcomes. to be fair, it is interesting in how the tools of control are so easily accepted by the American people in the book; the government slips the control methods in so slyly that it’s frightening. so that is a redeeming factor. however, that is grossly overshadowed by this extreme Christian slant to it – god this, jesus that… *that* was a bit much, for me, and i found myself rooting for evil from time to time because of the overly self righteous attitudes the heros indulged in.
anyways… read and released. not good enough for my collection.
the story begins with a family living in rural china in the ’20’s. they are doing well… the main character and husband owns land and farms it lovingly in order to provide for his family. They have enough… and then the weather turns, impoverishing them. Eventually, they must leave their land and their home for the city. life is hard, and right now the husband and wife are thinking about selling their little daughter in an attempt to climb out of their dark world of hunger and cold. It just breaks my heart… i think of how beautiful the little baby girl must be, and i feel the devastation of such a position.
The book is remarkably touching… this man works his life to bring about goodness and wealth for his family through the security of land ownership. The man struggles to find refinement in his life and surroundings, and is a success at bringing a new level of life to his family. He does build quite a land hold, to the point where he cannot farm it, and must hire workers. Eventually he rents the land out to neighbors for a portion of their take. The tragedy here is that his sons, whom he has struggled to raise and educate and provide a higher quality of life for, plot to sell the land as the man ages towards death. They do not understand the value of the land to themselves, and to their father.
there is one other bit of tragedy in the book. The man has a first wife, Olan, who he does not appreciate. throughout the book she works hard and gives to the man and the family, and gets little in return. as she lies dying, the man is saddened by his lack of appreciation of Olan, and recognizes too late what work she has done. This is a solemn reminder to all of us that we often do not appreciate what we have at hand until it is gone.