Monday, 19 September 2011

Kenneth Grahame - The Wind in the Willows

Title: The Wind in the Willows
Author: Kenneth Grahame
Pub. year: 1908
Pages: 256
Editor: Egmont
Summary: The Wild Wood seems a terrifying place to Mole, until he finds it's full of friends - kind, sleepy Badger; brave and lively Ratty; and the irresponsible Mr Toad, famous for his wealth and his car smashes.
But there are also the sinister weasels and stoats, and they capture Toad Hall when Mr Toad is in jail. How will he escape? And can the friends fight together to save Toad Hall?

I wanted to read that book for a while, so when I get the opportunity to buy it, I did. Still, I waited a year to read it.
I'm glad I did, but I can't say I enjoyed it. It's not the first time I'm desappointed by children books' authors from the beginning of the 20th century. I think I'll stop here with that kind of literature, because everytime I get angry at the author. The thing is, I always find them patronizing in their way to telling tales to children. So most of the time it pisses me off and I just want to get rid of this story and read something more entertaining.

Every character is a cliché, 100% good (kind or brave) or 100% bad (weak or mean). I'm so bored with that kind of character. They're so predictable and and annoying. I know that this way of writing was appropriate at the time it was written, but even when I try to forget what bother me, I can't enjoy the story.

Still, like I said, I'm glad I read it, because now I know what it's about and it's all good for my own culture. Not much more to say about this book so I'll stop here and try not to read that kind of stories anymore.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Jim Butcher - Storm Front

Title: Storm Front (The Dresden Files, book 1)
Author: Jim Butcher
Pub. year: 2000
Pages: 341
Editor: Orbit
Summary: Harry Dresden--Wizard
Lost items found. Paranormal investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he's the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the "everyday" world is actually full of strange and magical things--and most of them don't play too well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a--well, whatever.
There's just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's magic, there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name. And that's when things start to get... interesting.
Magic. It can get a guy killed.

I discovered The Dresden Files by the TV Series with Paul Blackthorne as Harry Dresden. I really enjoyed it, so I decided to read the books when I heard about them.

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is a 30-something wizard named after three magicians. He's quite attractive but doesn't really seem to notice since he has no mirror. He's a lonely guy and everybody thinks he's a weirdo because of his job. But his bigest problem is that he's often the scape goat of whatever is going wrong since he's always found we're he shouldn't be. But what I really like about Harry is that he certainly knows how to use sarcasm and irony.
There's also Bob, a spirit trapped in a skull that Harry possesses, who is quite hilarious too when it comes to sarcasm and irony. And Murphy, the policewoman who ask for his help sometimes, where murder become too strange..
This first book introduce us with Harry's world which is not very different from our world, except that there's magic and different creatures such as werewolves, vampires, ghosts, demons, ...
We learn that this magic part of the world has it's own rules and it's own hierarchy. We also learn little bit about Harry's past. Just enough to arouse curiosity

I hope the following books we'll follow the lead and that I'll enjoy them too :)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Start of the Challenge

Today's the day!

Let's start the Challenge! You can still apply for it whenever you want until it ends (Aug 31th, 2012). For those who don't know what challenge I'm talking about, go and have a look here and then there!

How does it work? Easy! Enter the challenge any time, read as many French books as you want, and enter your name & the title of your book (ie Lily (The little prince)) as well as the link to your article for the Challenge in the box below. Do it for as many articles as you publish. And leave a comment to let me know you're participating!

I'll put the name of the contestants here when I'll receive their first review of a French book! Enjoy your readings and see you very soon! (This article will be linked in the Challenge page, so that you can find it easily.)