Alice — Julia Crane

Another tale from the anthology Once Upon A Curse.

I’ve quite enjoyed the previous tales from this anthology, and was quite looking forward to one that was “Alice and Wonderland” inspired.   Oh my, how utterly disappointed i was.

To begin, you’ll realise when you get to the apparent end of this tale that this is simply the beginning of one of Julia’s books and you’re supposed to be so impressed with this that you go running off to Amazon to buy it.   Julia, and/or the editor of the anthology, should — in the very least — have had the decency to warn the reader of this fact at the beginning of the tale.

It wouldn’t be so bad if this were any good and one was left wanting to go and buy the full story, but it’s an utterly childish love story and one soon finds oneself just wishing it over and done with.   So yes, there’s a part of me that’s very pleased that this is just an excerpt and i was therefore relieved of having to wade through the whole tedious story.

Furthermore, it doesn’t have anything to do with “Alice and Wonderland” other than the protagonist is called Alice and her adoptive mother is referred to as the Red Queen.   It’s an insult to your readers to take a half finished story you had lying around and rename the characters and try and pass it off as a “Alice and Wonderland” tale.

I’m putting this in “The Deleted” even though i can’t delete this as it’s part of an anthology that so far i’ve been enjoying.   But seriously, all “Alice and Wonderland” fans, just avoid this tale if you come across it.

Julia’s Page

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The Vegetarian — Han Kang

The Vegetarian, written by Han Kang.To put it bluntly, this is vile.

It’s not long into this book before we are treated to graphic descriptions of a disgusting excuse for a human being raping his wife and then later, just sits and watches while his father in law beats her extremely in front of the whole family, including the young children, and then her father has her siblings restrain her in a chair while he violently smashes the dead rotting filth these people consider food into her face forcing it into her mouth.

The attitudes in this book, not only to vegetarians, vegans and their respective diets, but also to how a human being can be treated by their own family, are, quite frankly, appallingly backward and extremely vile and sickening.

I didn’t even get to a quarter of the way into this book and i was utterly sickened by it.   How anyone can think that this is what people wish to read for entertainment is quite beyond my comprehension — they, and those that are entertained by this vile filth, should be ashamed of themselves.

Is this what people are really like in South Korea?   I have no idea, but this really doesn’t do South Korean’s any favours whatsoever.

How this won a Man Booker prize i have no idea.   That people actually carried on reading this after the rapes and the extreme domestic abuse is quite beyond me.   Some people obviously have no empathy, because if you have any empathy at all, you would be sickened to the core and throw this book away, not give it an award.

This should also have a warning label very clearly portrayed on the cover — THIS BOOK CONTAINS GRAPHIC ACCOUNTS OF RAPE AND EXTREME DOMESTIC ABUSE.

The only award this book deserves: Deleted.

Kang’s Page

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I Am Legend — Richard Matheson

So i got 23% into this book and i simply cannot take another page of this.

Stupid, alcoholic, smoking, crap eating, sad, miserable idiot getting chased by lots of vampires.   Woohoo!   Yes folks, another dull and boring vampire story, only difference from the norm is that this one is post-apocalyptic as the vampires have wiped out all humans apart from this one pathetic, sad alcoholic.

Seriously, if you had the daylight hours of every day to do whatever you want, go wherever you want, you have the whole world and its contents at your disposal before the vampires came out at night to hunt and all you could think to do was live like this sad twat because you’re a pathetic, miserable alcoholic, then you may as well just throw yourself into the vampire’s grasp and get it over with.   Stop torturing yourself, and most of all, stop torturing us poor readers who have large “To Read” piles to get through.

I have no idea about the rest of the book, but the first quarter of it has no sci-fi whatsoever in it.   How this has managed to get itself into “SF Masterworks” is quite beyond me.   I suppose there always has to be the bottom of pile, hopefully this is it because i’m going to despair if there are any worse books than this in the series.

Deleted.

Richard’s Page

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Enchanted Britain — Marc Alexander

I thought this would be interesting, and the first chapter was certainly promising.   Then we get onto chapter 2 and it just bangs on and on and on and on and on and on and on about some fictional characters called Jesus and Joseph and the claims of the christians and about churches and abbots and abbeys and all this holy grail nonsense.

I could go on a rant here but i have no wish to read about the beliefs and nonsense of christianity.   The Pagan people of Britain have had the beliefs and nonsense of the christians forced down our throats for nearly 2000 years and i don’t buy books to read more of it.

Needless to say, i didn’t get to the end of the second chapter and i have no wish to read any more of this book.

Deleted!

Marc’s Page

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The Little Mermaid — Hans Christian Anderson

I decided i’d read this just to get my mermaid thing going before reading The Mermaid by Christina Henry.

I have to say, i’m very disappointed.

Silly little girl falls in love with handsome prince who she can’t have because she’s just not good enough and he loves another, blah, blah, blah.   So she has to die, like dead forever, because mermaids don’t have immortal souls like human beings do because they’re obviously just animals and Anderson obviously believes that animals don’t have souls and probably agrees with Descartes that you can even nail them to doors and dissect them without anaesthetic because they’re just soulless things unworthy of our consideration.

But wait, Hans gives this disgusting, soulless animal a chance, she can have legs to go on land and woo the handsome prince but she has to lose her voice by having her tongue cut out and suffer the pain of walking on knives for her whole life to do so.   So desperate is this soulless creature that she agrees to this obscene torture.   If she gets the prince to own her through marriage thus becoming a responsible pet owner for this soulless animal then god will bestow a soul upon this creature and it can live happily ever after as the sex slave of the prince.   Otherwise she’s just going to be a bit of nothing floating on the wind for all eternity.

And then we’re told that if children are good then the little mermaid may still get a soul and go to heaven but if children are bad then she won’t.   So if you you’re ever a naughty child, even for a moment, then you’re obviously a fucking evil little shit who hates mermaids.   WTF!!!   But mermaids are soulless animals who don’t get to go to heaven so its a bit confused as to whether a child should be worried about being good when its not actually the child’s fault in the first place that mermaids are soulless animals who god obviously hates and doesn’t want in heaven anyway.

Children should not have a sense of right and wrong built upon fairy tales, imaginary beings and/or other such nonsense.   Because what do you think is going to happen when the child finds out that everything it believed you told it was true is a complete lie that you conjured up in order to hoodwink and con the child into behaving to your unreasonable demands?

I seriously would not read this to any child i had in my care.   It’s disgusting, backward, patriarchal, god-grovelling drivel.   Some books really should be burned and/or deleted.

Deleted!

Han’s Page

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The Bookshop Of Yesterdays — Amy Meyerson

WTF!!!

I was hoping for another good book about a bookshop, but what i got was someone who thinks that completely rewriting the rules of punctuation is somehow a good thing.

Speech is defined, in prose, by quotation marks, not just simply put into italics.   Italics means something completely different.   I’m not sure what Amy is trying to achieve with this stupid use of italics to define speech but it’s utterly lost on me.

It was utterly ridiculous trying to read this; there’s no hope of simply relaxing and just enjoying the story, you have to spend most of your attention deciphering the absolute lack of quotation marks and shambolic misuse of italics.   Add to this that most of the start of the book is people saying things and one simply has no choice but to quickly delete the book from ones Kindle.

Total waste of money.   Thanks Amy.   Go back to school and learn how to write before publishing books and taking people’s money.

Deleted!

Amy’s Page

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Of Mutability — Jo Shapcott

When i set up this website i added my whole Kindle collection from Amazon.   Amongst many books that i didn’t know i had was this one, and i’ve still no idea how it appeared on my account.

Although i don’t normally read poetry, i usually enjoy it when i do, and i was actually looking forward to reading through this collection.

But i have to say, i’m seriously disappointed.   I made it 10% in, which i admit is not very far, but i really couldn’t take any more.

I have no idea when random babble written as bad prose that then gets chopped up randomly into lines that have no cadence, meter, rhythm, rhyme, structure or style got defined as poetry, but it seems that some people now claim it is.

I suppose its the same type that class Sewing Machine in Hessian Sack as modern art — utter bollox!

Here’s some modern poetry (apparently):

It may please the Sunday Times
cryptic crossword
crowd while drinking
Costa
coffee from a disposable cup
(see front cover), but
i very much doubt it
will please anyone
else.

Deleted!

Jo’s Page

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One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I’ve started to read this book 3 times before and never made it through the first 20 pages.   This time i got over 1/3 of the way through it, and that was more than enough to call it a day.   So read this review with that in mind.

This book is the literary equivalent of a crap TV soap opera.   The characters are mostly inbred and somewhat retarded.   There are too many characters, most of which either have the same name or very similar names.   And just when you thought there was more than enough of one name, a whole bunch of illegitimate children would turn up and Gabriel would give them all the same name of the father.   It’s like grandson named after son named after father named after great uncle named after grandfather.   And this goes on and on until you aren’t quite sure who you’re reading about.   Adding to the too many characters with the same name, there are also too many characters with similar names.   Then you get time shifts, where suddenly you’re reading something that happened to a name in the past (i say name here because half the time you can never be sure which actual character that name belongs to), and then it’s back to present then off to the future and then it’s the present again, still haven’t worked out which character this name is yet, and you don’t get any structure to it, and it’s just utter chaos.

On top of all that chaos, they’re all related somehow because incest seems to be a perfectly normal thing amongst these backward, inbred people.   And every few pages a new child is thrown into the mix named after someone already in the story who is then adopted and raised by someone other than its parents.   And the incest and adoption is so confusing that you’re never quite sure who is related to who in what way, thus leading to more incest, adoption and confusion.

Oh, sure, i could have done due diligence and made a big effort to work out who exactly is who when a name appears, but i shouldn’t have to.   I don’t read books to make tedious and pointless work for myself: i read books to enjoy the escape from tedium, i read for fun and recreation, to enjoy the experience of losing myself.   But you can never lose yourself in this book because you’re always having to work at understanding who is who, how they’re related to each other, in what generation, etc., etc..

Then there’s the liberal use of Deus Ex Machina.   Create a problem, that of everyone losing their memories, and then solve it when someone turns up with a magical potion and everything’s suddenly ok again.   And what was the point of it all and where have we got with the actual story?

And that’s the question: what is the actual story here?   All i get is a never ending cacophony of incest, illegitimate children, adoption of each other’s illegitimate children, giving them names of already existing characters into the maelstrom of same and similar named characters that already exist, and stupid behaviour with ever more and more characters from other places being thrown in, even when completely unnecessary.

How this book is classed as a paragon of Spanish literature is beyond me.   I suppose it’s the same crowd that think Shakespeare and Dickens are paragons of English literature.   And guess what?   You won’t ever find any Shakespeare or Dickens on this website.

It’s not that i can’t handle lots of characters: i’ve read the Riftwar saga by Raymond E. Feist and similar great sagas of fantasy and sci-fi, and i’ve never been confused.   Why?   Because they give them all distinctive names.

It’s not that i have a problem with non English names: i’ve read lots of fantasy, sci-fi and also translated books by lots of non English writers and its never been a problem.   Why?   Because they give them all distinctive names.

I can only think that this was done on purpose to make some literary point, but this literary point is completely lost on me.   Why create utter chaos within your character structure, add too many characters even when completely unnecessary to the story, give the characters same or similar names to add more confusion, throw never ending incest and inbreeding into the mix and then get them to adopt each other’s children and then don’t tell the children who their parents are so you can look forward to more incest?   The point certainly isn’t made in the first 1/3rd of the book and if a writer can’t be bothered to hook me into a story in that time then the book goes in the delete bin.

The other issue with all this character chaos is that you never can bond with any of the characters.

I like a book that gives me some central characters who i can bond with, root for and believe in.   Characters that i can identify, who stand out and make sense of the story for me.   I like a book that simply loses me in the story.   When i read a book the only part of me that has to do anything is my thumb, turning the pages on my Kindle: i don’t want to be having to stop and think about what’s happening, the story should flow and make sense of itself without my having to make a load of effort to make it make sense.   And i don’t like soap operas and those kind of pathetic characters, repeating the same stupid mistakes over and over again and never learning anything.   If i want a soap opera i could watch television.   I don’t watch television!   I read books!

My final pronouncement on this book is that it is a work for voyeurs with a niche fetish of viewing incest who enjoy crappy TV soap operas who are happy with Deus Ex Machina being deployed to solve every problem that served no literary purpose other than to deploy the Deus Ex Machina in the first place.

Utterly ridiculous!

Deleted!

Gabriel’s Page

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The Unwanted – Steam Punk

My first negative review on the website — what a place of honour!

For a give away short story one maybe shouldn’t complain, but it takes time to read stories and i feel this was a waste of it.

We are given characters who were raised and trained from childhood to fulfil their adult roles, who are apparently the best at what they do, but who then come across as incredibly flawed and weak.

Then there’s the editing, seriously, did someone just type this down and run it through a spell checker before publishing it?

I do feel there’s a good story hiding behind the faults, which kind of adds to the annoyance.

But most annoying of all is that it utterly made a mockery out of my “judging a book by its cover” philosophy. Yes, occasionally, in order to facilitate the foisting of a crap book onto unfortunate readers, a crap writer will find a rather beautiful woman and dress her up in some delightfully arousing, Steampunk costume (i can’t help it, the Steampunk thing just does it for me) and put her on the cover — even though what’s inside the book doesn’t resemble anything like what’s on the cover.   And no, i’m not giving up on my philosophy just because a few cunts have decided to take advantage of it.

That all said, don’t ever say i don’t do negative reviews, because now i have.

Deleted!

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