Monday, 6 June 2011

He's Back (The Man Behind the Blog...)

Yeah Yeah....I know it's been awhile but y'all know how it is ~ life just keeps getting in the way! Bet y'all thought I had abandoned this right? No such fracking luck!! Just consider my temporary absence these last couple of months to be like my sabbatical or like my year out or something...cos now, Sparky is back innit!

Have been meaning to get back on here if only to update my 1001 favourite books and authors list which, at this rate is going to take me until I'm 1001 to finish! The problem is that I only want the best of the best going on my list and sometimes this means re-reading stuff to make sure I am certain in my own mind that they are justified a place! A tad anal perhaps? Maybe....but, case in point: until I re-read them, I was convinced I would be adding Richard Laymon's Darkness, Tell Us and Resurrection Dreams on my list. Unfortunately, after refreshing my experiences of these books, although they are both good and two of the best examples of his work, they just lacked a certain something; that spark that makes a book truly memorable above and beyond unforgettable and resonates somewhere deep inside. Non-Bibliophiles won't get this but all my friends from RISI or Babbling Books may have a stronger inkling of what I am talking about. There are certain books that just stay with you no matter how much you read them and these are the books that make the list. Others which are still great but just don't leave enough of an emotional impact on me just don't cut it I'm afraid and though I suspect that at least one of Laymon's books might feature in the future, right now the two in question, which I still thoroughly enjoy, just don't quite make the grade!

Number 23 on my list, and another book that I re-read recently and that is rather topical considering the recent movie adaptation, is Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. It is unlikely that any of you who already have knowledge much either of the book or the movie will not already know the big Spoiler that is pretty much central to the plot but for those who DO remain unclear, suffice to say I will not spoil it here! Basically the story focuses around the lives of a close knit group of friends attending a "Special" school for certain children and follows their, sometimes sad, sometimes tragic, journey into adulthood and their inevitable fate which they have been born to fulfill. Some have criticised this book for being a little bleak but I enjoyed it and almost view it as a prequel or precursor to Michael Marshall Smith's Spares ~ which may give away the big Spoiler to some of you who may be familiar with HIS work.

Number 24 is Stephen King's final Dark Tower novel. I was not sure if this would be included as some have classed it as a little unsatisfying. Me, I enjoyed it more second time around and think it easily as strong as Wizard And Glass (Book 4)! It brings most of the plot to a tidy close and features an emotional end to the journeys of many of the central characters. As to the unsatisfying ending? Well I'm not going to be giving anything away but King does provide you with a choice. Once the main story ends, you are given the chance to leave things there with no real end to Roland's quest and no answers as to what lies at the top of The Tower. Or you can continue and read the final chapter which explains everything and brings (some kind) of closure to the series. It is this closure that many fans find unsatisfying but, in King's defence, it must have been hard to bring such an epic Opus to a close and there is a strong argument for King actually finishing this large body of work, that stretches way beyond these seven volumes and into the majority of all King's other novels, rather than leaving it to be finished after his death as has happened, for example, with Robert Jordan's Wheel Of Time fantasy series. I like this book and think it is a strong ending with many happy resolutions for those who have come this far with the oft-selfish and obsessive Roland and I personally like the way that certain aspects are brought full-circle. (you will understand if you read it!) The only thing I didn't like ~ PARTIAL SPOILER ALERT ~ was the death of Flagg which felt a bit sudden and over too quick for such a long-running character who has appeared in so many forms and guises over the years. But then, if you have read The Stand then you will know that what happens is not necessarily the end.....

That's all for now folks but more soon, I promise, in a couple of days with more books I have been selecting for my list! Trust me ~ we're not done yet!

Ciao peoples!

Sparky xxx

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