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Tubby "biguy26uk" (London, England)

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Batman: Dark Knight Returns
Batman: Dark Knight Returns
by Frank Miller
Edition: Paperback

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Age has not been kind to our Dark Knight, 6 Oct 2009
It must be said that I can't appreciate the impact that the Dark Knight Returns would have had at the time of being published - which I believe was huge. However, for this reader the artwork in The Dark Knight is far from appealing whilst the story is too long. It is not a book that I would look to read again or personally recommend. It has its moments but as a whole it was a big disappointment.


Astro City: Life in the Big City (Kurt Busiek's Astro City)
Astro City: Life in the Big City (Kurt Busiek's Astro City)
by Kurt Busiek
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Life in the Big City is just too much!!!, 6 Oct 2009
First off let me say that the concept of Astro City is fantastic. A superb set-up for Busiek to develop a fully realised city full of intrigue and drama. However, we are thrown head first into Astro city life and for me it was too much too soon. I really wanted and expected this volume to establish the city - its history, politics etc but instead we get 6 independent stories. I suspect that because of my high expectations for this edition (which won an Eisner award for best new series) I was always going to be disappointed.

I can see that with this volume Busiek is showing us that Astro City has a diversity of beings, cultures and locations in an attempt to demonstrate the cities sense of scale. However, I fill that this sets the reader up for a slight fall - as Astro City (which is surely the the main player in this) is given 2nd place (in the 1st volume) to its inhabitants. To many characters are thrown at you and I feel the need for things to slow down. All in all I feel that Life in the Big City should not have been the volume to kick off what should be (hopefully) a fascinating series.


Batman: The Killing Joke (Deluxe Edition)
Batman: The Killing Joke (Deluxe Edition)
by Alan Moore
Edition: Hardcover

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You're Killing Me!, 5 Oct 2009
Many plaudits have been thrown at Alan Moore's take on The Joker's backstory and I can see why. What Moore does well is to demonstrate that both Batman and The Joker have suffered similar tragedy but channelled their emotions differently. Where as Batman uses his parents death as a means to drive his desire to protect (made easier through the financial and loving support he receives) The Joker is unable to come to terms with his personal tragedy (he has no such support.) In this way we can see The Joker as a tragic and misunderstood character. That is why the end of The Killing Joke resonates in such a way.

However, The Joker's tragic past doesn't seem a good enough reason for The Joker to ultimately be the way that he is all of the time. When Moore comes to explain how the The Joker came to have his clown like appearance it feels totally unrealistic and dare I say it - childish. This is my gripe - the story is too short and more needed to be done to flesh things out for the reader. Do I feel more sympathy for The Joker? - Yes, do I understand him better? - Yes, do I think this is The Joker's definite backstory? - No. The book does have its moments and the artwork is very crisp and sharp but overall this is not good value for money.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 15, 2012 2:45 PM BST


Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
by Alan Moore
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A New Day Dawns, 5 Oct 2009
Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow was my first foray into Superman's world. You do not need to have read any Superman literature to follow the story, though it may perhaps lend gravitas to certain moments. However, on the whole this is a very simple story - one in which a number of Superman's foes look to kill Superman and his friends. What I loved about this edition/story is the evident love and care that went into producing it.

The artwork by Curt Swann really shines through and in the introductory notes we learn that Alan Moore really wanted to/asked to write this. There is no complexity to the plot at all, in fact every character comes across rather flat. I can imagine that if you are an avid Superman fan then the lack of character depth could seem a rather large let down. But as a newcomer to the Superman fold it has only wetted my appetite to find out more about Superman - his world, friends and foes. The two supplementary stories at the end are nice touches and if you've not got a wry smile on your face by the end of the main story then Superman: Whatever Happened!?!


The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 2
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 2
by Alan Moore
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars To the End of the World and the Dark Side, 27 Sep 2009
The League are now having to assist in the defence of England (if not the world ) from an alien invasion. In volume 2 we see the darker under-belly of Harvey Griffin and Edward Hyde. Suffice to say I was further shocked with certain sections in this installment(much more so than in volume 1.) There is a graphic sex scene, a brutal and shocking allude to another and a most bizarre section where animals walk and talk (in my opinion a section totally out of sync with the rest of the story.) Parents please be aware of said content before buying or reading to children.

However, the narrative does provide greater depth towards some of The League characters(particularly with Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde)and the artwork continues to be top notch. The plot does glide along at a tremendous pace and you can't help but get caught up in the adventure. Not as impactful as the first and in my opinion lost its way on several occassions.


The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
by Alan Moore
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Adventure, 27 Sep 2009
If you're looking for something with pace and adventure then you can't go wrong with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume 1. Out of all the graphic novels I have read this is certainly one of the more accessible and enjoyable; though it does have a good share of dark humour and undertones.

In essence it's about British Intelligence pulling together a group of misfits who either have extraordinary unnatural gifts (mainly self-inflicted and not particularly pleasant)or who are renowned within the wider world for some reason or another, in which to help recover a very important device that threatens national security.

The main hook of the League is that all of the characters are very interesting - especially Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; you can also never be sure of the integrity and honour amongst them! I was quite shocked by one section where Mina Green (leader of the League)locates Hawley Griffin - I didn't expect to come across such an event like this (it did put a sour taste in my mouth.) Having read Volume II I can say that this is unfortunately topped and then some - so be prepared if you move on to the next in the series.

It's most certainly worth mentioning the artwork which really adds to the atmosphere and drama of the story. This is most certainly one of my favourite graphic novels and for sheer enjoyment it would be right up there. Parents please be aware that there are some very graphic scenes of violence and other material that would be considered inappropriate for children of a certain age. Otherwise...ENJOY!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 7, 2009 2:57 AM BST


Anathem
Anathem
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Admirable world building though heavy going, 7 May 2009
This review is from: Anathem (Hardcover)
This is a large book and can become over-bearing at times when characters speak extensively about physics and geometry. I could not keep entirely up-to-date with the theoretical discussions. This is not to say that this book is not accessible but you will have to read things over twice, refer to the glossary several times and make an effort to read the book every couple of days to keep everything in mind.

The real major issue with this book, apart from the theoretical side (which others may take to and enjoy an awful lot) is the character development. I felt no attachment to any of the characters bar perhaps Erasmus who is the narrator; there is also a lack of humour.

I'm conscious that this all sounds rather negative but my 3 star rating reflects the fact that this book is intriguing and worth a go. I admire what Stephenson has created. The set-up is so well done that for this alone I would recommend this book.


The Gone-Away World
The Gone-Away World
by Nick Harkaway
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I like it but I should have loved it!, 13 April 2009
This review is from: The Gone-Away World (Hardcover)
In this book the nuclear weapon has been upgraded to Go Away Bombs. These bombs don't leave behind scenes of mass destruction and chaos but simply make everything disappear. The consequence of the Go Away War (its side effect) is that in place of nothingness are the creation of beings neither human or animal but simply known as 'New.' In response to this a company called Jorgmund has erected a defence pipe (which encircles what is left of humanity) to keep the 'New' out. When the Jorgmund Pipe catches fire a special team of workers - which includes the narrator - are sent out to repair it before it's too late.

This all sounds very interesting and original, however, this book is 200 pages + too long and readers may well give up before the end. This is because too often Harkaway decides to describe something to the point of death or to go off on a tangent in order to say something clever. He certainly has a flair with words and the book is written very well - reminded me slightly of Vernon God Little but it's not as brass or blocky - but is as punchy and to the point. The twist is not wholly original though it works very well in the context of this novel and took me by surprise. It is a book that may well have you flittering through again after its conclusion. If this book was to go under a major re-edit it could be a classic - as it stands it's rather cumbersome and self-indulgent.


04 Outcast (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness)
04 Outcast (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness)
by Michelle Paver
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not the best, 14 Sep 2007
I admire the way the author is able to transport the reader back to a time and place that is so ancient and mysterious. This is the strength of each of her books and why I love to read them.

However, although this book gives us some big revelations there is an overall lack of excitement and sense of wonder that is present in the other books (especially Wolf Brother and Spirit Walker.)

By all means you will read and enjoy Outcast but it is, in my opinion, the weakest of the lot thus far.


Stoneheart: 1: Stoneheart
Stoneheart: 1: Stoneheart
by Charlie Fletcher
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will never look at a statue in the same way again!, 22 Oct 2006
When George accidentally decapitates a seemingly bland stone statue he is suddenly plunged into a world like no other. George finds himself on the run from the Taints, statues made without love, who now seek brutal revenge for the destruction of one of their kind. George finds safety in the company of a statue called The Gunner. The Gunner is a Spit and Spits are statues whose human makers have created them out of love and purpose.

But as The Gunner defends George so an ancient rivalry between the Spits and the Taints begins to re-surface. George, The Gunner and a special girl called Edie, who can also see the moving statues (unlike everyone else,) set out to help George make recompense for his destruction of the stone statue by finding the Stone Heart.

This book is full of wonderful prose and characters. The Gunner is my particular favourite though there are several more. The real skill of Fletcher is to make this alternate world so believable and enchanting, let alone basing it upon the real statues that litter the London streets so cleverly. Fletcher is also able to create a palpable sense of atmosphere and his experience in film scripting has no doubt helped him in creating cinematic set pieces.

This book is a fantastic read and I can not wait for the sequel - you will love it, unless of course you have a stone heart!


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