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Thread: Book Reviews

  1. #481
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    I liked John Dies at the End, but I think it helps that I had seen the kinda "B" movie before reading the book, so I knew what I was getting into. I never got around to the other books in the series. Then again I liked Ready Player One and every podcast I've listened to that's mentioned it seems to hate that one, so maybe my taste is just bad.
    At some point I will probably watch the movie. I can see how the humor may play better as a visual gag for me.

  2. #482
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    I finally got around to reading David Wong's John Dies at the End. Probably the most disappointing book I have read that was published by Cemetery Dance. This is a book that will live or die based on how the humor works for the reader. It fell completely flat for me. The story is choppy and lacks anything other than the attempts at humor to keep your attention. As I pushed through I kept hoping it would get better but it did not. I have the second and third book of the trilogy but will probably dump them all without continuing the story. I just can't imagine returning to that universe.
    That sucks! I absolutely loved John Dies at the End as well as This Book is Full of Spiders and What the Hell Did I Just Read?

    Though, if I may . . .

    My defense of JDATE: it might seem choppy because it was originally written as a series of webisodes. Just one-off little chapters that David Wong later assembled into a unified whole. So there may be rough edges.

    My argument for you to continue the series (seeing as you have the editions supplied by NRB already): The series gets better. TBIFOS is the most coherent and completely formed of the three. There is no choppiness and the plot (not the humor) drives the story. WTHDIJR is somewhere between the first and second as far as the insanity goes. It's more unified than the first--but less focused than the second.

    Anyway--I understand all too well the problem with pushing an author on people who just don't connect with that author **cough** BENTLEY LITTLE **cough**. So I'll just leave my opinions contained in this lonely little box that's part of this winding thread on this one section of one speck of a website in the vast expanse of the Internet.

  3. #483
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    I had the same issue...tried reading it a while back (in tpb form), and just could not get into it. I could see the type of book he was trying to create, but while I'm usually a fan of the horror/humor mash-up (ala Jeff Strand, etc.), this one fell flat for me as well.
    I think I will go opposite of your recommendations and you should opposite of mine. MAYBE someday we can agree on some book or author. But I really don't know anymore . . .

  4. #484
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    At some point I will probably watch the movie. I can see how the humor may play better as a visual gag for me.
    The movie was pretty good. And maybe that will play better for you.

  5. #485
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    That sucks! I absolutely loved John Dies at the End as well as This Book is Full of Spiders and What the Hell Did I Just Read?

    Though, if I may . . .

    My defense of JDATE: it might seem choppy because it was originally written as a series of webisodes. Just one-off little chapters that David Wong later assembled into a unified whole. So there may be rough edges.

    My argument for you to continue the series (seeing as you have the editions supplied by NRB already): The series gets better. TBIFOS is the most coherent and completely formed of the three. There is no choppiness and the plot (not the humor) drives the story. WTHDIJR is somewhere between the first and second as far as the insanity goes. It's more unified than the first--but less focused than the second.

    Anyway--I understand all too well the problem with pushing an author on people who just don't connect with that author **cough** BENTLEY LITTLE **cough**. So I'll just leave my opinions contained in this lonely little box that's part of this winding thread on this one section of one speck of a website in the vast expanse of the Internet.
    It took me a minute to figure out why you were referencing a Jewish dating site. I was aware that the story was cobbled together from a series of web stories but was hoping for a coherent story. For now I am not planning on picking up the next book, if I catch the movie that may change my mind. Glad to here the next two are not as choppy as the first.

  6. #486
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    I think I will go opposite of your recommendations and you should opposite of mine. MAYBE someday we can agree on some book or author. But I really don't know anymore . . .
    I’m starting to wonder that very thing myself… ;-)

  7. #487
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    I’m starting to wonder that very thing myself… ;-)
    You guys probably agree on more than you realize. Jack Ketchum, Stephen King, Joe Hill?

  8. #488
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    That sucks! I absolutely loved John Dies at the End as well as This Book is Full of Spiders and What the Hell Did I Just Read?

    Though, if I may . . .

    My defense of JDATE: it might seem choppy because it was originally written as a series of webisodes. Just one-off little chapters that David Wong later assembled into a unified whole. So there may be rough edges.

    My argument for you to continue the series (seeing as you have the editions supplied by NRB already): The series gets better. TBIFOS is the most coherent and completely formed of the three. There is no choppiness and the plot (not the humor) drives the story. WTHDIJR is somewhere between the first and second as far as the insanity goes. It's more unified than the first--but less focused than the second.

    Anyway--I understand all too well the problem with pushing an author on people who just don't connect with that author **cough** BENTLEY LITTLE **cough**. So I'll just leave my opinions contained in this lonely little box that's part of this winding thread on this one section of one speck of a website in the vast expanse of the Internet.
    Well I decided to try another book that is heavy on the humor and started John Scalzi's Miniatures today. This is much more to my liking!

  9. #489
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication TacomaDiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    I finally got around to reading David Wong's John Dies at the End. Probably the most disappointing book I have read that was published by Cemetery Dance. This is a book that will live or die based on how the humor works for the reader. It fell completely flat for me. The story is choppy and lacks anything other than the attempts at humor to keep your attention. As I pushed through I kept hoping it would get better but it did not. I have the second and third book of the trilogy but will probably dump them all without continuing the story. I just can't imagine returning to that universe.
    I enjoyed the ridiculousness of the first one, and did not like the second one at all. Never gave the third one a shot based on how the second one went. I think it was just too much of a "thing" and it wore on me pretty fast.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    I liked John Dies at the End, but I think it helps that I had seen the kinda "B" movie before reading the book, so I knew what I was getting into. I never got around to the other books in the series. Then again I liked Ready Player One and every podcast I've listened to that's mentioned it seems to hate that one, so maybe my taste is just bad.
    RPO seems to be the cool thing to hate on. It's kind of funny that quite a few people I follow on Twitter are doing the same thing - don't hate what people enjoy, just enjoy the fact they're having fun. Oh and RPO is shite and should be burned and how could anyone enjoy this crap. Uhhhhh, hello . . .

  10. #490
    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement Theli's Avatar
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    I like John Dies at the End. I thought the story was a bit choppy and amateurish in the beginning, and is mostly saved by the humour, but the second half flows better and is more concise. I still need to read the other two books though.

  11. #491
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    Well I decided to try another book that is heavy on the humor and started John Scalzi's Miniatures today. This is much more to my liking!
    interesting! Have to consider that one.

  12. #492
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    You guys probably agree on more than you realize. Jack Ketchum, Stephen King, Joe Hill?
    Yeah, I'm sure we do. We wouldn't be in this forum if we disagreed on everything.

    I just find it funny that some of the strongest opinions we've expressed here have been complete opposites. Mainly regarding Bentley Little, Josh Malerman, and now David Wong. Those are three authors for which my feelings are in no way middling.

    Though I think we both name The ROAD as the absolute best book ever written.

  13. #493
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacomaDiver View Post
    RPO seems to be the cool thing to hate on. It's kind of funny that quite a few people I follow on Twitter are doing the same thing - don't hate what people enjoy, just enjoy the fact they're having fun. Oh and RPO is shite and should be burned and how could anyone enjoy this crap. Uhhhhh, hello . . .
    I can honestly see why people don't like RPO. It's honestly a very simple story and it's so referential. Personally I don't mind the references, but if you don't like that sort of thing you're probably gonna hate it. For me though I mostly thought it was fun. It's no masterpiece, but I think it's a good time.
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  14. #494
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    Yeah, I'm sure we do. We wouldn't be in this forum if we disagreed on everything.

    I just find it funny that some of the strongest opinions we've expressed here have been complete opposites. Mainly regarding Bentley Little, Josh Malerman, and now David Wong. Those are three authors for which my feelings are in no way middling.

    Though I think we both name The ROAD as the absolute best book ever written.
    That we do, Jeff, that we do. A work of heart-palpating, soul-touching art like nothing else I've ever read.

    But yeah: Malerman, Little, and Wong...opposite ends of the spectrum there (though I actually really did like a great deal Malerman's novella, A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE...I just wish Goblin had been replete with more novellas like that one). Thank goodness we have McCarthy to keep the peace.

  15. #495
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    I can honestly see why people don't like RPO. It's honestly a very simple story and it's so referential. Personally I don't mind the references, but if you don't like that sort of thing you're probably gonna hate it. For me though I mostly thought it was fun. It's no masterpiece, but I think it's a good time.
    I agree, and I'm not a video game fan (though played my share of the big consoles back in the early '80s)...for what it was intended to be, I thought Cline did a great job, and I found the book very entertaining. The subtext of existing in an alternate reality to escape a near-apocalyptic reality, of an Internet-like vehicle that had come to dominate the real world and identities there were more "real" to most, was perhaps not the most fresh idea, but it was well executed and fun, and the '80s references were inserted for the most part sparingly and appropriately. I've read the love and the hate for this book, and while I can see both sides of the coin, I definitely fall more in the camp of the former than the latter. I even toyed w/ the idea of the Sub Press S/L HC to replace the signed HC reprint from B&N's Christmas program, but can't pull the trigger on a $400 replacement.

    ARMADA, on the other hand: I just tried to read that one, Cline's follow-up to RPO, and came away firmly agreeing with the overwhelming majority of readers who found it simplistic dreck. All the aforementioned subtext that gave RPO a richness that belied its simple formula was missing, and it felt forced and uninspired. Really unfortunate.

  16. #496
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    I agree, and I'm not a video game fan (though played my share of the big consoles back in the early '80s)...for what it was intended to be, I thought Cline did a great job, and I found the book very entertaining. The subtext of existing in an alternate reality to escape a near-apocalyptic reality, of an Internet-like vehicle that had come to dominate the real world and identities there were more "real" to most, was perhaps not the most fresh idea, but it was well executed and fun, and the '80s references were inserted for the most part sparingly and appropriately. I've read the love and the hate for this book, and while I can see both sides of the coin, I definitely fall more in the camp of the former than the latter. I even toyed w/ the idea of the Sub Press S/L HC to replace the signed HC reprint from B&N's Christmas program, but can't pull the trigger on a $400 replacement.

    ARMADA, on the other hand: I just tried to read that one, Cline's follow-up to RPO, and came away firmly agreeing with the overwhelming majority of readers who found it simplistic dreck. All the aforementioned subtext that gave RPO a richness that belied its simple formula was missing, and it felt forced and uninspired. Really unfortunate.
    I actually forgot ARMADA existed. ARMADA is kinda the reading I'm hesitant to ready ARTEMIS, Andy Weir's new book. I loved The Martian a lot and I just get the feeling that ARTEMIS can't really capture that same feeling I got from The Martian.
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  17. #497
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    I actually forgot ARMADA existed. ARMADA is kinda the reading I'm hesitant to ready ARTEMIS, Andy Weir's new book. I loved The Martian a lot and I just get the feeling that ARTEMIS can't really capture that same feeling I got from The Martian.
    Having read both ARTEMIS and The Martian I agree with you. I loved The Martian and while ARTEMIS is not a bad story it just felt like it tried too hard to be The Martian II and fell a bit flat for me.

  18. #498
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    I'm somewhat in Martin's camp, that it was a disappointment as compared to THE MARTIAN. Too similar in tone and voice, in the end, to distinguish it enough from THE MARTIAN, and that inevitable comparison then becomes the spotlight that shows it to kind of pale as as follow-up. HOWEVER, it was still, I thought, a compelling and entertaining read, unlike Cline's duo, and worth the time. If THE MARTIAN was a 9, then ARTEMIS was a 6.5...but if REAL PLAYER ONE was an 8, ARMADA was a 1, a 2 if you serve it to me with a nice brown ale.

  19. #499
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Good to know. I'll probably check out ARTEMIS then at some one. Maybe once I'm done struggling my way through American Gods.
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  20. #500
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    I've read both The Martian and Artemis. While the Martian is a strong 9+I would rate Artemis as a 7.5 or 8. A thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying read, but like most books, not quite as good as The Martian.
    Give it a go Dan.
    I loved RPO, but have not yet read Armada. It keeps slipping down the TBR list.

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