Saturday, December 1, 2018

Some books I've read 37

Counter-clock World by Philip K. Dick
Interesting book despite of or maybe because of its main concept: People aging backwards.

Brebis galeuses by Gunnar Staalesen
One of his early books, not bad, where we meet again Karin, who turns up later as a romantic interest for Varg Veum, culminating in...

Le vent l'emportera by Gunnar Staalesen
One of his strongest books. Possibly the solving of the mystery lacks some credibility, but at the same time it has a real emotional punch.

Japan: A Foreign Place by Anthony Reynolds
Pretty good book if you're interested in the band Japan, their creation and break-up, but loses some by David Sylvian's refusal to be interviewed. Made me listen to some of their early stuff, before their masterpiece Tin Drum.

Adventures of a Waterboy by Mike Scott
Great autobiography of the Waterboys singer, about how he created his "big music" sound and then moved to Ireland and got into folk music. Those five first albums are all classics, and his first solo record is also very good. His musical output has been more uneven after that, unfortunately, but that happens with most artists, whaddayagonnado.

The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham
Very interesting book about the writing of this classic, and then the suppression of the book. You could actually end up in jail if you tried to smuggle or sell it. I should give Ulysses another try. The details about his many eye surgeries is nightmare inducing, by the way, it's a miracle he was able to write anything at all.

Blotch by Blutch
The guy knows how to use a brush. It's a funny book, but not being French I probably miss some of the references.

Dry County by Rich Tommaso
Love his drawings, pure cartooning, the story maybe doesn't quite come together. Possibly Tommaso is too ambitious and wants to cram too many things into the story.

Books given up:

Clans of the Alphane Moon by Philip K. Dick on page 100
Okay, Dick hates his ex-wives and gets rid of some of his anger through his typewriter, but that doesn't necessarily make it an interesting book

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut on page 140
Has some of the same tone as Slaughterhouse Five but for me the story never really took off, and the book even seems slightly dated, but I'm possibly wrong.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Colour cover

Out in French in January.

Some books I've read 36

Cantata-140 / The Crack in Space by Philip K. Dick
Is this his weakest book? As usual, there are lots of crazy ideas, but here they don't ring true. The way the existence of a parallel Earth is dicovered and how this is told to the media by politicians is not too convincing. And there's a weak ending as well.

The Game Players of Titan by Philip K. Dick
One of his best. And funniest. Would be a good film, Hollywood!

We Can Build You by Philip K. Dick
THIS is his weakest book, I'd say. Gave up on page 150, with another 100 pages to go. Dragged out scenes and dialogues, characters not very interesting and a plot that seems to go nowhere.

Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick
His weirdest book? It's good though. And unpredictable.

The Cosmic Puppets by Philip K.Dick
One of his earliest books. It has the Dick theme of what is reality, but the concept could also be an old episode of The Twilight Zone.

This is London by M Sasek
Charming, like the other books, but again, the reproduction of illustrations could have been better.

The Discovery of America by Saul Steinberg
Another Steinberg book to put in my collection next to The Passport, Labyrinth and Inspector. Brilliant. I should read the biography, I suppose.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Book description

Four stories, 176 pages

The Wicklow Way
After having walked The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Jason is bitten by the hiking bug. He next walks The Wicklow Way in Ireland. This is a graphic memoir of those days. He sees  more sheep than other walkers, and, even lost in the green Irish hills, pop culture images keep invading his head.

L.Cohen: A Life
Leonard Cohen - the writer, the singer, the monk, the ladies' man. This is a short biography of his life, with certain, shall we say, liberties taken. In truth, did Frederico Garcia Lorca teach Cohen the Heimlich maneuver? Did Cohen beat Fidel Castro in chess? And did he meet Brigitte Bardot in an elevator in The Chelsea Hotel?

The Diamonds
Two private detectives take turns watching a couple. Why? Who is paying them? We follow the couple in their daily life, apparently happy, but something seems to be brooding under the surface. The two detectives also have secrets they don't share with their families. Eventually, all stories meet one fatal night that will affect them forever.

O Josephine!
Napoleon is tired of war. He is feeling low and is looking for a companion. One night he sees an exotic dancer on stage and is struck by lightning. He falls in love with Josephine. Josephine Baker. We follow their story, the ups and down of their relationship, the jealousy that finally tears them apart and that sets a fatal path for their children.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Some books I've read 35

This is New York
This is San Fransisco
This is Paris, all by M. Sasek

This is The World by M. Sasek
A collection of drawings from all his This Is books. Unfortunately, the reproduction is not that good, with bland colours, and the drawings not always being 100% sharp. I've seen some of the originals online, with stronger colour  and looking much better. So that's a shame.

This is M. Sasek
Showing a lot of his drawings from the books, sometimes based on the originals, but also paintings he did and earlier books for children, plus biographical material.

Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick
A bit uneven novel, about autism and schizophrenia, and linked to precognition, which can be debatable, I guess, but with an interesting choice towards the end where the story, following the subject of the book, is told out of order.

The Penultimate Truth by Philip K. Dick
Enjoyed this book a lot. It has a mystery that's actually quite intriguing.

Will You Take Me As I Am: Joni Mitchell's Blue Period by Michelle Mercer
The writer goes through Mitchell's records between Blue and Hejira, analysing the songs and putting her work into a historical frame, from St. Augustine to Dylan and Cohen.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Walk, Rabbit

Got this many years ago at Angouleme. It was made by Peggy Adam, I believe.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Some books I've read 34

Ubik by Philip K. Dick
My new favourite Dick book!

A Maze of Death by Philip K. Dick
Dick meets Agatha Christie, or And Then There Were None set in Space. The solution is maybe not that surprising, since this is Dick after all.

Our Friends From Frolix 8 by Philip K. Dick
Not his best book, I think. There are some fun ideas, but the main characters unfortunately aren't that interesting.

Time Out of Joint by Philip K. Dick
The people who wrote The Truman Show, with Jim Carrey, must have read this book. Spoiler!, I should add, I guess. Possibly, the book loses some steam at the end, when the mystery is solved.

The Bus by Paul Kirchner
Re-read this little masterpiece after all the Dick books. I still have my original copy of this book, from 87. I know Kirchner has published a sequel, and I might get that, but I'm a bit worried if it will be as good.

Flex Mentallo by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
Also has a certain K. Dick feel to it, next to Dennis Potter and The Singing Detective. Great drawings by Quitely. My favourite Morrison, but that doesn't really say much since besides some issues of Animal Man and Doom Patrol I haven't read anything else by him.

Vacation by Blexbolex
Strange and silent graphic novel from Blexbolex, with amazing illustrations. Normally I'm not a big fan of books fully created in photoshop rather than hand drawn, but the artwork has an appealing organic and not too shiny feel to it.

Currently reading:
Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick
Will You Take Me As I Am: Joni Mitchell's Blue Period by Michelle Mercer

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Miroslav Sasek


Just discovered this guy's work. Now the collector in me wants to buy all his books.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Some books I've read 33

Child of God by Cormac McCarthy
Well, it's... McCartyesque. You have to give him that.

Never Anyone But You by Rupert Thomson
The true story of Suzanne Malherbe and Lucie Schwob and their life in Paris in the 20's and on Jersey during WW ll, where they started a propaganda campaign against the German occupation. The language of Thomson is as masterful and as exquisite as ever, but... I was never really hooked on the story.

Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
I have read this book before, 20 years ago?, but couldn't remember a single word. It's actually an amazing book. Very funny. And it makes me want to read more books by Vonnegut, who died in 2007. So it goes.

Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick
Not my favourite Dick. I can believe in the story, but I found it hard to believe in the characters and the dialogues.

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
Maybe my favourite Dick? Typical Dick themes of illusion vs reality, but if it ain't broke don't fix it.

REM : Fiction by David Buckley
A pretty good REM biography, stopping in 2003, but I must confess I gave up listening to their records after New Adventures in Hi-Fi.

Lieutenant Blueberry by Giraud and Charlier
Yup, re-read the whole bunch, all 28 albums. The series peaked with the two Von Luckner albums, I think, but the drawings were still great after that. The last ten or so albums I found it annoying that Giraud let the word balloons go into the panels around that panel, making the page look cluttered, but maybe that's just me.