Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: "A God Somewhere" by John Arcudi and Peter Snejbjerg

A God Somewhere (New Edition)A God Somewhere by John Arcudi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Arcudi does not present any easy answers in this skewed look at Eric, a human being — complete with flaws and possible delusions of grandeur — who is suddenly and mysteriously granted superpowers. The story is told from the perspective of his best friend, Sam, another person who is all too human. Snejbjerg matches Arcudi's story with panels and pages filled with just enough darkness as they reach the tragic climax. What happens when a regular person is given powers beyond that of human beings? Arcudi and Snejbjerg present one possible, sobering answer along with questions seldom asked of other superhero comics or of ourselves.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Review: The Best American Mystery Stories 2005

The Best American Mystery Stories 2005The Best American Mystery Stories 2005 by Joyce Carol Oates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Quick points:
- Easy to see how each story reflects Oates' personal history, which seems to influence her own writing
- All worthwhile reads but here are the stories that stick with me: "The Identity Club" by Richard Burgin; "Delmonico" by Daniel Handler; "Jack Duggan's Law" by George V. Higgins; "The Shooting of John Roy Worth" by Stuart M. Kaminsky; "Until Gwen" by Dennis Lehane; "The Shoeshine Man's Regrets" by Laura Lippman; "Case Closed" by Lou Manfredo; "Public Trouble" by Kent Nelson; "Officers Weep" by Daniel Orozco; "The Last Man I Killed" by David Rachel; "One Mississippi" by Joseph Raiche; "The Love of a Strong Man" by Oz Spies.
- I'm not going to attempt to provide a summary and analysis of these stories. I mean, how do you compete with Oates? Especially when she takes Edmund Wilson (!) to task for his characterization of mystery stories as being overwrought and focused too intently on the plot.

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