Four Short Reviews (Part 1)

I need something to do while in exile, so I’m catching up on writing book reviews.

Jerusalem by Alan Moore

It seemingly took me forever to finish this book.

Despite moments of brilliance, Jerusalem suffers.

First, it suffers from genre. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and Moore, used to working with graphic novels, attempts to give us those thousands of words in prose. It just didn’t work for me.

Second, Jerusalem suffers from style. It’s one thing to tell a story from different viewpoints or narrators. It’s something else entirely to tell a story using different styles, especially when one of those styles is that of James Joyce. If I’d wanted to read Finnegan’s Wake, I would have bought or borrowed Finnegan’s Wake. I did not appreciate reading dozens of pages out loud just to understand what was being said.

Third, Jerusalem suffers from length. I read the three-volume paperback edition, coming in at a whopping 1262 pages. This particular edition is split I to three distinct books, including titles, and I wish that’s how they had been released: as a trilogy rather than one single stand-alone novel. Sadly, the final installment would have proved disappointing for most readers. After a great buildup in the first two sections, the last third was a letdown.

There is the germ of a good story in Jerusalem, but we didn’t get it. With a good editor, this could have been a five-star story. This isn’t just a diamond in the rough; it’s elemental carbon waiting for the right pressure to become something, even if that something is coal.

A Bloody Habit by Eleanor Bourg Nicholson

I’m not sure how this book came on my radar, but I’m glad it did.

Nicholson’s version of the gothic vampire story tries to fix the flaws in Stoker’s Dracula while still paying homage to the original tale.

As a work of Christian literature, I found her examination of doubt, faith, agnosticism, and belief quite compelling.

If you like gothic literature or the Victorian supernatural but we’re put off by Stokers “stodginess”, give Nicholson a try.

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

I listened to the audiobook while traveling from Georgia to North Carolina. It proved to be an engaging story that was entertaining enough to be interesting but not “deep” enough that I became a distracted driver.

I’m looking forward to the next installment, due out sometime this fall.

The Sandman Overture by Neil Gaiman

I picked up this book because my local bookseller had it in stock and refuses to carry any of the older Sandman comics other than volume 1.

I enjoyed learning Dream’s backstory prior to the events of Sandman, and hope to cosplay him next year at Raleigh SuperCon.

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