The Citadel
An open community where Fictionpress members can come for writing-related help and conversation with fellow writers.
New Follow Forum Follow Topic
Page 1 2 Next »
Jealous Rage

This is a thread where you can review books that you've read and have conversations about books. There's no specific format to follow; just say whatever you'd like to about the book. Give it a rating if you want. Tell us if you recommend it or not. Whatever you want to say. If you choose to do a formal book review, please mark it as such using the same "Book Review" header as the ones that have already been posted.


List of Reviews:

DeathClutch, Lesnar/Heyman (Post #3)

Kill City Blues, Kadrey (Post #42)

Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir, Mustaine/Layden (Post #4)

Seven Deadly Sins, Taylor (Post #2)

Undisputed, Jericho/Fornatale (Post #5)

4/24/2012 . Edited 8/27/2013 #1
Jealous Rage

Book Review


Title: Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good

Author: Corey Taylor

Genre: Autobiographical

Pages: 241

First Line: "I always told myself I would write a book."

Last Line: "No matter what that life is."

I loved this book. While it is autobiographical in the sense that Corey Taylor talks quite a bit about his life, from his childhood up to the present time, it also comes off as a long, detailed essay. He talks a lot about religion—specifically Catholicism—and, of course, the seven deadly sins. He goes through each sin and talks about why he disagrees or agrees with it. His thoughts and the way he expresses them are both high entertaining and persuasive. An aspect of the book–and his style—that I found particularly appealing was how he doesn't present his ideas as though they're the logical ones. He gives us his thoughts, but clearly conveys how he believes we should all have our own thoughts. The ideas put forth in this book are his; if you agree with them, that's great. But if you don't, that's cool too. Just as long as you're thinking for yourself.

This book is much more than the ramblings of some rockstar with a drug-addled brain and a bunch of half-formed thoughts. Corey Taylor comes off as an intelligent person, who really put a lot of thought into every point he makes. His language, while usually quite coarse, is strong and very much helps to convey his points. It could just be that the type of humour he uses is one that I myself enjoy, but I thinkSeven Deadly Sinsis one of the funniest books I've ever read. It's a 200 page essay that doesn't bore the shit out of me, which is pretty amazing.

And that's not to mention the autobiographical aspects of this book. The dude's lived an incredibly fucked up life, and he sure as fuck doesn't spare us the details in this book. Candid stories from his childhood, his teens, his life as a rockstar, and everything else; this book is full of them.

10/10

That's what I rate this book. It is, if not the best book I've ever read, then very close. I definitely recommend everybody reads this book. I can't guarantee you'll love it like I do, or that you'll agree with many/any of his points, but it's an entertaining read nonetheless.

4/26/2012 . Edited 8/27/2013 #2
Jealous Rage

Book Review


Title: DeathClutch

Author: Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman

Genre: Autobiographical

Pages: 210

First Line: "I was living with a dark cloud over my head for seventeen months."

Last Line: "Maybe in DeathClutch 2!"

My major complaint with DeathClutch is simple: there isn't enough. We get treated to some information and insight into Brock Lesnar's life, but it's isn't enough. He's a famously private man, and it's shines through in this book. He gives just enough information to tell his story, and that's it. I compare it to Chris Jericho's two autobiographies, where he goes into insane detail about every aspect of his life, personal and professional, and does it all while coming off extremely likeable and funny. Lesnar just can't do that; the book is entertaining, but he's not a naturally funny, open, or even charismatic man. He's blunt, loud, and straight-forward, and that's how DeathClutch reads.

That's not to say the book isn't worth reading. It is. Like I said, Brock is a very blunt man. He tells you exactly how he feels about a lot of people, and definitely doesn't tiptoe around anybody. He tells you his goals, his opinions, and his history without any sugarcoating. It's one of the most honest things I've ever read, and that is endearing. His personality shines through in the words of this book, and it doesn't differ at all from the persona he has in the media. He tells it like it is and fuck everybody else.

For somebody likes me, who is interested in the specifics and the details of things, this book was more than a little frustrating. There just wasn't enough information to satisfy me, despite the interesting stuff he did reveal.

Overall, this book is pretty much what one would expect Brock Lesnar to write; blunt, uncompromising, and containing just as much detail as he wanted—and not one word more. I rate it 8/10. Fans of Lesnar will love it, and expect exactly what it delivers. It loses points because it lacks the funny little stories I've come to expect in books like it. Perhaps it isn't right to expect that from a book written by Brock Lesnar, but it would have been a pleasant surprise nevertheless.

4/26/2012 . Edited 8/27/2013 #3
Jealous Rage

Book Review


Title: Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir

Author: Dave Mustaine with Joe Layden

Genre: Autobiographical

Pages: 369

First Line: "If you're looking for bottom, this seems to be about as good a place as any—although I'd be the first to admit that the bottom has been a moving target in my dark and twisted, speed metal version of a Dickensian life."

Last Line: "I wake up each morning clearheaded and purposeful, grateful beyond words for the life I lead, and the promise of a new day"

I enjoyed this book for a couple major reasons. The first being I'm a big fan of Megadeth. Their music is one of my staples, something I listen to everyday. This book gives an immense amount of behind-the-scenes information about the band behind the music. Dave certainly holds nothing back when he talks about the people who've joined and subsequently left the band, the creation process, and how he feels about the music itself. For a fan of the band, this book is a treasure mine. The second reason I enjoyed this book is the look it gives into the life of Dave Mustaine. Despite fronting one of the most successful metal bands of all time, there doesn't really seem to be much information out there about him, beyond how he used to be in Metallica. He's had a really tough life, and it was interesting as fuck to read about all the shit he's done/lived through. I had no idea he was ever into Satanism, but he was. That was intriguing to read about.

Despite that all, there are downfalls to this book. Like all autobiographies, you're only getting a single point-of-view. While Mustaine is quick to admit how much of a cocksucker he's been at times, all the information is still going to be biased. From his words, it would seem like his expulsion from Metallica was all on Lars and James, and came completely out of left field. I'm sure he'd done a lot of shit to bring it about; whether or not expulsion from the band was merited or not is beside the point. I'm not saying Mustaine is using this book to just blame all his problems on other people, not at all. But there are times when he comes across almost as a bit of a whiner. Not overly so, but it's still there. It's clear he's never forgiven Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield for booting him out of Metallica, and he brings that up countless times throughout the book. He may play nice with them now that they've all mellowed in their old age, but it's obvious he'll never forgive them.

Even with his words, his side of all the stories, he comes off as, to put it bluntly, an asshole. But that doesn't lessen the impact of the book. Lots of people are assholes; doesn't mean they haven't led interesting lives. And an interesting life Dave Mustaine has lived.

7/10 is my final rating. As far as entertainment, information, and Megadeth-related content, this book is something any Megadeth/metal fan should read. But it's not perfect, and anybody who doesn't like Mustaine would probably find the whole thing to be more than a little annoying and/or tedious.

4/26/2012 . Edited 8/27/2013 #4
Jealous Rage

Book Review


Title: Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps

Author: Chris Jericho with Peter Thomas Fornatale

Genre: Autobiographical

Pages: 425

First Line: "The two dark shapes stared menacingly at me from the shadows of my closet."

Last Line: "I walked up the stairs to the Gorilla position as the countdown began…"

This is the best wrestling biography ever written—possibly the best sporting biography too. Chris Jericho is one of the most entertaining, funny, and charismatic wrestler of all times, and his writing is no different. It's been a long time since I've read his first book—A Lion's Tale—but he continues on with what he started in that one without missing a beat. He's just as funny, just as entertaining, and just as informative.

Personally, I found Undisputed to be a little more interesting than A Lion's Tale, simply because I've been a WWE fan for a long time and this book covers his years in the WWE. There is no holding back; he tells stories about other superstars, his character, how he was booked, how he fucked himself over several times with less than stellar performances, and his relationships with a bunch of people. You get stories from Chris Jericho the wrestler, Chris Jericho the person, and Chris Jericho the rockstar, and all of them are just as entertaining as the previous.

I don't want to go into too much detail because I firmly believe everybody should read this book for themselves. It gives you behind-the-scenes access to the WWE, the inner-workings of a band as it goes from a gimmicked cover band to a legitimate rock group, and a window into the head of a person who is, in my opinion, the most entertaining and charismatic WWE superstar of all time.

One thing I will give away: Jericho tells the story of his first meeting in the WWE with Bill Goldberg, who he'd had some friction with during their time in the WCW. Despite not being funny for either man at the time, it is hilarious. It's just the kind of story I want in a book like this, and Chris Jericho delivers. Add to that his opinions and feeling about the Chris Benoit situation. As a close friend of Benoit, he offers some very interesting insights and such, while not dedicating too much time/words to the tragedy.

10/10. Outstanding book. Read it.

4/26/2012 . Edited 8/27/2013 #5
Jealous Rage

A question seems like a good place to start. What, in your opinion, is the best book you've ever read?

For me, it is Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps, Chris Jericho's second autobiography. From every standpoint that matters to me, it is above every other thing I've ever read. It's well-written, entertaining, informative, and stylistically similar to what I could envision myself writing, were I ever to write an autobiography.

And that's something to throw in. Not just what your favourite book is, but why. Why is it your favourite? When it comes to the books you like best, what is it that draws you to them?

10/4/2012 . Edited 10/4/2012 #6
Vivace.Assai

Hard to decide. I'm rather indecisive as a person, especially when it comes to books. But if I'd have to chose, I'd go with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

It's probably one of the more memorable, impressive stories I ever read (not including the classics). I find the novel's concept to be interesting (Death is the narrator), and the book has little stylistic details (in the way words were written or printed) that really helped drive this concept forward. But the story was also incredibly interesting; I find Zusak captured the character's emotions well and constructed a nice picture of Germans suffering in Nazi Germany. Though several events in the plot were predictable considering the time period, I found Zusak executed the story incredibly well. Nice imagery. Well-crafted characters. It has a great message while remaining engrossing - something I strive to do with what I write.

10/4/2012 #7
Jealous Rage

Working on the The Dresden Files at the moment. I'm not very far in (200 pages into book one), but so far, it's not too bad. It's not great, but I've read worse. I think the main problem so far has been the condensed schedule of everything. I think two days has passed in-book up to this point. I'm not necessarily against that, but in this case, it hasn't really felt like much has happened even though I know it must have.

There are a couple of other small things I've noticed as well. One: odd phrases. Obviously, that could just be the character, but at this point, it almost seems like Butcher is throwing them in just to be weird. Also, I think there's only been one or two ugly characters up to this point. Everybody is hot in this book, which again, I'm not entirely against. Just seems a little odd.

10/15/2012 #8
Vivace.Assai

Interesting... I've heard of The Dresden Files, though I don't know much about what it's about.

I recently finished reading The Nonexistent Knight; it was for English class but I find the novella incredibly noteworthy. It's probably my favorite book for the class so far. The story basically focuses on Agilulf, a suit of armor without a body within it; when his reason for knighthood (saving a virgin from rape) is questioned, he must go on a quest to prove her virginity.

I like the book because it's profound (which is what Calvino was going for) but also something anybody would enjoy. Calvino himself stated he wrote books considering if he would like to read it himself, so he goes for an engaging plot, though it's definitely raunchy in some levels. The pacing was surprising at moments, and the beginning feels very slow before the story just starts whizzing by (though this is in part due to the change occurring in the narrator as the story progresses). I was also skeptical (since it felt like Candide which I did not enjoy), but Agilulf is such a great character that I have to like the book.

10/15/2012 #9
Jealous Rage

I've finished the first four books of The Dresden Files, and my opinion of them hasn't really changed from what I said earlier. Almost every character is still super attractive, Harry still says weird shit that doesn't mesh with his upbringing or time period, and each book takes place over a very short period of time.

I would still recommend people who like contemporary/urban fantasy and supernatural stuff check out The Dresden Files, but that they should keep their expectations reasonable. Honestly, the series is pretty entertaining, but the writing isn't great. There are more than a few inconsistencies and since the background of the world is so expansive, it's easy to just get confused. The main character, Harry Dresden, is a solid character, but at the end of every book, he somehow manages to piece shit together with clues that just aren't there. He draws conclusions, and the way it's written, it's like it should have been incredibly obvious to everybody. But it's just not. Which is odd, I find, for novels written in 1st person perspective. Generally, when you're privy to someone's thoughts, you'd think you'd probably arrive at similar conclusions when given the same information. But Dresden seems to pull a lot of correct answers completely out of his ass. It helps wrap things up neatly, but it's frustrating more often than not.

10/19/2012 #10
Jealous Rage

Went to the city yesterday and tried to buy the rest of the Dresden books. I already had 1-5. They had 7-13. So now I'm just missing number 6. Which is, of course, the one I need the most. Fucking stores, man. But whatever, I'm going back in a couple of weeks for some early Christmas shopping. I'll get it then.

Also picked up American Gods. I've read it before, and I enjoyed it, so when I saw it, I figured why not? It's been awhile since I last read it, so once NaNo is done, I'll be reading it again.

10/24/2012 #11
Vivace.Assai

I need to finish reading American Gods. I've gotten through the first part (probably 1/3 or less of the book), but I've been so busy that I've yet to finish the rest. Hopefully my schedule will clear up later (probably after NaNo) and I can finish the book. It's really good and I love it every time I get to reading it. I'm also working on a play by Tom Stoppard called Arcadia; once again, it's existential fun and the plot is really mysterious and interesting. I should probably finish that one first since I'm borrowing it from a friend. Maybe I'll finish it in one or two weeks since my English class is no longer reading books but analyzing poems by Margaret Atwood.

10/24/2012 . Edited 10/24/2012 #12
Jealous Rage

I finished the 13 Dresden books that have been released so far. The new one comes out in two days, so I'll grab that when I go to do my Christmas shopping in a week or two.

11/25/2012 #13
Jealous Rage

Ordered the 14th Dresden book online the other day. It was good. Lots of crazy shit going on. I'd read some spoilers, but I was unprepared for the pretty dramatic power shift that happened at the end. I don't want to give too much away, but two major characters get killed off, and another really major character steps into one of the dead one's role. It's some pretty crazy shit. And I'd also read that not much happened with the Harry Dresden/Karrin Murphy relationship (I don't ship many pairings, but I'm rooting for them), and it didn't, but what did was a lot more... I don't know, satisfying than I thought it would be. It was addressed, I'll say, and I wasn't put out by how it happened. Good book. Now I want the next one.

12/9/2012 #14
Jealous Rage

I ordered a bunch of urban fantasy books right before Christmas, and I'm in the process of working my way through them at the moment. So far, I'm a fan of the Monster Hunter series by Larry Correia. Nice blend of horror, supernatural, and action. Not so big a fan of the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. it's got potential, but the execution seems sort of sloppy and jarring to me.

2/18/2013 #15
Jealous Rage

If anybody wants to review some books in this thread, that would be cool. We need more stuff like that around here.

3/4/2013 #16
Nesasio

Just ordered the next book in the Cal and Niko series, Slashback by Rob Thurman. I kept meaning to do it before now but was too lazy. But I was basically sitting on my purse and the release date is today so I figured what the hell, haha.

3/5/2013 #17
Jealous Rage

Nice. I am getting to that series haha. Any day now, I swear.

I recently ordered three wrestling biographies. I read Batista's the other night. It was pretty good. He goes into quite a bit of detail; it's similar to his DVD in that manner. Since his career was relatively short, he goes into more detail about stuff than the wrestlers whose careers have spanned 15 or 20 years.

3/7/2013 #18
Nesasio

My book got here today. :D I should remember that place next time I order a book. They delivered way faster than the last time.

3/9/2013 #19
Jealous Rage

Nice. What place did you order from?

3/10/2013 #20
Jealous Rage

You know, there is far too much overlap between the urban fantasy, romance, and YA genres. I keep looking for new urban fantasy series to read, and they all either feature romance as a co-lead genre, or all the characters are 16. I don't mind romance, but only if it's a minor focus. If the main character spends half the book chasing some guy/girl, I'm not interested. And I've got zero interest in reading another goddamn high school story. Just because it has vampires and angels and demons in it doesn't make it good. It all makes me wish I had the patience to write something similar to the Sandman Slim series or the Monster Hunter series. Urban fantasy with adults. Stories where the main character is actually focused on saving the world or stopping the bad guy, and not worrying if they're ever going to find that mysterious, good-looking stranger they saw once six chapters ago and decided they loved.

3/10/2013 #21
Jealous Rage

And to clarify, if romance is the intended focus of the story, that's fine. It's when the story is marketed as something else, and then turns out to be mostly romance that pisses me off. I understand it's fun and pretty easy to romanticise a lot of the beings that generally appear in urban fantasy. But too many authors seem to think all romance needs to be this huge thing that takes up half the damn plot. It doesn't. When the world is about to be ended by some blood-thirsty insane demon or some shit, I really don't give a fuck if Sally and John get to have their storybook romance play out. I'm pretty sure they'll be too busy worrying about staying alive and not watching their friends get murdered to worry about whether or not they like each other.

3/10/2013 . Edited 3/10/2013 #22
Nesasio

Fancy that, I had no writing errors in this blank post. Way to aim, self.

ANYWAY. I assume you mean on FP, right? Or is published urban fantasy being taken over by YA and romance? I know I've spotted a lot of stories in supe and fantasy that are like obvious romances and that bothers me a little, for the same reason you said. If it's a romance that happens to be fantasy, it should be in the romance section. If it's fantasy that happens to have romance in it, fine with me! But if I wanted to read romance I'd look in the romance section. That's one of the reasons I put Nomad in the romance section. The first reason being to get more traffic. It's theoretically more focused on the romance than the supe aspects, but I'm hoping to keep them pretty well balanced. Plus in practice it's turning more supe than romance at this point so it's entirely possible I'll move it.

3/10/2013 #23
Jealous Rage

No, I mean published series. I expect this kind of shit from FP writers. I don't know how many times over the last few months I've heard good things about a series and then checked it out only to find it's either completely romance despite not being advertised as such, or all the characters are kids. I just can't identify with either. I read because it's a form of escapism and nothing takes me out of the scene more than some ridiculous romantic subplot that suddenly becomes THE MAIN THING, despite the world ending and people dying. And I've got nothing in common with teenage protagonists. I tend to be a little more tolerant of the latter, because I don't think it necessarily reflects on the writing. Some people just prefer younger characters. But with the romance, it's out of hand.

3/10/2013 #24
Jealous Rage

I'm not even going to mention the ridiculous soap opera style twists they seem to invariably come to either.

3/10/2013 #25
Nesasio

Ahaha. I've dabbled in my mom's supe romance books so I can't even imagine how the regular romantic supe books turn out.

What's the worst soap opera offense you've seen in a published non-romance book?

3/10/2013 #26
Jealous Rage

Probably the old "Two lovers who find out after several books they're actually siblings".

3/10/2013 #27
Jealous Rage

Been reading the Nikki Heat books that were put out to tie in with the show "Castle". They're pretty entertaining. Not the best writing I've ever encountered, but since I think the majority of the people who read them will do so solely because they also watch "Castle", I don't think it's an issue. Definitely recommend them if you do watch the show.

4/1/2013 #28
Jealous Rage

I've been re-reading the Dresden Files lately. On Grave Peril at the moment. It's very odd with such a large series to go back and read the first couple of books again. You're used to the universe being much more expanded on, so everything feels sort of narrow. It's strange.

5/25/2013 #29
Nesasio

What super-specific subgenre of books do you guys wish there were more of? Like, I dunno, weird western romantic comedies, haha. Actually that sounds fab. Someone write that.

Maybe knowing there's an audience for these things will make us as writers more likely to write them. :D

6/19/2013 #30
Page 1 2 Next »
Forum Moderators: Jealous Rage Nesasio
Rules:
  • Forums are not to be used to post stories.
  • All forum posts must be suitable for teens.
  • The owner and moderators of this forum are solely responsible for the content posted within this area.
  • All forum abuse must be reported to the moderators.
Membership Length: 2+ years 1 year 6+ months 1 month 2+ weeks new member