Category Archives: Books & Comics

Stuff about books.

Books!

I’m back from the USA — and apparently people want me to list books or else I’ll face the wrath of some sort of a bucket of ice or books or whatever. (I feel so out of touch with the internet.)

In no particular order:

1984: I read this on a long train ride and was so immersed I cried out when the conductor suddenly asked for my ticket.
The Stand (Stephen King): Read this sitting under a tree in Bourgogne, France, instead of getting drunk on awesome wine. While the ending is kind of meh, the first 700 pages are the best set-up to an apocalypse I’ve ever read.
Watchmen (Moore & Gibbons): The first time I connected fascism and superheroes. My world has never been the same since.
20th Century Boys (Naoki Urasawa): My great obsession during university. Funnily enough, I cannot for the life of me remember who the enigmatic “Friend” turned out to be in the end, but the constant tension in this manga was awesome enough to make it on a list comprised of books.
Vallen (Anne Provoost): I read this for Dutch class when I was 14 and I still consider it one of the best Dutch books I’ve ever read. Oddly enough, when I read it nowadays it’s a completely different novel – I must’ve ignored the political side of the story back then.
Momo (Michael Ende): First book I read in German. It’s awesome (and so much better than the never-ending story – sorry!)
The Golden Compass (Philipp Pullman): While I think The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass veer too much into philosophical discussions, the Golden Compass is to me the perfect mix between religious critique and pulpy fantasy.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Michael Chabon): I think this is the best book I’ve ever read. Also it makes me feel smart because it won a Pulitzer.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J.K. Rowling): What can I say? I love pulp! The moment Cedric Diggory dies was one of the greatest in the series – in two sentences, child literature grew up, with no forewarning. All the impactful plot twists of the later books never achieved the pure shock this moment caused.
Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom): Of all the books listed here, this one connects most to me personally. There’s something about the intimacy of Morrie’s slow descent that gets to me everytime. Together with Kavalier and Clay, this is the only book ever to cease to be fiction and to just turn real.

So there you have it. You can put your buckets away.

The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay

I don’t really read a lot. I mean, I like to read, but it’s something I can only do when I’ve got peace of mind. I remember reading IT and The Stand on a holiday in France – tackling these mastodonts back to back was pretty much the best reading experience I’ve ever had.

Unfortunately, The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay, a Pulitzer-crowned epic by Michael Chabon, couldn’t get that treatment. I started reading it at the Warsaw Film Fest last October and I couldn’t find time to finish it until last weekend.

But here’s the thing: I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Continue reading The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Duma Key (Stephen King)

“At first you were afraid you’d die, then you were afraid you wouldn’t. That’s what Wireman says.” (Edgar Freemantle)

I’d had Duma Key in my hands more than once before buying it. There was always something about it that seemed to put me off. It was set in Florida. The setting didn’t really interest me. The cover said something about missing girls – meh. And most of all: it was written in first person. That’s something I’d never seen with King at that point. It reminded me a bit too much of Lovecraft, so I always put it away.

And then, once, I actually brought it home and read it. Completely by coincidence, I guess. Good thing I did.

Continue reading Duma Key (Stephen King)