Book Review

What’s worth a read and what’s not!

Vurt, by Jeff Noon, Reviewed by Kimberly Warner-Cohen

I wasn’t too interested in reading Vurt when it was first recommended to me. Sci-fi is one of few genres that I avoid (few novels in that category have held my attention), but since it got such rave reviews, decided to give it a chance. Took the book out of the envelope, and the clashing neon colored cover made me sigh, rolled my eyes at the blurb on the back that it was a “Clockwork Orange for the ’90s”. Twenty pages in, though, I was hooked.

It’s a rabbit hole without the rabbit but plenty of “drink me’s”, in the forms of feathers. Set in a futuristic Manchester, the story is narrated by Scribble, who is searching for the elusive English Voodoo as a way to retrieve his sister (and lover), Desdemona, who is stuck in a bad Vurt. He runs with the Stash Riders, who both help and hinder him, as he makes his way through Bottle Town, harboring an illegal extraterrestrial that he needs to exchange to get Desdemona back; and maybe listening to the Game Cat along the way, who knows all and dispenses advice when it sees fit. The rhythm of Noon’s words feels like being in a rave, vibrancy of some scenes coming at the reader like glowstick-induced hallucinations on a dancefloor.

I don’t agree with the book jacket’s assessment of Noon’s first novel, but not everything published has to be the Next Great Thing. It’s a fun romp, and a must buy for fans of Gibson or Philip K. Dick. Easy to digest and with its quick pace, even I couldn’t put it down.

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The Shining by Stephen King, reviewed by Kimberly Warner-Cohen

The Shining doesn’t fool around. Jumped out of my skin reading this at 9am in a doctor’s office; and when I made the mistake of staying up late to find out what happens next, I could only doze off with the all lights in the apartment blazing. Don’t even think about picking it up if you’ve a fear of ghosts, enclosed spaces, or topiary animals.

You probably know the plot from the movie–Jack Torrence, who has a son with the psychic “shine”, is newly sober. He takes his family to the secluded Overlook to caretake during the winter offseason, where he not-so slowly goes insane; possibly with help from the possibly haunted hotel. Always thought King was an idiot for complaining about the movie butchering the story (especially given his shitty TV version), because how could someone as genius as Kubrick ruin anything, but he’s right.

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The Suicide Club by Robert Louis Stevenson, reviewed by Kimberly Warner-Cohen

Set in his contemporary London and Paris, the interrelated set of three short stories is one of Stevenson’s earliest works, and dabbles in what would be his later affection for the Victorian macabre and suspense to rival only Poe.

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To Reign In Hell, book review, by Kimberly Warner-Cohen

To Reign In Hell, written by Steven Brust.

To Reign In Hell holds the record for being the most borrowed book on my shelves, and a few pages in, its not hard to see why.

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The Modern Vampire, Book Review, by Ian Fford

The Modern Vampire, A Guide for Survival -by Sebastian Condado de Haza, Reviewed by Ian Fford

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