This book features some interesting information about hormones in humans and animals, and the sorts of behaviours caused and influenced by these, but the author is clearly uneducated about human psychology and offers nothing of substance when it comes to understanding interpersonal relationships. The book is quite dated in terms of social commentary (published in 1996, and it shows it).
The author is all about "brain sex", making all sorts of naive and specious claims about why women do this and why men do that, which, as it turns out, are not actually the result of hormones, but of socialisation.
For example, she claims that the reason many women have rape fantasies is because of estrogen, and not because of of the rape culture we live in (the fact being that at least 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted by a man in their lifetime). It gets pretty offensive. As another example, she states that when a woman loses interest in sex with her husband, due to the natural hormonal changes accompanying the recent birth of her child, she should just suck it up and let him do whatever he wants, instead of suggesting to the infantile husband that he should stop being jealous of his newborn child, and that not having sex for six months while his wife breastfeeds the baby is not actually going to kill him (and maybe he could even try parenting and pampering his exhausted wife during this time? Wow, what a concept!).
She also claims that male violence is caused by testosterone, and is therefore inevitable and natural, rather than a pandemic social problem caused by a worldwide culture of misogyny that we do, in fact, have the power to change.
Here are some choice quotes from the text:
"Almost everyone masturbates and almost everyone feels bad about it."
Do we, really? Hmmm.
"[Testosterone] increases assertiveness and self-confidence."
Actually, being raised with male privilege, rather than female oppression, is responsible for this.
"Indeed, [romance novels] are not just a read, but a physiological thrill, a borrowed romance, not unlike men using prostitutes (but without the risk, of course)."
I could write reams about how utterly awful this statement is, but suffice it to say that comparing living female victims of trafficking/prostitution to a wad of printed paper, as being equally deserving of being "used" for a "physiological thrill", is absolutely repulsive and sickening. And her suggestion that the individual experiencing the "risk" when a man buys a woman (or child's) body for abuse, is the MAN... well, I guess she knows nothing about PTSD or the horrific physical injuries sustained by the women and child victims of prostitution.
Continuing on her brainless theme:
"Many women object to men's enjoyment of such explicit sexual material [pornography, and buying prostitutes]. Yet they would be appalled if anyone suggested romance novels be banned."
GEE, Ms. Author, I WONDER why women see a difference between a fictional story and actual, living women and children being violently raped by men on camera/for cash? What a conundrum! Those gosh darn prude women are so DUMB and CONFUSING, aren't they?
On less serious topics:
"Some animals, notably the gibbon, have a glaringly obvious sex skin that they proudly flash."
Yet another ridiculous statement that has no basis in reality. She is probably thinking of mandrills or baboons, not gibbons. She does this a lot throughout the book. It's obvious she doesn't know what she's talking about half the time, and this makes for angering reading for an educated person.
She does get into the fact that women and men are raised very differently, but she does not possess even a mediocre understanding of the causes or results of this basic truth. She somehow has the ability to hold both of the following thoughts at the same time: A. Testosterone causes male violence, and B. A lack of appropriate touch, gentleness, and affection results in excessive aggressiveness and violent behaviour in boys (and then men). Which is it? (Hint: It's much, much more B than A. We are failing our boys, and therefore our girls as well!)
For anyone who is familiar with feminist theory or human psychology, this book is sorely lacking in factual content. It's full of anecdotes (with no citations!) and lots of little 'ideas' the author has come up with, which sound nice to her, but which don't correspond with anything that actually exists. I would strongly recommend reading some Andrea Dworkin alongside this book, if you choose to read this one at all, and compare the two. There are vast chunks of logic missing here.
Conclusion: A fascinating subject handled by an average (or even slightly below-average mind). An "M.D." after one's name does not imply intelligence.
This book makes for a very quick read, due to the simplicity of the illustrations and lack of text on most pages.
I didn't find this book very engaging, since it's a little lacking in character development, and there is almost no interaction between characters. We spend most of our time in silence on a lighthouse island, with the lonely protagonist. We are given little hints of his personality, which make him likeable, but since he doesn't have much to do on the island, the book is as repetitive and dull as the character's life probably has been.
This book take a lot of pages to tell a tiny, simple story, and I didn't find it memorable. If the protagonist had spent some time in a different location, the book might have been significantly more engaging, as the author clearly has creative ideas and writing ability, but they just aren't given the chance to shine here. 2.5 stars.
A fascinating book with ancient recipes from Rome. Would be a fun book for an adventurous and experimental cook. Includes recipes for flamingo, sea scorpion, parrot, brains, dormouse, and other odd (to us) dishes, as well as things that could be more easily prepared in today's kitchen, like asparagus, duck, hare, pig, oysters, lamb, chicken, mushrooms, calamari, eggs, beans and peas, salads, custards, pies, sauces, and much more.
The recipes are very simple and don't go into much detail about preparation, assuming certain basic knowledge of cooking, so this would be best for an experienced cook, who could fill in the blanks.
This book suffers painfully from "talking heads syndrome". The vast majority of the panels are filled with... you guessed it... talking heads! We don't get much of an idea of the world these people are living in, as there are few interior or exterior details included, and the stylisation the author uses to draw his characters is limiting, as it restricts facial expressions. The characters don't really make any facial expressions, they just look the same from panel to panel, no matter what they happen to be feeling, and some of the characters are a little difficult to tell apart at times.
There are very few panels without speech bubbles, and this reveals the author's lack of understanding of the medium he is working in: graphic novels are about the /images/, the ability to tell a story in pictures - pictures being worth a thousand words - and this author needs a lot of practise at that skill. He does a whole lot of telling, and not much showing, even when a particular story (such as George and Paul lighting a condom on fire in the hallway) would lend itself perfectly to being fully illustrated. Even the beautiful Rudolph Nureyev doesn't get shown, only talked about, even though the characters go to see him perform!
The band dynamics are also not as, well, dynamic as they probably ought to be. Everyone seems to be in a calm, rosy mood all the time, when actually the Beatles were under a lot of stress, playing around 8 hours a night, seven nights a week. Slave labour, really, though they loved their music. John's well-documented rudeness and outre behaviour in Hamburg is barely touched on, and none of the others are particularly well-characterised.
For hardcore Beatles fans this will still be interesting to read, as the author apparently spent a lot of time interviewing Astrid to gather facts for the book, so there are some details here unavailable elsewhere, especially regarding Stuart.
This book would be excellent for 10-13-year-olds, except that it has some violent and extremely disturbing content that is only appropriate for mature older teens or adults. That's why my rating isn't higher for this set of stories - the book can't seem to decide what age range it is aimed at.
The artwork is truly beautiful - expressive, detailed, and masterly - but the writing drags this book down a bit. While the plotlines are engaging and real page-turners, nearly all the characters are male, and the author imposes human behaviour stereotypes on the animals instead of having them behave in a believably animalish fashion (example: the dogs use their eyes much more often than their noses, which is ridiculous anthropomorphism that even kids might find hard to take). Though in some ways this book is clearly for adults, in others it remains at a level of silliness/shallowness that only young readers could be expected not to roll their eyes at. The writer's notions about gender are also pretty regressive, and he imposes them on his (mostly male) characters without thought.
That said, the characters have strong personalities, believable emotional motivations (in human terms), and can be wounded and killed (they are not silly "superdogs"). Some of the stories are truly moving and poignant, touching on the animal abuse that still occurs routinely in our world. Despite their imperfections, these stories have stuck with me, and I plan to buy a copy of this book for future enjoyment and analysis.
Simply unbeatable artwork, and fun, creepy, though simple-minded stories.
I'm not a huge fan of horror, but for a horror fan, this could be a great read.
It's well-written, effectively illustrated, and is very dark, disturbing, and eerie. There is no real resolution to the tale. We are left wondering what is really happening, and in this context, that's a perfect way to end.
Definitely not appropriate for children, despite the deceptively cute characters.
A complaint: one of the authors (a woman) was conveniently left off of the cover credits, even though the original idea was hers, and she co-wrote the story. Her name is Marie Pommepuy, as listed in tiny print on the title page. I'm sick of men taking credit for women's ideas.
Good book, quick read, but might give you the creeps!
A wonderful classic children's novel that teaches important values and ideas, like kindness to animals, honesty, empathy, sobriety, why it's smart to follow safety rules, the value of weekends off for the health and happiness of people and animals alike, the harm that ignorance can do, and many more.
The main dated aspects of the story are the snake oil-type medical "knowledge" depicted, including bloodletting, and the way voting in London is described as a men-only activity.
The book's first-person perspective from Black Beauty's point of view helps children understand that animals are like us, and have feelings and thoughts that matter, even though they can't speak to us with words. Beauty explains to readers that if animals misbehave, it's usually because they were mistreated by humans, and the best way to train them to behave is with kindness and patience.
Beauty is a very likeable and sympathetic main character who can encourage a good attitude towards animals in any reader, young or old. 4.5/5 stars.
I also highly recommend the 1994 live action movie based on this book, which is a beautiful and faithful adaptation that I think Anna Sewell would approve of.
One of my favourite graphic novels! This book, which focusses on David Bowie's early career--the Ziggy Stardust phase, primarily, was created with an amazing amount of love and care. Each and every page, each frame, is a work of art.
The interior art is by the same artist as the cover and the quality is identical. The likenesses are spot-on and every detail is carefully crafted to be accurate and beautiful. This was a very well researched book, with lots of interesting tidbits that even a hardcore Bowie fan might find to be new.
A+ graphic novel, A+ Bowie fan material. It is a very image-heavy book, with less text, but that's ok given how spectacular Bowie looked during this period of his life. It's important that we get to see his visual impact, and we certainly do, here!
A wonderful book for any Bowie fan, rock music fan, or anyone who simply loves truly exceptional sequential art, which this is. If you want to convert a friend into a Bowie Freak, giving them this book could be a good way to start!
An endearingly realistic protagonist makes this book worthwhile. If you enjoyed My Mad Fat Diary, this is like a "low fat" version of that in some ways.
Here we have a teenage main character who actually looks and thinks like a teenager, and not like a perfect supermodel 20-something, as is annoyingly common in stories that are supposed to be about the most awkward time in a person's life.
Briony is a girl who prefers fantasy to the ugliness of reality, and the story gets into interesting and emotional territory with her discovery of her own latent psychic abilities (this may turn off some readers, which is why I mention it).
Briony is delightfully daft in the way that only people who do not yet have fully formed brains can be, and she deals with all the usual aspects of teenagehood: crushes on local boy losers, friends who annoy you as much as amuse you, parents doing crazy, unfathomable parenty stuff.
The artwork is charming in a naive way, and looks just as if it could have originated in a teenager's notebook. This will be a relatable read for all the geeky girls out there.
As far as ghost-written books go, this one appears to be quite accurate and a close representation of the words and thoughts of Paul Gallagher (Noel and Liam's older brother). Much of the text appears to be a direct transcription of audio interviews with him, and so the book gives the impression of sitting in someone's living room as they tell you a story. A chapter is included from the boys' mother, with information on her own life and on her sons' childhoods from her perspective.
The painful topic of the abuse the family suffered at the hands of the boys' father is talked about frankly and openly in this book, and if Liam and Noel have ever seemed crazy or out of control, it quickly becomes clear to the reader that there is very good reason for that. It strikes one that Tommy Gallagher is very much like a thwarted version of his yougest son; a man who, being unable to pursue a life that he loved and that interested him, became violently angry at the world and everyone in it, and took it out on those closest to him.
Like Noel, Paul is a good story-teller and his recollections of his brothers are entertaining and enlightening, with just the right amount of sibling-style ribbing included to make sure he annoys and embarrasses them. He and Noel got up to a lot of mischief together while Liam was still too young to keep up, and it's engrossing to read all about their football fanaticism, drug-taking, and various adventures around Manchester. Noel's increasing obsession with the guitar is also described throughout the course of the book, building an interesting picture of his gradual development into a full-fledged rock star.
As their brother, Paul has unique insight into Noel and Liam's personalities, and that's a major part of what makes this book a great read. Definitely a must-have for serious Oasis fans.
As a symptom of the insanity produced by the painfully unnatural, anti-social, capitalist lifestyle we have constructed for ourselves in the 20th and 21st centuries, this book is somewhat interesting.
As anything else it is meaningless and painful to get through. This book appears to be designed primarily to induce a state of psychological stress and anxiety. It does not tell a story. There is no plot. It is circular, neurotic, and devoid of content.
The artwork is well-done, but used for no purpose. If you want to feel like you're going insane, read this book. Otherwise, avoid it.
An outstanding book on Nirvana, a must-read for any fan (this really should be called "Nirvana on Nirvana")! This is a collection of interviews with Kurt, Krist, Dave, and Chad, some of which have never been published before. It's fascinating to see the evolution of the band members' attitudes towards the press, as well as their evolving relationships with each other over the course of Nirvana's career.
Some interviewers are highly skilled, others not so much, but they nearly always get some interesting tidbit from their interviewees. The introductions to each section of the book and the prefaces before the interviews give helpful context and hindsight to the material presented.
I laughed out loud many times while reading, had poignant moments, had thoughts provoked in my mind, and generally had a ball learning about the coolest rock band ever to grace the planet. I came away admiring these men more than I did before reading, and it's usually the opposite situation when I take the time to delve into a band's history! These were unusually good, kind, big-hearted people who just happened to get famous by accident.
I quickly leafed through this book at the used book store and thought I would probably enjoy it based on the quality of the artwork. I was wrong.
87 pages in and I've discovered this book to be obnoxious in so many ways. The main character is a classic Marty Stu with no real personality and there is no realistic worldbuilding to speak of - this world does not possess an internal logic. The so-called aliens just think and behave like mid-20th century humans, and it is clear the author did not give much thought to what a foreign mind might be like.
This isn't a surprise considering he is also unwilling to engage in basic empathy for women. Clearly the product of a pornsick mind, this book features plenty of gratuitous female nudity, and all of the female characters are either Manic Pixie Dreamgirls or are literal whores regarded as having no redeeming value. One of the supporting characters is a rapist, and this is depicted as "funny" rather than horrifying.
The book is rife with scatological "humour" and a painfully juvenile obsession with onanism and penises. None of the characters demonstrate any real self-awareness and there seems to be no deeper meaning behind any of the idiotic happenings in the story.
This book will only appeal to a niche audience: white males of a certain age and certain lack of empathy. The book is incredibly dated and the characters repellent or forgettable. Don't waste your time. There are vastly superior graphic novels out there waiting to be discovered.
I should say that the artwork and technical craft of this book are outstanding. Eisner's skill as a sequential artist is impressive, and any student of the medium could learn a lot from his artistic techniques.
Despite this, I cannot give the book a high rating, due to the alarmingly outdated attitudes expressed in the narrative.
Misogyny, child abuse, and general violence are rampant in this book, and not questioned at all. You will see a prostituted little girl being blamed for the actions of the men who (want to) abuse her, with her being depicted as a "wicked Jezebel" sort of character, despite being a child. We're supposed to be sympathetic to the sick pervert she steals money from.
There is domestic violence and alcoholism, with a wife and child being beaten up on by their vicious husband/father because he wants to drink in peace before returning to his wealthy mistress.
There is also a rape scene, which is horrible enough until you realise the author doesn't care that a man just tried to rape an innocent victim - Eisner writes the "good guy" as berating the rapist for not successfully completing the rape, and suggests he needs mental help because of that, and NOT because he is a rapist! Pretty horrifying stuff, and reveals a lot about the misogynist attitudes held by Eisner.
Very disturbing book that is best looked at as a relic of another era, and the product of a damaged mind. Go to it for drawing/cartooning tips only. 2 stars.
This book was a disappointment. I managed to read about two-thirds of the way through before giving up. The art is incredibly claustrophobia-inducing, with no space to breathe between tightly packed bubbles of writing and sloppy drawings that show no knowledge of real human anatomy or physics. The art reaches levels of the grotesque, as all the characters have a disturbing empty-eyed look and the sex scenes are more reminiscent of corpses wrestling than people enjoying each other.
One of the main issues with the book is that the author has chosen to tell and not show. Events that could have been illustrated in fascinating detail are instead dryly related as large blocks of text and awkwardly stilted dialogue that was obviously lifted directly from another book. It's clear the subject matter deserved an entire series of graphic novels and not just 112 pages. Trying to pack an entire life into such a short space is a huge mistake.
The author also feels the need to insert herself within the text in order to brag about her own anarchist activism, clearly trying to draw parallels between herself and her heroine, even though this is meant to be a biography of a historical figure and not a personal piece. It's a little embarrassing.
Not a very professional or well-thought-out piece. I'm not even sure what Emma Goldman actually achieved, based on what I read. Not recommended.
I was disappointed by this book. I made the mistake initially of thinking it was the first in the series, and found myself a little lost, but that was not the problem, ultimately.
I stopped reading halfway through because the story became incredibly dull and plodding, as if the author only had a much shorter story to tell, but was forced by his publishing company to stretch it out to several hundred pages. The action was simply not happening, and the "mystery" started to become slightly transparent, despite a promising opening portion of the tale (the beginning is truly frightening and makes a person eager to keep going).
Also, the main characters do not have a convincing relationship to each other. Dr. Bell and Doyle are slightly two-dimensional, and Bell, especially, comes across as a sort of mechanical imitation of Sherlock Holmes, rather than a fully fleshed-out character. It makes one wonder why Doyle would be spending time with him. This book certainly does not capture the fascinating friendship that the real Doyle wrote so well between his two famous protagonists.
Another thing that annoyed me was the author's much-too-frequent use of a little writing trick where he describes something that can't quite be seen looming towards the narrator and then reveals it to be harmless. It was initially effective, but lost impact after he had used it several times.
On the bright side (or the irritating side, depending on your viewpoint) the author weaves in many references to canon that are entertaining for a Holmes fan to pick out.
I don't leave books unfinished often, but I had no more time for this one, unfortunately. I loved the concept, but the execution was disappointing, despite a promising start.
This is a very engrossing and educational read, covering a wide range of topics that relate to Manson's body of work, from obvious ones like Christianity and Satanism, to less straightforward topics like numerology, alchemy, Nietzsche, and 1970s kids' TV shows. Reading this book will undoubtedly make you want to go to the library and start researching things, as it did to me.
This is definitely the best book on Marilyn Manson after the autobiography (The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell), especially for the fan who is ready to dive into the complexity of Manson's work.
A good read for Whovians, not a great one. The artwork is mediocre, but what can you expect from a book that lists 10 authors on the title page? It's clearly a committee-made book, and it suffers for it, as comics generally do when there are too many cooks in the kitchen.
The good part is the writing, which has some bright moments of compassion and a maturity of perspective that one would expect from the Doctor. Violence, xenophobia, racism, environmental degradation, and zero-sum games are treated as the primitive perversions they are, rather than being glorified, as in almost all other media produced by patriarchy.
I love the Doctor because he's truly a good person, and this book shows that.
Another fun aspect is that David Bowie shows up to ride along in the TARDIS! He's not named as such, due to lawsuit potential, but it's him. It's really funny to have him as a silly side character who doesn't yet have a grasp on his own creativity. Not a typical perspective of the man.
Stupid, forgettable, immoral trash. It's not erotic, there's no plot to speak of, the characters are one-dimensional stereotypes, and the author seems to have no idea what s/he is doing (other than deliberately sexualizing children, *puke*). I find it amazing that this kind of crap can make money for someone while truly brilliant fan fiction with smoking hot sex scenes, incredibly detailed plots, and vivid and realistic characters does not.
What kind of ridiculous, shitty world do we live in where people with only very minor drawing skills and no writing skills or IQ points are allowed to make and sell books?