Tag Archive | Fantasy

Coraline- Neil Gaiman: 12/52 (Book a friend recommended )

In what twisted universe is this a ‘children’s book’?

Ok. Reading more about the book, it looks like the author started this off as a children’s book and then it turned out to be a children’s book for adults. And apparently, it scares the daylights out of only us adults, not children. And coming to think about it, all those Enid Blyton books where the toys in the nursery coming alive at midnight seemed so delightful at age seven, but the very concept does sound creepy now.

So. Coraline. The book that gives you disturbed sleep that’s filled with dreams of pale women coming at you with a needle and thread, trying to sew a button into your eye. Coraline is a strong, independent, inquisitive child. She doesn’t like it when people get her name wrong and she doesn’t like ‘recipes’. So on one bored rainy day, she explores her house and finds a door that opens into another world. A world where everything is the same, yet different. And different like you would never imagined.

In any situation, when you have two elderly spinsters living together, there is always a little room for crazy. The two ladies, the delightfully named Miss Forcible and Miss Spink who read Coraline’s tea leaves, give her a stone with a hole and later perform for dogs in the alternate universe, don’t disappoint you with the crazy. The mouse man, for some reason, I pictured as Mr.Heckles. But both him and talking cat I found to be a tad too predictable.

Towards the end, I felt sorry for the other mother though. All she wanted was a little girl of her own, one she could love, cook for and sew button eyes on. But I felt worse for the other father. Somehow, the father seemed to play the same role in both universes, a person just living life and going through the motions.

I don’t think I’ll be watching the movie, I liked they way I pictured things in my head while reading the book and I don’t want to spoil that. But I’ve finally discovered Neil Gaiman and the Ocean at the End of the Lane has come highly recommended as the next Gaiman that I should read. I’m not sure if I’m ready yet, but soon.

Growing up, I did live out my quota of Fantasy World. Like when I tried to stay up past midnight to see if the dolls come to life and such normal things. But this book reminded me of the creepiest thing I did as a kid. I beheaded a pretty little imported doll, a golden haired one named Bonnie that came with a tiny feeding bottle ( a gift from Mrs.Martin, a missionary, whom I remembered when reading about Miss Mitten in GOST) and buried the parts in a wooden chest while the road was being dug up and tarred. I don’t know why I did it, maybe I wanted the doll to go live in some alternate universe or maybe it was some repressed psycho killer tendencies that I was exhibiting. I should make that into a creepy little story like this someday.

PS: Thanks for the recco, The Visitor. I’m ticking this off my reading challenge now.

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A Game of Thrones- George RR Martin :7/52 (Book made into TV Series)

Phew!

What a book to come out of your reader’s block with. I was so prejudiced against this genre all these days, I felt that fantasy was something childish and silly and so I stayed away from anything related to this series. But then Flipkart keeps making you these offers you can’t refuse. So I just went ahead and bought the whole bunch of books telling myself that since I spent so much money on them, I’ll force myself to read atleast one. Atleast one? Hah. I so surprised myself. Well, I still don’t consider it ‘fantasy’. I’m taking it as historical fiction or something like that. Even the Mahabarata, if it had been written today, would be considered ‘fantasy’. So with an open mind (something that is so difficult for me), I started reading. Chapter 1. Chapter 2. Chapter 3. Chapter 17. And before I knew it, I was in sucked deep into Jon and Catelyn and Bran’s lives, burning midnight oil, alternating between the fat physical book and my Kindle, getting all twitchy eyed. And since the TV series maniacs are throwing spoilers all over the place,I must hurry up and finish the rest of the books soon. And I’m trying not to start watching the TV series until I finish the books because I’m sure it will spoil the books for me. (Edit: Watched two episodes already while this post was in the drafts folder:/) ‘Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime.’ Just picturing a landscape so stark and cold and endless was overwhelming. Places and words that paint vivid pictures in your mind. ( Edit: And they were pictured as beautifully as I imagined them in the TV series). The Wall where the world ends and another dangerous world begins beyond, a place where men find honour when they have no other choice left in the real world. Kingsroad, maybe the national highways of Westeros. Sky cells, doorless prisons on mountains that overlook endlessness. Godswoods. Winterfell, Kings Landing and the Red Keep.  Direwolves. And on the other side, The Narrow Sea, girls with golden hair and silver horses, savages with braided hair. Dragons and dragon eggs. It was a magical book. I haven’t actually bonded with any of the characters yet. Ofcourse, I like The Imp because he is grey. And on a lower scale, Lord Varys and Littlefinger. They are the ones that I haven’t figured out yet. Eddard Stark was too righteous for me, and his wife Catelyn too wasn’t all that likable. Too good. Sansa, someone I’d love to slap to death along with Joffery.  Cersei and Jaime Lannister, so evil that I want to take their side.  If I had to choose a character to really like, I’d choose Jon Snow.

I’ve got a mountain ahead of me. But looks like it is going to be one epic climb.