Tag Archives: novel

Casino Royale

So, why have I been so few and far between with my posts? Well, there’s a reason. And unlike your dog that just got ran over by Fangzor’s monster truck through NO FAULT OF MY OWN (Send complaints to fangzor@fangzor.gov.uk), there’s a fun little reason behind it.

I just wrote my own little book. So if you’re the writer of Dancer of Gor or some other book I destroyed incomprehensibly, you can take out your revenge on Winnie-the-Pooh and the Angle of Dath.

Pooh

It’s a Winnie-the-Pooh parody I self-published. Owl gets his head blown off with a double-barreled shotgun in the first chapter, guaranteed! Fangzor already bought 300 digital copies for that reason alone!

By all means, buy it for your Kindle handheld or download it for your PC or Mac and the free kindle application. If it’s a paper copy you want, tough titties (an expression I’ve never really understood, unless we’re talking about Kim Kardashian’s silicone-alloy bullet deflectors). It’s only $4.99. If you don’t have an Infomercialan Arithmetic converter on your graphing calculator that you assumedly keep handy, that’s five bucks.

Spread the word if you can, as well. That never not helps. Right, Jo?

Jo: He said, as he posts my baby pictures to his facebook.

Shut up, they’re adorable.

Jo: The fifth one went viral, you know.

Really? D’aww. I only wish my books had such luck.

Jo: THE FIFTH ONE WAS THE TIME I DISSECTED THE NEIGHBOR’S DOG AND SHOWED IT OFF!

…and here’s the other question of the day: why am I not showing y’all Eve of Chaos?

Eve of Chaos

Y’know, THIS thing.

And y’know what? I tried to read it. On one hand, it bored me stiff. On the other hand, I couldn’t find much else wrong with it, despite the hot chick on the cover. So no dice. It’s not that bad of a book.

Fangzor: I’d still bang that main character chick.

That’s nice.

Fangzor: With a hammer made of weasels! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I WIN HAHAHAHA.

…Fangzor, are you aware that a meat grinder is nothing like a slip n’ slide?

Fangzor: Yeah, duh.

Well, I’m not so sure. Would you like to help me find out, by my sticking you in one?

Fangzor: I’LL BE GOOD. Geez.

Instead, I’d like to review a book that exemplified the ever-so-popular sexism of 1950’s Europe and the ever-so-popular character James Bond, in Ian Fleming’s first novel about the character.

Casino Royale

Some people ride into stardom on a white horse with a sword and shield in their hand. 007 came in a stolen taxi with a flat tire. But he showed up, and he became a star regardless. Ain’t that the cutest?

This book is–

Jo: Sexist.

I know, Jo.

Jo: You don’t know ENOUGH.

That is true, unfortunately. You see, I was reading it through in one night (it was a short book) and by the end, I was bored to tears with this pissy little secret agent and his romp through getting mad at people, getting his nuts thwacked under a chair with a stick (you’d think that section wouldn’t have bored me, but it did), and exciting card games.

But it was so goddamn flat and distant from human life. Bond is a very unrelatable character. At times, I felt more sympathy for Bond’s friends Leiter and Mathis, probably because Leiter either sustains heavy injuries or dies in the second book, but mainly because Bond was just such a stuck-up brooding dickweed who got all pissy about having to work with a woman like Vesper Lynd.

Jo: and?

AND after I read it, I looked at the reviews online on Goodreads–

Jo: And you found out it was sexist.

Dammit, Jo! I was getting to that.

Jo: Not quick enough for the brutality of the patriarchy. 🙂 WELCOME TO MY LIFE!

Whatev’s.

But I looked back through it – and damn.

“And then there was this pest of a girl. He sighed. Women were for recreation. On a  job, they got in the way and fogged things up with sex and hurt feelings and all the emotional baggage they carried around. One had to look out for them and take care of them.”

That’s one quote, when Bond wasn’t in love with Vesper yet. Here’s another, from when he was:

“She was thoughtful and full of consideration without being slavish and without compromising her arrogant spirit. And now he knew that she was profoundly, excitingly sensual, but that the conquest of her body, because of the central privacy in her, would each time have the tang of rape. Loving her physically would each time be a thrilling voyage without the anticlimax of arrival.”

Here, have a reaction image:

Literally me

Literally me.

Of course, this was normal in the 50’s, before Feminism really took off. Still, it’s very unsettling and untimely for a modern audience member like me.

Anyway, here’s the other problem I have with Casino Royale: it has a really wonky plot structure.

The first part of the book is exposition.

The second part of the book is trying to get to evil Soviet agent Le Chiffre.

The third part of the book is the exciting battle with Le Chiffre.

The fourth part… is a tense vacation with Vesper that ends with the line “the bitch is dead now.”

Essentially, beginning-middle-end-middle.

Dear dead Ian Fleming: you are not Bertolt Brecht. You can’t make up an arty new plot structure for a frickin’ BOND NOVEL. I know this is the first one, but jeez. Unless you’re trying to make some kind of parody of Bond, it ain’t working.

That’s all I have to say in that regard. Now I sleep.

Fangzor: sleep is for losers. I’m gonna stay up all night.

“Soft bunnies.”

Fangzor: zzzzzz…

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Read it and Freak: Dollhouse, by the Kardashian Sisters, Part 1 of 2

WELCOME TO HELL, HELLBRARIAN!

Remember that deal I made with the Literary Devil? That if I died in the process of reviewing bad books, he’d have my soul? Yeah, that didn’t seem like a viable threat until now.

Fangzor: You sure about that? My grandpa tried to read a book about cheeseburgers because he was angry, then he got decapitated.

Jo: That was in the Mongoose Library of India.

Fangzor: Get out of my personal beeswax, you hot-diggety harlot!

Jo: But you told me. Five and a half times.

Fangzor: If you didn’t cut me off it would have been six, asshole!

GUYS. SHUT UP. We’ve got some serious shit to deal with today.

Jo: We do?

The Kardashian novel thingy. I’m about to read through excerpts and post my reactions, for the first part of this review. For the second part. I’ll do a formal review. If I don’t make it out alive — Jo, I give you the honor of carrying on my legacy.

Jo: So you’re passing on your eternal curse to–

You’ll like it, it’s fun. Anyway, I’ve invested in some armor and a sword to deal with this apeshiterectomy of a book.

We who are about to die salute NO ASPECT OF YOU whatsoever!

Fangzor: I’ll wait outside, out of some emotion other than cowardice.

Jo: Good luck, H. Because if I didn’t wish it on you I’d look like an accomplice. And that would mean no letter of rec.

Whatever, just get in the eternally-terribad book blast shelter. As for me, it’s go time.

“Chapter One: Kamille

Sitting in a café across the street from her family’s restaurant, Kamille Romero sipped her açai berry smothie and lifted her face to soak the sun. It was a deliciously warm day, not too humid for August in L.A. She had spent the afternoon in her favorite spa–not one of those New Age-y spas, but a serious, old-school spa run by a scary-efficient Romanian woman named bogdana. Kamille’s arms, legs, and bikini still stung from the honey-scented wax.”

“Luxuries, seriously? Ad far as Kamille was concerned, these were all necessities. Kat herself had taught Kamille and her sisters to take pride in their appearance and maintain a strict grooming ritual, including regular hair removal. Just because they were poor didn’t mean they had to be furry and ugly, did it?”

“But no, it was a superannoying text from her mother…”

“DOLL, WHERE R U?

Frowning, Kamille typed: MY SHIFT STARTS 430.

Kat replied: NO 4! GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE!”

“What? Kamille rolled her eyes. Her mom could be such a controlling bitch. Ever since she’d opened the restaurant four years ago, just after their father’s death, she’d put the girls to work. Which was not cool. At age twenty, Kamille was meant for something bigger and better than waitressing or busing tables. She just wasn’t exactly sure what that “something” might be. But her destiny was out there, waiting for her, as sparkly and spectacular as the Kodak Theatre on Oscar Night…”

“Kamille learned an important life lesson then: that money was power, and that no money meant no power.”

“(Kamille and Kass had a private joke that “PMS” stood for “Psychotic Mom Syndrome)”

“‘I think we should go with a risotto special,’ Kat was saying to Fernando. “Let’s do something with the new morel mushrooms we just got. How about some asparagus?’

‘A morel-and-asparagus risotto, sounds delish,’ Fernando agreed. ‘Let me just check in the kitchen and make sure we have enough stock. I need to get in there and start prepping, anyway.’

‘Ask Kass about the stock, she’s back there doing inventory. I think she made a huge batch last night with the leftover roast chicken?’

‘My goodness, is there anything that girl can’t do?'”

“Kamille knotted her fists, stifling several choice swearwords. She was sick-to-death-tired of constantly hearing what a saint Kass was. It had been going on for years, and seriously, who cared? So Kass had been valedictorian in high school. So she was at the top of her class at USC. So she worked long hours at the restaurant, doing everything from waiting tables to organizing the bills to whipping up gourmey fucking chicken stock like some Rachael Ray clone.

Kass was a saint because she had no life. She didn’t date; she claimed she was “too busy.” She hardly ever drank, which meant that she was superboring during girls’ nights out. All she ever did was work and study, study and work. If Kamille did that 24/7, she could be a perfect, overachieving geek, too.”

WILL THE HELLBRARIAN SURVIVE? WILL I STOP TYPING IN ALL CAPS? WILL X FIND Y AND Z’S BABY SURVIVE? FIND OUT IN DOLLHOUSE PART 2!