Posts Tagged With: english

Ursula Doyle – Love Letters of Great Men

LoveLetters  There are books one reads slowly for they lack substance. And then there are books that merely require a little more savoring and contemplation. “Love Letters of Great Men” (goodreads), put together by Ursula Doyle, is the latter type. And it’s just that. Love letters

Somehow I expected both less and more out of it. At first all I saw were banal words, overused comparisons, funny little rants, obvious inability to express one self. And then it dawned upon me – half these men were probably exactly that – unable to express the chaotic feeling they had inside, the terrible greatness of it all. Some of them were writers and still it sounded pompous and full of airs, with an exception of Oscar Wilde. His letter had a proper whiff of an author about it and was probably the most dangerous one to write. But then we have Darwin as well, and how can one say he wrote poorly when he didn’t? And if he did, well, who could write better?

I truly don’t know how to rate this. In the end, they’re just letters. Personal and meant for one pair of eyes, no more. Someone who, as they expected, wouldn’t judge. Thus, I decided I won’t judge either and give it a fair 5 out of 5. It’s worth reading, especially to those who still have old-fashioned romanticism in their hearts.

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Oliver Bowden – Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance [#1]

AC_renaissance  All in all, Oliver Bowden‘s book “Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance” is the first in the series of books on Assassin’s Creed. I started from the fifth, a book on Haytham and Connor Kenways, since I had just finished the game back then, and just wanted more, since I loved it so much. Then, thinking that since games begun with Altair, books must do so too, I’ve read third book in this book series. At the end of it it is Ezio who closes up someone’s journal on Altair, which makes it clear – I made a mistake. Again. But now I hold a finished book, a first book in this book series.
Book tells a story of a still young lad, Ezio Auditore who is learning, bit by bit, how to take over his father’s work as a banker. He’s not happy about it, but he’s not about to go against his father’s will either. And besides, being a banker is not all that bad. And for now he still has time to go racing with his older brother through the rooftops of Florence, ruffle up his sister’s stupid wooers and pick up some eagle feathers for his little brother. All seems well and bright until Florence is darkened by a heavy cloud bearing Templar Cross upon it. It is that tragedy that makes Ezio leave it all behind, his love, remnants of his family, his home and even his birth city. Leave it all and done the cowl of an Assassin. And seems he did so just in time, for among the shadows there are whispers of a Prophet who will enter the Floating City when a Piece of Eden is brought into it. It’s where Ezio must make his way, for both the Prophet and the Apple of Eden MUST be protected at all costs!
This book will fit those who wish to remember the story before playing a new one in the series of games, but do not wish to replay the games. I, personally, love replaying games before I play the newest ones, yet in two Ezio’s games there’s this cursed flying contraptions Leonardo has made… It will also fit those who hated the jumping back and forth between the times and the heroes.
As for story itself, I will give it 4 out of 5, for while story is great and I did love the game, sometimes actions in the book were left unclear, lacking description. Text would lose its integrity, something I witnessed many a time in translations, but this being the first time I saw it in original text. And all those Italian words… But have no worry, I’ve read 3rd and 5th books, I know the writing gets MUCH better.

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Gabriel Loidolt – Yakuza

20257496  This would be the second book in my life that has a female heroine in it, who goes through hell and marks her new life page with a giant tattoo. Both of those books had word “yakuza” in it, yet in this one it seems to be a very minor thing, used more to catch the eye, rather than represent something on the inside of the book. So, Gabriel Loidolt book “Yakuza” is per se a good book with meh title. A very short one, easy to finish in one sitting. And is a very good book too, yet to tell you why would be difficult.
Being a white Caucasian man in Japan can be both a blessing and a curse. Our hero of the book is studying art of irezumi’s from a great master who seems to hate him one day, and love him the other. On the streets he is both a beauty with his blond hair and blue eyes, an an alien at the same time. And so, even being as skilled as he is, eventually he still ends up in enough danger to pack up his bags and leave Japan with a permanently scarred face. He left Japan with a promise to never return. A promise he gave to yakuzas…
Being a master iredzumi artist in Japan might mean nothing in Japan itself, who has its own masters, but outside of it – it gives great weight to your name. Still, he had to adjust. His specialization afteral is the traditional irezumis, even if he doesn’t deny the gun-punctured tattoos. Traditional ones are preferable, but are made with little sheets of needles and people feel intimidated by needles they can so clearly see. And you can’t sit on your client in the Western World, it would be misunderstood in a heartbeat, thus he has to bend his back over the chair. He even had mirrors installed for clients who wished to see the work he done, collected a great collection of possible, usually famous paintings used for tattoos and became fairly skilled to pass on information subtly, to avoid clients asking something what would later on be perceived as a mistake. And, since silence is not valued in Western World whatsoever, he has some music, sounds gathered. This is important, for one day, in his leisure time, a woman from Siberia walks up to him, bearing a check for a wast sum and one third of an irezumi she wishes to have on her back. Bit by bit in silent hours of work they start breaking their own unintentional vows of silence and start dragging each other’s tragedies out onto the surface, for neither wants to speak of their own.
I like that same tragedy here is given from two different possible ways. Even thought we live in a world with two genders as a basic minimum, people often forget that same nasty thing, a beating, a rape, abuse, etc. can just as well happen to a man, even if we hear of women suffering it far more often. And this is what I loved about this book so much, for these two heroes both went through so very similar scripts that I am more than happy to own the book now. I can forgive our editors for making poor job out of interpreters definitely decent work. I can forgive the author or also the editors, who chose the name “yakuza” rather than “irezumi” or whatever other common Japanese word they might have used inside the pages. And I will forgive it all and give the book 5 out of 5. And since it is a very short book, something that is worth half a day, a day at best, I will also dare to recommend it. If not for the story, then for the mighty sentence of “Japan doesn’t need God, God needs Japan”. Believe it or not, it fit so great. I can just hope I get to see that beautiful and so very different land one day.

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George R.R. Martin – A Storm of Swords [#3]

AStormofSwords Is there a thing harder than reviewing a book in public, with so many characters there telling the stories from their points of view? But since I did finish third book in A Song of Fire and Ice, George R.R. MartinA Storm of Swords“, I will have to try, I guess.
Seven Kingdoms are torn to shreds by nearly Seven Kings. Nearly. One of them is the young Stark, King In The North, Robb. Young warlord may be new to war, but he’s winning a battle after a battle and even captures the infamous and yet famous Kingslayer, Oathbreaker! Jamie Lannister! Half his host wants him dead. The other half wants to send him back to Tywin Lannister in hopes to get a brother, a sister, a cousin returned. One of such people in wish of trade is Robb’s own mother. Yet, she can only hope for her son to do the right thing. Else he’d have to forgive her for many a thing. Yet no problems end with extra guards by the Kingslayer’s door. And many begin when young Robb returns from one of his battles married. Married to a wrong woman.
Far in the North by the Wall, the Nights Watch is in dismay and terror. Ravens fly, begging every king or king-to-be out there for aid, any aid at all. For Wildlings are fleeing the North, with King Beyond the Wall leading them, with the great Horn of Winter that is said to be able to tear the Wall down. And if that happens – whole Realm will be at the mercy of the Wildlings and Freefolk. And worse – at the mercy of the Others. For the days grow colder one after the other, and cold brings Death. When the dead walk – no one is safe and walls and swords mean nothing.
Mother of Dragons is still far away from Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms, yet her aim is the same. She must claim her Iron Throne, for it is by right hers. Yet her dragons are small, and she requires and army that she yet doesn’t have. All that before she enters that Realm of theirs, the Realm her father ruled and which is now ruled by a Boy King, Joffrey Baratheon, son of the Usurper. But how can all that be done if she cannot feel safe among her own? Betrayal is closer that in seems and she grows aware of it as days go by. Something will have to be done if she wishes to keep her life and claim her throne. Even if it’ll mean tearing her own heart out. Afteral, it’s her Children she must think of now. And she has more than three, ever since she freed the slaves…
And in short some more. Tyrion is alive, not well, but alive and still determined as he is. A prospect of marriage is in sight for him, a good marriage. Doesn’t mean it’ll be happy, but there’s this meager glimmer in his heart that it might, eventually… Jon Snow finally found his place under the sun. Doesn’t mean he’ll be allowed to keep it. Yet this question was left for another book. Little Bran went out to find the Three-Eyed Crow. Doing so he learned how to run! Arya is alive too. Her little prayer of names is getting shorter and shorter. Valar Morghulis.
The character development is so great and unbelievable in this book that I admit, I  enjoyed it from first chapter to the last, even if I cannot say the same of other two books before this. It’s brilliant. Many a death happened, many of them are painful and hard, but just as many were actually long awaited. Without a doubt I will give this book 5 out of 5. And remember: The Winter is Coming.

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Jasper Fforde – The Eyre Affair [#1]

  It’s becoming more difficult to describe a book than to read one. And don’t even get me started on the horrors of choosing the next one. But first things first. At last I finished the month-long, apparently, book-club book by Jasper Fforde (yes, two f’s) “The Eyre Affair“. And now I wonder if words “alternative reality” suit it correctly. Like Bartimaeus by Jonathan Stroud, just without magic. With vampires, tho. Little of them, but leaving a mark. Or a dent. Most of the things, yet, that make it different than actual reality are all the SpecOps and the things they cover. From supernatural being control, to time change guards, to hell knows who. Reminded me a little of Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter, so it’s one big thumbs up for using that and not making it any worse.
It all starts with super-villain Hades stealing an old original manuscript of some book, pardon me for lacking the memory for details, devil be with them. No one knows neither why nor how. There’s no ransom requests, no contacts. And cameras didn’t capture him either, no finger prints and even the glass that covered the manuscript is still in spot, if a little bit… out of shape.
Thursday Next is our main hero, a fantastic woman with whom I not always agree, but who am I to judge. She reminds me a little of Temperance Brennan from the books, just that this one’s in an alternative reality. And there she is, dropping us onto a one hell of a slide for a story with little take-a-breath breaks, right after the very first actual meeting with Hades that left her battered in hospital. She is told she shot some granny and did all sorts of crazy things. They also tell her that Hades is dead, burned in a car accident. But can you believe that sort of nonsense, when you saw bullets flatten and fall down off the man’s body? When you saw him change appearance, when cameras don’t capture him, hell, how can you believe a man with no shadow is dead just like that? And to put a cherry on top, the moment everyone leaves her be – a bright colored sports car materializes in her hospital room, with her behind the wheel, telling HER to take the job in Swindon.
It’s a handful, this book. In a good way too. And while it is meant for already older crowd of readers, I dare say I would’ve loved it madly when my age was still in singular digits form. All those difference Special Forces! Time jumping and travel, entering a book, altering a book! A comic in a book, I dare say. I’ll give it 4 out of 5, for while good, it had some irritating flaws in it anyway. But, here me out before burning me on a stake. I do intend to pick up the rest of the books in this serie, right? Right.

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George R.R. Martin – A Clash of Kings [2]

a-clash-of-kings-book-2-of-a-song-of-ice-and-fire  I have this love-hate relationship with Song of Fire and Ice. Usually at the start of the book I feel motivated. Mid-way I’m already angry and bored, because it takes 8 chapters to reach one that I like. And yet so far every damn time the ending leaves me very happy. George R.R. Martin book “A Clash of Kings” is barely a second one in Song of Fire and Ice, so maybe I’m judging too soon, but when is it not too soon? The book is so fat that an avarage author could make two to three books out of it. I’m grateful to our dear Martin for that, by the way, I wouldn’t want 22 books in a series, better a few very thick ones.
Very often in Fantasy books we witness the death of magic. Be it Tolkien and Lord of the Rings, where last Elves are leaving for the West, because a hour of a Man is upon Arda. Or Sapkowski and The Witcher Saga, where magic is simply dwindling out, either by someone using it up, or murdering it’s creations. In this case we witness the magic being reborn and that’s one big fat plus for these books.
As much as I love Dany and most of the Lannisters, this book made me understand how important Starks actually are. Starting with their mother. She witnesses powerful magic at hand in a kinslaying that happened before her very eyes in an arm reach. Her eldest boy Robb is now King in the North, fighting the Lannisters. Her eldest daughter Sansa first-hand (sort of, as much as high-born non-knighty-type ladies do) witnesses what it’s like to stand by the Iron Throne when so many want it and it’s defenders are such wusses. Her youngest daughter changes two lords and was awaiting a third to serve, all the while not leaving the tterritory of the same castle, because battle changes hands that fast. Luckily she seems fed up by it. Sadly, she didn’t go with the Faceless Man. Hell, that would’ve been The Innkeeper’s Song all over for me, I just know I would’ve loved it (and even the story is told in a very similar fashion). Little boy princes Bran and Rickon Starks are separated, just to keep the Stark blood alive. Betrayal fell upon them. But creators, was it a plot twist in the end! And then there’s the bastard Stark, Jon. Probably fighting the most important battle of all, far away in the North, beyond the Wall and the damned Seven Kingdoms.
So there we go. The Trees have Eyes again, the Dragons have returned and the Winter is coming. They say that it’s exactly the Dragons that bring the magic back, but is it really? The more I read, the more I do believe it’s in the winters cold grip that the magic awakens in a roar of a Dragon and a howl of a Direwolf. Thus making the very song of Fire and Ice. So far I do like it just as much as I hate it. Well, maybe I like it a little bit more, because I keep on reading, so I’ll give this one 4 out of 5, just because, really. First one was better, but this one definitely left me certain I’ll read on.

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Andrius Tapinas – Hour of the Wolf [#1]

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Andrius B. Tapinas is one of those few truly, TRULY great Lithuanian authors. And since the only one I mentioned was mentioned in a rather embarrassing context, I figured this will set the scales straight. Hour of the Wolf is the first book in Steam and Stone Saga mr. Tapinas is writing.

The book is like a spiral going inwards. You start at the far end of it, Russia selling two last cities to the great Rothschilds, one of them being Vilnius, the Capital of Lithuania. You see, the Rothschilds are forming an Alliance of free cities, where alchemy of all types is nourished, all for the sake of science, of course. Thus you gasp at the Golems, the not yet forgotten art in one of the Free Alliance cities on Earth – Prague. You wonder at the murder that just happened, such precise cut that one, throat open as if with a scalpel. You are mesmerized by zeppelins and dirigibles, run not only on steam, but also on Prometel, an alchemical substance created and controlled by the Alliance. And most of all – you keep wondering of these ever appearing words – homnculus and biomics. Both, in general, are partially a frowned upon art, for it would create an insane power, for one of those things could tear through a whole squad. But at the same time – it’s something no one yet managed to pull off. All but one. A young woman named Mila, who once stepped into the view with three little automaton dolls. But not just any dolls, those dollies moved and acted on their free will! And if that’s not bad, what about the murder that happened in Vilnius? Who was the man? And what were the blueprints he had, the ones that got stolen barely a minute after his death? And who or rather WHAT killed him?

And as the circles are closing in onto the center, the story gets more intense. Mind you, author tends to slightly start each chapter on the far end of it, but just bear with it, every detail is worth something. Thus, as intensity grows, you get many mysteries solved in front of you, and if you’re like me, used to predict things, you’ll be both happy and disappointed. Happy that your deductions went to trash and yet disappointed that you didn’t suspect that, you, the great reader! All in all, book ended up with as many mysteries as it started, all different, of course, but for someone who thought this was a one-book thing – it then turned clear there’ll be sequels.

The book doesn’t truly and fully fit the steampunk genre, but the way it spilled out of the bowl was rather amazing to me. I mean, to those who strictly think steampunk is a Victorian era thing – you might be a bit too picky for this book, but those who understand that steampunk also progressed OUT of Victorian times, if you are also a fan of great alchemy-fantasy – you’ll love this. I can compare it to anime Fullmetal Alchemist for obvious reasons, I can also compare it to games of Syberia (I spelled it correctly, trust me) and many other things, but all in all, this is a perfect piece of an alternative history and I’ll give it 5 out of 5, with pride.

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When you love the crazies!

This ain’t no joke. My friends are either crazy or extra-interesting people and day after day I keep thinking how lucky I am to have them in my life. There’s always a person I can write to at 3am a text and get a reply to it. There’s always a person who’ll spare me a kind word if I share my silly future plans. There’s always a person who will make and create something beautiful and fantastic and make sure I won’t miss it. There are people who ask me the oddest things and have me try my skill limits at the craziest stuff. Like, yesterday I drew a morse on a horse. A year ago, or maybe two, I made miniature piglets for earrings. I cut up DVD disks, severed barbie hands sewed naughty parts onto teddy bears and so on. Other’s pull me into different things that help my mind, not only my crafting skills. One fairly new friend gave me her copy of German “Bartimaeus: Amulet of Samarkand” book (Jonathan Stroud Bartimaeus sequence, I have all four, but when offered I agreed to take the german one because I really like the language and it was the first foreign one that I learned, so it’ll be great to remember it and re-use it), the other, old friend, gave me a poem book with translation and original (old French) side by side, for I expressed my will to learn that language too (too many Dracula’s musicales, people. I love your love for him). Then the other one who is a cousin beside a friend, made sure I get a spot in these cheap school-trips their teacher organised for their class (teacher knew me, so she agreed gladly), so I saw Germany (Berlin, Potsdam), Estonia (Tallinn), Latvia (Riga+) and Sweden (Stockholm). And each one of these people got something about them. Some are smart beyond measure. Some are creative beyond measure. Some make movies, other’s make costumes, and you can do nothing but marvel at both. Some are able to learn a new crafting technique and make jewelry within night, worth all the praise. Some sleep few hours a day and work non stop all the other time for reasons not even they know. The only question there is – why am I in their world? I got some skill, I got some talent and some brain. But not enough of either. It’s why I say they must be crazy, but hell, I love each one of them.

So on this high note, lets go on and see how past few days went for me, shall we? Let’s start with the oldest. I experiment with techniques for crafting, for I want every piece I make to be different and as unique as it can be without being just trash. So I cut up DVD’s after I was reminded they’re made of two thinner layers stuck together, unlike one-fat-layer CD’s are. I cut the edge, stick a blade in it and rip one piece off. Put a ruler on it and cut, cut, cut. If you’re lucky, after you severed the beautiful-covered DVD in half, you will have transparent side and the pretty side. If you’re less lucky, you’ll have pretty side and one side with residue of the shiny bits.

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Broke my bodkin when piercing holes into promotional BioShock: Infinite DVD (demo) earrings…

And then I went on making other stuff. When the Muse hits me – it lasts long enough for me to burn for a couple of days and make several decent and good items or at least learn something new about making them. So what I did was: A pair of earrings carved into a book. Pretty much, I cut a slice of a book off, made back out of the cover, frame out of pages. Put a skull picture inside and covered it all in thick layer of enamel. It doesn’t look so good, I guess, but it’s different and I was quite happy in the making of it.

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  The other thing I made was a fail at first. I printed four pictures of skulls for this second work, cut it into a triangle and glued it on a piece of cardboard. I thought, wow, I’m so clever, this’ll be hard enough surface for paper! Then I thought… No, no it won’t. If some girl (or a boy, no discrimination here) puts those earrings into jewelry box – they’ll be crushed, they will bend and in the end – they’ll be ripped as any paper or light cardboard gets. At first I thought I’ll throw it out and just make new ones and glue them on plastic (and I will make such once I get back into the mood of making, plus I need a few more items for it now, as I ran out), but figured, if I intend to throw them out, why not learn on them and experiment? So I did. I took a knife, heated it up and dipped into dry enamel and spread it like butter in uneven chunks onto the triangles on both sides. All well and good – hard and shiny. Thing is – edges began looking dirty and uneven. So I dug into the stash of supplies from old home renovation and find some wallpaper which says “you can wash it with water“. In other words – waterproof (or hydrophobic, if you so wish) paper. I cut off even slices and put it onto the triangle edges. I think the final turn out looks decent if not real good. Not too bad, not too bad.

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  The third full piece is the previously mentioned DVD earrings.  They’re made out of a promotional DVD one gets with PC Gamer magazine, it contains the game demo and/or promotional trailer. Pretty much, what you do is you cut the edge of it, for if you look closely – it has some kind of melted residue on it, you need to scrape it off. Then you stick the blade in between, which is a hard task – guard your fingers or wear thick, real thick gloves, and then without pulling it out – drag it around whole DVD. Then carefully rip it apart. If you’re lucky – you will have a clear side you can use for something else and whole shiny stuff will be on the part which you will cut up for the picture on it. If you’re less lucky – there’ll be residue on the clear part and you might not be able to use that then. All in the limits of your own imagination. After you done all that, you drop the fattest ruler you own and use same blade (I expect it’s either a scalpel or a box opener) to cut it. No pressure, make long, firm slices across where you want to cut over and over and over until you cut into your cutting board. I hope you have one, coz table will not like the crafting you do. The further process is up to you. I put plastic wallpaper on the back – it’s soft and squishy and green. Then covered edges with copper dye and clear acrylic paints to hold it all down. Then I pierced the holes, put through a gold colored little hoop and the hooks. Done. And I think they look beautiful.

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  From the creative field I can show you one small piece too. It’s an elven shaman, you’ll see her story in my DeviantArt page someday. She’s a friend of Dyaebl, who has two stories in my dA (first; second) already. It’s a very small picture, I avoid making such, even tho I find it a lot easier. But the interesting thing is not the size but the way it progressed. If you look closely, it seems it all started out so innocently and look what came out of it all. The picture in her BG is the village my father grew up in, by the way.

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  Now the other things. A month ago I ordered three items from one Etsy store, called Finding Supply and yesterday I finally received it. It was a free shipping, so it’s normal for it to take a month to get here. Must say, I am very happy about everything it contained. First of all, the envelope was MAYBE re-used, I don’t know, eitherway, I was glued with extra glue which held everything really, really firm and I approve to cautious shipping. Second – every item is packed firmly in the most compact size zip-bags, no excess air, no tangly edges. Packs were brand new (some people I bought from definitely re-use those bags), sturdy and well zipped. And thirdly – the items are great in quality and really cheap. Lets hope I can make lots of nice things out of it all.  Crafting_supplies Crafting_supplies_2

  And let me show you my Bartimaeus too. German language never looked as beautiful as when Bartimaeus describes his first summoning by Nathaniel. I’ve read it in Lithuanian, listened to audio book in English (I recommend it a lot, by the way) and now I can re-read it in German. No, there’s never too much of Bart. Ever.

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  And just to finish it nice, another picture, okay? Last collage, so to say. First on top is my new experiment – the Slave of Kirkwall from Dragon Age 2, I am a great fan of Dragon Age series, comics, books, games. Second picture on top is another experiment, it’s a bow bent four times in length and four times in width and pushed through the loops of itselfs. Strengthened with sems there and here and metal studs. At the bottom, first picture is same studs used to mark which hoodie is mine (coz there’s two same in my home and one ain’t mine), it’s an Assassin’s Creed (not Masons) symbol (tho they’re quite same). The thingy beside it is a bat made out of green note paper. Just so. Now, on far edge, three pictures, first (top) is a picture of how books hang over my head there and here, for I got no room to put it elsewhere and do trust me, there’s just no way to put them less ominously. Below are some Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag logo’s I intend to use up. What for? You’ll see. One item is already on my dA, it’s a pendant for a courtesan. And the bottom is my bane. Either no one’s there to make me tea, or no one’s simply making me tea, or there’s a cup after a cup after a cup. And I randomly drink from all of them. Yep.

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Cheri and the Horrors

Let me start by telling you a tale of “buy three for the price of one” sales on books. It’s extra-hard for me to pass these ever since I was 11 years old, when I first bought two books worth 12 dollars for barely 4 dollars, left from my lunch. This time, few days ago to be specific, I bought a fourth Hellsing manga, “I am Legend” and “Cheri“, all three attached together. I didn’t know what this “Cheri” is, but I figured – it’s together with two vampire stories, it can’t be that bad, right?

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Lithuanian and English

 

So I took it to be read first, before Legend, before Hellsing (that one I’ve read a long time ago, I just didn’t have my own copy). No vampires, I’ll say, altho there was a single mention of them, when Leya called herself a vampiress, craving the young body of Cheri (Fred). It’s not the “wow, that was good” type of the book, but I have no regrets in owning it. Why? Well, because Leya, mother of Cheri, and all their friends are also courtesans. It’s just terribly interesting for me to watch what those women can make out of a man in life and I’m never disappointed. Mind you, I don’t find this profession anywhat worse than any other. Where there’s a demand, there’s offer, thus if the women are “vile” for doing this – shouldn’t you start by getting to the demanders? Anyways, so that’s that, a fine book. I presume I missed those stories of fancy hats, tights vests tie pins.

Right after finishing it I went for watching the movie. Mind you, I’m not the type who sits down and watches something easily. Either lure me with amazing things, or I’ll escape the first chance I get. Funny thing, what lured me in “Cheri” movie were the details all around them. The green with gold glass goblets, the fully gold covered tea cups, the wide wine-red smoking-robes, the previously mentioned hats and all those aging courtesans. They followed the book pattern really well, for one of them indeed seemed a cross-dressed man (maybe she was indeed a he, I didn’t check the actor list), and the other one had a really fake looking wig.

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  One thing was terribly odd for me tho. It’s a narrated movie. Like some “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory“. If it was at least narrated by a woman it maybe wouldn’t have felt as if an oompa-loompa was about to jump out and start singing.

  The other thing is – congratulate me! I finished first season of “American Horror Story“. And it wasn’t good. I’m told the second one is by far better, but first one knocked the will out of me to watch on further, so I’ll put it on the tab for next week. As for now, lets figure what’s what, shall we?

  Okay, so there’s this fancy old house, suspiciously cheap. Tourist-lurers keep bellowing – it’s a MURDER house! And it is. You move in – you die. No, first you somehow, for some weird-ass reason decide you want a baby. Then a thing in spandex suit or what it was, comes to help out on that. Then you figure you’re growing a demon baby in thy womb, as if priests weren’t terrified of you being a woman in the first place. Then – everyone dies. Usually killed by ghosts who died there before. For if you die there – you cannot leave. Ever. And that house is CRAWLING with ghosts of crazy people, I tell you. Some died because of hate crimes, others – for infidelity, others more – suicided and so on. They love, they hate and most of all – they all want your baby. Oh, and they want their house back, so just pop that thing out and get the hell out or else…

  So that’s that – murder, lots of murder, pretty much – you wasn’t excited enough about my new vase! – stab, stab, stab! Then there’s rape and infidelity. Then there’s psychotic teens and creepy little kids. Oh and did I mention everyone keeps killing everyone?

  First serie – awesome. Second – o-kay. Third – …not so much anymore. Last serie was quite alright tho, that’s why I didn’t ditch the idea of giving second season a chance some time later.

AHS_1ahs_2

  Let’s return a bit to the topic of books, for I didn’t mention one more. I happen to be a secret lover of all kinds of Asia involving books, even if it’s purest fiction of all fiction, with realms that aren’t ours. Thus if I see a sale or other cheap little book (I try to cut down on book buying. You should see my home, really, it’s pure gain to buy less damn paper books…), I get it. This time I got Ihara Saikaku book “Five Women who Loved Love“. First two stories were a disappointment and I was cursing my stupid head to buy a book with such a suspicious title in the first place. But then the last three made it worth my while.

  It’s all about… Well, honestly, there’s no one pure topic. I’d say – tragic love – but that’s not it. I’d say – falling in love – but that’s not it either. I’d say – okay, being unfaithful and getting what you deserved for it – but that’s also not true. First two – tragedy, oh tragedy. The girls are insanely young, thus saying “women” is a hard thing for me. And first two do things that I can’t work through my mind. Say, a lover in the dark mixed you up with someone else, you slept through whole activity he took, then woke up and figured you probably love him terribly, thus you should, absolutely, run away with him? Let me just back away, slowly… Or better, some old geezer dropped a pot on your head, messed your hair up, his wife decided you had a little tumble with him and thus began spreading vile rumors on you, you decide that if that’s so, you’ll give her REAL reason to spread rumors and thus again – run off with some weird old man you met once, twice? Sense can begin any time now. And it did, by the way, for next three stories did make sense, by all means. The last one didn’t even end with deaths, and there was even some homesexuality mention (and more) in the last two, which gave the “five women” a little charm. Especially as I always dearly admired samurais and while friends and mates all wanted to be police officers, high ranking military men, professional athletes – hell, I wanted a katana! So there’s that for me.

English, Lithuanian

English, Lithuanian

I did the the little book, it’s also – not the best thing you can get – but definitely not the worst. I also got it quite some time ago, so I can’t figure how I forgot all about it. I guess I just didn’t expect old Japan to be the setting for it. Oh, and let me add, that while stories are short and definitely not the most interesting things you could read – there are these little footnotes and such which speak of those-times-Japan, the culture, traditions and other facts. Those were the best!

 

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