Category Archives: Book Reviews

Goodreads Review: Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

WatchmenWatchmen by Alan Moore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Writing a review for Watchmen is kinda like writing a review of the Bible. How do you review a book/graphic novel is one of the most influential ladles of awesomesauce to served up to the comics world?

When I was a teenager, a million years ago, one of my weekly rituals was to take my pizza job cash and dump it on the counter of my fave comic shop, walking home with comics, posters, and Japanese robot models. (Eventually girls would talk to me and my habits changed slightly). At the time of Watchmen, it was a curious time for comics. Black and white, independent books were rolling strong, thanks to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Dark Horse Comics had just started. The comics business was highly self-aware.

Brit writers and artists were starting to hit the beach. DC Comics was especially aware of how awesome these guys were, many of them of them key players at 2000 A.D., the godhead of UK comics.

One of these guys was Alan Moore, and he was given a writing assignment by DC. DC had bought Charlton Comics, and all their characters. They wanted a nice maxi-series to bring them into the fold. Moore was tasked with this mission.

Moore goes out to his creepy cave and writes up this THING. This amazing THING. He informs DC that it will be the greatest THING ever to be published, but alas, they will never get to use these characters again. DC peeks in Alan’s briefcase, is shocked to see the glory of the THING, and tells him to adjust the characters, make them into something new. Which Alan does. Thank gods for that.

Then Watchmen hits the stands. Every issue was a revelation, and when you closed the cover, you immediately went into withdrawals until the next. It took over a year for the 12 issues to come out, and I had whiplash from seizures.

Every “cool” and “innovative” writer working in comics today will tell you that Watchmen was a major influence. The book was a grand statement on the superhero genre, publishing, and the comic book medium. It was so meta, your brain will implode.

There’s a movie (sadly misdirected, although the teenager in me was pleased) and DC is cranking out some sequels this year (I reserve comment, but I do just want to be a hater out of the gate). If you haven’t read Watchmen, please read it first before checking anything else with Watchmen attached to it. PLEASE. For me. For your mom. For your country. For whatever flag you salute. Just start here.

And Moore? He’s done about a billion things since then, but he’s such a cranky old man hiding in a castle somewhere deep in the moors, and in many ways has never been quite as accessible a storyteller as he was with Watchmen.

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Goodreads Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full disclosure: I am a complete Dickhead.

It’s true, as far as I am concerned, Phillip K. can do no wrong. I have been a complete and utter FANBOY since reading “Man in the High Castle,” and even his most flawed works hold me and ask for ransom.

Androids was one of his first properties that was mined for Hollywood, resulting in the canonical “Bladerunner.” Since then, producers and studios have optioned everything from his short stories to his grocery lists.

The book is very different from the film in many regards, which ultimately is a good thing. This way, if you loved the movie, you can get a completely new perspective on the material. The reverse is also true.

What you’ll find here is a complete primer to the themes that haunted Dick’s fractured mind throughout his career as a writer: What is human? What is it to be human? Are we human? What is real? Who owns our thoughts? What is god? What is the origin of the Promethean spark of life? WTF is going on????

If you don’t know Dick, this is a great place to start.

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Goodreads Review: The Illuminatus! Trilogy

The Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid/The Golden Apple/LeviathanThe Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid/The Golden Apple/Leviathan by Robert Joseph Shea
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A swirling storm of madness.

Take 15 years of Art Bell, add Templars, add Freemasons, and throw in your favorite conspiracy theories. Use a high pressure vat to squeeze it down to the size of a brick. Have a snack.

Later, download EVP recordings of Terrance McKenna conversing with Cthulhu about his preferred bus routes through the fourth and fifth dimensions. While listening, gobble down any psychedelic substances you have available. Now, crawl through the neighbor’s bushes at 3 AM and wait for ETs to land, like they always do.

As soon as they step out of their craft, run wildly at them, and toss the brick at the nearest Gray you see. His fragile, spindly body will not be able to handle the assault, and he will drop. This will of course, induce a silent panic in the others, and they will flee immediately.

Now, crawl home and dial up your lizard man friends in Congress. Tell them how awesome you are. Ask them to spare your life when they complete their silent invasion.

Congrats, you just read the Illuminatus Trilogy, and potentially saved the world.

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GoodReads Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The RoadThe Road by Cormac McCarthy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The third to last time I cried was when the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in ’97.

The second to last time I cried was when my father died almost two years ago.

The last time I cried was when I read the ending of this book.

This is a masterpiece, straight-up future canonical apocalypse literature. McCarthy joins George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Anthony Burgess, and the rest of the fun bunch. The world falls apart, and all that remains is the final days of a father and his son. READ IT AND WEEP.

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