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CJRwriting

CJRwriting

Joined June 2020

Rats and books, in that order! Scriptwriter and teacher, cjrwriting.com
review
CJRwriting
Mehso-so

I wrote a considered review of this but Litsy crashed. Didn't enjoy it enough to bother writing it up again- it's OK, nothing special though.

review
CJRwriting
Roadside Picnic | Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky
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Pickpick

This influential short sci-fi story is a must for fans of the genre. Soviet era bleakness in a dystopian future, there's a lot to unpack in such a short story.

There are some flaws, but the influence and importance of the work cannot be overlooked.

SpaceCowboyBooks Loved this book. The film is also great 12mo
2 likes1 comment
review
CJRwriting
Avengers Disassembled | Brian Michael Bendis
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Bailedbailed

Poor show from Bendis and the team with this one. I enjoyed his run on New Avengers which came after this though.

Glad I read this for free on Prime Reading instead of adding it to my physical collection.

review
CJRwriting
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Pickpick

For a journalist, Storr is refreshingly honest and interesting. The Heretics investigates those with outlandish beliefs, but Storr threats them with respect and dignity, even at times when perhaps the reader wishes he wouldn't.

Great book. Really fascinating insight into the human mind, and it's creation of narratives.

review
CJRwriting
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Pickpick

Fascinating, depressing, hilarious and honestly earnest.

If you find the premise interesting this is sure not to disappoint you.

review
CJRwriting
Good Omens | Gaiman, Neal
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Panpan

Audiobook version.

I normally love Gaiman's work but I just could not get into this. I might try it again down the line as everyone raves about it- or maybe I will just watch the show. Everything felt too clean and the characters were not interesting enough.

For now, I am out, opinion subject to change, but I have too much of a backlog to finish something that feels like pulling teeth.

Sorry Neil, Terry, still a big fan of your works.

blurb
CJRwriting
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It's been about 10 years, but I have never stopped thinking about this book. Taking another journey into the horror of 'House of Leaves' and loving every minute of it.

See you on the other side.

review
CJRwriting
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Mehso-so

Hard one to review, your mileage may vary depending on how much of a fan of Stephen King you are. As a writer in the UK, there was a lot of advice that was not relevant, or out dated.

However, King's memoir sections are interesting and endearing for the most part. I enjoyed reading the book, but at times it was a little bit of a slog.

marleed I think of his opinion about adverbs often as I read - especially if I‘m listening to the audio of a book and the narrator is essentially describing how the line should be heard as she‘s reading the line. I also appreciated why he explained he doesn‘t describe scenery or fashion ware. 1y
CJRwriting Those were probably my favourite pieces of advice in there. I have avoided the dreaded adverbs for a long time- but the description perspective was really interesting. 1y
5 likes2 comments
review
CJRwriting
TEN LITTLE ASTRONAUTS. | DAMON L. WAKES
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Mehso-so

The story has a lot of legs but doesn't really pay off in a satisfying way. I loved the concept, but there was so much more that could have been done with it. Also, the amount of adverbs hurt to read.

The writer clearly has talent though.

Bonus Wendell the rat in the photo for your kind consideration!

review
CJRwriting
The Dead House | Dawn Kurtagich
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Mehso-so

There is a lot wrong with The Dead House, however, everything that it gets right makes up for the downsides of the story telling.

Told using a non-traditional narrative stricture, The Dead House really deserves more traction in the YA market for it's uniqueness and intrigue.

It i's definitely worth a look of you are into any of the following. Psychological horror, found footage or dark drama.

I would definitely read another book by Kurtagich

CJRwriting Also, please enjoy Darwin judging the book in the background! 2y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled I have ratties too! 🐀❤️ 2y
CJRwriting They are the best! How many do you have? 2y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Just two at the moment, but have had up to 8 at a time. I love them so much! 2y
CJRwriting We have 8 at the moment, mostly rescues. 2y
2 likes5 comments
review
CJRwriting
Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Vol. 1 | Chris Claremont, Jo Duffy, Scott Edelmen
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Pickpick

In 1975 the X-men had a renaissance. This is the moment comic books became something for readers of all ages.

The work in this hefty volume sets up literal decades of storytelling and character arc and is a must for anyone with a soft spot for the X side of the Marvel universe.

This is a beautiful volume, plenty of extras, both new and from the time. An important moment of comic book history reprinted for modern audiences.

review
CJRwriting
Thirteen Storeys | Jonathan Sims
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Pickpick

Sims knows how to tell a story from beginning through to end without resorting to cheap genre tropes or writing himself into a corner.

These short, interconnected stories are an engaging and, at times, powelful read.

Importantly, there are actual scares and moments of creeping dread. However, gore and violence is at the lower end, if that sort of thing concerns you.

This is supernatural, psycological horror that delivers thrills and chills.

review
CJRwriting
Norse Mythology | Neil Gaiman
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Mehso-so

I think that 'So-So' is a harsh score to give this work, but it falls just below being a pick. As always, Gaiman is engaging and fantastic, and the Norse pantheon as entertaining as ever. Well written and accessible to anyone interest in the old myths.

My one issue is that I didn't really feel that there was anything new said. Not that that is an issue as such, but Gaiman's previous work with these characters maybe set my expectations too high.

review
CJRwriting
Head Full of Ghosts | Paul Tremblay
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Panpan

This book has been pitched to me as 'one of the scariest modern works' on more than one occasion, but it certainly didn't live up to the hype.

I liked Tremblay's characters, and the idea itself is solid, but everywhere else it just fails for me. The constant references to pop-culture, and literature far better and scarier was obnoxious at best.

However, despite this decidedly scathing review, I will give Tremblay another chance.

2 likes3 stack adds
review
CJRwriting
The Little Stranger | Sarah Waters
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Pickpick

Ooofff, an excellent read that doesn't so much deliver scares but an atmosphere dripping with dread and foreboding. It takes a while to get to the 'spooky' stuff, but once it begins the book doesn't lose focus. If you prefer your ghost stories to be subtly over screams, this is for you.

Recommended for fans of Michelle Paver, M R James and Elizabeth Kostova.

Cathythoughts Loved this one 👍🏻❤️ 2y
CJRwriting It was so subtle, it really swallowed me up. 2y
2 likes2 comments
review
CJRwriting
The Devil in the Marshalsea | Antonia Hodgson
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Mehso-so

Pretty good yarn, suffers in a few places from predictable twists and over simplification on socio-economics. But ultimately worth your time and written with skill and care.

Not far off being a 'Pick' for me, and I think more people will like it than not.

review
CJRwriting
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Pickpick

Wiseman's psychological analysis on why some people experience events out of the normal.

A fantastic read, and would be beneficial for anyone who has a 'fear' of the supernatural.

Wiseman's style is informative and interesting, and despite the serious subject matter there is plenty of levity to be had.

A truly informative and interesting piece of work.

review
CJRwriting
House Of X/Powers Of X | Jonathan Hickman
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Pickpick

A much needed rejuvenation of the X-men property. After the fantastic Time Runs Out and Secret Wars, Hickman starts hot with House of X/Power of X, so much so that you won't believe it's just a prequel of what's to come.

My first comic books in a number of years, my last being around the previously mentioned Hickman run- thankfully, despite the complexity of the storyline, this is one for readers old and new to establish the coming status-quo.

review
CJRwriting
Thin Air | Michelle Paver
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Pickpick

Second Paver in as many weeks, and despite the early similarities in the work, this turns into yet another fantastic read. The creeping dread of madness invokes a Lovecraftian feel, the characters are interesting and deep and the description is rich.

My only downside is that I wish I had waited a few months between books, that way the similarities in the set up would have been less noticeable.

Paver might just be my favourite horror writer now

ImperfectCJ Definitely agree on waiting between the two books. I also read them close together and think I'd have enjoyed the second more if the style hadn't been so fresh in my mind. 2y
CJRwriting @ImperfectCJ I am waiting before I pick up another! I did end up putting it down half way through and reading something else for a bit, which scrubbed my brain enough to appreciate it again. 2y
ImperfectCJ @CJRwriting I do the same thing with Susan Hill's books...I need a palate cleanser between gothic stories, I guess. It's been a few years so I think I'm about ready for Paver's Wakenhyrst. My kids like her middle-grade Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series (not gothic). 2y
4 likes3 comments
review
CJRwriting
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Pickpick

I have had this book in my collection for some time now, but I had always glanced over it.

Far more philosophical in nature to the movie adaptation 'Blade Runner' and plays out in a different way. But that is all to the books benefit, the dust drench atmosphere and deep sociopolitical/nihilistic questions make this very much it's own unique experience.

review
CJRwriting
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Pickpick

A compelling and well written piece, part ghost story, part speculative horror and part existential crisis. A character piece focussing on isolation and terror that was surprisingly relaxing to read.

Paver's book is intelligent and intriguing in equal measures, a solid choice regardless of what you normally read.

Mistermandolin Paver is a fine writer. This one‘s a slow burn but rewarding at the same time. I loved the sense of isolation and mounting dread. Some novels just stay with you and this one has with me. Great pick. 2y
CJRwriting Totally agree. I was recommended it by a friend who is often on the money with these things. But he certainly hit a home run with this one. 2y
3 likes2 comments
review
CJRwriting
Blood Orange | Harriet Tyce
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Mehso-so

Tyce's debut novel is not something I would normally pick up, but I fancied a change.

The story was fairly predictable, and the characters unlikable, however something kept me reading. I finished this in just a couple sittings, so I can't fault the writing style even if I didn't necessarily enjoy the story.

If you are on the fence about reading this, and it's your type of story it's probably worth a look.