Tag: Evocative

Alan Dean Foster – Aliens | Review

Title: Aliens

Author: Alan Dean Foster

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 250

Rating: 3.75/5

This book is the novelisation of the second Alien movie, and it’s actually a pretty good read. Foster is a well-known and well-loved novelist in his own right, and before picking up this and Alien, I’d already read Midworld, which is my friend Todd the Librarian’s favourite book. That was great, Alien was great and so was this one.

The only real flaw for me was that it’s a little top heavy and so the last twenty pages contain the most climactic scenes. But at the same time, I can see how this could happen when you’re writing a novelisation based upon a movie. Movies and books work differently, and it’s kind of noticeable here.

Still, Foster’s writing style combined with the original script make for a compelling read, and I was impressed again by the way that he was able to bring the story to life. His writing style is super evocative, so at times you feel as though you can smell the stench of alien blood burning its way through steel decking.

Of course, the downside is that by this point, most people have seen the movie and so they already know what happens. That kind of gives it the weird sensation of being a re-read even if it’s the first time you’ve picked it up. That’s not a bad thing though, and I thought it was decent.

Click here to learn more about Aliens.

 


Woody Guthrie – Bound for Glory | Review

Title: Bound for Glory

Author: Woody Guthrie

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 320

Rating: 4*/5

 

Woody Guthrie - Bound for Glory

Woody Guthrie – Bound for Glory

 

I have mixed feelings about this book, but I think that’s largely because it’s a bit of a beast if you’re not properly psyched up for it. It takes time and concentration to get through it and feels like too much of a chore to be a 5/5, but it’s still culturally significant. In fact, it’s even a lot of fun from time to time, and it’s impressive how Guthrie is able to capture the vernacular – and the lifestyle – at the time.

For a book that’s about a musician, there isn’t a huge amount of information here about Guthrie’s early musical career, but that’s okay. We still get to see him travelling around with his guitar and playing songs to the folks he met along the way. In many ways, that’s the point – this isn’t a ‘coming-of-age’ kind of story but rather the non-fiction equivalent of the fabled great American novel.

It’s also interesting to some of the themes that followed Guthrie throughout his life, of which fire is probably the most prominent. In fact, he lost several houses as a kid and spent a lot of time on the move, which is probably why he grew up to live a life on the rails. Say what you want about Guthrie, the man was a real character – and I can see why Bob Dylan used to re-read this book over and over again.

Ultimately, then, this book isn’t for everyone – but if you’re a big fan of either Guthrie or the folk music that he influenced, you’ll definitely enjoy this. But you’ll also enjoy it if you’re interested in America during the 1930s1950s. Guthrie’s writing is as evocative as any novelist’s, which means you can almost taste the dust and smell the sweat of the men in the taverns.

 

Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie

 

Click here to buy Bound for Glory.