All posts filed under: Reviews

Salvage the Bones (Book Review)

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward My rating: 3 of 5 stars Sometimes it can be difficult to read such a precious book and maintain the facade of being a film critic at the same time. Something delicate can be hard to break, and for me, I felt guilt while reading this lovely minor novel from the MFA Grad Jesmyn Ward. I make a dinstinction here, because as the back of the cover assures me, Mrs. Ward is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s MFA program, which seems to take all precedent of her little bio, never mind the fact that she has published another novel before this one. Why such the great lengths to impress with a title when her works should suffice? Their is a current in the writing realm today, which is that one cannot be published unless one pursues a higher education, as if the only road to success and fame runs through the university. Never mind that Hemingway travelled to Italy to serve as a Paramedic during the great …

George Washington’s Rules to Live By: How to Sit, Stand, Smile, and Be Cool! A Good Manners Guide From the Father of Our Country

George Washington’s Rules to Live By: How to Sit, Stand, Smile, and Be Cool! A Good Manners Guide From the Father of Our Country by George Washington My rating: 4 of 5 stars Some of my favorite rules are ones meant to guide children as they make their way through life. While some of these tips to behave may seem outdated, there is much to cherish and learn from. Written with both wit and grace, every rule is followed by a snippet about how it applied to George Washington’s life, serving not only as an amusing commentary but as well a history lesson one of the first founding fathers of our great country. Adorable and cute, this concise book is a must have for every little lady and gentleman looking to make an impression on the world around them. I know I won’t be picking at my teeth without a toothpick soon! A hearty 4 stars and a toast to those who mind others. May we all learn a little respect! View all my reviews

Y: The Last Man, Vol 1: Unmanned

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan My rating: 3 of 5 stars Perhaps my expectations were doomed to failure. Perhaps I’m just no fun. Whatever the case may be, the truth is I found myself a little disappointed with a comic book that has garnered so much hype. Hailed by many as one of the greatest comic book series out there, I came to this first volume with high expectations, perhaps because I just can’t resist following the penguins off the cliff. None other than the somewhat similar disappointing novel “The Stand” by Stephen King, Y: The Last Man details an apocalyptic setting, here presented in the form of every male member of every animal species dying in an instant that is never quite explained. The hook is that one male human and his one male monkey are the sole survivors of the extinction, and find themselves now in the hands of the dreaded women who are now left helpless, because as the statistics in an info dump tell us …

Review of Golem Legend: Origins and Implications (Non-Fiction, 1985)

A very concise and simple book explaining the historical origins of the Jewish legend of the Golem. Two main messages Byron creates are thus as follows: 1) Thru language we are able to express our creation 2) There is a danger in creating life when we attempt to play God The first point is a reflection of a Jewish thought that Biblically speaking, we are all (as in human beings) created in God’s image, therefore we all have the capabilities of unlocking the power of God thru our expression, just as God was able to create with his Word. Thus, historically, the notion of creating a Golem is rooted in man’s ability to create thru language life tho what constitutes life is up to debate. The very notion of a soul is defined by man’s ability to communicate, or so Byron argues, and his point is that all humans start out as Golem’s and never achieve personhood until we are able to fully express the spirit, or as he states, breath of God that was …

Review of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (Novel, 2012)

Set to the backdrop of Nazi occupation of Europe and the exploding popularity of pulp trash, an art form we now celebrate as the holy comic book, is the tale of a lonely Jewish son estranged from his family and looking to make amends here in his new home of America. His name is Joe Kavalier and he’s escaped the Holocaust, traveling from Prague in a coffin containing a Golem of Jewish lore, barely slipping by the Third Reich while his parents and beloved brother behind. And that’s just the first 40 pages. Written like a daring comic from the nostalgic period dubbed the Golden Age, Joe is a Jew with a talent for magic and drawing. Trained under the tutelage of master magician Bernard Kornblum, Joe has a knack for escaping from impossible situations. As a fellow admirer of his ultimate hero Houdini, Joe treats his art exactly like his does his trade. On the whim of his cousin Sammy Clay, a fellow artist and writer, Joe helps create the fictional comic book superhero …

Review of Things As They Are (Theater, 2017)

Who is the poet who goes by the name Wallace Stevens? That is the question writer David Todd poses in his elegant and delightful potpourri of a play, at once both intellectual and heartfelt, a tug of war between the mind and the heart that will eventually define a hero who must come to terms with his split devotion between duty and delight, whimsy and family, fantasy and reality. Stevens is a corporate tax lawyer by day, a father of a beautiful teenage daughter, and husband to a wife who sees past the mystery and intrigue of a poet and knows the humdrum reality of holding a family together all too well. The play opens with the writer engaged in an argument with his daughter who fails to see what makes him so important, instead trying to exert her own independence from an authority that Stevens himself once rebelled against in the form of his own father. In what could have been a standard 50s set family drama, however, is instead contrasted with scenes of …

A Short Review of Shipwreck #1 (Comic Book, 2017)

A Short Review of Shipwreck #1 (Comic Book, 2017) Much like listening to the first song of an entire album, reading the first issue of a comic book series is a little like testing the water, seeing if the temperature is just right to get in. That about sums up my experience reading this debut comic book from acclaimed writer Warren Ellis, who the back on the comic informs me wrote the comic books that would inspire the films Red and Iron Man 3. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to excite me into jumping into the water, nor did the actual story itself encourage me to dive further. This comic is essentially a mystery presented in the form of a man named Dr. Jonathan Shipwright, a US Air Force Pilot who is the lone survivor of shipwreck who has the ability to transport from what appears to be on the other sides of doors. It’s a neat ability I suppose if it can be explained why it matters, which will hopefully happen in further issues. But …