May 24, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Back in 1915, a man named Franz Kafka (maybe you’ve heard of him?) had his novella The Metamorphosis published. Since then, The Metamorphosis and his other works have been considered some of the best literature out there.
Fast forward roughly nine decades – give or take a few years. This here reviewer is in one of her required English classes when her professor says, read The Metamorphosis, great tale that it is. And so I go home, and I read a story about a man who wakes up not a man, but a bug. When I finally finished the story I realized that this ‘gem’ of literature gave me one of the most painful reading experiences of my life (topped only by dislike for Steinbeck – which I actually mentioned in my review of The Metamorphosis which I wrote after having to read it again… in another English class).
Fast forward (last time, promise) to April 2011. I’m checking my email, and there in my inbox is an email with the subject “The Meowmorphosis.” There I am thinking, ‘this ought to be interesting.’ And so I read an email about a book by Franz Kafka and Coleridge Cook that feature’s Mr. Gregor Samsa, only this time he wakes up a baby kitten. My first thought after reading that email… ‘Oh, this is gonna be better than the original.’ With that, I give you my review of The Meowmorphosis.
The Meowmorphosis is the story of Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman working his hind-end off to pay off his fathers debt and provide for his parents and sister. One morning, after a fitful night’s sleep, Gregor wakes up to find that not only is he late for work, but he appears to be a kitten! Of course, Gregor’s new status as a kitten means he’s not exactly able to work – what with the lack of opposable thumbs and perhaps the whole communication thing, which leaves his family in an uproar trying to figure out how they will keep the bills paid.
Shortly after turning into a kitten, Gregor finds his chance for escape, and so he bolts for freedom from the family apartment to the streets of Prague. It doesn’t take Gregor long to find out that he isn’t the only man turned cute little kitty-cat. That one crazy night with the men-turned-cat’s of Prague leaves Gregor reeling, and so he returns home.
Of course his father is still miffed, his mother still can’t breathe with him in the room, and his sister no longer wants to cuddle him… so much for the rainbows of love he was hoping to go home to, eh? And so Gregor lives out the rest of his days with a family that is quite content to leave this no longer kitten-sized, but overgrown cat be.
So, was The Meowmorphosis better than the original? Most definitely.
This is a mash-up, so there are many parts of The Meowmorphosis that mirror the original, and for me this ended up giving the story a slow start. Once stuff actually started happening though, namely Gregor’s escape from the apartment, I became far more involved. I loved the addition of meeting the other man-turned-cat’s and all that came along with Gregor’s discovery of this group. Even if he did go back home towards the end, which I had hoped wouldn’t happen, I still really liked the book.
Coleridge Cook’s writing fit in really well with the essence of Kafka and consequently, the story has a good flow to it. There were some pretty humorous moments as well. This is, after all, a story that happens from the perspective of a cat and while a lot of the story was about what was going on around Gregor, there were moment’s of very cat-like interjections (you know, ear scratching, pouncing, kneading, all that stuff that cat’s adore – on their schedule of course). Gregor’s night on the town and seeing the different perspective of Josef K and Franz (other men-turned-cat’s) made for some good moments as well.
The Meowmorphosis is a fresh take on an old story joined by those ridiculously awesome illustrations that Quirk novels always have, an fairly hilarious Appendix titled ‘The Curious Life of Franz Kafka, author of The Meowmorphosis,’ and what I think are some of the best discussion questions I’ve ever seen in a book. Basically, I consider this one definitely worth checking out.
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
March 22, 2011 § 6 Comments
Zombies AND my favorite literary couple of all time? I’m so there!
Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith marks the completion of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trilogy. A fantastic ending, in my opinion!
When Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are walking about Pemberley one evening, a dreadful child gets the drop on the two and Mr. Darcy ends up bitten. While the usual course of action in such a situation is the imminent beheading of the infected individual, Elizabeth, who is not ready to be a widow and knows that there is at least a chance to save her husband is willing to do anything to save him. Elizabeth asks for help from something of an unlikely source, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who agrees to help only under certain circumstances. Elizabeth, along with the help of some of her family members, head to London to do as Lady Catherine has instructed while Lady Catherine brings Darcy back to Rosings. Though it’s obvious Lady Catherine is only looking to further her own interests, Elizabeth goes along with the plan to save her husband.
Throughought Dreadfully Ever After there is plenty of adventure – complete with some pretty awesome fight scenes, the chance to settle old disputes, seeing others true colors, true love living on, and the entrance into a new age. Oh, and we can’t forget kicking zombie ass!
Dreadfully Ever After was simply amazing. I was hooked from the beginning and kept turning pages until that very last one. There was no waiting for things to get started, Hockensmith throws us into the fray from the get-go. I laughed aloud as much from the story itself as the illustrations that add a little something to the book. Hockensmith has stayed true to each of the characters (with the exception of their warrior status) while giving us a great story. This is a great twist to a classic story and I’m sad to see the trilogy end, but I do anticipate that I’ll be revisiting this series in the future.
The bottom line here, read Dreadfully Ever After, enjoy it, laugh a little, have fun with an old classic.
- Dawn of the Dreadfuls
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
- Dreadfully Ever After
*NOTE: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
December 23, 2010 § Leave a Comment
This past weekend I ran across something that caught my eye on a forum that I frequent. That something was Night of the Living Trekkies. Instant gratification kicked in and I knew I couldn’t wait to check this one out. Boy am I glad I didn’t wait.
Night of the Living Trekkies is a zombie/sci-fi/Star Trek lover’s dream come true. Our inner (or not so inner – as in my case) geeks, our inner teenage boys (unless, of course, you are a teenage boy), our inner (or again not so inner – again as in my case) zombie story lovers will answer the call that is Night of the Living Trekkies. Authors Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall, life-long science fiction geeks and self-professed trekkies, bring us the sheer amazing-ness that is Night of the Living Trekkies.
Do you get it yet? Do you see that – in my strong, very strong opinion, at least – that Night of the Living Trekkies is amazing, astonishing, awesome, fantastic, incredible, marvelous, superb, wonderful, and every other adjective that could be considered a synonym to my list.
I loved Night of the Trekkies. Plain and simple. So what is it?
Jim Pike (our hero) went from wearing a soldier’s uniform to a hotel uniform. He traded in carrying weapons to carrying luggage. After serving two tours in Afghanistan he decided that positions of authority and leadership were not for him. And so he became a bellhop, then a lowly security officer at a hotel in Houston. During the weekend of GulfCon, a Trek only convention, Jim is forced to face hundreds of Vulcan, Klingon, human, and various other guests, in addition to some sort of virus turning these guests into flesh eating zombies.
Ha! No biggie, right?
Jim and a handful of survivors, Princess Leia included (Yes, I know what you’re thinking, Trek only so why a Star Wars character? But really, read the book and find out!), have to fight their way out of the infested hotel to safety, preferably before the government deploys their fail-safe.
The 250-odd pages of Night of the Living Trekkies are filled with plenty of Star Trek and even Star Wars references. I’m no trekkie so some of these references went over my head, but I definitely got some of them, and of course all the Star Wars, because well… I love Star Wars. There are battle scenes, surprisingly good characterization for a parody such as this, and a gripping story all together. I laughed aloud, a lot, and even got teary eyed about the end of chapter 32. I attached to the story immediately and couldn’t put it down. By no means is this a difficult read, just set aside a couple of hours to sit down and enjoy a few good laughs. It is a bit gruesome, so if thats not your thing brace yourself or skim the fighting pieces.
Night of the Living Trekkies was – again – fantastic! I loved it! By far this is one of my favorites of the year, and might be finding a place on my favorites of all time shelf. I can’t help but love the book. Even if you’re a trekkie who can’t stand the thought of zombies invading your trek literature, I’d still give it a shot. They don’t ruin the story. The authors take what’s (and this is my assumption, as again I’m no trekkie) at the heart of being a Star Trek fan and weave and entertaining and fairly original, as far as zombies go, web around it.
I can’t say it enough, get a copy of this and read it. It’s awesome! The best fourteen dollars I’ve spent in a long time!