Tag Archives: classics

Ads and Artemis

I can’t really pretend this is an unusual thing anymore – once again, I am flicking between Video Hits and Rage. But that’s not the point of this post. No: the point is Britney Spears, and not even her ‘music’. The ad was for her new perfume. Basically, I think she’s heard the story of Artemis and Aktaeon, and got it mixed up a bit in her head. In the ad, she (the goddess, of course), is being pursued by a hunter, who has fallen in love with her; he shoots her with a ‘magic love arrow’ or somesuch (so maybe Aktaeon and Eros have got mixed up in her head… who’s to say?), and they live happily ever after. Very curious. And all of this, of course, takes place in a forest… very primal.


Not mine, Jeanette Winterson’s. In the same series as Atwood’s Penelopiad, it’s the re-telling of Atlas and Herakles’ story (I was very glad she called him that, not Hercules, although she spelt it with a ‘c’. Anyway). It’s very different from Penelope’s story, because Winterson has put herself into the story to some extent, talking about the changes and boundaries and re-telling stories from her own perspective. The story is mostly told from Atlas’ point of view, although some is from Herakles, which was also interesting: he is totally the thug, which of course he was when you cut to the bone. Atlas came across as very gentle; Winterson gives him a curious back-story: living on Atlantis, giving a reason for the war against the gods….

It’s good. Sometimes I don’t really understand why people who write seemingly serious literature insist on having sex in their books, but there you go – guess I can’t have everything my way.

Borders 3 for 2 – Eragon, Inkheart, Trojan Odyssey

Even though it is part of the Evil American Empire Taking Over the World, I really do like Borders; especially their 3 for 2 tables. I know all about impulse buying and luring people in to buy things they don’t really need, and I don’t really mind that it sometimes works on me.

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
I didn’t realise, until I got to the author bit at the end, that this was written by a teenager… although I had guessed that it was a first novel, by some of the clunkier bits in it. But I really loved this book; it’s got some good ideas and some great characters, and it’s obvious that it can be developed, probably into a trilogy – I know the second one is out now. I like that there are a couple of secrets not revealed and questions not resolved, and that these haven’t been played up too heavily in the story; there hasn’t been a whole lot of griping about them, nor have there been many clues, so I at least am not positive about how they will be resolved. I am definitely going to read the rest. I like being back with dragons!

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
This book captured my heart. It’s fantastic. Whoever translated it was brilliant; I can’t even imagine how hard translation work like that must be. I love that there were quotes from different books, real books, at the start of each chapter; it’s such a nice touch, particularly when I knew and loved some of them – The Neverending Story (which of course was written in German originally), and The Princess Bride, to mention only two. It’s also given me some new books to find! But back to Inkheart… lots of people have thought about meeting the characters from books, but this is a whole new twist on the idea, and it was very well realised. The characters are wonderful, the intricacies of the plot are brilliant. It’s a kid’s book – teenagers maybe – which is partly obvious from the hints you get throughout that the heroine, at least, has a future after the adventure; my gosh, though, I would recommend this to adults with no hesitation. I’m also going to buy the author’s first book, Thief Lord, which I saw in the shop the other day.

Trojan Odyssey, by Clive Cussler
After Valhalla Rising, I swore that I would read no more Cussler books… it was all just getting way, way too tacky for me, and so formulaic I felt I could guess what Dirk and Al would say to each other. But then I saw this on the 3 for 2 table, and my itchings to keep following their adventures got the better of me. Even though I knew the writing would be a bit painful, I was willing to put up with it for the sake of the adventures. And I was as right as I knew I would be: the writing was a bit boring, some bits were excruciatingly average, but the adventure was a whole lot of fun. Given the ending, I am pretty sure this will be the last Dirk Pitt adventure. I really, really hope that Cussler doesn’t think he can continue the franchise with Dirk Jnr; that would be just wrong. I’m thinking now of going back to the old books and seeing for myself whether it was me or the writing that got old. But I don’t think I will read the other Cussler series; I just don’t have the emotional attachment to the characters to be willing to put myself through it.

Bookcrossing… yay!!!

How cool is this!! Excuse my excitement, but one of the books I released yesterday has been registered as found!! Yippee!! I would guess that the others have been found too, just not registered.

I hope that I may add “not yet” into that last clause and it proves true.

Anyway, I am excited to bursting that Aeneid has been found, and the person who found it said they would read and release it!

Yay. How exciting.

Houseboat on the Styx

This was one of the books Mum got at the Walkerville Libarary/Council book sale – more about that later. She bought it on Saturday; it’s a little book, and only 170 or so pages on that lovely thick paper they used to use, so I read it all that day. It is one of the funniest little books I’ve read in a long time… and that edition was published in 1925! And it said it was the 28th impression! It’s by a guy called John Kendrick Bangs, which is hilarious in and of itself. The premise of the book is conversations between people in the ‘good’ part of Hades. Think Shakespeare, Napoleon, Nero (?!), Dryden… it was actually laugh-out-loud funny, which is fairly rare for me; Mum got a bit sick of me reading out the great one-liners before she got a chance to read it. I think the funniest bit I remember is Nero saying that the only thing he hadn’t murdered was the English language – and that directed to Dr Johnson. HA HA HA. I thought it was funny.



I read and finished Garth Nix’s Mister Monday, and I’m excited because there will be 6 more in this series and that’s really, really cool. I am really looking forward to reading the rest.

Then, I had to choose something to read next. I had yet to find Rise of Endymion, about which I was very cranky; so I started The Gutenberg Revolution, by John Mann, which J bought me ages ago. I’ve read the introduction. Then I got restless, so I started The Ill-Made Mute by Cecilia Dart-Thornton. Interesting: a number of people have told me it’s crap, then another friend told me she really enjoyed it… so it really will be interesting to see what I think of it. I’ve read the first chapter and a half. And then…I went into the city tonight with Kate because she was involved in a reading night with her CAE class. So, I thought I’d check out Readers’ Feast in the off-chance that they might have it; no. So I bought Ilium, also by Simmons, instead to make me feel better. Then Kate had a brilliant idea: go to the CAE library! And because I have a library card with Yarra-Melbourne libraries, I can borrow there. And they did have it! Hurrah! So excited.

So I’m reading that.