Thumbs up for An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney. Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Erotica.
Sophisticated reason to read a book: I was intrigued by the title. But it turned out to be charming. Tully Truegood ends up as a courtesan accidentally (as one does), then in prison (quite intentionally). Here, she recounts events. A pleasing costume-drama confection. Light on the erotica, light on the romance, gently witty, very nice use of the heroine’s magical ability to turn ghosts manifest.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Passing Strange by Ellen Klages. Fantasy.
I’m not sure why the cover says “inspired by the pulps, film noir, and screwball comedy,” because this novella bears no resemblance to any of those things, except that it is set in San Francisco and one of the main characters paints covers for the pulps. What it actually is is a sweet love story with just a teeny bit of fantasy.… >> Read more
Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for The Royal Physician’s Visit by Per Olov Enquist. Historical fiction.
My attempt to read a great Swedish novel or two, preparatory to visiting the country, was easier said than done. This, for example, by all accounts a great novel by a great Swedish novelist, in fact takes place in Denmark. As it is based on true historical events, the subtitle could be “The 101 Guide to How Not to Reform Your Society Even If You’re Basically Right Because You Will Get Your Head Chopped Off,” a warning for idealists everywhere.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Gentleman by Forrest Leo. Fantasy/historical fiction/humor.
Lionel Savage—a young poet straight from the pages of Wodehouse or Jerome K. Jerome—discovers that he loves his wife. Unfortunately, this happens only after she is stolen by the Devil. Usually I expect this sort of thing to quickly grow tedious, but The Gentleman was consistently funny from start to finish.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories by Will Eisner. Graphic novel.
Good stories, truly great art. There’s a reason they named the Eisner award after him, you know?
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