Blake Nelson gets it. He carves his characters down to the essentials of their authentic personalities, and presents them raw, with their flaws and their charms in their veiled thoughts and imperfect speech. The adults aren't as detached and clueless as in much of teen fiction, and sometimes they even know what they're talking about in terms of giving advice. My favorite adult quote to the protagonist, Maddie when she's going off about her classmates, "if you meet three a**holes in a day, you're the a**hole".
The chapters are short and the narrative crackles along nicely. Highly recommended to people who like to say, "I don't like to read".
An artist who is also a deadly ex-Marine saves a beautiful girl from drowning, only to have her kidnapped from his very arms that night. Wallace is as deadly as Marv and Dwight from previous books, but he does give his victims fair warning, and they're almost always asking for it. I suppose that makes him a touch more sensitive.
The on-page violence is as compelling as Yellow Bastard and as imaginative as Family Values, and though I didn't find Wallace's ultimate motive as believable as some of the other stories. After all, he only just met the suicidal Esther a few hours before, and she isn't a child like Nancy, but if you get past that point, the rest is pure Miller fun. I liked the mystery of who's behind Esther's kidnapping and the lack of apparent motive on the bad guys' part until later in the book. Wallace's hallucination sequence is also good fun, as Miller nods not only to other books in the series, but to other comic heroes as well. A fine way to end Sin City.
I was driving back from TC in a downpouring thunderstorm that blacked out the lines on the road when the sky wasn't ablaze with all-too-close lightning, while my passengers slept and I tried to stay awake. I threw on all my Hold Steady records back to back to back as loud as I could get away with, and rocked out to Craig Finn's intense, often hilarious, sometimes ragged but never despairing stories of all night parties and guilty hangovers, of Catholic complexes and townie hoodrats (his words). The band rocks as hard as the storm on this album, living up to their reputation as the best bar band in the business. It was a great drive.
The louder angrier songs are more ragged on In Utero than Nevermind, a few steps closer to the basement or the garage. I guess we can thank Albini for some of that grime on the tracks. Cobain's voice sounds clearer and more center stage here than PJ Harvey's does on Rid of Me, another Albini produced album. As for the songs, Scentless Apprentice, Heart Shaped box, Dumb, Pennyroyal Tea and All Apologies are standout tracks that continue to impress after 20 years.
If Brian DePalma were to write a graphic novel, I bet it would turn out something like Sin City. The story is bloody good revenge noir, where the "dame" might not have been worth the price, but hey, she smelled like angels should smell, so how can you fault the guy? The artwork never fails to impress and challenge the reader, which is testament to Frank Miller's vision. Can't wait to start "A Dame to Kill For"