“The House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende

  I wasn’t quite sure what genre to categorize this book as, largely because it blends elements of multiple genres into a unique novel.  Is there a line between magical realism and fantasy other than the fact that magical realism tends to be written first in Spanish?  While “The House of Spirits” incorporates elements ofRead more

“Homeland” by R. A. Salvatore

  This is the first book in a series about a Drow (dark elf) named Drizzt.  Drow society is ruled by evil dominatrices with snake-headed whips who worship a creepy-ass Spider Goddess.  Drizzt is set apart from the rest of his society because he happens to possess a functional conscience.  Throughout the novel, he strugglesRead more

“The Telling” by Ursula K. Le Guin

  “The Telling” reminds me a bit of Huxley’s “Brave New World” in the sense that the characters aren’t of much importance, but rather a lens through which to view the society that the novel portrays. Sutty, the main character, is an observer from Earth (called Terra in the book) who is sent to studyRead more

“Thomas the Rhymer” by Ellen Kushner

  Kushner’s novel is a reinterpretation of the ballad “Thomas the Rhymer,” which I described in an earlier post.  The original ballad tells the story of Thomas, a man who kisses the faerie queen and is then compelled to serve her in Elfland for seven years. Kushner’s version fleshes out the story to give individual charactersRead more

The Double: Dostoevsky Meets Jesse Eisenberg

According to this Huffington Post article, Jesse Eisenberg is being cast as Golyadkin in a new film adaptation of Dostoevsky’s “The Double.”  I’m quite excited about this, being the Russian lit nerd that I am. I think that Jesse Eisenberg (who played in Zombieland and The Social Network) will make an excellent Golyadkin, and can’tRead more

“A Clash of Kings” by George R. R. Martin

  “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.  There is no middle ground.” This is book two of Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.  It picks up where “A Game of Thrones” leaves off. Just as a warning, there may be some spoilers from the first book. “ARead more