Saturday, February 25, 2012

Book Review: The Complete Sherlock Holmes - A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Book: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Novel Part to Review: A Study in Scarlet
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
ISBN: 9781435114944
Cover Design: Mada Design, Inc.
Publisher: Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classic: The Complete Sherlock Holmes

The moment I received this package, I told myself "This is a beauty, a treasure." I never had this kind of book before. Barnes & Noble revived the post 19th century book style.

Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classic The Complete Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes A Study in Scarlet

Thanks to Barnes & Noble compilation, this book suffices and I will no longer need for volume-by-volume of Sherlock Holmes books collection.

A Study in Scarlet Plot

Sherlock met John Watson for the first time. There's a crime where a man name Enoch Drebber was found dead in a house. They thought Joseph Stangerson, Drebber's acquaintance is the killer but on Gregson's finding (another detective), Drebber and Stangerson stayed on Madame Charpentier's boarding house wherein there's a lead that the killer is the Madame's son. Lestrade has also another findings, telling that Stangerson is dead, which lead to another conclusion. Concluding that a cab driver was behind the killings.

"A Study in Scarlet" has two parts. Part I is "Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, MD, Late of the Army Medical Department" which were briefly summarized in the first paragraph above. Part II is "The Country of Saints" story where it tells the origin of the revenge and why the crime is committed.

I won't spoil much . . .

Sherlock Holmes' A Study in Scarlet Book Review

This will be my first time reading Sherlock Holmes and reading his first novel series gives me a new taste for detective-solving-mystery type. I am amaze on how Sherlock Holmes find the height of the killer by analyzing the writings in the wall, in the crime scene.

I was intrigued in the part two of A Study in Scarlet about the history of the Mormons. I know it's only fiction but Sherlock Holmes portray them hateful for the readers.

I describe Sherlock Holmes a very deep-thinker. He is unpredictable - Arthur Conan Doyle, his story making. In a scenario in the story where Gregson or  Lestrade gives their finding about the crime which make me the reader think its believable but Sherlock interferes with giving another surprising finding is fascinating to know.

If you appreciate the Sherlock Holmes movie then you will appreciate this Sherlock Holmes books collection compiled all-in-one even more because the series line-up (canonical) doesn't reflect the one you're watching in your cinemas.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Book Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman (10th Anniversary Edition - Author's Preferred Text)

Neil Gaiman's American Gods (Front Cover Jacket)

American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Rear Cover Jacket)

Book Title: American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (Author's Preferred Text)
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy Novel

Edition: 10th Anniversary Edition
Country Setting: United States of America (U.S.A.)

Language: English
ISBN: 9780062059888
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published Date: 2011
Media Type: Hardcover
First Originally Publish: June 19, 2001

American Gods Plot:

Shadow, the name of the main character of the book is an ex-convict man. After leaving the prison, eager to meet again his wife Laura, he unexpectedly get a sad news that her wife has just died due to car accident after blowjobing his best friend Robbie. He met a bloke named Wednesday. Wednesday offered Shadow a job. Shadow accepted the job and there begins his journey to the country of old and new Gods & Goddesses of America.

American Gods - Neil Gaiman

American Gods Review:

"A storm is coming . . ." - this is American Gods' word of suspense. I'm anticipating that "storm" in the book and as I expected, It is on the end part of the story. I started reading Neil Gaimans after reading his Sandman graphic novel which I loved. But the time I try out his American Gods, I am just plainly satisfied.  I'm expecting something from the story after reading the first, second, third, fourth, fifth chapter and continually anticipating the next chapter but it is not the type of magical story that I'm expecting and I find it new, It's unpredictable. Maybe i am fed up with characters with a lot of show-off super power abilities in a story but American Gods is not that kind of thrill.

The book has a variety of mythical elements. It does not stick with one mythology, it contains a worldwide of myths migrated to America.

The places mentioned in the book is something I can't relate into. It made me Google some of the places so I can understand and picture out what does the place really looks like.

This book is for mature readers as there are sexual acts in the story (not really explicit).

Every chapter of this book is very long (about 20 - 30 pages) and if you're used to read chapters of 10 pages and continue-it-later then you might be tire off reading with this one. It is a no page-turner.

I don't feel I'm going to anticipate reading the sequel to this book which is Anansi Boys. Since I just started to be a Neil Gaiman fan, maybe I'll buy the next book it in the future.

American Gods Novel by Neil Gaiman (Spine)

American Gods (Spine w/o Jacket Cover)

  • Gods & Goddesses mentioned in the book (see link here from Frowl,org). - For me, I suggest you read the gods and goddesses that will be mentioned in the book if you haven't started it yet, this reference is for your easy understanding of who's and what.
  • House on the Rock (see link of their official site here and their blog here). - Also, I suggest you take a read of what "House on the Rock" place is. Again, this reference is for your easy understanding of where and what the place is.

Reading Group Discussion Questions from American Gods 10th Anniversary Edition:
  1. American Gods is an epic novel dealing with many big themes, including sacrifice, loyalty, betrayal, love, and faith. Which theme affected you the most strongly, and why?
  2. Shadow begins the novel as a convict, and ends it a different man. How does the novel exploit the idea of America as a place where immigrants and exiles, both physical and emotional, can reinvent themselves? What makes Shadow himself so compelling and complex?
  3. American Gods is partly a road trip through a small-town America, where Shadow can see the darker side of life that other people ignore. What does the novel say about what people will accept in order to maintain a sense of normality?
  4. The old gods expect sacrifice, violence, and worship. How have they adapted to the modern world? What does this say about the nature of divinity? How and why have Americans transferred their devotion to the new technological and material gods from the old spiritual gods? What comment is being made about the modern cultural values?
  5. What is the significance of the illusion, cons, and magic tricks that occur throughout the novel? American Gods is a novel in which magic, myth, and the divine coexist with the normal, mundane, and human in a way that is utterly believable. How is this illusion maintained?
  6. How does the rich background description increase the power of the narrative? What do the secondary characters, particularly the gods whose lives and deaths we are given a brief insight into, add to the novel?
If you have read the book, let's form a discussions, please answer through commenting. Thanks!

Buy American Gods Book Now!