2015 is officially here, and with the arrival of a new year, I’ve set out to conquer my 2015 reading challenge. In 2014, I successfully met my goal of reading 50 books. This year, I’m upping the ante and am determined to read 75 books. Sound crazy? I think so too. However, I have adopted the Nike attitude and will “Just do it.”
Thus far, I have read two books. Here they are:
1) “It” by Stephen King
You might say I’ve developed a sort of obsession of King novels. You wouldn’t be wrong. From the past few books of his I’ve read, I know that I can expect a novel with meticulously developed characters, a long yet well crafted plot, and a struggle between good and evil. In “It,” these three main aspects were encountered, as well as the theme of childhood memories. Many people have probably seen the movie or are somewhat aware of the plot, so in brief, the book is about a group of adults who return to their childhood town to combat an evil entity that terrorized them as children.
As far as horror goes, this book was on par with “Christine.” The evil clown was absolutely terrifying and I’m sure if I encountered such a being as him as a kid, I’d repress those memories too. The book was further terrifying because of the sad childhoods each of the children had. The girl, Beverly, is severely beaten by her dad. One of the kids has a mom with an un-diagnosed case of Munchausen by proxy syndrome. The main character Bill finds his brother dead in a gutter with his arm ripped off. I mean, all of the characters need some serious therapy for what they went through growing up, evil clown aside.
What startled me about the book was that it showed how easy it is to repress bad memories for the sake of self preservation/so you don’t end up in the looney bin. When brought back together again after 30 years, the characters finally have to face their past so they can stop the evil clown from terrorizing and killing another generation of children.
Nearing the end of the book, I was so depressed I bought a bottle of wine and wrapped myself in a blanket to get to the end. Of course, the wine only exacerbated my feelings so I was an emotional wreck, akin to Bridget Jones after a break-up. I had to watch re-runs of “How I Met Your Mother” for a few hours to fully recover.
With that said, this has been the first novel I’ve read in awhile that really made me feel something. It tore me apart and beat on my soul, but that’s what books are supposed to do: take you out of this world and throw you back as a changed person.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars for being well written and emotionally twisting.
2) “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter S. Thompson
Oye, Mr. Thompson. The author famous for creating a new genre, gonzo journalism, and being an open receptacle for every kind of legal and illegal drug. I’ve joked before that I don’t feel like a real writer because I’ve never taken hard core drugs and my best writing is done in the early morning with a cup of hot coffee, not sloshed in a townie bar with a pint nearby. Thompson, on the other hand, truly lived the motto: “Write drunk, edit sober.” Although how often he edited sober is debatable.
F&L in short, is a fun drug fueled romp. I devoured the book the way Thompson took ether: I eagerly inhaled it. Having no desire to ever take drugs, it was never the less entertaining to read about his exploits, from leaving hotels without paying to getting pulled over and forgetting he was holding a beer, to his “lawyer” that matched him pill for pill. Honestly, you have to give the guy a lot of credit for being continuously high and drunk and still managing to write a funny, yet self aware book.
This book is a classic piece of American literature, and it deserves it’s fame. It represents the period of American history in which it was written and is an excellent example of gonzo journalism.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars for being well written and entertaining.