Friday, October 30, 2009

War Dances by Sherman Alexie

This novel reads like a journal with a few short stories and poems throughout. The author writes with a Native perspective on life and philosophy. It is amazing how he can encompass so much in just 209 pages.
I enjoyed the short story Fearful Symmetry which alludes to William Blake's Tyger poem. Salt is another ironic and sad but comical story about an inexperienced newspaper intern taking over the deceased obituaries editor's responsibilities, and how he ends up taking a 'dip' in Soap Lake. If you crave for something different, this book is for you. The stories and poems offer a unique perspective on humanity.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Heat Wave by Richard Castle

Richard Castle is a character on the TV show Castle, played by actor Nathan Fillion. On that show, he is a best-selling author of detective stories, and his latest book is called Heat Wave. ABC apparently decided to actually publish such a book, and to credit Castle as its author, right down to the actor's picture on the back cover of the book. Who knows who actually wrote the book! I like the gimmick as it fits with the show--the characters in the show don't take themselves too seriously, and the producers obviously aren't above making fun of their own show. I like the crossover appeal that may actually spur some fans of the TV show to pick up the book and read it. As for the book itself, it's not bad. It reads like a book based on a script, but it has good pacing and dialogue. Since I have watched the TV show, I enjoyed reading the book and picturing the TV characters as the book characters, and trying to remember if the book scenes ever happened on the show. It all works and it's lots of fun.