The Walking Dead – S5, E2: “Strangers”

It’s no secret that I have been progressively disappointed in The Walking Dead, but this is the first time that I can remember actually zoning out. The whole middle of the episode is a blur. There were some swimming walkers, and the next thing I knew, everyone was drinking the church wine. It had been a long day and I assumed it was just me. I watched it again this morning, AND THE SAME THING HAPPENED. I caught on this time, and I forced myself to maintain focus. It was difficult. Water-logged walkers, a shady priest, someone watching in the woods – it sounds so promising. Something is just missing. Continue reading…

American Horror Story, Freakshow – S4, E2: “Massacres and Matinees”

As per usual, this week’s installment of American Horror Story raises more questions than it answers, primarily: how (genetically speaking) did the World’s Strongest Man and a bearded lady produce a lobster child? I was told by a reliable source that one “must be the child of a lobster person to be a lobster person.” I guess Ryan Murphy can rewrite the laws of genetics. Otherwise, “Massacres and Matinees” is about par for the course – a bothersome ambiance, more senseless Twisty murders, and a contemporary musical number. Continue reading…

Horns by Joe Hill

Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. Apparently, he vaguely attempted to conceal this fact by disguising his last name, but one look at his author photo immediately reveals the truth: the man looks just like his father. When I learned that King had a son who wrote in the same genre as his father, my curiosity got the better of me. I devoured Hill’s debut novel, Heart Shaped Box, in two days flat I absolutely loved it. So, of course, I bought Horns the day it came out way back in 2011. I recently revisited it upon learning that it is being made into a film, and my reaction has not changed: equally humorous and heartfelt, Horns is one hell of a ride. Haha, see what I did there? Damn, I’m witty. Continue reading…

American Horror Story: Freak Show, S4, E1 – “Monsters Among Us”

“And who is that, Orgasmo the Crab Boy?”

“Dolores Claiborne’s accent hurts.”

“That clown is wearing a head hat.”

“I think Tate’s new mom is gonna get it on with Tate’s old mom.”

These are just some of the thoughts that ran through my head during the Freak Show premiere on Wednesday. Well, the “Orgasmo” gem came from my husband; I had a similar thought but was unable to verbalize it so eloquently. There was certainly a lot happening in the opener, but these divergent plot points only culminated in a discordant mess. I think I hated it. That being said, I loved the premiere of Coven, and that turned into the worst season of AHS yet. Thus, maybe this painful episode is a harbinger of a great season – or at least that’s my stab at optimism for today. Continue reading…

How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper

People seem to love or hate Jonathan Tropper; there really is no in between. I belong in the former category. The guy knows what works for him as a writer and he sticks with it. Sometimes things feel just a bit formulaic, but he’s good at what he does and thus I don’t fault him for it. How to Talk to a Widower follows a grief-stricken protagonist as he experiences family drama, tries to get laid, and smokes pot along the way. Again, not the most original plot, but Tropper can turn a phrase and I can’t help but be amused by his writing. Continue reading…

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

I read this novel in grade school, so for years I put off revisiting it as an adult. I loved it when I read it as a seventh grader, but sometimes rereading novels later in life can result in a thoroughly different experience. I did have a different experience; mainly because I did not read Flowers for Algernon in its entirety as a middle schooler. The edition I read was a very, very short story, less than twenty pages. As it turns out, the full-length version reveals that Charlie Gordon had more than a few sexual exploits that would not have been appropriate for young and impressionable Catholic School students. Continue reading…

Casebook by Mona Simpson

Miles Adler-Hart decides to spy on his parents, and he finds out more than he bargained for. By the end of Casebook‘s 336 pages, that’s still about all I got out of it. Mona Simpson dances around concepts such as the dissolution of marriage, privacy, and growing up, and yet she says nothing important regarding any of these topics. Casebook is a meandering series of unrelated plot points that never achieve the poignancy that Simpson thinks they do.

Continue reading…