So this book starts out interesting. Right in the middle of a scene in the jungle like the first Indiana Jones movie the story begins with a conjuring of ghosts in a tribal hut somewhere in the caribbean. So you know right from the start there is gonna be voodoo!
The main character doesn´t really WANT to be a pirate he gets to be one because the ship he was on was attacked. He is described as young and shy (not a good talker with women just like our Guybrush) and he also has blonde hair in a ponytail and a bit of a beard. His love interest isn´t a governor but the daughter of the guy from the prologue who wanted to resurrect his dead wife with voodoo magic. His first trial comes when he wounds the pirate captain in a fencing duel enough to impress him to let him live. Turns out he learned fencing from his former job as a pupeteer and he was only imitating the marionette movements in real live, luckily with enough success. Later on he becomes the cook for the pirates. His ultimate goal is get back heritage money from his uncle that he stole from his father.
Apparently Blackbeard´s Ghost appears later in that story so that might be were LeChuck came from. I´ll give you the rest of my thoughts when I´m done with it.
So I finished On Stranger Tides and I really loved it!
What is it about? It is about Jack Shandy who at the beginning of the story is a regular guy whose ship gets attacked by pirates on his way to jamaica. Reluctantly he becomes a pirate still hoping to be able to track down his treacherous uncle who owes him his father´s wealth.
The pirate crew team up with the crew of the notrorious Captain Blackbeard who is in search for imortality with the help of the famed Fountain Of Youth. Beth Hurwood who is Jack Shandy´s love interest is unbeknownst needed by her mourning father to ressurect his dead wife via the fountains powers. So after they find the Fountain Shandy of course attempts to rescue her and after Blackbeard meets his historically documented demise he and his crew are ressurected as Zombie Pirates via Voodoo magic.
So how is it like Monkey Island? Jack Shandy while a different personality than Guybrush (she is talented with the sabre and also shots his enemies with a gun) is shy and doesn´t really belong into this pirate world at first. But his physical apparence is a near exact description of Guybrush, blonde ponytail and all.
Beth Hurwood as the daughter of the mourning scientist turned voodoo magician is pretty much the damsel in distress except for the very ending of the story.
Blackbeard is clearly the blueprint for LeChuck. He is a terryfing and hulking personality and his crew become zombie pirates. At the end of the book he is reincarnated into a baldheaded person that our hero doesn´t at first recognise (so a lot like Fester Shinetop really) and at the very end of the story he tries to marry Shandy´s love interest Beth to achieve true imortality (so there is an interrupted marriage ceremony here too like at the end of the first Monkey Island).
This I think is where the similarities end. It really is mostly the idea of the three main characters that are in place and the influence of Voodoo Magic and Zombie pirates are ideas that play a big part in Monkey Island. Also that the character starts out as not a pirate but becomes one later, though with vastly different motives and circumstances.
I really loved the book, was a quick and fun read. The ending was a bit rushed maybe (it appruptly ends directly after the finale confrontation like a 70s Martial Art movie) and there are Star Wars levels of coincidences here (like that Blackbeared had struck a deal with Shandy´s estranged uncle and held kidnapped Beth Hurwood hostage at his mansion thus giving Shandy a chance to rescue his love interest AND have take revenge with his uncle which he originally wanted to do before becoming a pirate and being roped in with the Fountain Of Youth plotline) but the action and atmosphere are a great joy and would make for a much better standalone movie than Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 probably was (haven´t seen the fourth and fifth movies of the series yet).
Oh yeah and by mere concidence when Shandy confronts his uncle he doesn´t tell him who he really is but instead pretends to be his own deceased father that was brought back to life by Voodoo magic exclaiming “I AM your brother!” but that similiarty to the ending of Monkey Island 2 (the Return Of The Jedi parody) is most likely coincidental.
Oh yeah and if you read the book you´ll learn the secret of monkey island, but I´m not telling. To find that out you gotta read it yourself.
Hooked hands up from me!
Finished The Broken Earth series by Nora Jemisin. It’s only three books long, and those are fairly short each, but they are among the best I’ve had in the past year or so. I really liked the writing style, but also the worldbuilding and the overall story. Although it’s not the uplifting sort of books to which you’d want to return any time soon.
However, I would add it to a very short list of fantasy books/series that depict a world that is actually strange and foreign and not just a thinly veiled historical setting with magic and dragons. Exploring that world and feeling a sense of awe and wonder, despite some nasty scenes, and despite much of the mystery getting revealed towards the end, is what made this such a great read. So I really have to recommend it .
I’ve read the first one around 6 months ago but hesitate to pick up the next one. Should I give it a chance? Or would you say that if they first one didn’t grab me then the rest of the series probably won’t either…?
Book 2 and 3 aren’t that different from the first in tone, style and proceedings. So I would imagine that you might not like them any better. It’s hard to tell, though. Was there anything in particular that bothered you about the first one?
Mostly trying to catch up on some Sci-Fi/Fantasy Classics now. Specificially these three legends:
I´m sure some of you know some or all of those!
The second one is Conan, the first one is familiar. Something from Edgar Rice Burroughs?
Correct! John Carter of Mars!
As you may have noticed I posted a lot of classic fantasy art pictures lately. So it´s only fitting that I´m getting this wonderful book for christmas:
Besides the muscled barbarians and voluptuous virgins it also contains galleries by Moebius, Giger and Phillipe Druillet. So there is some sci-fi stuff in too. Very looking forward to this (maybe I can post a few pictures).
Cool! Is this new from Taschen? Never seen it. (But I wasn’t in their shop since corona…).
Came out after many delays some time between late august and early october this year!
Been getting quite a few music books recently -
“I Am Brian Wilson: The genius behind the Beach Boys”
by Brian Wilson
Haven’t finished reading this one yet, it’s pretty dark, as Brian Wilson has had some pretty tough mental times and had a doctor who was totally taking advantage of him. Interesting stuff though, would recommend.
“The Foundations of Rock: From “Blue Suede Shoes” to “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes””
by Walter Everett
This is a really cool book, it’s quite academic and it assumes you know some music theory in parts. It looks at rock music from 1955-1970 and focuses on things like what instruments were used on what records and also developments in harmony and melody and song-form over that period. A great resource and introduced me to several acts I hadn’t really come across before.
“Riffs: How to Create and Play Great Guitar Riffs”
by Rikky Rooksby
Great book, really in-depth look at riffs. This guy has cataloged a LOT of riffs and organizes them by musical type (mostly which musical intervals they use). Includes a pretty wide selection from blues, 60s stuff, classic rock, 80s metal, 90s grunge - it’s interesting to see similarities between riffs in different eras.
“More Songwriters on Songwriting”
by Paul Zollo
There are two of these, this is the second one - collection of in-depth interviews with songwriters. Good to dip into every so often, some really interesting stories behind songs.
“The Funkmasters: The Great James Brown Rhythm Sections, 1960-73: For Guitar, Bass and Drums”
by Allan Slutsky, Chuck Silverman
This one is mostly sheet music to allow you to play the tracks, but it’s really great as it’s the specific notation for all the guitar/bass/drum groove parts for some of James Brown’s best tracks. Also it has stories and info for each track, which you don’t normally get with sheet music.
I know most of the story from the Biopic “Love & Mercy”. If you´ve seen that too it would be interesting how that compares to the story how it is told in that book.
Both sound really refreshing after that abysmal Rolling Stone article I read the other day where somebody who clearly never had a guitar in their hands tried to write an essay on the art of the guitar solo while using a plethora of Freudian metaphors at that.
I haven’t seen that, sounds good, I’ll try to check it out soon…
When I was in university I got really interested in his lost “Smile” album and went to see him perform it live when he redid it in 2004, but I’ve never really heard the full background story about his illness.
Haha, yeah, things start to get pretty abstract pretty quickly in some music articles.
Outer Cardboard Box
Front depicting John Carter by Frazetta
Back depicting Arzach by Moebius
From the section on Philippe Druillet
From the section on Frank Frazetta
From the section on H.R. Giger
From the section on Moebius
From the section on Boris Vallejo
And there is a lot more! The thing is huge!
That’s the second tiniest forearm I’ve ever seen.
How do you know where it stops?
Nothing much spectacular on offer this year, but those two novella-sized books made for pretty fine (if short) reading* (*in progress):
The second has the added bonus of a cover not cobbled together from clipart. So quite spectacular after all .
Finished both in the meantime and if I had to chose only one it’s clearly This Is How You Lose the Time War. The plain appearance hides a wonderfully complex, expertly written and emotionally satisfying story that probably classifies as Sci-Fi but is focused on people more than on technology. It also hides a reference to Naomi Mitchison, a proto-Fantasy author I’ve never even heard of before, but must check out as soon as the book stores open again. (Travel Light is the title in question.)
The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water on the other hand is kept very simple in both story and diction, though not entirely without elegance. Both beginning and ending are captivating, just the middle section not so much.
Now back to reading sequentially, with Andrzej Sapkowski’s Hussite Trilogy.