Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review roundup

1. Nobody's Angel by Jack Clark: Wow, talk about edge of your seat thrillers. Ignore the lackluster cover and summary (a novel about a serial killer stalking taxi drivers?). It's the best page-turned I've read in recent memory. And no sooner do I finish reading it than I see that a serial killer really was stalking taxi drivers in Iraq. $8 at B&N and Amazon.

2. I received a copy of Sad Monsters: Growling on the Outside, Crying on the Inside by Frank Lesser (who writes for The Colbert Report), with illustrations by Willie Real. It's a collection of short segments examining monsters struggling in the modern world. For example, from an entry from Godzilla's journal:

Kept wondering what happens to people after I stomp on them. Do they have souls that live on, that I can also stomp on?
Another segment features advice on dating genies:
A lot of genies think humans are only interested in one thing: wishes. Prove him wrong. When your genie offers you three wishes, shrug and tell him, "No thanks, I'm cool right now." He'll be puzzled . . . and intrigued.
Preorder for $10 at B&N and Amazon.

3. Robin Year One by Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, Javier Pulido and Marcos Martin: I have no idea what took me so long to read this since Batgirl Year One by Dixon and Martin is possibly my alltime favorite Batman comic. This one is also outstanding. Both collections are rare in that they manage to tell exciting Batman stories that are neither childish nor disturbing. Highly recommended if you like comic books at all. $12 at B&N and Amazon.

4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution: I'm completely mystified as to how this game has received such sterling reviews. Gamemplay is crawling and sneaking through a small handful of identically ugly locations over and over. The cliched story can be summed up in a sentence, yet is told through excruciatingly long cutscenes in which unconvincing avatars lecture at each other. And that atrocious wall-smashing animation, wow.