Blogging, Books, Reviewing

Improving the Blog

I’ve recently got back into blogging and I’m really enjoying it! So much so, that I would love to continue to write more and improve the blog.

So, as you lovely people have taken the time to read and subscribe to ‘The Avid Reader’, in the future I would like to make sure that the content that I’m creating, is not only is enjoyable for me to write, but also fun for you to read too!

That’s why I have created this poll. Feel free to also leave your (constructive) comments, about what you would like to read on the blog and also, I would love to hear suggestions of novels I should read in 2018.

I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

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Books, Four Star Rating, Reviewing, Science Fiction

Review: ‘I am Legend’ by Richard Matheson

i am legend

 

Publisher: SF Masterworks

What the ‘blurb’ says:

Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth…but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville’s blood.

By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.

How long can one man survive like this?

My Thoughts:

I’m not the biggest fan of vampire novels, neither have I much reading experience with the Science Fiction genre. I did join the ‘Twilight’ bandwagon a few years ago and it put me off this genre for a lot of reasons, those of which I won’t go into now.

The main reason I picked up this novel, was because I have watched the film adaptation with Will Smith and was curious to see how the book differs from the film. As it turns out, it’s VERY different from the film.

That’s not to say that there isn’t anything wrong with the film, I quite enjoyed it, but the tone of the novel, is dark, disturbing and very psychological.

The novel is told from the first person. I think the effect this has, something that the film was unable to do, was to centre the novel around the psychological effects, and loneliness that a person could experience in this type of situation, rather than provide suspense and action to the story. This novel mainly focuses on the coping mechanisms and survival instincts, that are built within human nature.

That lack of action, differs from the film; this book only really has a couple of exciting parts within it, but I was really compelled by Robert’s fight for survival and to discover a cure for the virus, destroying the humanity.

If you’re expecting a romantic, sparkly portrayal of vampires, forget it. Also, if you’re in a bad mood, then ‘I am Legend’  isn’t going to lift your spirits. This is gritty, psychological and at times, downright depressing.

So you would assume that I didn’t enjoy this novel, but I really did. It made a change from the stereotypical romantic vision of the vampire and was a novel which (pardon the pun), I could really get my teeth into.

If you like Sci-fi mixed with horror and grit, then I would recommend this novel.

My Rating ****

Have you read this novel? What did you think of it?

Comic/Book Adaptation, Films, Four and half Star Rating, Friday Film Chat

Friday Film Chat- ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

murder orient express

I have to confess, I have only read one Agatha Christie novel. Most of my knowledge of her work has been from TV adaptations of ‘Miss Marple’ and ‘Poirot’. Weirdly enough, I have never watched an adaptation of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, so I went into the cinema with no idea of what this was about and who the murderer would be.

Actually the main reason why I wanted to watch this film was because of the plethora of stars in it. It features some impressive stars such as Johnny Depp, Daisy Ripley, Penelope Cruz, Shakespearean actor Derek Jacobi, Kenneth Branagh, who is also the director, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, Leslie  Odom Jr, Williem Defoe, Olivia Coleman (one of my favourite tv actresses) and finally, Dame Judy Dench.

If Judy Dench is in this,‘ I reasoned’ it has to be good.’

I’m pleased to say, that this is a very good film.

The plot of this film revolves around Detective Hercule Poirot, the best detective in the world; his words, not mine, being called to solve a crime, in some far off place. He decides to make a bit of a holiday of it and manages to land a seat on ‘The Orient Express’, one of the most luxurious trains in the world. Good gig so far, right? Wrong.

During the journey, one of the passengers is murdered in his bed and it’s up to Poirot to find the murderer, whilst the train is stuck in a snow drift.

One of the things I loved the most about this film, was the look of it. It is beautiful. From the stunning views of the mountains from the train, to the interior of train itself, this is a feast for the eye. I didn’t know a mostly motionless train could be filmed in such an interesting way!

poirot

Something that surprised me about this film, was how much humour was in it. I am used to watching David Suchet in the role of Poirot, so I wasn’t sure how I would feel watching Kenneth Branagh play the Belgian detective. He was still prim and proper, but he also had some funny one liners, which was refreshing.

I really enjoyed the way the plot of this film twisted and turned, so that I thought I knew who committed the crime, but then my mind switched to another one of the suspects. In the end, I didn’t guess the murderer and really liked the ending.

I think the fun of this film, is trying to figure out ‘whodunnit’, but I suppose if you have read the novel before watching the film, I don’t know if it would be as much fun to watch.

I can see this version of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ becoming one of those classics that is shown every Christmas and I hope there will be more ‘Poirot’ films like this in the future.

I would recommend watching this novel, both if you are a fan of Agatha Christie or if you like a good mystery.

My Rating **** 1/2 

Have you watched this film? What did you think of it?

Also, which crime/detective would you recommend?

 

 

Favourites Series, Life

November Favourites

It’s already 3rd December, but I don’t think it’s too late to share with your some of the things I enjoyed during November!

Favourite Song: I’ve listened to ‘New Rules’ by Dua Lipa at least once a day, I love it!

wizard and glass

Favourite Book: I’m currently reading, and enjoying ‘Wolves of Calla’, the fifth book in the ‘Dark Tower’ series but ‘Wizard and Glass’, which I read during November, stands out for me as the best installment so far. *Mild Spoiler* The majority of this novel is a flashback, but I really think it helps the reader to understand the main protagonist Roland Deschain, much better than any of the previous novels within the series.

Favourite TV Series: ‘Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets’ BBC series.

My mum saw the first episode of this new series and recommended that I watch it. Initially, I assumed that I wouldn’t like this at all, considering this is about stately homes in the U.K., however I found the first episode about Highclere Castle (AKA ‘Downton Abbey’) fascinating. A mixture of history, cooking and learning about the day to day running of these magnificent buildings; complete with Mary Berry’s charm and wit, means this is an interesting programme. I’m looking forward to watching the rest of this series.

Favorite YouTube Video: Ariel Bissett’s Discussion on ‘Competitive Reading’. I have been a subscriber to her channel for a while now and really enjoy her posts about reading and writing. The other day, she posted a video about ‘Competitive reading’ and her comments about reading pressure and ‘Good Reads’ resonated with me. At the beginning of this year, I signed up to the GoodRead’s Reading challenge and found myself reading books for the sake of it, rather than to discover new stories, characters and authors. I realised that the goal I really wanted to achieve was to enjoy the experience of reading, rather than reading to increase the number of books I read. So I stopped doing the Good Reads challenge and do not plan to participate next year. This video is quite long, but worth watching in my opinion :

The ‘Favorites’ series will be back at the end of December and I’ll also do a Reading Wrap Up at the end of the month!

What are your November Favourites?