Friday, October 05, 2007

A NYR Book (and a couple of questions)

I know it's been a while since I did a New Year's Resolution book. I have been buying and reading, I just haven't gotten around to posting about them. But, to be perfectly honest, at the moment my brain is fried, and I couldn't think of a blog post, and I have been wanting to post more about books I enjoy (I'm thinking I may do a once-a-month series on my favorite novels or something, at some point), it is.

I grabbed this book at Borders in Bristol simply because it's advertised as a Gothic novel, and I love gothics (gonna write one, too, when I'm done with my next UF.) Not only was it advertised as a gothic, but it includes witchcraft, alchemy, remote viewing, missing persons, and a big spooky mansion. Which made it a must-try for me.

The result? Pretty good. It wasn't quite as scary as I would have liked, and I don't think it really qualifies as a gothic. It's more of a drama/mystery. (In a true gothic, there is a mystery from the past which somehow relates to or causes the mystery in the present, which puts the protagonist in some kind of danger.) While this does occur in this book, I felt the danger to the protagonist was largely his own fault--and it happened very late in the book.

While I'm still a little confused as to how the computer stuff in the book worked, I did enjoy it. Mostert is an excellent writer--a few sentences almost literally took my breath away. I never really came to like the MC but I was interested in him and that was enough.

But what really atracted me was the atmosphere. I didn't get such a sense of creeping menace as I like, but it's a very lush book, one you definitely want to curl up with somewhere soft on a rainy day. Not a great book, but definitely a good one.

So give it a try, if it interests you, and let me know what you think. You can buy it or read other reviews here.

And two more quick things. I have need--don't ask why--of some recommendations for rap music. The kind about urban sprawl and guns and hos and stuff. Anyone?

I am having an absolutely miserable time trying to name my next heroine. I know all sorts of things about her and her story but she refuses to have a name. Which is odd for me because characters usually name themselves before I even know what they look like. Any suggestions? Any good name sites?


BernardL said...

Coleen McCall

kirsten saell said...

Weird Al: White and Nerdy. That's the full extent of my knowledge of rap music.

As for names, I think I'd need to know something about her parents. Ethnicity, values, etc. That said, I always liked the name Katja. Or Kasia, if you have a thing against the letter J.

Gabriele C. said...

If she's Roman, or 1st century AD German, or Pictish, I could help you, but I suck at modern names. :)

Have you read the good old Gothic novels like Mysteries of Udolpho or The Italian? They are fun.

bettie said...

"urban sprawl and guns and hos"

You mean gangsta rap? I'm guessing you're not a fan ;o) If you just want to name check songs that are generally considered offensive, have a look at the songs mentioned in the US House of Reps two-decades-too-late hearings on "the gangsta rap." (They seemed pretty obsessed with 50 Cent)

I have this conspiracy theory that a cabal of record industry execs somehow arranged for the hearing as an effort to make gangsta rap "controversial" again, because nothing sells to kids so well as something that Mom and Dad and Congress say they shouldn't have. And "the gangsta rap"? Its sales are falling fast.

I'm not going to offer you any specific recs, cause I'm only passingly familiar with the subgenre (I'll take sanctimonious Kanye over 50 Cent any day of the week). Wikipedia has a pretty good list of the classics--but don't believe what the page says about Ice-T being influential. I remember when "Cop Killer" came out. It was never rose above the level of publicity stunt.

Oh, and I like Kate Monk's Onomastikon. Upside: Lotsa names from all over the world. Downside: no origin or meaning info

Robyn said...

Bettie, I think it's hysterical that Ice-T is now on a television show playing a cop.

December, there are a few good sites that specialize in names according to ethnicity/nationality. Any parameters?

December/Stacia said...

Ooh, that's a good one, Bernard!

Lol, kis, the extent of my rap knowledge is Wierd Al's White and Nerdy--plus the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and some OLD Easy-E that my friends and I thought was just so, so daring when we were in high school. White & Nerdy kicks ass, so much so that it gave me total respect for the guy who did the original song, Chamillionaire. Because I read where someone asked him about it and he said he thought White & Nerdy was fantastic and he was so honored he'd been parodied by WA. So I downloaded the original song and decided he's even cooler and WA is even funnier, because the original song is actually a fairly serious one about racial profiling. So none of that Coolio bullshit about how he wrote a serious song and WA is making it a joke.
I also, in my quest for angry songs, downloaded some GG Allin. iTunes has expanded their GG stuff from last time I check so I was finally able to nab "NYC Tonight" and "You Hate Me and I Hate You". (Did you ever see Hated?)
And I love the name Katja! It rings a bell though--wasn't it Jeff Crimpshrine's girlfriend's name or something?

Do you know, Gabriele, I've never read Mrs. Radcliffe? I saw a copy of Udolpho at Borders last time I was there but bought Jane Eyre instead because it was cheaper. Next time. :-)

Duh, thank you Bettie, yes I meant gangsta rap. I actually already grabbed "P.I.M.P.", which I knew about because they use it in an ad over here. Lol. I've heard the sales are falling, which is no surprise and not such a bad thing either, I don't think. Your cabal idea sure wouldn't surprise me. Look at the mileage one-hit wonders like Twisted Sister got out of the PMRC hearings in the 80's.
I heard a Kanye song this morning, funny enough, on the radio. It was actually fairly cool, he used an old spiritual (or what sounded like one) as the background tune and rapped over it, which I dug a bit. I like soul music quite a bit (especially Bill Withers, who I keep name-checking in my books without realizing it) so I liked that.
You don't think Ice-T was influential? Hmm. I guess not, but again, he's one of the few rappers we punks thought was cool, so he's one of the few names I know.

And yes, Robyn, his playing a cop is very funny. I knew a lot of cops when Cop Killer came out (my Mom is an ER nurse), and very few of them were remotely amused by the song. :-)
No, no parameters really. I was hoping for something that could be shortened to sort of a masculine nickname, but the only thing that came to me was "Ty" and I think Ty is becoming a girl's name these days so that kind of cancels it out.

Mark said...

Okay, so you know my new bookcase? Well, guess what I found in it. An ARC of Season of the Witch. The weird thing? I don't know how I got it.

Bernita said...

Check through your spam filter - always some unexpected names ( and spellings) there which might match up with what you know about her.

Charles Gramlich said...

Can't help you much on the rap music. 50 Cent is popular these days. Tupac Shakar is still well respected, although he's dead now, shot to death.

For name, check out cemetaries and tombstones.

Rebecca said...

you didn't make me want to buy that book at ALL - with so many books to choose from GOOD is just not good enough!!

For names you can always check out a baby name site....

Anonymous said...

If it's rap with 'Hos and bitches' you really can't get passed Eminem (nearly all his songs have these terms in them). 50 cent is also up your alley...ummn...TuPac Shakur. You also might want to look up soundtracks of movies that have a heavy hiphop theme (8 Mile, Get Rich or Die Trying, Save The Last Dance, Step Up, Stomp The Yard).