As a researcher at Cal Tech in 1985, Stacey O’Brien made an easy target when a four day old barn owl with an injured wing needed a permanent home. After Wesley had consumed Stacey’s life I have to wonder if, had she known, she would have taken on the responsibility.
When Casey Fielder, manager of the local O’Ruddy’s restaurant, allows a fight between the privileged St. Brendan’s kids and those from the public high school to escalate, his inaction puts him at risk of being charged with negligence. As a result of the fight, Colin Chase has suffered brain damage. Shawver alternates between Casey and Colin’s mother Lea as they both investigate the circumstances behind the fight. Casey has been fired and in exploring the reasons for the fight hopes to find absolution for his inaction.
This memoir would be overwhelmingly sad for me, had I not already read Old School by the same author and know that he becomes a successful author and teacher of literature at Stanford. But if you didn’t know that this child redeems himself in the end, this would be sad, a sad tale indeed.
The movie Watchmen is out now, and I'm really excited to see it. The comic originally came out as a twelve-issue limited series when I was in high school, and I read every issue many, many times. I even studied it for a class in college. I highly, highly recommend Watchmen.
What would the world be like if instead of superheroes being 2-dimensional characters in comic books they were real people? How would that change history? What if we had superheroes in WWII? What about Vietnam and Korea? Would we have won the wars? Watchmen is the answer to these questions. The streets of America's cities are protected by masked adventurers who fight (mostly) for truth and justice (or a modeling contract). Unlike the perfect superheroes of current lore these people are plagued by the depression brought on by experiencing the dark underbelly of society everyday.
In the four short stories contained in A Contract With God, Eisner examines life in the 1930’s Bronx tenements that sprung up in New York after WWI. These neighborhoods accommodated the influx of immigrants and bred a close neighborliness ripe for mining stories. Eisner does this brilliantly.
For those readers familiar with Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch, Ehrenreich offers a different type book here. Rather than inserting herself into a typical working-class existence, through a series of essays she examines the current state of America and what it means for the average American. From corporate irresponsibility to prisoner abuse, Ehrenreich intensely scrutinizes the duplicity of American politics and culture. Much of what she has to say, in my humble opinion, is right on target.
After her release from prison for tax evasion, Emma Sutton, obviously modeled after Martha Stewart, finds herself disenchanted with the empire she had build from the ground up. The turning point comes at an auction, where Emma, in a moment of egotistical, cut-throat maneuvering purchases a table out from under a fellow bidder.
Coraline is already bored with her new apartment. She has explored every inch of the tiny space, until she discovers a door that wasn't there the first time she looked. The door leads Coraline to the Other World where she meets her Other Mother and Other Father, far more interesting versions of her parents with black buttons for eyes. Coraline spends the day exploring the Other World and when she is ready to leave her Other Mother offers to let Coraline stay in the Other World forever...if she sews buttons over her eyes.