The Age of Innocence
By Edith Wharton
This one is a crier. But it is also a scathing rip at upper crust society -- particularly New Yorkers of the 1870s. Make no mistake about “The Age of Innocence” -- its a masterpiece and a joy to read. It's one of those books perfect for curling up on the couch with a warm cup of tea. In fact, it demands it. It is the story of how the narrow minds and strict protocols of
Archer is firmly entrenched in high society, yet experiences flashes of rebellion at its fastidious rules about appearance and reputation. He becomes engaged to May
Yet his love for the countess never falters. He he remains trapped in a marriage to May until her death 25 years later. When he has a chance to see the countess again in Paris, the widowed Archer decides against it. The reader can decide if it is because his memory of the countess is better than his reality or if he now embarks on a love affair with her if he's admitting to his own weakness at having failed to pursue her 25 years earlier. “The Age of Innocence” is a powerful and heart-wrenching story – and one that every bibliophile should devour.
Strangeways: Murder Moon
By Matt Maxwell and Luis Guaragna
Fangs and fast guns. This is Matt Maxwell's great idea for a mash-up – combine a Western with a werewolf story. Think about "High Noon" superimposed on "American Werewolf in London."
The result is “Strangeways: Murder Moon,” a rip-roaring graphic novel that delivers scares and shoot-outs. The story features Seth Collins – a Western arch-type (the quiet loner with a quick gun). Collins ventures out West to meet up with his estranged sister and gets attacked by a werewolf while riding shotgun on a stage coach. When his best friend Webster is accused of being the werewolf, Collins sets out to capture the real monster.
There are lots of subplots and hidden agendas in “Strangeways” and some of them can be difficult to navigate. The character of Collins is also a problem as he often seems more like a conduit and plot device rather than a strong central character. But for the most part “Strangeways” delivers on its promise. The art is dark and moody – and there’s plenty of fast action to keep readers turning the pages. The graphic novel also contains an extra at the end – an excellent origin story for the werewolf, which puts an entire new spin on the main story.
If you’re into lycanthropy and six-shooters – you may have entered Nirvana.
(Full Disclosure: Matt Maxwell runs a blog called “Highway 62” that DaRK PaRTY links with)
By Anthony Neil Smith
You are not going to like Deputy Sheriff Billy Lafitte. Why? Because he's a bastard.
“Yellow Medicine” is a rocket ride of a thriller set in plains of rural
Yet the strength of the novel is the voice of Lafitte – and watching how he adapts and changes when confronted with the difficult situations he falls into. Deep down, Lafitte has a soul, but unfortunately it rarely manifests itself. The plot stumbles a bit (how the terrorists get to the flatlands of
“All Quiet on the Western Front” is one of the greatest anti-war novels ever written. It’s vivid portrayal of the horrendous conditions and life threatening dangers of trench warfare during the Great War. Paul Baumer is a young, enthusiastic student who joins the German Army at the outbreak of the war with