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[personal profile] brigdh
The Gunslinger by Stephen King. No bonus points for guessing that I read this to be beforehand with the upcoming movie – though I've since heard that The Gunslinger (film) is not actually based on The Gunslinger (novel), but rather is sort of a sequel to the entire Dark Tower series. And I don't think I'm going to manage to get through another seven King books in less than a month, so I suppose the whole effort was a bit pointless. But I'd been meaning to read the book for years, so maybe not so pointless after all.

Anyway.


The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed, goes the famous opening line, and that's a fair description of the book itself. Characters are few, and those that are present are sparse to the point of one-dimensionality, frequently given epithets rather than names. The setting is a Dark Western Fantasy in a "world that has moved on" – there was once electricity and cities and advanced medicine, but all that's left now are border towns and overgrown ruins and strange cargo cult religions built around the single still-functioning gasoline pump and stories half-remembered from before. It's one of those books where figuring out what the hell is happening and why is the main driver of tension; the reader doesn't learn why the gunslinger is chasing the man in black until the last few pages, and even then there are unanswered questions. Worldbuilding and backstory are mostly conveyed in little hints around the edges of the story, which is pared down to the equivalent of a colorless pencil sketch.

(Note: There exists both an original text (published in 1982) and a "revised and expanded" version (published in 2003); I read the original, since there doesn't seem to be a consensus opinion on which version is better.)

At its best moments, the one-note quality of the writing works like a shotgun blast to convey a specific feeling or setting: the endless dehydrating trek across a flat white desert, the eternity spent in a empty lightless tunnel crossing beneath a mountain. But on the other hand there is whatever the fuck is going on with the book's treatment of female sexuality, which is so bizarre and off putting that I'm not even sure how to describe it. Every female character is horny and obsessed with sleeping with the gunslinger, which he reluctantly deigns to allow. The one exception is his long-lost mother, whose hinted-at adultery leads to a hinted-at downfall of a kingdom, in a Queen Guinevere sort of way.

And then there's the woman who gets shot in the vagina. Which, just... what.

It's weird and episodic and doesn't work terribly well as an individual book rather than the start of a series, but on the whole I think I'm glad I read it. Besides, I hear the subsequent books improve, so I'll have to keep reading.

Netflix, god why.

Jul. 10th, 2017 08:45 pm
inkstone: Rurouni Kenshin's Yahiko & Misao smacking their heads (facepalm)
[personal profile] inkstone
I've gotten so spoiled by Crunchyroll and FUNimation, which give me nice simulcasts of currently airing anime. So much so that I've forgotten how to look for fucking fansub torrents. I don't think I've looked for them in years! Never mind the fact that Crunchyroll and FUNimation kind of decimated fansub groups due to making currently airing anime available so easily. To be clear, I'm not really complaining about this. The industry complains about piracy. I say that you fight piracy by making it easier to obtain legal copies. People are lazy. I am lazy. I'm happy to fork over a monthly subscription fee so I can watch current anime in one place via my PC, Roku, phone, tablet, etc.

I am, however, complaining about fucking Netflix, which licensed Kakegurui (based on the female gambling manga I raved about on Twitter a couple years back) and decided to... wait until the season is over and drop it in one completed batch? Okay, like, I get this is their brand. Binging is Their Thing. But learn a little something about your fucking audience! Anime fans do not want to wait a month after the entire season is over to watch the entire series at once! We want to watch the series one episode per week! THAT IS HOW OUR FANDOM WORKS.

Ugh. I am so resentful that I'm having to pirate this show. I'm happy to support it, but I'm also not waiting until October or November to watch it! Jesus, the show has no chance of blowing up because of this. None. Literally none. Anime fans will be moving onto new and shiny fall anime by then!

NETFLIX WHY.

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