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The Best of DC Comics: Batman Knightfall

batman knightfall

I loved all Batman movies directed by Nolan. May be I still love them. But to me, they are no longer the best representative of the essential Batman spirit.

Batman, created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). There are countless standalone issues and series featuring Batman.  The notable ones include The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight and Batman: Hush.

The most famous, however, would probably be the Knightfall saga. In this epic story, Bane breaks Batman’s back. It’s perhaps the most shocking incident after Superman’s death.

“I am Bane and I could kill you.”

“But death would only end your agony and silence your shame.”

“Instead I will simply break you.”

“Broken and Done.”

The story, complete in 3 volumes and more than 1800 pages long, feels a lot more epic than Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises or any other films directed by him. Of course, you can’t fit 1800 pages in 3 hours.  But for this very reason, the Knightfall series has more depth and is more enjoyable.

Bane devises a strategy to set loose all of Arkham Asylum. He provides weapons to the criminals and utter chaos follows. Batman fights them as he always does, but it weakens him and Bane just waits for the right opportunity to strike. He breaks Batman but what happens then?

The knightfall saga includes three books:

Volume 1 –  Knightfall
Volume 2 – Knightquest
Volume 3 – Knightsend

If you like Batman comics, go for it. If you don’t, still go it. You cannot possibly be disappointed

Download free ebook / comics:  Batman: Knightfall

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batman knightfall download

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Reviews / Thriller / Crime Fiction

Book Review: Solomon’s Vineyard by Jonathan Latimer

 

Jonathan Latimer’s Solomon's Vineyard

Genre: Crime/Hardboiled/Detective Fiction

Did you think Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest was the most shocking piece of crime fiction you ever read? Try Jonathan Latimer’s Solomon’s Vineyard. Horrific animalistic motives, gruesome events, creepy characters and unapologetic sex will smoke Hammett to ashes.

The Story

A noir tale. A classic example of hardboiled detective novel.

A private dick comes to town to rescue a wealthy heiress and avenge the death of his partner. He stumbles upon a cult group whose leader, long dead, seems to rule from his grave. Our dick fights a bloody war with a mob boss and crosses path with a femme fatale.

The Style

Latimer, quite clearly, is a no-nonsense writer. He gets down to business right away without wasting time. Graphic violence, ethnic slurs, moral ambivalence, booze and guns combine together to form something outrageously offensive. And for this very reason, the story becomes diabolically entertaining. Not for the faint-hearted.

Rating ****

Similar Books

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy

Double Indemnity by James M. Cain

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Opinion & Featured Articles

My New Bookcase

 

ul

Alright, here is my new bookshelf. The store calls it Aberdeen Bookcase. This one is somewhat modern. My other bookcases are quite traditional library like things.

I have three more shelves and all squeezed in a single room due to space crunch. For good or for worse, they cannot accommodate any more stuff.  That’s when books started piling up on the floor.

The homeless books piled on the floor now finally have a shelter. Still leaves me with a bit of space in the shelf and a lot of space on the floor to pile more books:)

How do you like it? Would love to see some pictures of personal libraries of fellow bibliophiles.

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Historical / Reviews

Book Review: I Am a Barbarian by Edgar Rice Burroughs

I am a barbarian Edgar Rice Burroughs

 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Who on earth expected a well researched historical take on imperial Rome from Edger Rice Burroughs? Told from the point of view of one of Caligula’s slaves (Brittanicus), this is one of Burroughs’ more mature works. Sadly, it’s long out of print; you’re lucky if you can manage a copy. Note that I Am a Barbarian is one of the only two historical novels written by the author; the other being The Outlaw of Tor.

The Story

Brittanicus is brought by Caligula’s parents to be a companion to their son. The slave watches Caligula grow up from a spoiled brat to an insane ruler. The ruler both trusts and fears Brittanicus. The story describes the adventures of Brittanicus and yes, there is a romantic angle too. Dejah thoris is substituted by the slave girl Attica.

The Style

Action packed, poignant and humorous at times, I am a Barbarian is one of the finest novels Burroughs has ever written. Surprisingly, even his trademark flat characterization is replaced here by well defined and fairly intricate individuals. Burroughs’ writing style is imaginative and crisp.

This is an epic novel of historical adventure and altogether a darn good package. You don’t have to be an ERB fan to enjoy I Am a Barbarian.

Ace Edition (1974).  Cover Art by Boris Vallejo.

Similar Books

Historical fiction of Robert E. Howard

Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace

 
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Opinion & Featured Articles

Treasure Hunt at Local Book Fair

Book fair

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year in advance.

During this time of the year, we have a local book fair hosted in my part of the city. This is a kind of warm up to the International Kolkata Book Fair (world’s largest non-trade book fair). Bought myself a few bookish presents:)

Okay, here’s the lot:

Great Cases of Interpol by Reader’s Digest Association

A top notch collection of real life cases with photos and illustrations. “Not to be read in a single sitting” as my favorite editorial duo Mr Wagner and Mr Wise often suggests for anthologies. Too generous a ration of crime may defeat its intended purpose.

Great Cases of Interpol by Reader's Digest Association

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Okay, I admit I haven’t read it.  It has become a bedtime partner since yesterday and seems like a modern Dickensian work. Bought it for what would be about $2.00 in US currency. Can’t stop congratulating myself. The deal itself was worth the delay. Dash it, it wasn’t.

strange

Reader’s Digest Illustrated Story of World War II

Being a history buff, I am rather happy that I bought this one. Definitely not for scholars and provides just an overview of WW II, but makes an interesting presentation with lots of rare pictures.

world war 2

A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proofby Roger Clarke
That’s my favorite subject again. Not just a piece of fiction but some real life facts on a creepy topic. Not sure how this would turn out, I have not read any non-fiction work on the supernatural. Keeping my fingers crossed.

a natural history of ghosts by roger clarke

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad

Any bookish party is incomplete without vintage, fragile penguins. So here they are. Haven’t read them, but they are already my favorites.

So what do you think of the lot? What have you bought this Christmas?

penguin

 
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Horror / Fantasy / SF / Reviews

Book review: Brood of the Witch Queen by Sax Rohmer

brood of the witch queen sax rohmer

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

Brood of the Witch Queen is one of the creepiest and scariest books of Sax Rohmer — the creator of the fiendish Fu Manchu and Sumuru. Originally serialized in a British Magazine, this intriguing Egyptian tale of ancient curse and black magic takes you from London to Cairo involving a great adventure.

The Story

Set in London in the early 1900s, this is a tale of ancient sorcery with vampires and crawly bugs. Dr. Richard and Robert Cairn fights against diabolical powers and a dark figure called Anthony Ferarra. And the odds turn terrible when Ferarra’s ancient ancestor — a Polish/Jewish witch that placed a curse on her husband’s family — casts her evil shadow.

The Style

Rohmer’s novel reflects his passion for dramatic prose and abrupt ending. Also, the characterization seems a bit wooden. Nonetheless, Brood of the Witch Queen holds a lot of value in terms of pulp entertainment. This fast moving novel is full of adventure and creepy scenes. The plot, though predictable, will not disappoint you. Though the book is about a century old, it does not seem much dated.

Not a perfect story, pretty much over the top, but Brood of the Witch Queen is pure escapist fun.

Similar Books:

Jewel of the Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley

Rating ***

Brood of the Witch Queen by Sax Rohmer ebook Download

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/19706

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Opinion & Featured Articles

Top 5 Fantasy Worlds to Visit

 

fantasy

Note: Back again from a disturbed slumber. Hope you are still there.
—————————
You always wanted to be there. You always dreamed of being there. You’d leave all you’ve got just to be there, once and for all.

If you were offered a one way trip to the spectacular, fantastic places you discovered in the books, where would you go? Would you be a wizard, a warrior, an Emperor or a damsel in distress?

Here are a few options in no particular order:

cimmeria

Conan’s Cimmeria

“It was so long ago and far away …
Cimmeria, land of Darkness and the Night.”

Robert E. Howard:

For an eternal savage longing to wield his sword, the sinister continent of Cimmeria is the place to be. Thanks to Tolkien and his faithful sidekicks, 20th century had had its share of fruity elves and Rivendellesque places. If you are a peerless warrior or a real badass, you want to wake up in the frozen wastes of war-like Cimmeria.

westeros

Westeros

You can hate it or may love it but the blood soaked, treacherous land of Westeros cannot be kept out of the equation. Accusations are GRR Martin just re-imagined Britain roughly around the time of the War of the Roses. He simply studied a period of history and ripped it off. Well, he did it damn good. Westeros is certainly more alive and believable than a lot others of its kind. If you are a strategic statesman born in the wrong age, plan a time travel to Westeros for a game of thrones. You win or you die.

barsoom

Barsoom

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom could be in the list simply because of the number of rip offs it inspired. Right from Lin Carter to Michael Moorcock, Barsoom has inspired a generation of writers as deeply as it has affected the imagination of the readers. The ridiculously unbelievable yet immensely entertaining and evocative world building is just irresistible. So what if I am worthless in this world? My future lies in a world away.

narnia

Narnia

Lewis’ Narnia is widely considered by critics as one of the most consistent and internally sound example of world building. It does seem to have its own philosophy and preaching, but Lewis somehow makes it easy for the readers to escape to Narnia with a kind of homely magic that we do not commonly find in the Lord of the Rings or even Harry Potter. And of course, the landscape of Narnia comforts you with an optimism that is rare in the real world. Let the peaceful among us find shelter in Lewis’ magical realm.

lord of the rings

Middle-earth

Let them say you walked with the giants and dwelt in the Middle-earth. Tolkien’s Middle-earth has stood the onslaught of a number accusations including but not limited to being cold, barren and boring, and written in wooden language. Nonetheless, it has transcended over others to become a piece of art. The rich and detailed world building is simply awe inspiring. Anyone who doesn’t like it is clearly an Orc.

So what’s your favorite fictional world? And what role would you like to play there?
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