Posts Tagged ‘explicitly violent’

Kabuki: Circle of Blood (Volume 1) by David Mack

October 24, 2012

Author: David Mack

Title: Kabuki: Circle of Blood (Volume 1)

Genre: Graphic Novel

Publication Date: 1997

Number of Pages: unpaged

Geographical Setting: Japan

Time Period: The near future

Plot Summary:  This book is an award winning graphic novel series. Ukiko, known as Kabuki, was the child of a woman who was known as a “comfort woman”. Comfort women entertained the Japanese soldiers during World War II. This woman was raped and beaten by her fiancée’s son, only to die during childbirth. The man who was supposed to marry her mother raised Ukiko to become a master at martial arts and an assassin. Kabuki was no ordinary assassin, she was a member of the Noh, a secret government agency that was assembled to fight organized crime and corporate feudalism. This book can be found in the juvenile section as a Young Adult book, yet it really should be rated “R” for sex and violence. Its moments of Japanese culture, poetry, literary allusions, and philosophy will be appreciated by an adult audience, but not necessarily understood by children.

Subject Headings: Japan, Organized Crime, Politics, Assassins

Appeal terms:  fast-paced, action-oriented, explicitly violent, flashbacks, historical details, political, poetic, explicit sex, emotionally charged, dramatic, haunting, dangerous

Three appeal terms: action-oriented, explicitly violent, historical details

Similar Authors and Works:

Fiction-

Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui- This book is about fighting corporate corruption in Japan, but is more focused on Mind Control technology than Kabuki is.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden- This novel shares elements with Kabuki that relate to the culture behind “comfort women” in Japan.

I Killed Adolf Hitler by Jason- This is a graphic novel about a time traveler’s attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Non-Fiction-

The Art of War by Sun Tzu- This is a Chinese, philosophical collection of essays about war, which relates to some of the philosophical elements in Kabuki.

Comfort Women by Yoshiaki Yoshimi- This is a book about the “comfort women” that were forced into sexual servitude by the Japanese military during World War II.

Kabuki by Masakatsu Gunji- This book is about the history and origin of the Japanese theatrical style, Kabuki. The graphic novel references Kabuki and Noh throughout the book.

Name: Rachel Fischer

The Proving Trail

September 26, 2012

Author: Louis L’Amour

Title: The Proving Trail

Genre: Western

Publication Date: 1978

Number of Pages: 215

Geographical Setting: The main character travels through multiple states, including Texas, Colorado, and Kansas.

Time Period: Late 1800s

Plot Summary:  This is a suspenseful tale of crime and corruption in the American West. Kearney McRaven was only a teenager when his father was killed after he had won a lot of money while gambling. He was determined to solve his father’s murder and keep his father’s winnings. This lead McRaven on a cross-country journey of self-discovery to search for information related to his family history and why it seemed like his father was previously running from someone that had attempted to kill him.  Through out this journey Kearney McRaven had to learn to stay alive while out running these same outlaws that had murdered his father.

Subject Headings: Western stories, Outlaws, Murder

Appeal terms:  action-oriented, investigative, menacing atmosphere, fast-paced, chilling, gritty, plot-centered, explicitly violent, tragic, foreboding, details of frontier life, well-crafted

Three appeal terms: action-oriented, investigative, menacing atmosphere

Similar Authors and Works:

Fiction:

West Texas Kill by Johny D. Boggs: This work is about fighting outlaws and corruption in Texas.

Hard Luck Money by J.A. Johnstone: This is a tale about solving a murder and fighting outlaws.

The Badger’s Revenge by Larry D. Sweazy: This story questions why outlaws want to seek revenge against the main character while he tries to stay alive.

Non-Fiction:

Big Trouble: a Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America by J. Anthony Lukas: This is a non-fiction book about a real murder in America’s west.

Sacagawea’s Nickname: Essays on the American West by Larry McMurtry: This is a non-fiction book of essays written by a well-known author of Western fiction.

Gunfighter Nation: the Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth Century America by Richard Slotkin: This is a non-fiction book that examines the influence of the frontier myth on American culture and politics.

 Name: Rachel Fischer

Phonogram: Rue Britannia

April 18, 2012

Author: Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

Title: Phonogram: Rue Britannia

Genre: graphic novel, urban fantasy

Publication Date: 2007

Number of pages: 152

Geographical Setting: England

Time Period: 2006

Series (if applicable): one sequel

Plot Summary: David Kohl is an aging hip kid, completely self-absorbed and only interested in drinking, smoking and going home with a pretty girl at the end of a concert. He is also a phonomancer, which is a type of magician who works arcane spells through music to find their true meaning. Baptized in the early-90’s by Britannia, the goddess of British guitar pop, he learned how to use magic through the genre of music known as Britpop, defined by bands such as Pulp, Suede, Blur and Elastica. He turned his back on Britannia when everybody started worshipping her, and she has since been long dead. Although he left her many years ago, when he discovers that her corpse is being tampered with he knows he has to save her, since his past is rooted with her. If the enemy succeeds in reviving a dead goddess, his entire past could change, and he could become a Kula Shaker fan with no magical powers. Phonogram is about the magic of music, and not ever letting go of it, but learning to move on when the time comes. Britpop fans will squeal over the many inside references to songs and bands, and for those whose knowledge of Britpop begins and ends with Oasis, there is a handy glossary in the back that defines every single reference made.

Subject Headings: British music, fantasy, magic, England.

Appeal: character-driven, complex, contemplative, humorous, magical, intriguing, flawed, strong secondary characters, well-developed, explicitly violent, detailed setting, journalistic, smart, spare, witty.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: character-driven, magical, smart.

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Britpop!: Cool Britannia And The Spectacular Demise Of English Rock by John Harriss
The heyday of Britpop (1994-1998) began as a reaction against American grunge. In the past bands such as the Smiths and Joy Division were contemptuous of mainstream success, the bands in the 90’s sought it out, with Blur and Oasis competing for the top spot in the charts. It ended in the usual way, with drugs, infighting and egotism. Harris makes the rise and fall of a music movement a fun read.

2. A Version of Reason: In Search of Richey Edwards by Rob Jovanovic

A subplot of Phonogram is the ghost of a memory of David’s ex-stalker who is still haunting the roof of the club they used to hang out at, mourning Richey Edwards. In 1995, the guitarist of the Manic Street Preachers disappeared without a trace. His car was found abandoned on the Severn Bridge and it looked like suicide, but a body was never found. This drove the already-fervid Manics fans into near religious worship. Jovanovic attempts to piece together what might have happened that day.

3. Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn’s Practical Magick) by Raymond Buckland

Buckland’s is one of the definitive books for serious students of magic. Whether you take magic seriously or not, this is one of the books that a fantasy writer would research in order to get the details right for a story. If you’d like to know more about rituals, history, covens and spellwork, this is the book to turn to.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Sandman by Neil Gaiman

Without Sandman, there could be no Phonogram. Gaiman changed what people thought graphic novels could do with this series about Dream, part of the Endless, consisting of Death, Desire, Delirium, Destiny and Destruction. Gods, goddesses, demons and magic abound in this series.

2. Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Scott Pilgrim is a clueless slacker while David Kohl is knowingly selfish, and the music is indie while in Phonogram it’s Britpop, and the super powers are based on video games instead of magic, but anyone who learned to love David in Phonogram will be smitten with Scott Pilgrim.

3. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill

The inside references are fast and furious in this series by Alan Moore, but it’s about brit lit instead of brit pop. Captain Nemo, The Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Allan Quartermain, and Mina Harker team up to fight evil. Packed with action/adventure and literary allusions, this will make any book nerd’s heart beat faster.

Soundtrack: http://sharemyplaylists.com/rue-britannia

Name: Jessica

World War Z

April 4, 2012

Author: Max Brooks

Title: World War Z

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 2006

Number of pages: 320

Geographical Setting: Global

Time Period: not too distant future

Series (if applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: This book takes place after the zombie war has already occurred. Compiling interviews from all sorts of people from many different countries, Brooks attempts to piece together exactly what happened when the dead began to rise. Interviews range from doctors to American housewives to body guards to war veterans, detailing where they were when they discovered this disease wasn’t “rabies” like they were told, and how the world eventually conquered over two million walking corpses. The pacing is moderate, but the short interviews from so many different types of people make this a page turner. Highlights include the doctor in China who discovers “Patient Zero”, a twelve-year old boy who had been bitten while swimming, the body guard assigned to protect a mansion full of rich people and celebrities from zombies while they get filmed to the masses, and a Japanese warrior monk who recounts how he escaped a high rise full of zombies back when he was a socially awkward computer nerd. Part war novel and part survival guide, this book will keep the reader up at night planning out his/her escape route for when the undead come scratching at the door.

Subject Headings: undead, zombies, diseases, epidemics, supernatural, survival (after epidemics) war.

Appeal: builds in intensity, measured, chilling, darker, nightmare, deadpan, intriguing, multiple points of view, explicitly violent, action-oriented, political, stark, conversational, journalistic, straight-forward, well-crafted, well-researched.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: chilling, multiple points of view, explicitly violent.

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Family Safe in a Crisis by Peggy Layton.

If after reading World War Z, you are feeling less than prepared for the zombie apocalypse, or any other disaster, this book will teach you how to equip your home with food, water, medical supplies and fuel.

2. The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson.

One of the terrifying aspects of zombie lore is that it begins as a disease and turns into an epidemic that no one knows how to cure. The Ghost Map chronicles such an epidemic when cholera breaks out over London in 1854.

3. Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie by Wade Davis.

Zombie mythology originates from Haitian voodoo (voudon), and is an unfortunate stereotype of a complex religion. Davis explains how one goes about making a zombie (a harsh punishment exacted to someone found guilty of a heinous crime), as well as the politics of Haitian culture.

 

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

Twelve-year-old Oskar has a crush on the new girl (“I’m not a girl,” she keeps telling him) living next door, who only comes out at night. Both bone-chilling and heart-warming at the same time, this updated take on classic vampires who drink real blood and don’t sparkle, compels the reader to fall in love with Eli and root for her no matter how gruesome her actions become.

 

2. Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz and Kevin J. Anderson

In Koontz’s take on Frankenstein, 7 foot monster Deucalion is living peacefully in a Tibetan monastery when he discovers that his creator is still alive and living in New Orleans. Deucalion must track him down before he creates an army of “posthumans” that take over the world.

 

3, The Wolfen by Whitley Streiber.

Two detectives in New York discover a secret pack of werewolves preying on weak humans who won’t be missed. Streiber plays with the werewolf myth to create a separate race of wolf-men with heightened sense of smell and hearing and superhuman intelligence.

 

Name: Jessica

“I Heard You Paint Houses”: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran and the Inside Story of the Mafia, the Teamsters, and the Last Ride of Jimmy Hoffa

November 16, 2011

Author: Charles Brandy

Title: “I Heard You Paint Houses”: Frank “The Irishman”
Sheeran and the Inside Story of the Mafia, the Teamsters, and the Last Ride of
Jimmy Hoffa

Genre: Non-Fiction; True-Crime

Publication Date: 2005

Number of Pages: 309

Geographical Setting: USA

Time Period: 1930s-2000s

Series (If applicable):

Plot Summary:  A first-person narrative of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran’s life.  The story is composed from passages of Sheeran’s
own words while author Charles Brandt provides the  background story.  Sheeran’s issues begin as a young boy who is
encouraged by his father to start bar fights for beer money.  The story follows Sheeran through his 411
days of active duty during World War II where he claims on the orders of higher
ranking officers he learned how to conduct private executions of German
prisoners and follow orders effectively.
Once returning to America Sheeran began working as a hustler and  as a hitman for notorious crime boss Russell
Bufalino.   Sheeran provides information
on mob relations, notorious mob hits, and even the Kennedy assassination.  The most interesting part of this book is
Sheeran’s relationship with Jimmy Hoffa.
Sheeran is introduced to Hoffa by Bufalino and this is where the phrase,
“I heard you paint houses” originates.
Sheeran would not only become Jimmy Hoffa’s muscle but close personal
friend.  Through Sheeran’s own words this
book brings to light to the details surrounding the mysterious end of Jimmy
Hoffa’s life.

Subject
Headings: Hoffa Jimmy 1913-1975?, Sheeran Frank, International Brotherhood of
Teamsters, Gangsters, Mafia.

Appeal: compelling, easy, fast-paced, chilling,
candid, menacing atmosphere, hard-edged, psychological, well-drawn, flawed,
character-centered, explicitly violent, flashbacks, political.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Character-centered,
explicitly violent, flashbacks.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Westies: Inside New
York’s Irish Mob
, by T.J. English.  The story of a notorious New York West Side
gang who specialize in a dismemberment execution style that was feared among
the toughest factions of the mob.

 Mob Killer: The Bloody Rampage
of Charles Carneglia, Mafia Hit Man
, by Anthony DeStefano.  This book is a look into the mind of Charles
Carneglia who was associated with John Gotti.
The book covers much of the mob’s history and address famous mob
personalities such as those from the
movie Goodfellas.

JFK and the Unspeakable:
Why He Died and Why it Matters
, by James Douglass.  Similarly to Jimmy Hoffa the truth behind the
assassination of President Kennedy has always been open to question and filled
with various conspiracy theories.  This
book presents the view that it was not the mob but rather the military and
intelligence agencies in the United States that were behind the assassination of
JFK.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

For Nothing, by Nicholas Denmon.
This fast paced thriller is about an undercover cop who goes deep in an
organized crime family to seek out the assassin that killed his friend.

Who is Lou Sciortino?: A
Novel About Murder, the Movies, and Mafia Family Values,
by Ottavio Cappellani.
A fictional violent mafia comedy that is often compared to the
television show the Sopranos.  The story
takes place in New York City and Sicily.

Cut Throat Mafia, by Derrick Johnson.
A story about a mafia family in Cleveland Ohio that was on top as far as
mob activity goes until they started to slip with the introduction of other
mafia families.  The family finds
themselves doing all they can to survive against other families with similar “cut
throat” tactics.

Name: Bill P.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

October 12, 2011

Author: Jeff Lindsay

Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 288

Geographical Setting: Miami, Florida

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Dexter series

Plot Summary:  Dexter Morgan moonlights as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami police department, as a dear brother, and as a devoted boyfriend.  In real life, Dexter devotes himself to researching, stalking and dismembering his prey.  As a psychopathic serial killer, Dexter may seem inevitably a not-so-nice guy, except for one small thing: he limits his prey to other psychopathic serial killers.  This devotion is not based so much on some twisted vigilante morality, but rather on a respect for his deceased, police officer, foster father, Harry, who taught him to be careful and to never kill the innocent.  His resolve is tested, however, when a new serial killer comes on the scene with a mode of operation not unlike Dexter’s, tantalizing him and tempting him into playing the game with much more innocent victims.  Dexter details his dashing deceit, dark dreams, and deadly demons with a sarcastic wit and a humorous tone despite his obvious character flaws.

Subject Headings: Serial killers, psychopaths, forensic analysis, Miami, blood spatter analysis, prostitution, dismemberment

Appeal: Disturbing, darkly humorous, compelling, sarcastic tone, complex characters, chilling, psychological, suspenseful, series characters, flawed characters, explicitly violent, urban, straightforward language, witty

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Disturbing, darkly humorous, compelling

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Blood Secrets: a Forensic Expert Reveals How Blood Spatter Tells the Crime Scene’s Story by Ron Englert

This book details the true science of blood spatter analysis, Dexter’s day job.   Englert looks at real cases and shows how scientific analysis of the way blood behaves can provide information about how a person died.

I: The Creation of a Serial Killer by Jack Olsen

Jack Olsen allows serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, or the “Happy Face Killer,” to tell his own story in this book which details his early childhood and his murders, similarly to how Dexter tells his own story.

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

This account discusses real life psychopathy, the condition Dexter claims to compel him to kill.  It discusses the implications of psychopaths being more prevalent than realized, and the damage they can wreak, not only in the sense that some are serial killers, but also as those in positions of political, corporate, or religious power.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey

The first in a series of novels about serial killer Serge Storms, operating in Florida with a group of murderous friends.  The series has a darkly humorous tone, similar to the Dexter series.

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

This psychological suspense novel begins a series about Tom Ripley, a con man and a murderer, who uses his resourcefulness to evade the law, similarly to Dexter.  Also a novel with a darkly humorous tone.

Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff

This novel tells the story of a woman suspected of murder, held in a psychiatric hospital, as she tells the story of how she became part of a covert organization dedicated to killing “irredeemables” with weapons designed to look like death of natural causes.  Employs a darkly humorous tone, similar to the Dexter series, and also features a protagonist who believes in killing those deemed not deserving of life.

Name: Christi H.

1st to Die

October 3, 2011

Author: James Patterson

Title: 1st to Die

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2001

Number of Pages: 462

Geographical Setting: San Francisco and Napa Valley, California; Cleveland, Ohio

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Women’s Murder Club

Plot Summary:  In San Francisco, a serial killer brutally murders and sexually assaults newly married couples oftentimes just hours after their weddings.  Enter Lindsay Boxer, a police inspector who battles not only a maniac killer in the world, but her own potential murderer in her own blood.  Fortunately, Lindsay has the support of her greatest friends: Claire, a medical examiner, Jill, an assistant district attorney, and Cindy, an up and coming reporter for the Chronicle.  Together, they make up the Women’s Murder Club and work together to catch a killer.  Along with her new partner, Chris Raleigh, Lindsay must race against the work of a homicidal maniac as well as against the ticking time bomb in her own body in order to solve the case before time runs out.

Subject Headings: Serial killers, Suspense, Romance, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Cleveland, Domestic Abuse, Sexual sadism, Negli’s aplastic anemia

 Appeal: Engrossing, breakneck, dangerous, suspenseful, sexy, romantic, multiple points of view, series characters, engaging characters, action-oriented, explicitly violent, plot twists, sexually explicit, simple language

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Breakneck, dangerous, sexy

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Mind Hunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

This title delves into the practice of profiling serial killers and how that works in the real world.  It gives insight into the mind of the real serial murderer.  In 1st to Die, Lindsay mentions the profile of the killer they are hunting and the book also gives insight into the murderer’s mind.

Murder by the Bay: Historic Homicide In and About the City of San Francisco by Charles F. Adams

This book tells the stories of real life murders that occurred in San Francisco and involved many of the well-known celebrities of the day just as 1st to Die’s fictional murders involved high profile citizens in Patterson’s version of San Francisco.

Many Overboard: Inside the Honeymoon Cruise Murder by Joan Lownds

Details the story of a real-life murder that took place on a couple’s honeymoon just eight days after their wedding. This mirrors the honeymoon killings that take place in 1st to Die.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Burning Time by Leslie Glass

The first of the April Woo mysteries, this book mirrors 1st to Die in that it features a female investigator and a psychopathic killer who stalks his victims.

Fall From Grace: a Noir Thriller by Clyde Phillips

This book is the first of the Jane Candotti mysteries and similarly to 1st to Die, features a female investigator working in San Francisco.

The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen

This book, part of the Rizzoli and Isles series, is a gritty, fast-paced novel about two women, a police inspector and a medical examiner, who work together to solve a crime, similarly to the work of the Women’s Murder Club.

Name: Christi H.

That Yellow Bastard (Sin City Vol. 4)

August 10, 2011

Author: Frank Miller
Title: That Yellow Bastard (Sin City volume 4)

Genre: Graphic Novel, Thriller

Publication Date: 1996

Number of Pages: 223 (primarily black and white images)

Geographical Setting: Basin City, a fictional urban city in the western United States

Time Period: Unspecified (contemporary)

Series: Sin City

Plot Summary: The fourth volume of the graphic novel series, Sin City, centers around Detective Hartigan as he struggles to instill a sense of justice in a society characterized by corruption, organized crime, despair. Hartigan, plagued by heart problems and getting old, is one day from retirement when he faces one last mission: to save an 11 year old girl before she falls victim to a murderous mad man. Always adhering to his strict sense of justice and morals, Hartigan proves determined to rescue the girl at any cost. He succeeds and severley injures the mad man, Junior. In the process, Junior shoots Hartigan; the detective slips into a coma. While unconscious, corrupt police  frame Hartigan for the rape of the girl he saved. The real culprit, Junior, is the son of a corrupt politician and cannot be exposed. Hartigan serves an eight year sentence, never forgetting Nancy, the girl he rescued.. Finally out of prison, Hartigan once again proves good as he attempts to protect Nancy from a mysterious yellow figure who bares a striking resemblance to Junior.
Frank Miller’s stark black and white artwork helps convey the bleak mood of this gritty graphic novel that resembles film noir. The images and content both appear violent and sexually explicit. The action-based plot unfolds at a breakneck pace that is sure to keep the pages turning. Although this novel is not for the faint of heart, it is likely to pique the interest of many readers demanding a quick, adrenaline-raising read.

Subject Headings: Organized Crime–Fiction, Police–Fiction, Corruption, Noir–Fiction, Kidnapping–Fiction, Murder–Fiction, Rape–Fiction, Political Conspiracy–Fiction

Appeal: Breakneck, Bleak, Compelling, Dangerous, Gritty, Series (characters), Intriguing, Action-oriented, Atmospheric, Cinematic, Explicitly Violent, Sexually Explicit, Strong Language, Stark, Urban, Unsettling

Three Terms that Best Describe this Book: Gritty, Explicitly Violent, Action-Oriented

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:
Street Solider: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob by Edward MacKenzie (This memoir describes life in the rough neighborhoods of Boston. MacKenzie is involved in organized crime; the betrayal of his corrupt boss lands the author in prison. Eventually, MacKenzie proves good in a harsh environment. The book is gritty, urban, compelling, violent, and filled with action.)

Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: A Personal History of Violence by Jamar Nicholas
(This graphic novel represents an adaptation of Geoffrey Canada’s description of a violent and dangerous Bronx neighborhood. Canada’s book describes political action that exacerbates crime and violence in the urban setting. The graphic adaptation relies on unsettling images sure to captivate the reader. The tone of the book is gritty; the mood is bleak and dangerous.)

L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City by John Buntin
(This compelling book details the history of Los Angeles through the lens of two historical figures-a mob boss and the police chief continuously hunting for him. The author describes the role of Los Angeles in influencing the thoughts, actions, and lives of these two men. This gritty book is a page turner that relies on its dangerous urban setting to create an intriguing story.)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:
Luna Park by Kevin Baker
(Baker’s graphic novel often resembles noir fiction. It relies on black and white images that frequently appear explicitly violent. The result is a fast paced, atmospheric, and gritty graphic novel, detailing organized crime and street life in a dangerous New York City setting.)

100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello
(This graphic novel-the first in a series-describes a violent setting consisting of gangbangers and mob bosses. It centers around a mysterious agent who offers ordinary citizens the chance to exact violent revenge upon those who have wronged them. The graphic novel ponders the theme of morality amid corruption and injustice. The graphic novel is bleak and violent in tone. It is also fast paced and gritty.)

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
(This novel revolves around a violent massacre and the decision of a bystander to profit from a stash of heroine and two million dollars found on the scene. The decision lands the protagonist in the midst of a dangerous environment characterized by drug lords, corrupt police, and violence. The novel is bleak and disturbing in tone. It also features a gritty writing style and atmospheric mood.)

Dan Thorson

Y: The Last Man: Unmanned, by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra

April 13, 2011

Author: Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra

Title: Y: The Last Man: Unmanned

Genre: Graphic novel, science fiction

Publication Date: 2002

Number of Pages: 126

Geographical Setting: Various U.S. cities (esp. Boston and Washington, D.C.), Australia, Israel

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Y: The Last Man (1st in the series)

Plot Summary: A mysterious plague abruptly wipes out every single male mammal on earth – with the exception of Yorick Brown, an escape artist in New York City, and his male Capuchin monkey, Ampersand.  Although Yorick has somehow mysteriously survived the plague, it’s uncertain whether he will survive the desires of the various factions that form in the plague’s aftermath.  The surviving members of the U.S. government (including Yorick’s mother) want Yorick to ensure the survival of the human race, while a group of extremist women known as Amazons, who think the world is better off without men, want Yorick dead.  All Yorick wants, however, is to reach his girlfriend Beth, in Australia – even with the help of the mysterious Agent 355, however, that’s no easy task.  Will Yorick be able to stay alive, solve the mystery of his immunity to the plague, ensure the survival of the human race, and find Beth in the process?

Subject Headings: Capuchin monkeys; Cloning; Escape artists; Extremists; Gender issues; Government factions; Israeli women soldiers; Plagues; Survivors; Women.

Appeal: accessible language, adventure-filled, darker, dystopian, engrossing, episodic, explicitly violent, fast-paced, hard-edged, strong language, vivid characters, witty

3 terms that best describe this book: post-apocalyptic, adventure-filled, vivid characters

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Serial No. 3817131, by Rachel Papo – A compelling, mostly visual (photography) book that explores gender roles through its photos of female Israeli soldiers (who also play a role in Y: The Last Man).

Points Unknown: The Greatest Adventure Writing of the 20th Century, edited by David Roberts – engrossing adventure writing about people being pushed to their limits.

Red Eye, Black Eye by K. Thor Jensen – a graphic novel suitable for either adults or young adults, with a young male protagonist whose world is disrupted, causing him to set out on a journey.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

-Children of Men, by P.D. James – engrossing, hard-edged, character-driven sci-fi story in which the survival of the human race is threatened because no more children are being / can be born.

The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard  – A graphic novel about an epidemic and the struggle to survive by those left behind. Like Y: The Last Man, this is also a winner of the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series.

­-Albert and the Others, by Guy Delisle – Like Y: The Last Man, this is a graphic novel with black humor, that delves into gender issues and the relationship between men and women.

-Noelle Nightingale

Sharp Teeth

June 14, 2010

White Teeth
Author: Toby Barlow

Title: Sharp Teeth

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 312

Geographical Setting: Southern California / Los Angeles

Time Period: Current

Series (N/A)

Plot Summary:

Four packs of ancient lycanthropes have infiltrated L.A. and its crime underworld and are now starting to gain strength and territory. They are able to change form from human to canine and back again at will; rendering them as anything from attack dog to the friendly dog next door or lawyer to blonde surfer girl.  The packs start to scour the city for new recruits from the down-and-out while dealing for and shutting down rival drug operations, killing and eating anyone in their way. Problems arise when dogcatchers start to disappear from the pound and a detective is called in to investigate. But a bigger problem is that every pack needs a female and “she”, the female of the lead pack, has decided to leave Lark, the lead dog, for Anthony, a loner and dogcatcher after a not so chance meeting. “She” realizes that her new life with a human is becoming detrimental to her survival and rejoins Lark to live in the suburbs with Bonnie, another lonely human, while they regroup and recruit more members. Meanwhile the other packs have been regrouping after a few changes of their own. The action culminates in a horrific battle involving all parties and a few damaged humans. In the end we are left with possibilities for new beginnings.

Subject Headings:

Werewolves–Fiction.
Gangs–California–Los Angeles–Fiction.
Murder–Fiction.
Novels in verse.
Fantasy–fiction.

Appeal:

deliberate, measured, bittersweet, hard-edged, mystical, evocative, cinematic, tragic, epic, dangerous, faithful, vivid

3 Terms that best describe the book:

Atmospheric, foreboding, explicitly violent

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