Posts Tagged ‘grim’

V for Vendetta

October 24, 2012

Author: Alan Moore

Title: V for Vendetta

Genre: Graphic novel, book to movie, comic books

Date Published: Nov. 2005

Pages: 256

Setting: Alternative England

Time Frame: The near future

Series: N/A

Summary: In a different world and a Totalitarian England that never was, a young woman, Evey, is rescued by ‘V’, a charming and mysterious vigilante who stands for the downfall of the government’s tyranny and shows her a new and different way of thinking and living.

Headings: Vigilantes, Dystopias, resistance to government, human experimentation in medicine, Totalitarianism, Fascism, revenge, hope

Appeal: dark, grim, bleak, dramatic, suspenseful, thought-provoking, realistic art style, antiheroes, intricate, world-building, gritty, character-driven

Three Best Descriptions: Character-driven. bleak, suspenseful

Similar Fiction Authors:

  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (1996) Located in an alternate Oxford, England, young Lyra must discover why local children are being kidnapped and why they are being severed from the Daemons that form part of themselves. (medical experimentation, suspense, world-building, steampunk, teens and adults)
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2008) In a post-apocalyptic North America known as Panem, a lottery is held every four years to select a boy and a girl from each of its twelve Districts to participate in the widely broadcasted and gladiatorial Hunger Games; in order to prevent revolution. (world-building, character-driven, scifi, bleak, teens)
  • 1602 by Neil Gaiman (2004) In an alternative England, familiar Marvel comic book characters step into new roles in the court of Queen Elizabeth and have to deal with many trials (GN, historical, superheroes, teens and adults)

Similar Nonfiction Authors:

  • The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt (2004) A political analysis dealing with Totalitarianism through its many phenomenas in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia in the 19th century. In depth study for those who need a definition of the way of thought. (antisemitism, social movements, historical writing)
  • Persepolis: the Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi (2003) An autobiographical  and child’s eye view at life under the Islamic Revolution. (GN, memoir, historical writing, family and relationships)
  • Doctors from Hell: the Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans by Vivian Spitz (2005) Unpublished photos and documents from the Nuremburg Trials during the Holocaust (historical account, ethics, 20th century)

Name: Jennifer Palermo

A Game of Thrones

July 25, 2011

Author: George R. R. Martin

Title: A Game of Thrones

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: 1996

Number of Pages: 694

Geographical Setting: The fictional Seven Kingdoms of Westeros (and surrounding continents)

Time Period: Set in fictional world/time that mirrors the 15th-century English Wars of the Roses

Plot Summary: In a Fantasy world in which seasons last for years, winter is coming to the tenuously united Seven Kingdoms, bringing with it a host of political and mystical problems. This intricate and layered first entry in a planned six-book series (of which the fifth was just released) follows eight “viewpoint characters” as several powerful families jockey for control of the throne. With various characters trying to keep the peace, conspiring to circumvent succession rights, struggling to protect the world against magical forces gathering outside its walls, and plotting a return from exile to challenge for power, there is no shortage of action, danger, intrigue and even romance. Though there appear to be clear good guys and bad guys, the multiple viewpoints allow Martin to slowly reveal different facts, motivations and biases that keep the reader guessing as to what will come next. The magical influences remain primarily behind-the-scenes for much of this first book, but promise to play an important role in the series. Violence and sexually explicit scenes, including rape and incest, are included throughout. This book is experiencing a resurgence in popularity tied to the recently produced HBO show Game of Thrones, which introduced it to a broader audience, and the just-released fifth book, A Dance with Dragons.

Series: A Song of Fire and Ice, Book 1

Subject Headings: Kingdoms, Political Intrigue, Magic, Dragons, Nobility, Knights, Fantasy Fiction

Appeal: Intricate plotting, realistic/flawed characters, multiple viewpoints, elaborate world building, shocking twists, epic in scale, political, grim, menacing atmosphere, well-crafted, television series crossover appeal

Three Words or Phrases Best Describing this Book: Multidimensional characters, layered storytelling, compelling

4 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors
Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook (multidimensional characters with mixed motivations, plot twists, multiple plot threads, conflict-heavy page-turner, gritty/dark tone, Fantasy series)

Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham (vivid setting, treason and political machinations lead to war, complex characterization, moral ambiguity, father and children at heart of story, Fantasy series)

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Eriksen (layered storytelling, multiple viewpoints, multidimensional characters, epic war setting, gritty/dark tone, Fantasy series)

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik (blends Fantasy with historical wars, mysterious presence of dragons, struggles between characters and among factions, meticulous world building, series)

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors
The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir (non-fiction covering historical period after which Martin modeled his world, dramatic, compelling, political intrigue, readers might enjoy connecting the Yorks and Lancasters with the fictional Starks and Lannisters)

Tournaments: Jousts, Chivalry and Pageants in the Middle Ages by Richard Barber and Juliet Barker (gives historical detail regarding the settings of the book, balances information and readability, helps set the scene for ongoing conflict in series)

An Instinct for Dragons by David E. Jones (looks at dragons historically from mythical, anthropological and sociological standpoints, views of dragons as envisioned by different societies)

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

March 25, 2009

Author: Jeff Lindsay
Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Publication Date: 2004
Number of Pages: 304
Geographical Setting: Miami, Florida
Time Period: 2004
Series: Dexter, Book 1
Plot Summary: Dexter Morgan is a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami-Dade Police Department. He’s also a sociopathic serial killer with an aversion to blood. However, Dexter is the good guy; he only kills other serial killers, particularly those who target children. When prostitutes start dying in a manner startlingly similar to Dexter’s M.O., he is torn between catching the new killer in town and sitting back and admiring his work.
Subject Headings: Adoptees; Brothers and Sisters; Crime Laboratories; Crime Scene Searches; Father and Son; Florida; Forensic Scientists – Fiction; Men/Women Relations; Miami – Fiction; Murderer-Detectives; Mutilation; Personal Conduct; Police – Miami, Policewomen – Miami; Psychological Fiction; Psychopathic Criminals; Secrets; Serial Murder Investigation; Serial Murderers – Fiction; Serial Murders – Fiction; Suspense – Fiction; Vigilantes – Fiction;
Appeal: accessible, atmospheric, black humor, candid, cinematic, conclusive, contemplative, contemporary, dark, eccentric, edgy, details of forensic investigation, direct, fast-paced, flashbacks, frank, grim, interior, intriguing, introspective, investigative, ironic, light, macabre, morbid, offbeat, plot twists, political, psychological, quirky, resolved ending, sarcastic, series characters, smart, strong language, suspenseful, thought-provoking, unusual, urban, violent, vivid, witty
Red Flags: Strong language, murder, torture, mutilation and dismemberment.
Similar Authors and Works (Fiction):
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. Serial murderers, psychopathic criminals, psychological, suspenseful, violence, grim, child abuse victims, interior, action, chilling, smart.
The Serial Killers Club by Jeff Povey. Serial murderers, psychopathic criminals, black humor, satire, quirky, offbeat.
Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff. Vigilantes, psychological, suspenseful, secret organizations, assassins, fantastical, fast-paced, smart, well-developed, quirky, satirical.
Similar Authors and Works (Non-Fiction):
In Broad Daylight by Harry N. MacLean. Ken Rex McElroy terrorized the people of Skidmore, Missouri for years. When the law failed the community, several citizens decided to kill him themselves.
Wicked Intentions: the Sheila LaBarre Murders by Kevin Flynn. Sheila LaBarre killed two developmentally disabled young men, claiming she was “an avenging angel sent to kill pedophiles.”
The Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation by N.E. Genge. This book contains step-by-step descriptions of the forensic investigation process with real and fictitious examples and plenty of references to television, film, and literature.
Name: Tori