Critical Failures (Caverns & Creatures #1) ★★☆☆☆

criticalfailures (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Critical Failures
Series: Caverns & Creatures #1
Author: Robert Bevan
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 284
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A group of RPG gamers have put an ad out to a Cavern Master, as none of them want to do the hard work. A man shows up at the Chicken Shack, in cape and with all the other accoutrements a Cavern Master could need.

These gamers are jackasses. So they hassle the guy for wearing a cape and take their game playing very casually. This enrages the Cavern Master and has each of the players roll his special dice. This transports them into the game as their characters. The Cavern Master is interrupted by the sister of one of the players and her boyfriend. They too are transported into the game.

Shit happens and the gang gets separated, some in jail, some in the forest, more hijinks, mixups, etc. They all eventually get together, find out that the Cavern Master has done this to other people and trick him into a situation where he has to release them or die. Unfortunately for them, he dies and they’re stuck in the game world with no way to get out.

The end.

 

My Thoughts:

Swords and Spectres has been reviewing this series and I thought I’d try it. He did warn me about the profanity and folks, he was NOT kidding. These are 20 something losers with the accompanying attitude. Self-absorbed, filthy mouthed, caring about no one or anything but themselves. I was actually rather glad that they got theirs by being pushed into the game. Unfortunately, they are just as horrible in game as they are out of the game.

The humor was right up my alley and I kept snorting and laughing out loud but honestly, it was wicked crass and relied on a juvenile humor about death and body functions.

Even with that, I’l be reading the next book. However, since I’m pretty sure it is just more of the same, I expect to stop the series then.

★★☆☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

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Code of the Woosters (The Jeeves Omnibus #1.2) ★★★☆½

codeofthewoosters (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Code of the Woosters
Series: The Jeeves Omnibus #1.2
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 263
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Bertie Wooster is bamboozled into helping out various friends and relatives as they try to get what they want, whether it be a wife, a husband, a policeman’s helmet, a diary, a superb chef or even a silver cow creamer, Bertie is at his best, messing everything up. Since he has ignored Jeeves’ recommendation to take a world tour on a cruise ship, Jeeves is less than completely helpful.

But in the end Jeeves doesn’t let his master down and everything works out ok for everyone except for the Justice of the Peace who once fined Bertie Wooster 5 pounds. Imagine the gall!

 

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this but it was just a touch too long. If Wodehouse had knocked it back to 200 pages, the humor would have been more palatable. I mean, after a point rich people having problems like not being able to keep their cook just isn’t funny when you’re dealing with 8 other rich people, almost all of whom are so stupid it is surprising they haven’t walked in front of a bus yet, all dealing with similar “problems”. It starts out funny but like a fish, starts to smell after a while.

That being said, up until the 75% mark, there were quite a few instances where I was just chortling to myself at the pure outrageousness of the happenings. I mean, Bertie is such a good hearted idiot that you want him to succeed even while knowing he’s an idiot and is going to flub things up.

I only gave this 3stars back in ’02 even while my review from then leads me to believe I found it funnier back then than this time around. However, I wasn’t actually using a 5star system (that started in ’07 or ’09 with my time at Goodreads) but retconn’ed all my books into the 5star system. I was using some vague and completely subjective 100 point system based on my highschool grading system. Man, how the times they have a’changed!

Despite all my complaining, I did enjoy this quite a bit and laughed out loud enough times so that Mrs B stopped asking me what I was laughing about. I think that says just how good this book actually was.

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Thor: Ragnarok (Movie)

thorragnorakThe only reason I watched this movie was to see Thor and Hulk either fight against each other or with each other. That is it. I found both previous Thor movies to be unenjoyable borefests.

Part of that is that I never enjoyed Thor as a comic book character, so translating him to the big screen doesn’t make me feel all squirmy and wriggly inside.  The other reason is that I don’t like Natalie Portman, and it really isn’t even her fault. When The Phantom Menace came out in 1999, I had been waiting for a new Star Wars movie since I could remember and I got The Phantom Menace. I wasn’t immediately devastated, but the scarring process had begun and Amidala was the face of the The Phantom Menace as far as I was concerned. It also didn’t help that her character in the previous Thor movies I recollect as the girly girly slap slap variety. So it helped that she wasn’t in this one and the Hulk was. Hulk good, Jane bad!

*********************

Ok, I wrote the previous before watching the movie. I just finished. Holy smokes, I had SO MUCH FUN watching this movie.

I found the humor right down my alley. Physical humor interspersed with lowbrow banter. There were several times that I just laughed out loud. Not a slight chuckle, mind you, but a full laugh that lasted for at least 5seconds.  There was nothing serious about this movie and I’m glad they didn’t try to simply put in spots of humor while making it a grim movie. This was pure comic book and I loved it.

The fighting exceeded my expectations as well. The fight between Thor and Hulk in the arena was great. Wreaking half the arena showed just how powerful both of them were. The big fight scene at the end where Thor goes full on Thunder God was pure awesomesauce. I’m just kind of sad that it took until the end of the 3rd movie to get to that point. But I’m satisfied now that we got there.

I liked the characters as well. Jeff Goldblum was as weird as ever, Hemsworth and Hiddle WERE Thor and Loki and Cate Blanchett as Hela? Yeah, now there’s an evil elf queen for you! Miss Valkyrie lady seemed like the token tough girl but she was head and shoulders above “Jane” in terms of enjoyment. Finally, Hulk. I didn’t like that he talked so much. I know in the comic books he goes through various levels of toughness and braininess, but in this movie, there was no explanation for how he turned into a veritable fount of verbosity. But him fighting things made up for it.

To end, I enjoyed this so much that I’m going to be watching the previous 2 Thor movies again to see if my initial feelings were off or what. This movie didn’t make me a fan of the whole franchise, but it sure made me want to watch any future Thor movies (who knows how many more Thor movies there will be, if any though).

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

The Devil in Miss Urd (Oh My Goddess! #11) ★★☆☆☆ (Manga Monday)

devilinmissurd (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Devil in Miss Urd
Series: Oh My Goddess! #11
Author: Kosuke Fujishima
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 176
Format: Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Kei, Bell and the gang all “win” a trip to a hotsprings. There, they run across Mara and they all decide to call a truce while on vacation. Of course, it is all a ruse by Mara to gain a strand of Urd’s hair, which she uses to make a clone of Urd. The clone is empty and needs a soul.

Mara kidnapps Urd and using junkstore equipment, separates her goddess half from her demon half. The demon half Mara sends into the clone and lets it loose. Belldandy realizes what is going on and knows that if one half of Urd’s soul perishes, the other will as well. So they can’t destroy Demon Urd, just try to subdue her. Goddess Urd gets free and with the help of Belldandy and Skuld, Urd is put back together again. Of course, there is an empty “Urd skin” lying around.

The book ends with a one shot story of Banpei the robot putting on the Urd skin and going around helping people.

 

My Thoughts:

This was amusing. Convoluted, silly and not well thought out, but amusing nonetheless.

I think my biggest problem with this series is that I constantly see the manga-ka undercutting himself in the longterm to get what he wants in the short term. Take Urd. She’s supposedly half-goddess and half-demon. Gods and Demons are supposedly the antithesis of each other, so how did she come about? And then it is revealed that even the Almighty couldn’t separate Urd’s two natures but we’re supposed to believe that imbecilic Mara can do it? It is just too evident that Fujishima is making things up as he goes and the inconsistancies are glaring.

Going to be talking to myself for a minute, so bear with it. This series is making me not want to read manga at all. I dread having to read this because it is so blah and this re-read has destroyed all my good memories of what I read before. The romance and humor that appealed to me when I was 24 has not matured along with me. I’ve outgrown this and cannot overlook the faults. And yet I paid for the whole 48 volumes. I feel like I’ve got a ball and chain wrapped around my neck and I’ve been tossed off the dock.

And when I put it as bluntly as that, I realize something. I don’t like this manga anymore and while I spent some good money on it, spending TIME on it will not justify the money. I need to cut my losses and just let it go. I am done with this series. Hopefully I can at least sell it on Craigslist and not lose all my money.

I think this final picture is appropriate. Goodbye Oh My Goddess! Only the anime ova shall live on in my memory. This manga has punished me enough.

domg1_15

Sweet Belldandy. It wasn’t only Kei who was in love with you back then

★★☆☆☆

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Life Advice…w/ Dr. Bookstooge

dr_mario_trust_me_im_a_doctor_meme_by_sonic171000-db6d563

 

It’s one of those kind of days.  I’ve got diarrhea of the brain and fingers, so I’ve got a ton of nonsense just waiting to explode onto the screen.

 

My first piece of advice, to anyone, male, female, tall, short, smart or stupid, is to not have parents. Any problem you might have, it can be avoided by simply not having parents.  Now, if you’re reading this, you’ve obviously ignored this piece of advice. Don’t worry, 100% of people who come to me for advice have ALSO ignored this advice. You are not alone in this.

evangelion_by_gaarakazekague

(Of course, if you’re listening to that song by Michael Jackson, well, you get what you deserve, in my professional medical opinion)

 

Most people, when they come to me for Parental Pod advice, ask me what they can “do” about their problem.  The thing is, as I shake my wisely visage and appear sympathetic, is to deconstruct the thinking behind that “do”.  Most people don’t realize that Parental Pods (will be referred to as PP’s from hereon in) are also people too. Yes, you heard that right. Most other doctors don’t subscribe to this idea, but if you carefully examine the evidence, you’ll see that I, Doctor Bookstooge, am right. Not just a little bit right, but COMPLETELY right. I call this groundbreaking theory, Parental Pods are People Too, or PPaPT to keep things snappy. My clients like it when I use acronyms. Lets them know that I’m hip with the jiving lingo that the kids use today. Now, if those same kids would just stay off my lawn, we’d be all set.

The second thing to realize is since PPaPT applies, this means that every mood, feeling and thought you have, they also apply to the PP in question. Are you a stubborn jackass sometimes? Are you an opinionated, hotheaded loudmouth? Well, I hate to break it to you, but your PP were those things first. This makes them much more experienced in such things.  Accept the fact that you can’t be more “X” than your PP.

matt-smith-point-death-of-the-doctor

Yes, this post applies to you too, you stubborn, hotheaded, opinionated, loudmouthed jackass.

 

My final advice to most patients suffering from one form of PP or another, is that they can’t actually do anything about it.  It once again comes down to our PPaPT philosophy here at Dr McBookstooges Inc.  We believe that most cases of PP just need to run their course, kind of like the man-flu.

bcc7c880f136f71c5605bbdac3519986

 

And I believe that is probably all the medical advice that needs to be packed into one post. Any more and readers would start losing their minds and begin worshipping me as a veritable dynamo of divine wisdom.

 

bookstooge (Custom)

Miss Keiichi (Oh My Goddess! #10) ★★★☆☆ (Manga Monday)

misskeiichi (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission 
Title:
Miss Keiichi
Series: Oh My Goddess! #10
Author: Kosuke Fujishima
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 117
Format: Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Urd and Skuld are called back to Heaven, giving Kei some alone time with Belldandy. She gets sick, he messes around with some of Urd’s “medicine” and ends up turning himself into a girl. He manages to get ahold of Urd and she and Skuld come back to nurse Belldandy back to health.

Then a former lover of Urds shows up, a Plum Spirit, by the name of Troubador. He professes to want to get together with Urd but is really after her tears so he can complete his training as a bard. He is insanely jealous and so Urd won’t turn Kei back into a guy while he’s around.

Kei gets suckered into taking over the motor club since the two elder students are graduating that year. He wins a competition only to find out that the two Senpais are staying on for advanced mechanical courses and so will still be in charge.

A girl confesses to Kei in a love letter but her ulterior motive is to perform an exorcism on him as she claims she senses “unhuman” energy surrounding him. Due to her own ineptness, she calls forth some super demon dog and it is only thanks to Urd manipulating Belldandy’s jealousy that allows them all to survive.

Megumi has left the motorclub to join the softball team, but with only 4 members, they are being pressured by the baseball club to fold up and become gofers for them. Megumi, Kei and everyone else gets together as a team and end up winning on a technicality. And Urd shows cleavage.

The final story is about Megumi finding a stray dog, it worming its way into everyone’s heart, Megumi finding the owner and Kei admitting he really likes the dog.

 

My Thoughts:

The only amusing part of this manga was when Kei was a woman and preparing to take a bath. I’ll let this picture speak for itself.

omg-c55-p23

 

The rest of these chapters? Barely humorous, wallowing in vapid sentimentality (that puppy chapter just about made me barf) and generally feeling like the manga-ka was mailing it in. Nothing happens. There is no overall plot. A good manga doesn’t always need some overarching story. Yotsuba is the perfect example of that and the manga-ka there carries it off really well. I can forgive random crap chapters when they at least entertain me or are funny or “something”. However, this book felt like a big bowl of diet vanilla pudding. I don’t know if “diet” vanilla pudding even exists, but I imagine it tastes like chalk or something and that is what this book came across as. Dry and bleh.

Mediocre is a good word for this volume. “Miss Keiichi” keeps it from dropping to a 2 ½ rating since I found that panel very humorous.

★★★☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Thank You, Jeeves (The Jeeves Omnibus 1.1) ★★★★☆

thankyoujeeves (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Thank You, Jeeves
Series: The Jeeves Omnibus 1.1
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 241
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Bertie Wooster has taken up playing the banjolele. He does it so badly that Jeeves gives his notice and all of Bertie’s neighbors complain to the landlord. Bertie decides to spend the summer in a bungalo playing the banjolele at his chum Chuffy’s mansion out in the country.

Chaos ensues. Chuffy is trying to sell his mansion to a rich american. This rich american has a daughter, Pauline, that Bertie was engaged to for about 24hrs a while ago. Chuffy falls in love with her and she with him. But other family interests make a hash of things, plus the father is convinced that his daughter still loves Bertie and he hates Bertie. Hilarity ensues, escapades happen and through it all, Jeeves helms the boat through troubled waters and in the end, brings it in to safe harbor.

Chuffy and Pauline are engaged, Chuffield Mansion is sold, Bertie gives up the banjolele and Jeeves and Bertie return to London once again united as Lord and Servant. Everybody is happy.

 

My Thoughts:

I am reading the Jeeves Omnibuses. They each contain 3 stories. So instead of saying that I only read one book, I am counting each book as one book. It’s all about those numbers, you know? But that is why I am doing the series as a decimal number and not a whole number. This was the first book in the first Jeeves omnibus.

Now, WHY this was the first book is beyond me. It is actually #5 in the Jeeves series. So there are many, many, many instances of Bertie referencing things that have happened previously that we the reader have no idea about. None of the things are big enough that you lose the essence of what is being referred to, as it is mostly silly or assinine things that Bertie has done, but the specifics aren’t there and it makes the references less real. That is really my only complaint for this book.

My favorite part is Bertie’s new man, Brinklie. He gets roaring drunk, burns down Bertie’s cottage, assaults various people with knives, potatoes, etc and is generally a dangerous lunatic but through Bertie’s eyes it is “Oh, that just goes with the territory”.

I am surprised that I haven’t seen more of an uproar by social justice clowns because of the whole master servant thing with Bertie and Jeeves and the use of the word nigger in several instances when referring to black performers. Since this was published in 1934 it is no doubt to old for them to even know it exists, as nothing existed before them, except when they wish to trot out their straw donkey arguments.

The one positive thing about reading this first, instead of fifth, is that I found the humor original enough so I wasn’t comparing it to previous books. That was my complaint from my original read and most likely the reason I only gave it 3stars back in ’03.

★★★★☆

 

bookstooge