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Ahem. Books. Okay, these two are um…just a little bit random.…

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Okay, these two are um…just a little bit random. Both entertaining in completely opposite ways.

The 13 ½ lives of Captain Bluebear by George T Dodds
Finished Saturday, November 26, 2005
Rating: 7.5

This was a crazy-ass book. I understand it is huge in Germany. I picked it up because—well, first, how can you resist a book called the Thirteen and a half lives of Captain Bluebear? Plus, it has illustrations on nearly every page, and very cool illustrations at that.

Anyway, it is based on the premise that blue bears live 27 lives, and this is the summation of half of his lives. Bluebear is a blue bear who was first found floating in a walnut shell in the middle of the ocean. Then he is found by a troupe of Minpirates—two inch high pirates born with eye patches and peglegs who are always trying to attack ships but fail because they’re too damn small. Once he grows too large for the walnut shell, they drop him off on some deserted island where he is accosted by Hobgoblins.

The book is pulled entirely from the author’s ass, just a stream of made-up fantastical shit that is told in a voice that makes it all seem somehow sensible. Bluebear finds himself on an island that is filled with treats that he gorges on, becoming so fat that when the island suddenly rears up and reveals it’s cannibalistic nature, he is unable to defend himself. He spends a life hanging out with a Roving Reptilian Rescuer, a type of bird that is known to swoop in and rescue people at the very last moment (that’s how he escaped from the island). He spends a few years with Professor Abdullah Nightingale, a genius with seven brains who manages to implant an encyclopedia in Bluebear’s head (from which he references the rest of the book at opportune times.)

Bluebear spends a year inside an enormous Eternal Tornado. He only escapes when he discovers that the tornado stops spinning exactly once a year, so he bands together with friends to count down the number of seconds in a year so they are prepared when it stops again. He lives inside the brain of a fallen Boggart brain. He travels to the famed city of Atlantis just before it takes off into space powered by the Invisibles.

The language and events are entertaining—I think this would be a great book to read out loud in a class of fifth graders or something, it’s so episodic and cracked out—but it does get tedious. It only has the barest semblance of actual plot, so I felt sort of like I was slugging through one crazy event after another—but it was entertaining. And different.

At the same time, I was listening to:

Heartbreaker, by Karen Robar, audio version.
Finished: Saturday, November 26, 2005
Rating: Actually, an 8.5. It was damn entertaining to listen to.

I told you I listen to random shit. I guess this woman is a romance novelist, but I’d never heard of her. I just followed my usual method of selecting audio books from the library. Grab a title and see what it is.

Lynn Nelson hopes that the adventure wilderness retreat will help her bond with her troubled 14 year old, boy crazy daughter Rory. She doesn’t count on falling off a mountain and running around chased by murderous cult members intent on blowing up the world. Lucky for her, she falls off the mountain with hunky Jess Feldman, feaux cowboy who just *happens* to be an ex-Fed with a bounty of knowledge on murderous cult members intent on blowing up the world.

Needless to say there is some pretty far-fetched shit in here. There are more than a few plot sequences that are just a bit too convenient. Example:

Murderous cult people chase Lynn, boy-crazy Rory, and hunky feaux cowboy Jess into an abandoned mine shaft. Trapped, with no where to go, Lynn throws a rock at bad guy #3, who shoots his gun and whoops, the ceiling caves in and kills all the bad guys. Lynn and Jess immediately have passionate abandoned-mine-sex. Suddenly bad guy #3 floats to the surface, and hey, maybe he isn’t so sure about being a bad guy after all, so he’ll join them and help them escape! I more than once said, out loud in my car, “Dude, come on. I don’t fuckign think so.”

But like I said, it was entertaining. A good time. *nods*
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