Terry Pratchett and Paul Kidby – The Last Hero

Cover showing Cohen the Barbarian

The latest Terry Pratchett book is something special indeed! It’s a shorter story than usual, but this is more than compensated for by the lavish and wonderful illustrations by Paul Kidby who also drew the two or so Discworld graphic novels that came out a few years ago. Kidby’s interpretation of Rincewind is very close to the way I’ve always imagined him to look, and I’m glad to report that the incompetent wizard is in the story. I’ve only been able to browse the book a little (cuz I’m broke), but man, this is an object of desire, and would make a great Christmas gift for fans of fantasy literature and pretty picture books! I think there should be more illustrated books for adults in any case, and finding such a beauty in the shop just made me drool. Order it from Amazon.com or from Amazon.co.uk before it goes out of print or somebody has the bright idea of reprinting it without illustrations like Pratchett’s Eric novella.

By the way, Amazon.co.uk also announced Amazing
Maurice and his educated Rodents
, a new children’s novel by Pratchett.

This is a backdated entry from before this blog was started. It was originally published on rocr.net. Since posting this preview, I’ve read the book, and while I wouldn’t consider it the best that Pratchett has written, I do recommend it for the artwork.

From Hell

I have recently re-read Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s acclaimed Jack the Ripper saga From Hell, soon to be a major motion picture. Lately, I’ve often found myself rereading old favourites and going "What a load of crap", but not with this one. Granted, it did have some iffy moments at the start, where Eddie Campbell’s scratchy drawings look a little too crude for what he’s trying to do, and the long explanation of London as a magical constellation early on now looks forced, but once that’s out of the way, the writing settles in this relentless groove, the art becomes more and more sophisticated and From Hell quickly becomes one of those books that you can’t put down. Read it now before that movie hits the theaters (which it may already have done in the US).
Get it from Amazon.com in the US or from Amazon.co.uk in Europe

This is a backdated entry from before this blog was started. It was originally published on rocr.net

Finntroll: Jaktens Tid

The doughty warriors of Finntroll. Wouldn't you like to know the number of their interior decorator?
Finntroll make a pretty good metal noise. Their singer sounds like he has gargled sulphur dioxide and is very angry about it. The drums are at times like a carpet bombing, and the guitar alternates between furious rhythms and deep droning chords over a menacing keyboard backing. You’ve heard all that before, of course, but you probably haven’t heard the accordion, banjo and Sami joik-singing that make Finntroll more than just a good metal group. Their album Jaktens Tid has livened up my drawing sessions lately – it’s at the same time hilariously over the top and really very good musically. The songs, in Swedish, are mostly about fantasy subjects, particullarly trolls. Their rhythm guitarist is quite an accomplished fantasy artist, so you get some evil-looking monochrome paintings in the booklet. And don’t they look natty in their furs?

This is a backdated entry from before this blog was started. It was originally posted on rocr.net

Gjallarhorn :


Gjallarhorn: Sjofn album cover
Gjallarhorn
are a Finnish World Music group whose second record, Sjofn, I’ve been playing non-stop for over a week. Like Hedningarna, they keep a nice Shamanistic pulse going over which to sing and play those odd Finnish harmonies. They are a little more New Age oriented than Hedningarna, but in a good way: they create a soothing atmosphere which at any time
can start getting under your skin, usually just before it is interrupted by a Banshee shriek or a subtle but menacing mood change. (Gjallarhorn have a website, but it’s not very good so I’ve made the link go to Amazon.com’s information page about the album. )

This is a backdated entry from before I started this blog. It was originally posted on rocr.net.