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Book 17

  1. Meredith, Martin — The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence (736 pages)
  2. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o — Wizard of the Crow (766 pages)
  3. Coetzee, J.M. — Life & Times of Michael K (182 pages)
  4. Saint-Exupery, Antoine de — The Little Prince (101 pages)
  5. Brunner, John — Stand on Zanzibar (661 pages)
  6. Dahl, Roald — Fantastic Mr Fox (79 pages)
  7. Walker, Barbara — TEENY-TINY and the Witch-Woman (29 pages)
  8. Shakespeare, William — A Midsummer Night's Dream (23 pages)
  9. Powers, Richard — The Time of Our Singing (631 pages)
  10. McEwan, Ian — In Between the Sheets (134 pages)
  11. Ishiguro, Kazuo — A Pale View of Hills (182 pages)
  12. Niven, Larry — Ringworld (284 pages)
  13. Anderson, Poul — Tau Zero (184 pages)
  14. Eisenberg, Bryan & Jeffrey, with Lisa T. Davis — Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results (273 pages)
  15. Andrews, Stephen E. and Nick Rennison — 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels (205 pages)
  16. Andrews, Stephen E. and Nick Rennison — 100 Must-Read Fantasy Novels (197 pages)
  17. Niles, Steve and Ben Templesmith — 30 Days of Night (103 pages)

Page count: 4770.

I've been wanting to watch the movie version of 30 Days of Night ever since I hung out with Josh Hartnett a couple years back. And, as always, I wanted to read the source material first. And, with Halloween approaching….

Now, I'm currently reading 11 other books. (The number was 10 yesterday.) I told myself last night not to begin any new books until I'd finished at least one. Yet within hours I dipped into a short book and then tonight decided I didn't want to wait any longer to begin my Halloween reading.

I suspected this graphic novel would be horrible. It seemed even the positive reviews on Amazon expressed reservations. But it was cheap and I wanted to get the movie off my hard drive, so I read it. And it was exactly what I suspected. Or worse.

The story was ludicrous. No plot continuity. No character development. It read as if Niles had a good idea on which to base his premise, then handed it over to a 5-year old to complete (one no where near as talented as the 5-year old responsible for Axe Cop).

The artwork began in a promising vein, very atmospheric and evocative. But after a few pages it began to seem amateurish and poorly drawn. It did not enhance the story in any way; indeed, I often couldn't tell what was going on or who was speaking. And it seemed to change styles — at one point I thought an old-fashioned Batman fight had broken out, the next I wondered if the panel staring back at me was supposed to be a cheap Francis Bacon imitation.

It was no surprise, then, that the movie was far better than the comic. The movie takes the same basic premise but fleshes the characters and scenario out to create interest. It wasn't a great movie, but it was mostly entertaining, and the relationships between the townspeople and amongst the vampires were far more compelling.

There are several sequels to the 30 Days of Night comic. Needless to say, I won't be bothering.

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