Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is It Just Me? Or Is It Nuts Out There? by Whoopi Goldberg

Hyperion Books (October, 2010)

Whoopi Goldberg had a lead role in some of the best comedies of the 80s and the early 90s, so when I came across her book Is It Just Me? Or Is It Nuts Out There? I immediately decided to get a copy.

This is a book of observations about the lack of respect that you can witness every day, with some humor added. She basically wrote a guidebook on what is acceptable behaviour and what is not at a lot of different places. The list includes for expl. cinemas, theatres, buses, trains, airports, airplanes, hotels, restaurants and workplaces.
The book is a bit didactic, sometimes overly didactic, but at times it is also a bit like watching stand up comedy. She is talking mainly about the US, but most of the thoughtless behaviours that she mentions are a part of everyday life at other parts of the world, too.

She notices that sometimes people just simply do not think that their behaviour can be irritating to others, even though there are many who simply do not care if they become a nuisance or not.
She also suggests giving the book as a present to your inconsiderate friends and family members.
We can all agree that for expl it's better to look at the people you are talking to than looking at your blackberry, but sometimes people need a reminder or two, so this can really be a good a advice and it is also good for the sales.

'Is It Just Me? Or Is It Nuts Out There?' is recommended for both the funny and sad examples that the author collected and also because of her style.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Transformation by Rab Fulton

Title: Transformation
Author: Rab Swannock Fulton
Genre(s) / Subgenre(s): speculative fiction / a love/ghost story

Here is what I wrote when I first reviewed Rab Fulton's book, Transformation, back in 2006.

"When I started to read Transformation, I only knew that it's a ghost story. I did not know what to expect, as there are so many types of ghost stories. Later, I realized this story is very different from those I've read before.
The main character is a young man called Donnacha who moves to Galway after leaving school, and starts to work as a dishwasher. Transformation by Scottish writer Rab Swannock Fulton is the story of a young man's coming of age, getting to know love and perfection then gradually realizing his life is turning into a nightmare.
The story is set in today's Ireland, which is still not entirely different from the Ireland of the legends, the one with beautiful landscapes, and where one can bump into a ghost any time. The story is well-written and the characters are easy to identify with.
Transformation starts as a tale of romance and hope and turns into a tale of grief and monstrosity. Poetic, mysterious and moving."

At that time Transformation only existed as a web novel, published by the Arts Office of the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI, G). Since then Rab Fulton has gained a significant readership, partly due to his serialized young adult fantasy novel, the awards he was given, and also due to his popular story telling performances.
This year the novel Transformation also appeared in paperback, so it was high time for me to post this review again.

About the novel
Rab Fulton on Myspace