May 1 - May 10, 2013
The Other Boleyn Girl
King Henry VIII had an eye for beautiful young women who came to his court; for a time none enchanted him more so than the Boleyn sisters, Mary and Anne. While steeped in privilege and favor, the position of King's Mistress was also fraught with danger, and their places would become more tenuous than anyone could have imagined...
I had been working in the book industry (slangin' used tomes to the bibliophiles, holmes!) when the buzz for The Other Boleyn Girl rose from a polite murmur to an incessant roar . Yet I wholeheartedly resisted because A) I LIKE BLOOOOOOOD
(And by that I mean horror novels).
And B) Because I thought it was be as stuffy as a pair of hard-boiled eggs in a tube sock*.
But with fine-ass Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman beckoning me with their lusty gazes, I couldn't resist any longer (not unlike King Henry VIII, I imagine). And hey, if the Boleyn sisters were as hot as that particular duo, I would have most definitely banged the two of them as well. Also, at the same time. Because I'd be the King, and I could pretty much do whatever I wanted. Now bring me my ranch dressing hose!
The Other Boleyn Girl turned out to be surprisingly epic (though to be fair I will again mention my predisposition that historical novels were stuffy and boring). It was written well enough that not only was it super easy to read, but it was also really well paced, seeing as how it covered the course of 15-some-odd years. The characters were likable and properly fleshed out, as opposed to being dry-ass caricatures of lifeless ancient dead people (I'm talking to you, Social Studies 10 textbook). But the part that blew my mind was that while it was most definitely historical, it was so far from stuffy and boring that it had:
ACCUSATIONS OF INCEST!
A SECRET HOMO SEX RING!
MULTIPLE MISTRESSES (all of whom were forced into each others' company all the damn time)! Basically, imagine America's Next Top Model but with way better manners.
Seriously though, why weren't history books written like this? I would have been far more inclined to attend Social Studies class if it had been as salacious as this. A portage across the Canadian wilderness? More like portage your turgid member into my silky cleft while you explore the wilderness of my aching womanhood!
It was fascinating to experience how these people lived; the decadence, the unspoken rules, the adoration, the need for constant calculation for every move, how nothing could be done without first considering how it played out to your family's advancement. And the witticisms! Oh, the witticisms! Being the ruler of the court had to be incredible, what with people constantly amusing you, bowing and flattering, and your pick of fine-ass maidens. Unfortunately, being a subject of the court was probably the most exhausting position out there. Not only did you constantly have to be ON to keep the King's favor, but I couldn't even imagine having to do everything I was told, whether I agreed with it or not. I'm am absolutely with Mary Boleyn on that one: Fuck 'yo rules, Imma do me. Though I'm sure she'd probably say it in a far classier way. Probably in Latin.
I liked how the author hinted at all these terrible (and unprovable) scenarios, but didn't come out and unequivocally say they happened. I love salacious gossip as much as the next guy, but misinformation can eat a dick. Especially because I'm prone to repeating things I learn in books if I think they're true. I don't want to look like a complete asshat because someone wanted an extra week on the Bestseller List. Simply put, I can't sound like a moron when I'm trying to impress my friends with history. Not that they're ever that impressed anyways, but still...
So to sum it up, The Other Boleyn Girl was readable, dirty, and equally enchanting for being so foreign and yet so real. Pick it up, read it, and don't even feel guilty, because it's not technically cheesy pulp Historical Romance. It's Historical Fiction.
*Bonus points if you get that reference.
Mar 4 - Mar 23, 2013
In the seemingly benign town of Chapel Harbor, an ancient evil broods - waiting for the right moment to initiate a destruction so complete that the entire town is in danger of obliteration, and the only ones who can stop it have no clue as to the parts they'll play in the final battle...
Infernal Machines was a really REALLY well-written book; there were numerous notable elements, and I couldn't help but greedily devour it every damn time I picked it up.
Unfortunately, my kobo was pulling a Lindsay:
(As in, it quit working and starting acting like an complete asshole) which meant that I was getting a whole half hour of perusing before I had to plug it in for a 12-hour charge. So it took me AGES to finish this book. It got to the point where I wasn't sure if I was more pissed off at my e-reader when it went moron on me, or more excited to read when it worked. I'd like to go with excited, because Infernal Machines was that badass. There were two things about this book that really caught my eye. The first was that the protagonists were youth (yet it most definitely wasn't a YA read) and it was still written in an intelligent, adult manner - no pandering here! And Millar certainly didn't shy away from adult situations, even though his characters were kids. Basically, he treated them like people, instead of like delicate flowers. It actually really reminded me of The Thief of Always by Clive Barker (which I love so much I'd write mash notes to it) because it also had a young person at the forefront, but didn't shy away from all the horrors of the world
by hiding behind childish writing and "safe" or "appropriate" situations. By treating the characters like halfway cognizant creatures, the author does us the same service. I totally dig it. The other thing that really grabbed me was the atmosphere. Christ on a bike, was I EVER creeped out. From the moment I picked it up to the moment I put it down, Infernal Machines gave me a terminal case of the heebie jeebies. Almost as if by magic (possibly Cardiff's brand) Millar would turn an everyday, normal situation:
Into the stuff that nightmares are made of. Magic tricks in a bar? Awful. A grad party? Tragic. How about a train ride? You might as well just kill yourself now, or at least gouge your damn eyes out. So for a horror junkie like me, this was absolutely delightful. You know, when I wasn't shivering in terror under my sheets like a frightened child with a boogeyman under the bed. Ugh. The characters were spot on and terrifically done. Really human (well, most of them were human...) and relatable. Hell, some were even lovable. Dammit, I cared. And to drive my previous point home, Stoner (and can I just mention how much I love the fact that there's a character named Stoner?!) Paulie, and Dee were teenagers, but they were also allowed to act like real goddamn people, not an approximation of what an author THINKS a teenager should be. A book with youth protagonists but written for intelligent adults. Brilliant, and as rare as celebrities covering their vaginas from 2006 - 2010 (God, those were some good times, though). And don't even get me started on the adults. The bad guy was so intriguing that
he was hardly detestable, and the good guys all had some skeleton or other in their closet. No one in real life is at the is at the opposite ends of the spectrum of good and evil; instead they fall somewhere in between. An author who can reflect that will inspire all kinds of complicated and intense feelings in their reader (not unlike puberty). And I can't help but love a book that gives me complicated and intense feelings. Not people, though. I can't just break their spines and hide them
under a bed when they agitate me. One of the many reasons I prefer books. Infernal Machines was so SO well done. And although I found myself confused at times, I'm chalking that up to my sporadic reading *cough shitty kobo cough* rather than attributing it to the writing. Bravo. Definitely worth a read. And a reread, no doubt. And all the subsequent night terrors.
Those too. Best of all, y'all now get a chance to enjoy those night terrors with me! Just click HERE for a chance to win your very own autographed copy of Infernal Machines, written by the ridiculously talented (and hunky!) Will Millar.
Jan 19 - Jan 24, 2013 Mockingjay Suzanne Collins YA Published September 2010 286 pages 10/10 The Districts have finally been roused into rebellion and the Capitol no longer holds the firm grasp it one had on its citizens. An insurgence is stirring, and one must yield the power
to lead it, or all will be lost... The whole time I was reading this book, I found myself alternating between steadfastly swearing to myself that my unborn, unplanned, unlikely children would read this (unless they wanted to be disowned and left in front of a church in a basket and never mind that they'd be old enough to identify me in a police lineup), and marveling that this is technically a YA book and that they got away with marketing this to young, impressionable people. Maybe I'm reading too deeply into The Hunger Games, but I take this series deadly serious. Not only because I'm certain that this general depressing premise is where society is headed (check out THRIVE or any conspiracy theory website
- hell, listen to popular music - and you'll at least see that the wealthy are collecting more power and the rest of society is pretty dependent on them) but also because someone will eventually need to overthrow whichever Scrooge McDuck is in charge.
I can only hope they're a noble bastard like our protagonist, and not someone worse. Le sigh.
Speaking of our protagonist, can I just say:
VAGUE SPOILERS AHEAD?!
That was for anyone living under a rock who didn't know Katniss survived to the third book, and she had a love triangle to deal with. Sheesh.
Anyways, Katniss was IN-CRED-DUH-BULL. Not only was she incredibly human, but also strong, courageous and... Christ. I have a girl crush on a 17-year-old fictional YA character. Well, at least it's for noble reasons, and not just because I assume she has a high, tight ass. Ahem. But the part I liked most about her was that she was faced with trying to choose between two real sexy catches who adore her, but SHE STRAIGHT UP HAD MORE IMPORTANT SHIT TO DEAL WITH. In fact, she even states:
"The very notion that I'm devoting any thought to who I want presented as my lover, given out current circumstances, is demeaning."
You tell 'em, honey. I think that the romance was there enough to make an emotional impact, but was shuffled to the side (and rightfully so) for more important shit that was happening. Fuck boy trouble when you've got a government to overthrow. Not that she was heartless; she had feelings and mental breakdowns and kissed people, but she also did a bunch of badass shit and killed people, too. I vote Katniss as my favorite character in pretty much forever. And also as my next Prime Minister. I don't know if you guys know this, but our current Prime Minister has the dead, soulless eyes of a crackhead:
I think the reason I like her so much is that in today's society, there's not a lot of popular culture female role models that might have a positive effect on the youngins. I don't really give a shit if teenagers want to let their boyfriends watch them sleep (*cough Bella Swan cough*) or newly minted adults want to make sex-tapes (*cough Paris Hilton/Kim Kardashian/Everyone else in Hollywood cough*) because neither of those things effect me and I LIKE sex tapes. But I do care if a bunch of future world leaders learn to stand up for what they believe in and can tell the difference between a poisonous plant and handy-cam pointed at their va-jay-jays. Books like this can change things.
Obviously, an author who can render a protagonist that well isn't going to shovel face the rest of her book. The supporting characters (God, I feel kind of awful calling them that; they're practically corporal at this point...) were flawlessly executed (some literally as opposed to just figuratively). And the storyline... Well, as I said, this last book didn't read as YA. Some pretty goddamn mature situations took place, and there was a lot of shit that went down that I actually had a hard time dealing with. But in a good way, because it definitely got me thinking. Mostly about how horrifying our world is bound to become - it's either The Hunger Games or this:
But thinking about what we want the world to become (or not become) is a step in the right direction. As opposed to One Direction. Double Ugh.
Some people will read this series and be inspired, as opposed to frightened and depressed (like yours truly). Hell, it's got people reading, which is the best step so far.
Collins can spin a yarn, man, and she does it with skill. There's a simple statement made towards the end of the book:
"The city forms an almost perfect square."
See, I like to rephrase things when I'm reading a book to see if I can make it sound better. This sentence, I could not rejigger. "A rough square" wouldn't have been fitting to describe the Capitol, because of how desperate they were to present perfection, and how close they came to achieving a flawless facade. Rough was lamesauce. So were the other adjectives I tried, as they sounded too weak or haphazard. "Almost perfect" was... well, perfect, because it described the constant struggle to maintain power and a veneer of perfection in some form or another; therefore, "almost perfect". Shit like that catches my eye. Grade 12 English and all your wonderful insights, how you aid me on my path to enlightenment to this very day! Also, I can read whatever I want into my goddamn books, because the other thing I leaned in Grade 12 English is that only the opinions of the person in charge matter, and everyone else and their insights can eat a hot bowl of dicks.
So yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and say this series was the shit. I'm kind of in love with/wish I could be best friends with/want to be just like Katniss Everdeen. Also possibly have an orgy with her and her bevy of male companions. Because I'm sick like that.
After reading The Hunger Games series, I'm glad I'll be old and dead when the real future happens. Now if you'll step aside, I'm going to cry myself to sleep now that my books are done.
Seriously, I think I need time to mourn.
And possibly therapy.
Jan 11 - Jan 16, 2013
The Hunger Games
In the not-too-distant future, the known world is a new and terrifying place. The wealthy and poor have been divided into twelve districts, and the Capitol rules them all with a silk glove thinly veiling an iron fist. Every year, two children are chosen from each district to fight one another to the death, so the winner can be crowned champion of The Hunger Games; they win security and safety for themselves and their loved ones, food for their district, and maybe a chance at a better life. But the real winner is President Snow, who uses these games to show the world that HE controls their very fates, down to the last child...
I tried to resist. I did. I'm not about hopping on the Popular Book Bandwagon (I'm giving you the shifty side-eye, Heather) just because it's got a big purple sticker on the front:
Or because Oprah sang its praises:
But you know what? I actually LIKED the last Oprah book I read. And with that in mind, I finally decided to read The Hunger Games.
JESUS CHRIST this was a good book! Action, action everywhere! Shit happening all the goddamn time, and explosions, and PEW PEW PEW and spear hurling and death and starving and possibly WEREWOLVES! Shit, son. It just got real.
I hardly even had time to throw shade at our protagonist Katniss for her stupidity regarding the manlier sex (not that men are necessarily manlier in all instances) because there was so damn much going on. Hell, I could almost understand her confusion, because who the hell has time to think about boys when you're trying to shoot an arrow through another person's throat? And while Peeta, her pretend-but-maybe-for-real love interest, was kind of a wiener, it was pretty refreshing to have the chick save the day, so I'll let it pass.
I'd like to mention that the author also didn't talk down to her audience. I notice that shit. She did a fine job writing for a youth demographic without treating the lot of them like a bunch simpering, mouth-breathing, slack-jawed morons. In fact, I can honestly say that I'll make this series required reading for my kids. You know, that way they can acquire an interest in survival for when I leave them in the woods because they won't stop eating my gingerbread house. Or something to that effect.
So I read it. I enjoyed it. I groaned in anticipation when I finished the very last line. And now I'm going to read the next one.
Peace out, bitches!
It's come to my attention that I haven't posted a book review in possibly forever. Or at least, it kind of feels like forever. Not only that, but I've been reading the same book for damn near three weeks now. Not because it sucks; it's actually awesome. But the Holiday Season is upon us, and I've been doing a whole lotta THIS lately:
Yes, this is an 80's glam-rock party. And yes, a penguin costume constitutes as 80's glam-rock.
Welcome to the gun show! I'll admit, I'm an affectionate drunk. Especially towards myself.
I also like to do tricks like a seal when I drink. I'm available for parties!
Hitching a ride to the bar has never been more awesome!
You know I'm drunk when I'm willing to put my fingers in my mouth at the bar. These hands touch a lot of nasty door-latches and bartops in my inebriated travels. Also, a lot of boobs.
My moustache makes me feel very distinguished. And my Palm Bay makes me feel very drunk.
Another night at the bar, and another night surrounded by a bevy of beautiful ladies.
Did I mention I met Xzibit? Did I also mention that I was hungover as shit?
I'm a trooper though; I just drank more booze and put on some makeup.
I'm pretty sure at this point that they just started giving me cranberry juice sans the alcohol - or I'd had so much to drink by this point I couldn't even taste it.
Did I mention that I did a calender shoot for West Coast Gifts? And yes, those bongs are actually taller than I am.
Wandering around in a bikini in December is kind of ridiculous - especially when you're outside on occasion.
This fake show totally got in my eye and I think I may still be partially blind - but the pain translates well enough. Are those tears of happiness or anguish? Only my hairdresser knows for sure!
I'm also on the company Christmas card - in a onesie.
This is just something I do in my off time - wearing buttons, I mean.
This is what I've been eating for every goddamn meal.
This is what I've been doing all day at Hempyz - AKA the place that pays me like I go to work but instead get to have fun all day. It's rough I tell ya, but somebody has to do it.
And finally, my soundtrack for the Holiday season. Richard Cheese, you're my hero.
So as you can see, my life is mildly ridiculous this time of year. But I promise I'll do my best to get some leisurely reading and website time in between drinks and boobies.
Nov 8 - Nov 21, 2012
Benjamin Kane Ethridge
Published Oct 30, 2012
A nameless woman awakes to find herself in an unfamiliar room with a body she doesn't recognize. She's starved and isolated, but for the molestation she suffers from her sadistic nurse, Maggie. Our protagonist must somehow escape her torturous existence and discover who she truly is... but does she really want to...?
Sometimes, you pick up a book and have no idea what you're about to get dummied with. You flip a page and start reading, and the next thing you know it's 1AM you're going on another night of no sleep because you HAVE to find out what's going to happen next. Dungeon Brain is one of those books.
It has such a weird premise, and the weirdness runs the entire story. It doesn't just peter out into an orgy of senseless sex and gore (not that I don't appreciate that, sometimes) or spiral into the abyss know as "Unrealistic Character Action Development". It starts off with a woman trapped in an institution with a head full of deviates and sickos. Her caregiver is a psychopath obsessed with haircuts and touching people in places their bathing suit covers.
Oh, and did I forget to mention a little something called ALIENS?!
Yeah. shit just got REAL.
And that's just the beginning. Literally, all that happens only about a third of the way through the book. After that, all kinds of crazy shit goes down, and at no time could I expect what might come out of the blue next. Not that the situations were so outlandish that nothing made sense (duh, aliens obviously have to exist) but it was more so that I'd never read anything similar, so I couldn't know where things were headed.
Another standout point of the book was our protagonist (whose identity I'll leave you to discover, rabid readers). She goes through a remarkable change of countenance; from drug-addled victimized wreck to... well, if I tried to describe what she becomes, it would seem crazy unless you actually read the book yourself. And that's where her beauty lies: her transformation is so organic and realistic that she comes across as a rare genuine heroine. She's not perfect; in fact she's decidedly flawed. She allows thing to happen that no other protagonist would (well, no other writer would, anyways) and yet maintains the reader's affection. Hell, is easier to love her, because she does things we would do, as opposed to your average hero. But with all that, she not written in such a way that she appears weak, and I really appreciate the author didn't turn her into some blubbering wiener or glorified sex toy (not that I don't like that either) because there are so few strong female characters that I like one every so often to make me feel more badass.
Seriously though, she's one of my favorite characters in forrrreeeeeever.
And can I mention that the writing was superb? Not one thing out of place, no editing issues (at least none glaring enough that I consciously thought about them) and some pretty beautiful sentences peppered here and there. It was terrifically readable, and just picked up more and more steam with every page I turned. Now THAT'S writing. I also appreciate the fact that the sci-fi stuff was very slowly introduced and I could enjoy it all without either being overwhelmed by techno gibberish or feeling completely incredulous of the situation. Ease me in, go gentle, and let me get used to it, said Kat only once in her life during one book review ever.
I wish I could get more into it and tell you all my favorite parts; however, I'd be giving too much away and would spoil some of the fun of the read. Lord know I want to punch a motherfucker in the teeth when they give away key plot point too early on. It just gives me something to be antsy about getting to. So I won't do that here. Instead, you can go out, get the book, read the shit out of it, and then we can chat about it. So, yeah... don'r you have a novel you should be purchasing?
July 30 - Aug 4, 2012 The Cabin in the Woods Tim Lebbon Horror/Movie Tie-In Published April 2012 297 pages 10/10 It's the classic horror movie set up - a group of sexy young adults take a trip to a spooky remote locale for some unsupervised debauchery. We all know what happens next. But in this case, what actually occurs is so far outside anyone's imagining, that NO ONE could have seen it coming... Can I just tell you? I was riveted. RIVETED. I started reading, was lulled into a false sense of detached skepticism ("THIS is supposed to be the horror experience to turn all the ones before it on their ears? This is just like any other horror setup! Mysterious plot lines, incredibly sexy but otherwise average Joes going somewhere totally inappropriate, casual sex... Oooh, sex.") But then I got hit by the runaway Weird Train at the What The Fuck Is Happening crossing in the center of Jesus Christ This Is Bizarreville. Not only was I enchanted, but I was also STOKED. I was weird! I want strange! I want different! I want this: "A unicorn gored a scientist against a well, its horn probing through his stomach and chest, grinding, tearing, and his spurting blood painted its gorgeous flowing mane red." I tell you, I don't see this in your average horror novel. Though I will say that I can definitely see similarities between this plot and The Midnight Meat Train by Clive Barker (read my review HERE)
and dashes of Bentley Little in the writing style - strange, dry humor, and viscous gore. If Barker and Little got together and made sweet sweet love at a fetish club in an abattoir during comedy hour, Tim Lebbon would be their freaky fuck trophy.
The writing was fast paced and kept similar time to a horror movie plot. Which makes sense, because the book is based on a horror movie. It was all laid out quite well, and I found it utterly delightful to find telling signs of the author's UK heritage. I can peg one of those Limey bastards from just a handful of pages.
Now, I can't really heap credit on the author for how unique this book is (seeing as how it's a movie novelization and all) but I can applaud him for taking what he was given and doing it a great service. It's not terrifically often that I find a book where the characters are likable and believable.
And you know who I loved most? Besides all the awesome monsters? Marty. That's right, the stoner. Are you surprised, though? I mean, the things that guy could do with a bong made me weak in the knees. And while he was definitely a stereotype, he was definitely given a treat treatment. Now THAT'S a fictional character I'd marry! Or screw. Whatever.
And finally, I just have to say that the ending was FANTASTIC. Seriously great.
Anyone who likes horror should read this, unless they've ruined it for themselves by watching the film first. To those people I say, Fuck you, cinephiles! Bibliophiles is where it's at!
July 7, 2012
Fuckin' Lie Down Already
Clay's had a rough go of it - his family is dead, he's leaking integral bodily fluids, and his car stinks. But with all that against him, he's still a man on a mission, and won't stop until his job is done...
You know when you happen to glance at the first page of a book and you just can't stop reading because it's too fucking epic?
Yeah, that happened with Fuckin' Lie Down Already.
I honestly haven't read anything so gory in ages - and good gory, too. Not the shitty thrown-in-for-an-extra-$200-on-the-cheque gory. You know what I mean. MEANINGFUL gory. This read was a rare and glorious treasure: a beautifully written Gore-O-Rama. Non-stop action, great storyline, and a protagonist you could really truly love, even though he's fucking mental. Hell, I love him because he's mental. Clay should Fuckin' Lie Down Already... in my pants!
Truth? I actually just watched Magic Mike before I read and reviewed this, so the mixture of sexual man-cake and disgustingly awesome horror is making me confused in the pants.
Summation? Read Fuckin' Lie Down Already. Then change your panties.
July 6, 2012
Jesus the Mexican Vampire Hunter
Normally I'd give you a little blurb on the gist of this story (or Vampire Short, if you want to be precise... which I always do) but honestly, the title really says it all. There's honestly no way I could try to describe it any better than that without being redundant. Have I ever mentioned how much I like books like that? Straight forward, to the point... and boy, did I EVER have some creepers over my shoulder at the bus station when THIS title page came up on my KOBO!
Martin Lastrapes has got serious chops. From the title selection to the cover design (we can thank his bro for that, actually) to his mad writing skills and great characters - the man can really put a piece together like nobody's business. The main draw for this story, for me anyways, was Jesus; he seems noble (Vampire hunting is pretty risky, so I gather) yet flawed ('roids definitely aren't on the upstanding citizen's breakfast menu) but he's 100% badass. I liked the fact that the glimpse into his early life made him a little more human; for all his hardcore attributes, he still maintained a lovable quality. I mean, lovable for me. But my version of lovable and your version may differ a little. You probably love Cute Overload - I love Vampire Hunters with drug habits. I definitely want to read more about him; I find Jesus the most fascinating out of all the different
characters I've discovered in Lastrapes' Vampire Shorts. Wait, I just read that last part and lost my shit a little bit. Can I just say that one more time, please? Ahem. "I find Jesus the most fascinating out of all the different characters I've discovered in Lastrapes' Vampire Shorts." Christ. If you can find Jesus in a man's shorts, you're doing well. Anyways, back to the subject at hand. The writing, as always, was superb. So much so that I seem to find myself drifting off into this epic world of luchadores and Vampires
and when it all ends so suddenly, well... I feel a little downright pissy. This teasing has got to end soon, Martin; I'm getting a case of literary blue-balls.
June 28, 2012
Rusty doesn't want to be like his father; he works too much, treats his wife like garbage, and treats Rusty even worse. But now there's an even better reason for Rusty to try not to end up like his father, and he's about to find out why...
I'd life to start off by thanking the Flying Spaghetti Monster for nudging Martin Lastrapes into writing in my favorite genre.
I feel the same way about Lastrapes as I do Stephen King (who happens to be my #1 favorite author and recipient of my reading-related Lady Boner) which is basically this: any writer who is mega talented and creative AND writes the nasty stuff will have my full undivided support. And the comparisons don't end there. I honestly believe that Lastrapes could be the next Stephen King. No lie.
His way with words is so damn engrossing you forget where you are and just plunge into the story... which makes for a raucous upset when it's actually over.
Lastrapes also has a knack (like King) for finding horror in everyday situations - turning over commonplace occurrences and finding the nastiness underneath. So I suppose you can see why new reading material is kind of an event here.
I liked Footsteps - first, because it surprised me (he didn't go for the obvious twist, instead throwing us something completely out of left field). Second, because I LOVED the protagonist. Not in the weird "I'm going to marry the Eiffel Tower" kind of way:
But more like "Damn, that's a well done character" kind of way. Rusty was seemingly normal, but just a little (or maybe a lot, depending on your judgement) fuckin' odd. Which is not only endearing (I like 'em a little fucked up) but also realistic; we're all a little mad here.
I think the real draw of Footsteps though (and Lastrapes' work in general) is the skill in which small details are rendered, making a finely drawn snippet of life... albeit the darker side of life.
Read Footsteps. Read Inside the Outside. Hell, track down Lastrapes' grocery lists if you can find them - he's THAT good.