Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Two Books: Pride and Destruction

After taking the weekend off I need to catch up on my reviews, so I will be doing two books today, on that I liked very much and one not so much...

Pride of Baghdad by Brian Vaughn was released in paperback this month, and if you have not yet read this graphic novel you should. Set in Baghdad during the gulf war, this book follows a family of lions that are set free during the American bombing of the city.

Ths story is told from the point of view of the lions, and part of what makes the book so great is that the author can convey what the lions understand about events while using our knowledge of the war's events to convey a real sense of suspense that the lions do not have. We know how the story will progress, at least from the human events side of things, and this knowledge gives additional poignancy to the decisions that the lions make. The story is compelling and the art is visually interesting, bringing you into the middle of a place where no one, neither human not lion, really wants to be.

Since the story takes place in the middle of a war, it is not suitable for young children. But the storyis well told and thought provoking.

The second book is "How to Self-Destruct, making the least of what's left of your career and what to do if you fail at failing" by Jason Seidon. This book is one of the many pre-production books that we see at the store, and I had high hopes for a humerous look at both the business and self-help genres.

The problem with this book is that it cannot decide if it wants to be a funny look at business books or a serious look at how to break out of your destructive habits and become sucessful in life and business. And by trying to do both, it does neither as well as it could.

It is not a bad book. I found myself both laughing in places and also nodding in agreement in the parts where Seidon tells you how to deal with life if you just are no good at failing. But I would have liked a book that was either funny or serious, not a mish mash of both. I think that Seidon would have written either/both of the books that I wanted to read, instead he wrote this one.



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