Perfect Holiday Reads for the Jetsetting Geek |Pugs and Dinosaurs

If you’re jetting off somewhere nice and sunny this year (please take me with you) or just heading to one of our great British coastal towns for your holidays (I feel your pain) then here is a quick sum up of some great books you should take a look at while topping up the tan or hiding in the shade:

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

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Let the Right One In is a book that has stayed with me, ever since I read it whilst at University. I was searching for material for my dissertation on the vampire as a representation of societal fears and Lindqvist’s novel is packed with disturbing and horrifying representations of people.

It is actually a Swedish book and its Swedish film adaptation is one of the best adaptations of a novel I have ever seen. I went to the cinema to see it when it first came out and thought just how perfectly it captured the characters Oskar and Eli and their internal struggles. I haven’t seen the American version and I don’t really want to.

Let the Right One in is essentially a story about a young boy who is bullied who befriends a vampire. Throughout the novel we follow several characters perspectives, from Eli’s pedophile guardian who kills for her to Virginia who is struggling through life until she is turned into a ‘vampire’.

The book deals with a lot of difficult and disturbing themes but Lindqvist has a special art for storytelling and you feel pity for each one of his characters in some way or form. It’s an excellent read for those who love the vampire genre – I must have read it four or five times now and will more than likely return to it again.

World War Z by Max Brooks 

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I remember the first time I read this book and thinking ‘this could have actually happened, I am completely convinced that this could have occured’ and that just proves how brilliant Brooks is. He is fantastic at capturing the different voices behind each character and has done extensive research into countries, military jargon and medical theories.
It’s the perfect novel for someone who likes fiction but doesn’t want to busy themselves wrapping their heads round fantasy worlds and instead wants to read something that could be true. If that makes sense.
Oh and if you aren’t much of a reader then don’t think you can watch the film to get the story. It’s a loosely based adaptation on the book, taking the concept of the zombie infection and what could happen. Plus the zombies in the book are more comparable to The Walking Dead types, whereas the film portrays them to be the terrifying fast moving undead from movies such as 28 Days Later (which yes I know is a rage virus, not technically zombies).

I am Legend by Richard Matheson 

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I get really frustrated every time I pick this edition of the book up because the film is so loosely based on Matheson’s novel I find it insulting to the book itself. In a way I kind of understand why Will Smith was given the part, because the original novel served as a way of commentating on segregation in the 1940s and 50s (it was published in 1954) – at least that’s what I concluded when I used the book as a basis for my dissertation regarding vampire fiction – yes, the creatures in the film are VAMPIRES.
I am Legend follows the story of Robert Neville, who is most definitely not a scientist, about his daily struggle living locked up in his home trying to ward the newly turned population of vampires away and his spiral into alcoholism and depression through lack of human contact.
It’s an incredible story and includes all the classic vampire imagery including garlic and mirrors to ward off the monsters as well as driving wooden stakes through their hearts to kill them. It’s one of my absolute favourite novellas and takes a close look at our basic need for human comfort.

The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King 

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This is my absolute favourite Stephen King novel and one of his lesser known ones.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon follows the story of Trisha McFarland who on a walking trip with her Mum and brother steps of the trail to go to the toilet and ends up getting very lost in the forest. The story is a brilliant survival tale and King captures the thoughts of an 11 year old girl perfectly. I think I was 13 when I first read the book and fell in love immediately with her character.

Of course, being a Stephen King novel, on top of Trisha’s fight for survival in the remote woods and her hallucinations that her favourite baseball player Tom Gordon is helping her along there is something supernatural following her every step. When she realises she is not alone the story takes another turn to become a Stephen King classic.

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Finally I think if you haven’t got any graphic novels lined up for the summer then you should look into the Harley Quinn series. I am a little in love with Terry Dodson’s illustrations and adore his Poison Ivy.

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What books have you got lined up for summer? Will any of these make the list?

Jade

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