Sunday, 2 February 2014

Reading Round-up :: January

If you can't laugh when things go bad -- laugh and put on a little carnival -- then you're either dead or wishing you were.
~ Stephen King 'Under the Dome'

My first book of 2014 was 'Under the Dome' by Stephen King. I've been wanting to read this for so long but I was putting it off because of my Stephen King -a-thon project (I was planning to read all of his books in the order they were written). I made the decision to still read all of his books but in any order I wished and so decided to start the year with a hefty tome. 880 pages was a little daunting but I really wanted to read the book that inspired the TV show.

If any of you have read this book and also watched the television adaptation, then you'll know what I mean when I say that the show was quite a departure from the book. Characters who are alive in the show, die in the book. Characters trapped outside the dome in the show are trapped inside the dome in the book. And there are some characters from the show that simply don't exist in the book.

I found the world of the Dome presented in the novel more fascinating than the TV show and didn't want to stop reading. But I'll admit that the ending didn't satisfy me as much as I hoped it would. It just seemed a little simplistic, as though there could have been a better explanation for the appearance of the Dome. I'm interested to see how the Dome is explained in the tv series. Already, I think the writers might be heading for a slightly different explanation.

Ultimately, I enjoyed this book but I didn't think it was Stephen King's best work. Still, it kept me engrossed for nearly 900 pages and left me loving some of the characters. I give this a 4/5.

I mean, maybe I am crazy. I mean, maybe. But if this is all there is, then I don't want to be sane.
~ Neil Gaiman, 'Neverwhere'

My second read of the year was 'Neverwhere' by Neil Gaiman. My best friend Stacey bought me this book for Christmas and I was really excited to read it. I definitely wasn't disappointed. The book follows Richard, an everyday office worker living in London, plodding along in a stagnant relationship with his pain-in-the-arse girlfriend Jessica. With the appearance of a strange girl lying bleeding in the street, Richard is sucked into the strange world of London Below. This is a fantastically quirky, twisted version of the London we know, complete with real Black Friars, an actual Earl's Court appearing in an unlit Underground train carriage and a Nightsbridge you really don't want to cross.

This book has become a new firm favourite. It's just so imaginative and creative and as always with Neil Gaiman, it's beautifully written. I'd recommend this to anyone who loved Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz as a child (of an adult!). A glowing 5/5 from me.

I only read two books in January and despite wishing I could have read more, I don't really mind. 'Under the Dome' was so thick that I really couldn't have read it any quicker, nor would I want to. I enjoyed both the books I read and I'm starting to realise that that's much more important than the quantity of books read.

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts?


  1. I think you've kicked off 2014 with some brilliant books! I want to read them both :) xxxx

  2. Thanks :) You should definitely read them. Especially Neverwhere. It was such a fun book. So clever.

  3. Oh cool, I'll try Neverwhere out! I'm trying to do 52 books this year ... just finished The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, what a trip. Here's a link to my book posts in case you're interested -

    1. I'm attempting 52 books this year too :)
      Cool. I'll check them out. I love reading other peoples thoughts on books.


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