We’re looking at vampiric relationships within this for my vampire genre class. Might be a stretch but at any rate, this is a reread for me. In short, Basil does a beautiful portrait of young Dorian Grey, a young man with some wealth but questionable breeding. Unfortunately for both, Lord Henry, cynic, hedonist sees the portrait and plants the idea that it will be a shame for the portrait to stay young while Dorian ages. In a confluence of desires and perhaps a bit of magic/will of god that is exactly what happens. Henry’s influence helps to turn Dorian from a wide-eyed innocent into something much darker. There are themes of homosexuality running through this and overall, it’s an interesting concept and a good read.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Another reread for my vampire genre class, as there are not only the vampiric relationships going on but hints of vampirism surrounding the deaths of the main characters. I hated this novel back in my undergrad days and in the reread I still hate it. I have no pity for any of them.
I find it an utterly unconvincing love story. Catherine is a user. Heathcliff is a sociopath. Now, if I had to pity anyone besides Cathy II, Hareton & Linton in the second half of the novel, it would be Heathcliff. Abandoned beggar then treated like crap by Catherine’s brother, the servants (Nell running hot and cold throughout), and even by Catherine herself, it’s not a wonder they managed to create a sociopath (if in fact they are created and not just born that way). Heathcliff never stood a chance but it doesn’t excuse his own sadism. This is just an all around unpleasant story and I’ve never understood the love for it. Sorry, I don’t. Catherine gets exactly what she gives. Her husband is no better and her brother reaped what he sowed. Even Isabella was warned but didn’t heed it, though I did feel a little sorry for her. I was wondering though if Cathy II has never heard of going out a window or poison but I have to remember when this was written and how helpless women were seen as being.
Dogs: Blood and Carnage#4 by Shirow Miwa
This picks up with the aftermath of the train disaster and it is mostly Badou’s story. We learn more about what his brother was hunting down and why he died, how Badou lost his eye and how it might link up with Naoto and Heine’s lives. Naoto and Heine are mostly in the background this time, though Heine does have it out a bit with the blind priest Bishop who disappears (I would have liked a few action scenes cut and more explanation of this relationship). The crime boss who had part of his face bitten off by Heine is back and out to get Heine and Badou and the evil organization that turned Heine into what he is, is on the move. It ends in a cliffhanger with Badou finally meeting the man behind the child kidnappings that have been happening since issue 0 (I think) and was the person who hurt Badou so badly. And since the next one won’t be out until April of next year, I will forget it all. It’s a violent manga but it has a cohesive and interesting plot. I like this one.
Darker than Black by Tensai Okamura, Saika Hasumi and Nokiya
This is an omnibus ‘novel’ for Darker than Black but is separate from the main action of the anime. In this, there is a false sky that appeared with Hell’s Gate and at the same time contractors appeared; humans with special abilities that they can use for a price they must pay and sometimes it’s a weird and awful price. A young school girl, Kana Shinoh, believes that she has lost her father to a contractor a year ago until she sees him again and learns he is the contractor.
This quest to find her father and bring him home brings her into Hei’s orbit. Hei is BK201 (half the time written as 201BK which is wrong, these are a reference to Meissner’s codes for stars, though the translator notes said November 11 does this in the series as well. I don’t remember that). Hei works for the Syndicate and is a contractor with electrical powers. Mao, a contractor now stuck in the form of a cat, Yin, a doll, a human no missing all emotion and free will, and Huang, their leader all work together with Hei. They are after Wiegenlied, an evil organization. Also in the hunt is November 11, the leader of a group of MI-6, British contractors. This is a chunky novel, nearly 400 pages long. The story is interesting. The art isn’t quite as pretty as the anime. I would have liked a little more from Hei’s pov than Kana’s frankly since he’s the actual lead character but over all it was good.