Dracula, Chapter 3!

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Today we continue with Jonathan Harker’s journal. He is not in a good place, folks. Pray for Jonathan.

Chapter 3

And, now, once again, for the technical details. The novel is Dracula by Bram Stoker. It’s read by Kate. The music is Oppressive Gloom by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) (Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) and this was edited in audacity.

Chapter 2 can be found here.
Chapter 1 can be found here.

Dracula! Chapter 2!

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The adventure continues!

In this chapter, we meet Dracula, check out his castle, and wonder why it took Jonathan Harker so long to realize something was up. But, first, here are some technical details. The novel is Dracula by Bram Stoker. It’s read by Kate. The music is Oppressive Gloom by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
(Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) and this was edited in audacity.

 
Chapter 2

Chapter 1 can be found here.

 

Welcome to Vampire Month!

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Welcome to Vampire Month! This month we will be reading and discussing vampire novels! The horror! The romance! The unbelievable nonsense! The glamour!

I am so excited.

In our post announcing Vampire Month, we said we had a special treat for you. Well, here it is! We will be reading Dracula by Bram Stoker. As in actually reading it, into a microphone while a machine is recording and then uploading the recordings here so that you can enjoy and/or mock them. (It’s cool, I expect some mocking. Especially as a newbie with a lot to learn about recording and editing.)

Before get down to Jonathan Harker’s thrilling journey to Castle Dracula, here are some technical details. The novel is Dracula by Bram Stoker. It’s read by Kate. The music is Oppressive Gloom by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
(Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) and this was edited in audacity.

So, kick back, relax, and enjoy Chapter 1 of Dracula by Bram Stoker!

Chapter 1
 

Inspired by the Pop Culture Homework Assignment: Vampire Month!

In October, I am dragging Beth and all of you on a vampire-laden adventure inspired by this past summer’s pop culture homework assignment! We are going to review some vampire novels, discuss the vampires, the heroes and the heroines, and we have a special Dracula-related treat! So, prepare yourself for an influx of vampires (but don’t invite any strangers into your house!)

Review: Embassytown by China Mieville

9780345524508_p0_v1_s550x406 The last book of my Pop Culture Assignment and I don’t even know where to begin.  There is a lot going on and I think it needed a glossary for all the new terms he made up for this world.  Our Protagonist Avice, is an immerser that knows how to control the immer but it was never really explained what that is but it has to do with space travel.  Her ability allowed her to leave Embassytown and return but I’m getting ahead of myself.  Avice is from a colony in the middle of nowhere.  There lives an mysteries species called the Hosts that have a peculiar way of communication called language.  Only few people know and few can speak it.  The few who can are Ambassadors are two people modified to think as one.  It’s complicated.  Avice has a rare place in language as she was once used as a simile.  The Hosts can not lie.  They can only speak the truth so for something to be said it must has a place in the world so they make people or things a simile to help explain things.  It’s very complicated.  Anyway, Avice leaves Embassytown only to return with a new husband who is a linguist and seems more interested in language than Avice but whatever.  As soon as they return things get crazy.  The end of the world crazy.  The nation that oversee them decides to bring in their own Ambassador and well, things don’t go as planned and all hell breaks loose.

It was an interesting read but it was very confusing.  I felt like so many things that were left unexplained like the immer that we are just expected to understand.  Language too is very complicated that it does take the whole book to understand but that also might have been the point.  It took a while to get into because the world building was immense and once I got past that I really enjoyed it.  I was still left confused on several things but still enjoyed it.

Review: Scowler by Daniel Kraus

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In the novel Scowler by Daniel Kraus, meteorites hit Iowa farm country and all hell breaks loose. Except, that’s not what the book is about. The book is about how Ry Burke comes to terms with the trauma his abusive father inflicted on his family prior to being sent to prison. The entire book takes place in the hours immediately before a meteorite impacts the Burke family farm and also the subsequent day. It’s a pretty intense day, as it involves both a meteorite and facing Ry’s escaped-convict father, Marvin.

This book is so intense. So, so, very intense. Now I know why Beth said, “I really hope you don’t hate me after this.” So intense. So, some content warnings: This book involves some pretty detailed descriptions of violence and abuse. It was so, so brutal. The book spiraled into insanity that was both useful and hellish.

I liked Ry and Jo Beth. I thought their characterizations presented them as full people. The writing would veer into the thoughtful and touching before winding its way back into horror. Sarah, Ry’s younger sister, is also pretty great. Marvin Burke is even presented as a full person. He has moments of humanity that make the violence seem even worse.

This book, man. It was good, but it was also very horrifying.

This was such a bummer to end the Pop Culture Homework Assignment on. But, true the assignment, it was horrific.

What I’m Reading Now: Scowler by Daniel Kraus

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This is it! My last book of the Pop Culture Homework Assignment! I was so excited when I got it from the library (from a branch I’d never been to, no less!) I texted a picture of it to Beth. And she responded by saying, “I really hope you don’t hate me after this”.

 

So, you know, nightmares, ahoy!

 

 

Review: The Last Speakers by K. David Harrison

9781426204616_p0_v2_s550x406 My pop culture assignment from Kate is to delve into her world as a linguist. Linguistics has been referred to as a social science.  What does that mean exactly?  The first book, What Language is by John McWhorter was more of the scientific side of the linguistics, explaining what they look for when they study languages.  How languages are built and how they became to be and continue to develop. The Last Speakers is the social side of linguistics by discussing why the study of languages are important to understanding who we are and the world around us.  Both aspects are important to discover how we communicate to each other.  K. David Harrison set out to study endangered languages because the knowledge of the natural world they contain that we have lost by no longer speaking them.  He learns from indigenous people words that describes the world around us.  How they can speak or sing to animals to get them do what they need them to do.  Plant life that are now extinct.  Medicinal methods that have vanished in the wake of modern medicine.  If we lose these last speakers we lose more than just a language being spoken.  We lose a great deal of our own knowledge of our world that we will never get back.  The book reads like a travel memoir as he details his work around the globe but it’s also a plea to the world to not abandon these languages.  He and his team document these languages and do everything then can to keep these languages alive long after the last speakers pass away but also bring to light new or remembered words of our past.  I like that he isn’t to be the white savior.  He goes to observe and document and help where he can.  He defers to the people in how they want to documented.  Not all people want their languages to be shared with outsiders and he understands their reasoning without judgment.  It’s their language and culture and they should have the final say on who gets to know it and learn it.  It was an interesting book, with some great stories and I’m fully support more documentation of last speakers from all over the world.  We have so much more to learn.