- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
I lifted the rifle again and swung the tip of the barrel straight up into the air. I figured I could gradually lower the barrel at the screen, aim, and pick off one of the Japanese troops.
BLAM! The rifle fired off and violently kicked out of my grip.
"Jaaaack!" I heard my mother shriek and then the screen door slammed behind her.
"If I'm not already dead I soon will be," I said to myself.
She pounced on me. "There's blood! You've been shot! Where?" Then she gasped and pointed directly at my face. Her eyes bugged out and her scream was so high-pitched it was silent.
Fictional autobiography, Hell's Angels, history, mystery, comedy, death, horror...Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos is all and more. Full of eccentric characters, this novel follows the life of author Jack Gantos during one action-packed summer in his hometown. Meet Miss Volker, who is trying to revitalize a dying town. Meet Mr. Spizz, who polices the town on his adult-sized tricycle. Meet Jack's mother, who believes in bartering jam rather than paying cash. Meet Jack's father, who worries about the "commies" in town and who wants to build a runway in the backyard.
In addition to having a town full of loveable characters, Jack also suffers from nosebleeds that can be triggered by any excitement or surprise. Is it hemochromatosis, like Hemingway? Ugh! This is problematical, of course, since he is helping Miss Volker to write all of the obituaries.
Finally, a whole-summer grounding dampens his summer plans when he mows down a cornfield. How does he get out of it? Who is killing all of the senior citizens? Will he have to move to Florida? Read this extraordinary novel to find out!
"Enough," said Glaedr.
Glaedr seemed possessed of an urge to do something other than sink ever deeper into the all-enveloping morass of his private torments.
"Enough," Glaedr repeated, sounding both weary and exasperated. "Do you wish to attract unwanted attention?"
"Eragon, you should not spend so much time sparring. It is distracting you from more important matters. The sword in Galbatorix's hand is not what you need fear the most, nor the sword in his mouth, but rather the sword in his mind."
"Anyone with the time and inclination can acquire technical proficiency. To achieve greatness, though, that requires artistry."
"By seeing all and discounting nothing, you may adapt without hesitation to any change. The warrior who can adapt the easiest to the unexpected is the warrior who will live the longest.
The theme of being able to adjust strategies based upon meditated evaluation is a major theme in this, the final volume of Christopher Paolini's Eragon cycle. The cycle comes to an end in Inheritance. In this final volume, Eragon finally meets his nemesis, Galbatorix. Eragon's growth as a character will determine if he will be able to follow Glaedr's advice.
This novel starts with a synopsis of all that has transpired in previous novels. Don't relax, though! The beginning chapter, "Into the Breach," starts off running in the midst of a battle. We see familiar faces, Saphira, Arya, Roran, Katrina, Angela, Nasuada, Orrin, Orik, Nar Garzhvog, Elva, Murtagh, etc. and familiar towns that must be breached by the Varden. Inheritance is a hefty volume and encompasses troubling births, bloody battles, encounters with the priests of Helgrind, kidnappings, werecats, the Rock of Kuthian, and name-finding. Always in the shadows, though, is the grim shadow of the mad king, Galbatorix.
The showdown with Galbatorix itself made me initially cringe because I saw images of the end of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. However, I am pleased that my initial assumption proved to be incorrect!
Paolini delivers a deliberate and exciting conclusion to his epic saga. He promises us, though, that he intends on visiting the lands of Alagaesia in the future. I look forward to further adventures in this sprawling landscape!