Stay Hardcover – Jun 15 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Penny Arcade is an immensely popular Web comic and, in book form, a perfect example of why Web comics are, well, on the Web. The seven-year-old comic strip revolves around gaming, science fiction and computer humor. The two protagonists, Tycho and Gabe (also the code names for the creators), obsess over video games, new technology and the minutiae of their lives and fantasies. Displaying not a trace of self-consciousness or self-deprecation, the strip's premise is that the creators are the funniest guys in the room. Nearly every joke is told with a wink to the audience and swift elbow in the ribs. The drawing is repetitive, and the strips use none of the graphic effects available online. Instead, they are simple panel sequences. In book form, there are two strips per page, with commentary from the creators. along the bottom. Oddly, Holkins and Krahulik have chosen to print their comics at exactly the same resolution as online, making the actual images grainy, unfocused and simply not up to normal print standards. For a technology-obsessed strip, this is an odd mistake. The humor in Penny Arcade will definitely appeal to its core audience of webheads and gaming addicts. For the rest of us, it is all too disposable. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Forget your warm and fuzzy newspaper strips. Penny Arcade is a scathing send-up of geek culture with jokes sharp enough to injure an eye. Brash, snarky, and sometimes just outright wrong, Attack of the Bacon Robots! is a hilarious heaping helping of the strip. To say that Tycho and Gabe, its, uh, heroes, are -video-game enthusiasts would be like saying that Anakin Skywalker has issues. Console games, handhelds, PCs--there is no format in which these intrepid game-geeks are not willing to risk life and limb to play. While their commentary on the gamer community and their "reviews" of popular game titles are fun, the biggest laughs come when Tycho and Gabe are forced to deal with the real world. If nothing else, Penny Arcade illustrates that there may be times when a well-placed non sequitur can save one's life. Extra, value-adding features include excellent creators' commentary on each strip and a sketchbook section. Tina Coleman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I almost finished Stay in one sitting, which is a rarity for me. If I'd started the book an hour earlier I would have, but droopy eyes and not wanting to miss anything forced me put it down. Then I picked it right back up with my morning coffee. I didn't want this book to end and will definitely read it again!
This book was so simply written, yet carried such emotional weight. I was floored by the writing and tried to study it while reading, but would get carried off by the story again and forget I was trying to figure out how Allie Larkin had written it.
I hadn't laughed as hard with a novel as I did when she buys Joe and hadn't connected and routed for a character this much in a while. Van's character, as well as all the others, were so well developed, their motivations and intentions clear and the plot rolled along seamlessly and tugged at my heart strings until the very last word.
Stay hit me the way Jennifer Weiner's Good in Bed did so many years ago and if I get around to redoing my Top 10 list, something's getting bumped. I wish I could give it more than a 5 star rating! Don't miss this fantastic debut by Allie Larkin. I can't wait to read more of her and she's now at the top of my must-read list.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I loved it!! Savannah Leone stands by as the maid of honor in her best friends wedding, while her best friend weds the man that Savannah has been secretely pining for for the past 7 years. While she desperately tries to be happy for both of them, this proves to be a difficult task and she drowns her sorrows in vodka and Kool-Aid. One night while watching a Rin Tin Tin marathon and being plastered out of her mind, she goes online and orders a German Shepherd puppy from Slovakia.
Enter said puppy.
The tiny little ball of fur that Savannah ("Van") is expecting turns out to be a hip-high, seemingly mutant version of some sort of wolf hybrid. "Enormous" doesn't quite adequately describe the size of this "puppy". Van is stunned, to say the least, and quickly learns that not only does this dog only understand commands in Slovakian (for wihich the sellers have considerately supplied a list of these commands for the new buyer), but the dog also has been trained to "search the building" and "find narcotics". Ha! Ha! Ha!
The first half of the book is filled with humor as Van tries to adjust to life with a dog (she's never owned a dog in her life) and I found myself frequently laughing out loud as Van rearranges her life to accomodate this overgrown ball of fur. Anybody who has ever owned a dog will surely understand how easy it is to lose all sense of reality when trying welcoming a fluffy, four-legged creature into one's life. Van does a remarkable job and soon grows to love and protect her new charge, whom she names "Joe".
Van's life takes a turn for the better when she brings Joe in to the local vet, Alex, for a check-up (where, by the way, she finds out that Joe REALLY IS a puppy, and is expected to get even bigger!!) Things develop fairly quickly between the two and it seems like Van is ready to move on with her life and leave her troubles behind, and begins thinking that a future with Alex might not be so bad. Then the honeymooners return from Europe and Van is thrown back into her past troubles, this time dragging Alex in with her.
While the first half of the novel was light hearted and filled with humor, the second half has less humor and more reality. Van is still trying to deal with her mother's death three years earlier, and her current troubles with the newlyweds and sudden problems with Alex cause Van to reevaluate her life in a new light.
The characters in this book are very well drawn and we get to really see inside Van's head as she deals with the complexity of life in general, and relationships both past and present, and how some things (despite how desperately we try) simply can't stay the same forever. Life happens, unfortunately, and what one makes of it is the determining factor to how happy one is in life. Be prepared to shed a few tears towards the end of this book.
This is Allie Larkin's first novel, yet it reads as though she's written a dozen or so already. I am thoroughly impressed with her style of writing, and will be keeping my eyes peeled for more of her works in the future.
The fact of the matter is that "Stay" is a book that embodies all three of those characteristics; it's a book that prominently features a dog on its cover and details the circumstances surrounding a woman's acquisition of a dog and her subsequent understanding of who she is as a person.
It would be simple to dismiss this book as being a lesser book because of the aforementioned characteristics. However, that would be a mistake. Allie Larkin manages to embrace those characteristics and, by incorporating them into her first novel, it's as if the author is saying that she knows that this book is meant to entertain. Larkin doesn't want you to dismiss her, yet, she doesn't want to be taken too seriously either.
The story of a woman who accidentally purchases a dog from Slovakia over the Internet and then falls in love with her puppy's veterinarian isn't going to win a Pulitzer Prize, but it's not meant to either. Larkin's debut novel is a quick read, with humor-filled passages. "Stay" belongs on your bookshelf with those rare chick-lit books that you treasure, right next to the other rom-com books that don't take themselves seriously but provide you with hours of pleasurable reading. "Stay" can hold its own on the shelf right next to Helen Fielding's "Bridget Jones" novels and it wouldn't be entirely out of place there.
Van has been in love with her best friend, Peter, since college. Unfortunately, he has been in love with her best friend, Janie, and now, they have just married. It's a standard chick lit type storyline basically. Van does the wallowing thing and in that wallowing, amidst some alcohol and Rin Tin Tin, she decides to order a German Shepard puppy off the internet. And oh yeah, this puppy is coming from Slovakia. $6,000 later, Van is in for a shock because her puppy is definitely not a cute ball of fur. He is a growing German Shepard who obeys Slovakian commands.
Let the hijinks begin! Joe, as he is christened, becomes the cause for many changes in Van's life, including meeting a new guy. But he is also the best friend she has, her only family. Then of course, Peter comes back into her life. The story then falls into some well known plot points making it fairly average in the will she or won't she, what will she really do, type of chick lit style.
What I liked about this story was the relationship between Van and Joe, even though he is a dog. I enjoyed Marley & Me and well, most dog stories so really, if you don't like dogs, you are not going to like this story. However, I did feel like he helped Van move forward a bit. It was kind of a one step forward, two steps back, but she was trying to change, trying to find her own path in life rather than wishing she was Peter's Janie. And frankly, I really liked how rude Janie was. She wasn't afraid of mincing words. She likes vodka Kool-Aid, she can't believe her dog crapped a huge one on her carpet, and her life is far from orderly. She does not have it all together and I could relate. I thought the author did a great job of conveying the pet/owner bond that springs up and that is what held my attention even as Peter dropped back into the picture, even as Van put her life on hold again. This is probably a more average story than I am giving it credit for but I read through it quickly and was engrossed. It was not a bad way to spend a few hours and I just love the cover. Allie Larkin has caught my attention and I would be inclined to see what other books she may publish.
So in short, this is an imperfect but enjoyable story. And if you like dogs (particularly more happy dog stories) I think you'll enjoy Stay.
In this story, we meet Van, a 20-something woman who never really knew her father and lost her mother a few years back to cancer. Her best friend Janie is marrying her other best friend, Peter - whom Van is madly in love with.
Enter a bottle of vodka, some Kool-Aid, a Rin Tin Tin marathon, and the Internet. Next thing she knows, Van has woken up completely hungover, and comes to the realization that she just ordered a German Shepherd puppy from Slovakia for a mere $6,001. Desperate to have a companion in her life, somebody to fill the void left in her heart, Van learns just what life is like with a (very) large, lovable puppy.
The story that follows is one of unconditional love and learning to let go, while evolving and forging forward into a new life.
Each character is so beautifully drawn and developed - Van, Peter, Janie, Alex, Louis, and even Diane.... Each description is so detailed and expressive - I couldn't help but feel like I was right there with them. The images described are so vivid and real. I genuinely could not put this book down and really hope Allie Larkin continues to write, as I will definitely continue to read!
This is one of the best books I have read in a really long time. After finishing it, I almost want to re-read it over again. The story is both funny and heartbreaking, and the journey you are taken on over these 311 pages is one I won't soon forget!