Archive for August 23, 2008

The 4th Backdoor Ventures Arts and Music Festival

Start: Aug 29, ’08 10:00am
End: Aug 31, ’08 9:00pm
Location: SM Megamall Megatrade Hall 3, Mandaluyong City

Entrance Fee: PhP100.00, PhP80.00 (Student Discount), Buy 4 get 1 (Group Discount).

Avalon.ph will participate as an exhibitor, primarily of Moleskine Notebooks and Arts, Poetry & Music related books.

Now on its 4th year, the BACKDOOR VENTURES ARTS & MUSIC FESTIVAL takes it a notch higher yet again to deliver exactly what its growing and diversifying audience looks forward to – a grander lineup of performances, more exceptional artworks, and an extensive array of workshops & symposia catering to art enthusiasts of all ages. Guests can expect an even more enjoyable trade fair experience with the splendid listing of concessionaires and participating institutions.

List of Participants: Museo Pambata, NCCA, MET Museum, Bose, Pulp, JB Music, Adobo Magazine, PSICOM, Mangaholix, Playground, Shirley Halili Cruz, Filigrenasia, Mini-Me, Musik Lokal, Glass House Graphics, Science of Sounds, Dakila PHils. Project Ganymede, Romancing Venus and many others.

List of Activities: Makiling Center for the Arts (Denise Santos Huang), Miko Pepito (Spoken Word), Art/Short Film Showing (Khavn dela Cruz), Arts & Crafts Workshop (Museo Pambata), Laser Light Show (Argon Animation), Comics & Illustration Talk (Glass House Graphics), Romancing Venus (Poetry/Spoken Word), Michael Alba Drum Clinic, Cosplay, Art Workshop (Saturday Group), Fine Art Photography (Talk/Seminar by Wawi Navarroza), Teatro Flamenco, Halili-Cruz Ballet and many others.

List of Performers: The Dawn, The Chongkeys, FMD, Quadro, DJ Impulse, Mayonnaise, Bembol Rockers, Decay Transit, Scarlet Tears, Julianne, Project Fusion, Coffeebreak Island, Joey Pepe Smith & Wally Gonzalez, Sinosikat, Cosmic Love, Bahaghari, The Late Isabel and many others.

Schedule and Performers subject to change without prior notice.

For more information please check out: http://backdoorvent.multiply.com/

Exclusive: 1st Philippine-based Reviews of Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book is Neil Gaiman’s upcoming book scheduled for official release on September 30, 2008. This is a review made from an ADVANCE READER’S EDITION made from uncorrected proofs.

The Graveyard Book ARC

Reprinted with permission in collaboration with Avalon.ph, from the blog of Mr. Joey Nacino:

Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book

They say it takes a village to raise a child. In The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman has taken this adage to spin it in his own unique take on raising a child, i.e. it takes a graveyard to raise a child.

If one were of suspicious nature, one could accuse Gaiman of having a fixation with Death and all its accoutrements. One of Gaiman’s most popular works of fictions is his vision of Death—a pale, thin Goth girl in black with the personality of Mary Poppins—in his seminal The Sandman comic book series. Though Gaiman relates the seed of this tale lay elsewhere, it does seem that Gaiman has hopes that mortality has a friendlier face than imagined.

At the start of this book, Gaiman pulls no punches as he writes of the aftermath of the death of a family at the hands of a human monster named Jack. The sole survivor is a babe who manages to escape and slip into a nearby graveyard where he attracts the attention of an old ghostly couple, the Owenses. Thanks to the stubbornness of Mrs. Owens, the babe is allowed to become part of the graveyard community and is given the ‘Freedom of the Graveyard’ with its inherent powers and abilities. The new-named Bod—short for ‘Nobody’—also gains a guardian in Silas, a mysterious figure that roams the graveyard, as well as the support of the Grey Lady, a being revered by graveyard ghosts (shades of the pixie-like Death, the sister of Dream?).

From here, Bod’s life living among the dead and the fixtures of the dead leisurely expands as Gaiman reveals the world behind the veil. From the Dance Macabray that draws the living and the dead at least once a year to the Honor Guard—a group to which Silas belongs—that protects the borders in-between the living and the dead, Gaiman creates an imaginative ‘neither’ world with his trademark flourish.

Whereas the opening perspective of Gaiman’s previous works, American Gods and Anansi Boys, was older and adult, Interworld and Coraline seemed to be directed at younger readers. For this one, readers from YA to adult-range will be able to jump into The Graveyard Book with no trouble. Gaiman writes an engaging tale, from the friendly narrative voice that easily draws the reader into the story to the likeable characters. In fact, it was easy to sympathize with Bod, who grows up into a mature, level-headed young man faced with a dark past.

Since the theme of the book is Death, Gaiman knows that there are no happy endings except the endings we make for our own. And so, the ending of the book is a beginning of sorts, a hallmark of all stories Gaimanesque (an invented word, but sorely appropriate). After all, only Neil Gaiman can create a imaginative story that draws us to worlds beyond our own, makes us root for his characters, and in the end leaves us wanting more. The Graveyard Book is indeed, a first-rate story from a grand—and great—storyteller.(And just in case you’re wondering, yes, us Filipinos are mentioned in this book!)


Reprinted with permission in collaboration with Avalon.ph, from the blog of Mr. Charles Tan:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

While I did enjoy most of Gaiman’s novels, his last book, Anansi Boys, in my opinion wasn’t the best of the bunch. When I started reading The Graveyard Book however, any lingering disappointments were dispelled as this is Gaiman in top form. His language is simple, compelling, and has that particular charm of being vague and short but says it all, as if everyone was familiar with its context. His characters are complex and interesting, from the adopted family of our protagonist to his enigmatic enemies. One impressive technique is how Gaiman never explicitly mentions what kind of creature the hero’s guardian–Silas–is yet it is apparent to readers thanks to context clues and dialogue. The antagonists, while two-dimensional, are given that extra layer near the end of the book which can probably be best described as the book’s “Gaiman-ish” moment.

The structure of the book is also to be lauded. There are eight chapters, each representing a phase in our hero’s life. Each chapter save for one (it’s a foreshadowing chapter) stands well on its own and doesn’t leave you in a cliffhanger. However, that doesn’t mean the book is any less interesting because of it and Gaiman writes it so that one is eager for what comes next. There’s a big pay-off in the end as Gaiman works with all the threads he established previously yet leaving room for expansion and conflict–all the while satisfying the target audience of the book.

Overall, The Graveyard Book is highly recommended and one of Gaiman’s books that pack a punch irregardless of your age group. The characterization, its pacing, and the writing style are all synchronized and culminate to an enjoyable and layered reading experience.


The auction for an Advance Reader’s Edition is still ongoing and will end on August 21.  Click here for the link.  An excellent gift for the die-hard Neil Gaiman fan.  Good luck bidders!

Website E-mail Temporary Issues (Resolved)

Update (08/18/2008, 01:30): Our webhost was able to resolve the e-mail issue.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

Announcement (08/17/2008, 14:26): There is a temporary issue with our e-mail servers @ avalon.  The site is sending out e-mails but we don’t get everything sent to our inbox.  This issue started 10:00pm (Manila time), August 16.  If you tried to contact us during that period, please resend it through Contact Us.  We already forwarded all incoming e-mails (Contact Us, etc) to a back-up e-mail addres.

All e-mails sent to (anti-spam): username[at]avalon dotph will be delayed.

Our back-up e-mail address is (anti-spam): avalon.ph[at]gmail dotcom

This entry will be updated as soon as everything is back to normal.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

Download The Eight by Katherine Neville – for free! (Limited)

From Katherine Neville’s website:

“The Ballantine Publishing Group is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Katherine Neville’s international bestseller THE EIGHT. From August 8th thru August 18th you can download a FREE PDF version of THE EIGHT…”

View the link for download: http://www.katherineneville.com/neville-news.htm

I strongly recommend this book especially if you like Dan Brown and Umberto Eco thrillers.  You won’t be disappointed.

Download it from the link above, or you may decide to purchase your own copy.

Thanks to user empirialist of Shelfari for the link.

Neil Gaiman’s: The Graveyard Book (Advance Copy) Signed! For auction!

The Graveyard Book ARC

Hi there,

For those who really can’t wait! Avalon.ph Auctions presents- a very
special auction for a SIGNED copy of Neil Gaiman’s upcoming book- The
Graveyard Book. This is an ARC. The book is scheduled for release on
September 30, 2008.

Auction starts at PhP10.00 – no reserve.

Start Date: at 12:30pm, 13 August 2008
End Date: at 12:30pm, 21 August 2008

Read this book ahead of everybody else. Half of the final bid price will be
for a good cause (scholarship program). Check it here: www.avalon.ph.
Probably the only copy that’s actually available for sale in the
Philippines! Happy Bidding!

Jasper
www.avalon.ph

New Titles Posted, August 2008 (1st week)

New titles posted on the Auction Site:

Fiction:

Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Hardbound, Eragon Sequel)
Emerald Magic: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy (Hardbound)
The Air-Conditioned Nightmare by Henry Miller
The Colossus of Maroussi by Henry Miller
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer (HB)
Swapping Lives by Jane Green
The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester (Hardbound)
Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella (HB)
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
White Apples and the Taste of Stone by Donald Hall (w/ CD)
American Poets Say Goodbye to the 20th Century (Codrescu)
The Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca

Non-Fiction:

The Shopping Bags: Tips, Tricks and Inside Information. ..
To Criticize the Critic & Other Writings by T.S. Eliot
Dictionary of Theories: One stop to more than 5,000 theories
The Simpsons: One Step Beyond Forever! Seasons 13-14
Esquire’s: Things a man should know about Sex
Sun Tzu: The Art of War for Managers
The Little Book of Bad Taste by Karl Shaw
Flirtology: Over 100 Ways to Release Your Inner Flirt
Linotte: The Early Diaries of Anais Nin 1914-1020 (HB)
Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
God: A Biography by Jack Miles (Pulitzer Prize Winner)
Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
The Pilgrim’s Regress by C.S. Lewis
Fermat’s Enigma: Quest to Solve World’s Greatest Math Problem
Corporate Confidential: What It Really Takes.. (HB)
The Dragon Hunter’s Handbook: Field Guide to Paranormal
The Witch’s Handbook: A Field Guide to Magic
100 Words to Make You Sound Smart

Malinche by Laura Esquivel (Audio CD, Sealed)
Borders ABC Bookends

————
Shopping Site:

Paycheck and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
The Minority Report & Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
Necklace of Kisses by Francesca Lia Block (Hardbound)
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Speaking With The Angel (Edited by Nick Hornby)
This Is My Best: Great Writers Share Their Favorite Work
Fury by Salman Rushdie (Hardbound)
Hardboiled and Hard Luck by Banana Yoshimoto (HB)
Casanova Was A Book Lover.. by John Maxwell Hamilton
Bradbury Speaks: Essays on the Past, Future, Everything (HB)
Jeanette Winterson: The Essential Guide -Vintage Living Text
Wanderlust: Writers on Travel and Sex
The Complete Restaurateur: A Practical Guide…
Naked by David Sedaris
The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written by Martin Seymour-Smith

Thanks!

Jasper
www.avalon.ph