Long drawn read, tedious at times. The story incorporates some of the latest scientific findings in the areas of brain cognition, consciousness and me...moreLong drawn read, tedious at times. The story incorporates some of the latest scientific findings in the areas of brain cognition, consciousness and mental illnesses. Unfortunately, the story lacks dynamics and thrill associated with any good fiction. Lots of words, so-so on content, no spark. Read at your own discretion. (less)
This fictitious story details the tragic account of a life spent in painful reconciliation with wrongfully made choices.
The main character, an Afghan...moreThis fictitious story details the tragic account of a life spent in painful reconciliation with wrongfully made choices.
The main character, an Afghanistan boy, grows up in the turbulent times of the 1970s when civil war and economic turmoil ruled the plain. Forced to make a choice whether to help his long-time friend (and servant) Hassan during a confrontation with a local bully, Amir makes a choice which would haunt him for the next 20 years.
The readers of this book would be amazed with the author's insightful and engaging narrative as they follow Amir on his voyage from Afghanistan (through Pakistan) to the United States where he attends school and college and becomes a successful novelist. The novel could be considered competed at this point, except the author had another idea of how to resolve Amir's internal conflict. From then on, the books brakes with reality and transforms into a fantastic quest of self redemption. Amir returns to Afghanistan to free the son of his long lost friend Hassan from an orphanage, abuse and impending death. The experiences surrounding this quest for redemption border on magic as Amir descends into the world of Taliban, brutality and destruction. And as in all happy Hollywood-endings, the book delivers a spectacular (even tearful) conclusion with Amir's victorious achievement of inner peace.
Six words - great narrative but an unbelievable storyline.
Still, I recommend the novel to anyone interested in learning about the culture and people of Afghanistan. (less)
This book has a seriously misleading title. It should have been called `The World's Greatest Fair'. A very small portion of the book explores the grue...moreThis book has a seriously misleading title. It should have been called `The World's Greatest Fair'. A very small portion of the book explores the gruesome (and speculative at that) details of the H.H. Homes' murder streak.
The author does an excellent job exploring the 1893 Chicago fair that put the city in the minds of so many for decades to come. One couldn't help but marvel at the gigantic effort, resources, man hours and deaths that went into preparing the stage for the gathering of over 700,000 people at one time. Never again did so many historical figures of the 19th and 20th centuries come together again as for this fair. And although the picture the author paints is outstanding (his list of references at the end of the book goes on for pages), one is left to wonder why H.H. Homes was included at all in this book. I must admit I felt a bit mislead (and subsequently disappointed) to find out that the story was about 90% devoted to the fair and only about 10% to what really went on within the walls of Homes' little hell-hotel.
For those readers looking to find out the reasons behind Homes' murders - try another book as this one is exclusively about the Chicago fair. (less)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful: Hmm, well, aah, it's an okay read for resting the mind, March 30, 2006
"Scipio Africanus: The Man...more 3 of 3 people found the following review helpful: Hmm, well, aah, it's an okay read for resting the mind, March 30, 2006
"Scipio Africanus: The Man Who Defeated Hannibal" by Ross Leckie is an interesting account of what may have happened with the Roman leader before and after he defeated Hannibal. If you like the show "Rome", you'd definitely like this book. The descriptions of the roman legions, the senate, the Latin, the ancient lusts for gold, glory and power, it's all well packaged and would make you reminisce about those ancient times and what it might have been like... In the beginning of the book parallel narratives of both Scipio and Bostar (his servant) amuse and hasten the pace of the story. Then slowly the book sinks into one of those `I did this, he said that, we attacked him, they got killed...' type of an account and interest meanders a bit. However, the narrative is easy enough and does captures the attention, at times even excites the imagination. But after all, like most sequels, this one doesn't live up to the glory of `Hannibal'. If you are a fan of good ancient action novels, pick up a copy of "Hannibal". If you've already read it and just feel like figuring out what went on with Scipio pre/post Hannibal's defeat, then this novel can be an 'okay' continuation of your trip. (less)