Imagine waking up one day to find you have the "perfect" life--great job, ideal spouse, the right look and money to satisfy your every need and whim....moreImagine waking up one day to find you have the "perfect" life--great job, ideal spouse, the right look and money to satisfy your every need and whim.
In "Remember Me?" Lexi Smart does just that--wakes up to the perfect life. Lexi wakes up in a hospital following a blow to the head and having amnesia. The last three years of her life are missing and she's gone from a frumpy girl with the nickname "Snaggletooth" to a high-powered corporate career woman with a complete make-over and a wealthy husband. It sounds a bit too good to be true...
And it turns out to be. In our climb to the top, Lexi alienated her closest friends and has become obsessed. She's become the corporate bitch in many ways and her perfect looking husband isn't quite the perfect guy he appears to be.
The story follows Lexi trying to put her life back together and figure out how she got there. The revelation of what drove her to become so ruthless is set up well in the early running and makes perfect sense within the context of the novel. Also, the story doesn't necessarily have Lexi find a perfect life for her beyond the perfect life she has on paper.
Told from the first-person perspective, "Remember Me?" is an intriguing commentary disguised as chick-lit fluff. (less)
The tenth entry in Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan series finds the Baltimore-native reporter-turned-private-eye rowing her way into the production of t...moreThe tenth entry in Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan series finds the Baltimore-native reporter-turned-private-eye rowing her way into the production of the television mini-series Mann of Steel. Tess is hired to provide security for young starlet Selene Waites (think Paris Hilton only with acting ability) due to a series of disturbing incidents plaguing the fledgling series.
At first Tess chalks Selene up to a ditzy Hollywood type, but events quickly show that Selene is cleverer than she lets on. When the series of incidents escalates into the death of one of the writing assistants, Tess’ natural curiosity is piqued and she begins to investigate what’s really happening with the Mann of Steel production.
As the story unfolds, a number of likely suspects enter into the picture with Lippman laying out a foundation and motive for each person to be part of the plot to disrupt the production of the show. As always with Lippman’s books, the pages turn easily and the narrative shifts between several characters while staying firmly grounded with Tess. The first half of the book lays out all the characters and their potential motivations and the second half puts the pieces into place, leading up to a satisfying denouncement to multiple mysteries taking place within the novel.
Yet despite having several threads running, the novel never loses focus or the reader.
Along with Elizabeth George, Lippman writes the most satisfying, character-driven mystery novels on the market today. As with George’s Lynley and Havers series, part of the pleasure in Lippman’s Monaghan novels is the chance to “catch up” with Tess. Of course, the mystery is compelling as well or else the novels wouldn’t be worth the time or effort. But the balance of character and mystery is well navigated here. And Lippman does the near impossible task of allowing new readers into the Tess universe while satisfying long-time readers of Tess’ adventures.
The latest in Stephen White’s Alan Gregory series of novels continues his recent trend of shifting between multirple perspectives among the various pr...moreThe latest in Stephen White’s Alan Gregory series of novels continues his recent trend of shifting between multirple perspectives among the various protagonists, always settling and centering on Boulder pysychologist Gregory.
“Dead Time” weaves together three perspectives as it slowly unravels the mystery of what happened years before when some friends camped out on the floor of the Grand Canyon. A woman disappeared under strange circumstances and has never been found since. What happened to her and the impact it had on the friendships of those on the trip plays a significant role for the rest of the novel.
The other threads slip back and forth between first-person perspective of Alan and his ex-wife Meredith. Meredith comes back into Alan’s wife when she attends a funeral of an old friend in Colorado and later when Alan visits New York for a few weeks with his newly adopted son. Meredith needs Alan’s help to look into disappearance of the surrogate mother she and her fiancee are using. Both the surrogate and the fiancee were part of the trip to the floor of the Grand Canyon.
What unfolds next is a series of revelations at a fairly reasonable rate, all grounded and set up by the early stages of the novel. And while the central mystery of what happened or what it means to the characters today isn’t exactly the most original mystery storyline around, it’s still compelling enough to keep reader interest as the pages turn.
What is far more interesting is the shifting perspective between Alan and his ex-wife and how they see the world and each other. Also, readers of the series will know that Alan’s current marriage is on dicey ground and following Alan’s struggles with tempations as he and his wife are geographically separated for the summer is intriguing. The real meat of the story comes from the glimpses and justifications as well as the blindness to faults he’d find in patients that Alan undergoes as the story unfolds.
And once the central mystery wraps up, there are still a few revelations about Alan’s personal life to come that are clearly setting things up for the next installment. It’s not quite as “holy cow, I’ve got to know what’s next” as the developments to Inspector Thomas Lynley in Elizabeth George’s novels, but it’s still enough to make the year or so wait between this book and the next an interesting one.
“Planet of the Apes” is one of those books that’s hard to approach without bringing along the baggage of the original 60s film adaptation or the less-...more“Planet of the Apes” is one of those books that’s hard to approach without bringing along the baggage of the original 60s film adaptation or the less-than-successful remake a few years ago. The original film is such a part of our pop-culture concsiousness that it’s almost impossible to separate it from what we have here.
This is one of those books that is what it is–no more, no less.
I could spend several paragraphs detailing the differences between the movie and the book, but that would be kind of pointless and wouldn’t tell you much about the book as a whole. That said, Boulle’s original novel is a social satire, as advertises and it’s one of what I’d classify as a fairly light, “bubble-gum” sci-fi read. It has just enough in there to make you think while reading it, but it’s not going to stay with you long after you’ve finished the final pages.
The thing is that not a lot of the characters have much depth. They’re all in here to be part of the satire of modern life and humanity’s relationship with each other and animals. For a satire that wants to point out how drawing distinctions based on external apperances isn’t a great thing, you’d think it would have a bit more depth to the characters. Add to that that the central narrator has a tendency to become a bit pompous in his relation of events and you’ve got a story that works, quite frankly, better as a movie than it does as a novel. I’d even go so far as to say that without the series of movies, this is one novel that would have faded in memory long ago, remembered by some who read it for a few of the twists in the final pages but not much more.
It’s not to say I hated this novel. But it’s not to say I loved it or found it nearly as compelling as some of the mid-range works by Issac Asimov or Orson Scott Card. (less)
Getting dumped is never any fun. But these series of essays from some of today’s top funny guys almost makes it worthwhile.
Well, maybe not really, but...moreGetting dumped is never any fun. But these series of essays from some of today’s top funny guys almost makes it worthwhile.
Well, maybe not really, but the essays are fun, breezy and most importantly amusing. My favorite was by the creator of News Radio, Paul Simms, covering the many crushes he experiences throughout a normal day on women, lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. Another essay on the first teenage relationship and how a misunderstanding of what she was trying to say led to years of resentment and then a realization is also nice. If you’ve ever been dumped, you’ll find something here to enjoy.
And at least you don’t have to take the advice of one author and just go bitter.
If your only exposure to Starship Troopers is the movie of the same name, you really owe it to yourself to pick up and read the original. While the mo...moreIf your only exposure to Starship Troopers is the movie of the same name, you really owe it to yourself to pick up and read the original. While the movie and book share some similarities, know that the script for the movie was written and then the rights to the book were optioned. Which means the producers took the familar name, some elements and added them to an existing script, all the while discarding much of what makes the novel so respected among sci-fi fans.
The cover advertises this one as a “controversial” classic, though having read it twice, I disagree with that. Heinlein give us his views on military service, child reearing and what it takes to win a war, but there’s not much in here that I found overly controversial—at least not in the same way as Stranger in a Strange Land or Friday. Instead, you get a few scenes of military combat woven between long lectures on Heinlein’s philosophy.
If anything, this is a melding of the two Heinlein writing styles—the philosophical debate tomes of his later years and his early young adult books. (less)