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Modern Recording Techniques
This book is too wince-inducing to read, mostly due to its unnecessarily dumbed-down tone, its heavy reliance on meaningless wordy phrases ("In recent...more
Feb 2009
Apr 17, 2009
Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip
It's pretty inexcusable for a book about a comic strip and its creator to include zero images of said creator's work. Also, Martell's gratuitous inser...more
Jan 2010
Jan 18, 2010
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
Lewis's prose is always great, and he turns extremely complex financial transactions into an easily understood page-turner. The only issue is the book...more
May 2012
May 11, 2012
The Forger's Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century
This should have been a slam-dunk. An art forger who fooled the European cultural establishment and sold fake Vermeers to Hermann Goering? But Dolnick...more
May 2010
May 19, 2010
Inherent Vice
I read a review long ago on Amazon that sought to divide the works of Beck into two categories of music, Bizarro Beck (Stereopathetic Soul Manure, Mut...more
Aug 12, 2009
Jul 30, 2009
This book is 80/20, in the sense that 80 percent of its quality is crammed into the last 20 percent of its pages. The first 80 percent of its pages al...more
Sep 2010
Sep 11, 2010
A Book of Common Prayer
First of all, despite the title, this is not a Christian book about praying and shit like that. It’s a novel about human dislocation and the intractab...more
Feb 2002
Dec 08, 2006
Midnight's Children
Rushdie's crowning achievement melds Hindu mythology, post-colonial Indian independence, magical realism akin to "One Hundred Years of Solitude," and...more
Jan 2003
Dec 06, 2006
The Big Sleep
"I don't mind your showing me your legs. They're very swell legs and it's a pleasure to make their acquaintance. I don't mind if you don't like my man...more
May 2000
Aug 03, 2007
Infinite Jest
Too long by half. Then you get to the end, and you're like, "WTF??" And yet, it overcomes these faults. If you think about it for more than a minute,...more
Aug 2000
Apr 26, 2008
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
Hard to say. On one hand, Klosterman has a keen intellect and is quite insightful about things a lot of intellectual people don't think about very muc...more
Dec 2010
Jan 09, 2011
The only thing "wrong" with this book is that everything gets tied up neatly at the end, which frankly happens in The Corrections as well. It makes yo...more
Nov 2010
Jan 09, 2011
Executive Orders (Jack Ryan, #8)
It's hard to overstate the letdown of this book; the only reason it gets a second star is for the last 350 pages, which are gripping. However, that ha...more
Oct 18, 2009
Sep 03, 2009
The Conquest of Gaul
Two quotes from The Simpsons are relevant here. First is the episode with Rodney Dangerfield, when the cops think Homer kidnapped Burns' son, and Mr....more
Aug 2011
Aug 25, 2011
The Lemur
Too short, protagonist barely does anything but instead just (barely) reacts to things happening to him, characters are not believable, plot goes nowh...more
Jul 10, 2011
Jul 10, 2011
The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q, #1)
Reading this book was like being stuck in a long car ride with a talkative racist. It has a good plot, but the protagonist is an asshole. Not like a l...more
Jul 2012
Jul 15, 2012
Tree of Smoke
It's hard to write an original book about the Vietnam War, and Johnson doesn't try. In fact, he acknowledges his debts, overtly (multiple references t...more
Dec 05, 2009
Dec 05, 2009
You Are Not a Gadget
I'm not into the cult of Jaron Lanier, but he raises some important points about the direction of the Internet and technology in general. Could only g...more
Aug 2010
Aug 22, 2010
Old School
gets two stars (rather than one) because of a few well-turned phrases. otherwise, plot is vague to nonexistent and characters are clichés. also, I did...more
Jan 2009
Feb 04, 2009
The Affair (Jack Reacher, #16)
Not bad, hard to believe in a few spots (the sheriff destroys evidence in her own backyard even though she's innocent, really?). Also, the protagonist...more
Aug 2012
Sep 10, 2012
The Burnt Orange Heresy
I mean look, I enjoyed the last 40 or so pages. And there's some interesting subtext about how art criticism is bullshit. But this was not a fun read...more
Feb 2014
Feb 24, 2014
One Shot (Jack Reacher, #9)
A decent but largely forgettable thriller. Kind of like watching a long episode of SVU or something. A couple plot holes (Spoiler: I don't see why Che...more
Aug 2012
Aug 20, 2012
The Overlook (Harry Bosch, #13)
I hope Michael Connelly's other books are good, because this one sucked. It overflows with cop clichés and the writing style is repetitive. Also, extr...more
Dec 2011
Dec 03, 2011
Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy, #1)
Really good spec fic about the end of humanity, including some nods toward rumination on how bioengineering is playing God. Somewhat reminiscent of "T...more
Nov 2012
Nov 20, 2012
My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store
Memoir about several obnoxious people who, against all reason, decide to buy a deli in Brooklyn. Spoiler alert: they run it and themselves into the gr...more
Aug 2011
Aug 25, 2011
Consider the Lobster and Other Essays
excellent on many levels, though the one on the lexicon went on way too long, even for Harper's (where it was originally published and where I origina...more
Jun 2009
Jul 30, 2009
The Big Knockover: Selected Stories and Short Novels
Excellent stories, mostly featuring the Op. The final two stories go together, and the ending of the last one feels like a warm-up to the ending of th...more
Dec 2011
Dec 14, 2011
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
Entertaining, no more, no less. Sometimes I thought it should have been called "The Guy with the Long-Winded Diatribe," but it was still fun. The firs...more
Sep 2010
Feb 09, 2011
A crucial examination of one man's story within the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Sadly, blatant misconduct by authorities was far more damaging to him...more
Mar 2010
Mar 29, 2010
Bad Behavior
Most of the stories are great. The ones that are less interesting are the ones that are not about prostitutes or sado-masochism. She should stick to w...more
Jul 2009
Jul 30, 2009
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