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Dracula the Un-Dead
Is there a way to give negative stars?

Against my better judgement and despite my ingrained wariness of “sequels” to classic novels, I ill-advisedly st...more
Mar 06, 2010
Feb 12, 2010
The Little Stranger
Departing from her preferred 19th century context, as she did in her last book The Night Watch, Sarah Waters sets her latest novel in post-World War I...more
Aug 26, 2009
Apr 09, 2009
The Distant Hours
I abandoned the effort to read The Distant Hours about a third of the way in. I don’t know quite what to make of Kate Morton, whose writing (at least...more
Jan 21, 2011
Nov 19, 2010
The Little Book
I really wanted to give this book three stars but I just can't. To me it
seemed like a case of a wonderful idea, sort of Jack Finney Meets John
Mar 2009
Sep 12, 2008
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective
To me this book reads like somebody’s master’s thesis that was expanded for publication – the style is very dry, there’s a compulsive need to share ev...more
Aug 20, 2008
Aug 09, 2008
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
When I first went to the UK and was doing my version of A Tour Round the Whole Island of Great Britain, which involved many hours alone on British Rai...more
Jan 1979
Jul 30, 2008
Antarctic Navigation
One of the monumental reading experiences of my life, and I’m not sure I can say exactly why, but when I look back at my reading landscape it looms up...more
not set
Jul 30, 2008
Cemetery Dance (Pendergast, #9)
**spoiler alert** Zombies in Upper Manhattan. (Hey, it's summer.) A relatively weak entry in the Agent Pendergast series, which is usually distinguish...more
Jul 15, 2009
Jul 13, 2009
Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
This was an exhausting, schizophrenic read for me and I have very contradictory and conflicting feelings about it. In some ways it was both frustratin...more
Oct 12, 2011
Mar 02, 2011
The Princess Bride
If you only know THE PRINCESS BRIDE from the film, turn off your computer immediately and find a copy of the book. The film is a thing unto itself and...more
not set
Jul 30, 2008
The Winter Sea (Slains, #1)
An appealing and unabashedly romantic entry in the dual-narrative, historical novel genre. The Winter Sea flips back and forth between events in early...more
not set
May 10, 2011
Just Between Us
Irish author Cathy Kelly is my summer palate-cleanser this year, just the thing to clear your head after a dense or demanding read elsewhere. Her nove...more
Jul 07, 2009
Jun 26, 2009
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (The Wolves Chronicles, #1)
"It was dusk -- winter dusk. Snow lay white and shining over the pleated hills, and icicles hung from the forest trees. Snow lay piled on the dark roa...more
Jan 1968
Jul 30, 2008
Five Children and It (Five Children, #1)
Nesbit is the great-grandma of pretty nearly all the children's fantasy books we love, the first author to write really wittily for kids and without c...more
not set
Aug 01, 2008
The Given Day (Coughlin #1)
After five years’ silence, The Bard of South Boston swings for the fences with this sprawling, brawling entry in the Epic American Novel sweepstakes,...more
Dec 15, 2008
Sep 13, 2008
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Haunting, unusual novella by Irish writer John Boyne about an innocent, sheltered 9 year old German boy named Bruno and what happens to him when his f...more
Jan 2007
Jul 30, 2008
The Ruins
You may never take another Mexican vacation after reading this high-end horror novel about four young Americans who have clearly never been to a horro...more
not set
Aug 04, 2008
Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy
A lovely and delightfully written mini-memoir by actor Michael Tucker (remember him from L.A. LAW?) about his impulsive purchase of a 350 year old wor...more
Sep 07, 2008
Aug 09, 2008
The Hangman's Daughter (The Hangman's Daughter, #1)
I suspect this book may deserve three stars, but I have to take one away because of the unbelievably leaden translation which nearly defeated my effor...more
Oct 10, 2011
Oct 12, 2011
The Graveyard Book
A dark and tingly tale about a little boy who's adopted and raised by the ghostly residents of the neighborhood cemetery after the murder of his entir...more
Apr 11, 2010
Apr 12, 2010
Untold Stories
I feel a great affection for Alan Bennett, at least the one he offers up in these periodic collections of ephemera. He seems the kind of mildly eccent...more
Oct 2006
Jun 16, 2009
So many people had told me that this was the greatest novel ever written that I'd begun to feel there was a yawning gap in my experience of 19th centu...more
not set
Mar 20, 2010
Young Men and Fire
I actually read this book about 15 years ago, but it's stayed with me powerfully enough to earn its 5 stars retroactively. The other night, looking fo...more
not set
Mar 17, 2010
Letters from an Actor
Out of print these days, but lots of secondhand copies available out there. Redfield was a beautiful actor who died young - I don't think he even made...more
not set
Mar 26, 2009
Ghost Music
I guess nothing annoys me more than when a reasonably intelligent and observant character behaves like an incurious, oblivious idiot just because the...more
Jul 10, 2009
Jul 10, 2009
The Man in the Picture
A very effective little chiller in the Jamesian tradition from the author of The Woman in Black. Hill works with atmosphere rather than outright shock...more
Jan 15, 2009
Feb 22, 2009
Inside Inside
I’m slightly surprised to be giving this book four stars, but then, it was a slightly surprising read. Somehow it hadn’t occurred to me that the James...more
Mar 21, 2009
Mar 17, 2009
Into the Wilderness (Wilderness, #1)
A spirited young Englishwoman is swept off her feet and, yes, into the wilderness by a charismatic backwoodsman raised by the Mohawk in this entertain...more
Jan 2011
Jan 19, 2011
The House on Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #1)
**spoiler alert** Having recently visited Charleston, SC for the first time, I probably enjoyed this book more than I might have done if its setting h...more
Sep 18, 2010
Sep 06, 2010
Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor
Detailed, compassionate biography of niche-defying actor Charles Laughton by the brilliant, articulate, and equally un-nicheable actor Simon Callow. C...more
Jan 25, 2009
Jan 08, 2009
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