This is the story of Captain Ahab and his whaler The Pequod, as told by Ishmael, a seaman aboard a whaling vessel for the first time. Ahab is a captaiThis is the story of Captain Ahab and his whaler The Pequod, as told by Ishmael, a seaman aboard a whaling vessel for the first time. Ahab is a captain with an ivory leg which replaces the leg ripped off by a great white whale known as Moby Dick. Ahab is determined to get his revenge on this monster, and as the ship sails round the world in pursuit of the sperm it becomes clear that he truly cares for nothing else. During the voyage, which takes years, Ishmael keeps the reader occupied with all of the stories, myths, anecdotes, philosophies, gossips, gams and details concerning whaling, his crew members, the mates, the harpooneers, the captain, the partners in ownership, the industry, and the world. Both comic and tragic, it is a great novel....more
The story takes place in 382 A.D. near Mt. Vesuvius which is again threatening the land with ominous smWhat a GREAT BOOK! I love everything about it.
The story takes place in 382 A.D. near Mt. Vesuvius which is again threatening the land with ominous smoke and lava. Gabriel is the young son of Miriam and Marcus, a Roman soldier. Nero is the name of their molossus, a giant war dog. Gabriel is just a kid, but he's a warrior at heart even though he fears the shadow creatures that seem to haunt his room at night when he should be sleeping.
When Marcus is called to escort a family through the Crimson Forest with five other soldiers and their dogs, he lets Gabriel come along. On this trip they are attacked by the evil marauding Volgoths and their seemingly immortal bats... and Nero howls, summoning the immense Atticus Rex, who is Guardian of the Underworld, King of Dogs, and Protector of Life (and Nero's father!). After vanquishing the Volgoths, Atticus Rex sends Marcus on a brief trip to the Underground to learn what lives below and to see what his eyes cannot normally see. It is a world of creatures glowing in darkness, large crystalline spiders plucking webs of light. There Marcus meets Arcus, the giant serpent with shimmering scales shifting in colored patterns and sky blue eyes, who tells him a few things. When Marcus returns above he tells Gabriel about Atticus and the Underworld, and Gabriel's view of the world expands and deepens.
As the story continues, more and more is revealed about what is beyond our normal vision. Wonderful creatures appear in the Underworld to help Gabriel and Marcus fight the enemies that accost them on earth. It's nice to see help coming from the Underground for a change. This volume is the first of three, and it is gorgeous. The illustrations are rich in detail (even accurate in armor, says a friend) and color. They are lush and they are perfect. The book itself, the cover and all the pages, is designed like an ancient tome, with parchment-like cracks at the sides and brown to sepia tones. And the back cover folds over to attach to the front, with painted clasps. But the finishing touch is the amulet. It is a beautiful bronze (probably, looks and feels like bronze) medallion with a bas relief image of Atticus Rex surrounded by spikes and little lightning bolts on the front and his name and other text and bolts on the back. The amulet tucks into a niche in the front cover so it can be seen and touched before opening the book.
The Legend of Atticus Rex Protects was written by Philippe de Vosjoli, who is considered the Godfather of Herpetoculture. He has written a vast number of books about reptiles and amphibians that he has kept, studied, and bred. This is his first novel, and it is as magical as his other contributions to the world. Any book that can turn a 66 year-old woman into a 7 year-old boy is pretty cool....more
This was interesting at first, but became repetitive and boring. How could a book about such a diverse, eccentric, larger than life genius doctor pracThis was interesting at first, but became repetitive and boring. How could a book about such a diverse, eccentric, larger than life genius doctor practicing on Nantucket be boring? Ms. Belluck praised him too much. She didn't tell enough stories about him to support her awe. If she had written a book of anecdotes and left the readers to feel the awe and curiosity and annoyance on their own, it would have been a terrific book....more
I needed to be anywhere but in my own mind on the day I found this book at the library and the cover promised an entertaining diversion. The drawing eI needed to be anywhere but in my own mind on the day I found this book at the library and the cover promised an entertaining diversion. The drawing even conveyed a wry amusement at how women once stood before the sea. The figure seemed to be engaged in a lively confrontation with somebody and I wanted to listen in.
This book turned out to be a great read. The plot was suspenseful, twisty, and well paced. The main character, Iris, was a plantation owner's wife who was judged to be insane for having defied and humiliated her husband. She was sent to this top-of-the-line insane asylum on Sanibel Island to be restored to her prior sane behavior as a good, obedient wife. But Iris was had been raised with integrity by a generous mother and a father who was a minister, and she was unusually stubborn and willful for the times. She learned how to manage as an inmate while plotting an escape. And then she fell in love with the broken soldier. The doctor heading the asylum seems at first to be not a very good bet for character development. Stubborn? Willful? And so on. But what I most enjoyed about Blue Asylum was the intelligence behind the whole thing, moving both plot and characters into unexpected positions and attitudes. I laughed, then felt sad, and cared about all of these people. Thank you, Kathy Hepinstall. ...more
I was tricked into reading this book by Wally Lamb. I appreciate his warm words on the cover more than I do the book itself. The story begins with twoI was tricked into reading this book by Wally Lamb. I appreciate his warm words on the cover more than I do the book itself. The story begins with two kids and a thwarted birth in a motel. Fifteen years later, they deal with the consequences. A great deal of suffering is talked about as the plot develops into two and a half families, two severely disabled young women, and a rich stew of emotions bubbling away. But I didn't feel much of it. The upper-middle-middle class families were predictably unreal and borderline cold; the lower (working) class families were rough and warm once they were impressed enough to open up a bit. I did like Najda, the most challenged of the lot. She was smart and spunky and full of heart as well as as tough as she could be. A fine character. As the story wound down, all of the complications were solved by money and attention and everything seemed awfully pat to me. I rate this book as a 2, but Najda gets a 4....more
Rated 3.35. I enjoyed it and learned a lot about stuff I've never thought much about. In a certain way, it was riveting. This is the story of a tattooRated 3.35. I enjoyed it and learned a lot about stuff I've never thought much about. In a certain way, it was riveting. This is the story of a tattoo and piercing shop, the owner and his fellow body artists. I didn't love the main characters although I got the idea I was supposed to, and about 3/4 through I saw the plot veer into a dead end (for me) and so I skipped through the rest. Otherwise, a good read....more
George Pelecanos has steered me back to my life of crime. I love his work. And he loves his characters, which is what makes him such a wonderful writeGeorge Pelecanos has steered me back to my life of crime. I love his work. And he loves his characters, which is what makes him such a wonderful writer. The Big Blowdown is astonishing in scope. Washington DC itself is one of the prominent characters, and the histories of the people whose families settled there drive the story. I can't force myself to say more. I just loved this book, and his other stuff as well. ...more
Claudia Casper has channeled me. How could I ever write a book more personal than this? Now I don't have to! I admire this author and I want to read mClaudia Casper has channeled me. How could I ever write a book more personal than this? Now I don't have to! I admire this author and I want to read more. Thank you, Ms. Casper....more