My first Amis book and my first read of 2010 was a lucky pick. The story is a twisted tale of a woman suffering from amnesia and struggling to survive...moreMy first Amis book and my first read of 2010 was a lucky pick. The story is a twisted tale of a woman suffering from amnesia and struggling to survive in the world. The story itself and the narration was very black and darkly humorous. I felt guilty about laughing sometimes, but the misogyny was so overpronounced I couldn't help but laugh at its ridiculousness and I'm sure that was Amis' intent. I have been on a run lately of reading books that take place in London -- I've always had a soft spot for London culture. The themes of memory, love, redemption, trust and gender roles were all intriging and I will be reading more from Amis in the future.(less)
I had high hopes for this book. I've been wanting to read something of Matheson's for a long time and this was all that my library had so I grabbed it...moreI had high hopes for this book. I've been wanting to read something of Matheson's for a long time and this was all that my library had so I grabbed it. I am somewhat disappointed with it. Maybe its because I've seen Rosemary's Baby and the thought of being raped by an entity, ghost, or whatever just doesn't scare me. Gross, yes. Frightening and realistic, nope. Maybe its because I've seen too many Horrorfest films by now. I just needed something more realistic. Also, what made this less of an enjoyable haunted house story (which I usually love) is that it was just too technical/too much parapsychological jargon. You could tell that Matheson was into the science behind hauntings but I think that all of the technical aspects took up more pages than anything else. I DID like that the book was arranged to give each character their own timeline and that Matheson jumped from one to another so the tension built between the characters. In fact, I wish the focus had been there. The predictability of the final showdown and who was haunting the house wasn't a surprise either, well...maybe his legs were. But otherwise, meh. I guess I'll give I AM LEGEND a try.(less)
**spoiler alert** I haven't laughed so much while reading a book since my latest Christopher Moore fix. What a surprise to have this be his debut nove...more**spoiler alert** I haven't laughed so much while reading a book since my latest Christopher Moore fix. What a surprise to have this be his debut novel and from a doctor, no less. I enjoyed all of the footnotes and the medical references, always into weird medical information. Even though the main character has mainly unlikeable characteristics, I couldn't help but cheer as he fought, shot and killed his way through his mafioso "family". I also like the twist with his grandparents' true heritage. I enjoyed the way this book started in one place and ended up in a totally new situation by the end (from doctor to mafia hitman to protected witness). Honestly, if I had read that it was about the mafia, I probably wouldn't have picked it up, but I enjoyed this novel so much, that when I woke up for my midnight potty time, I actually stayed up and finished this book!(less)
**spoiler alert** Not only is Lansdale moving quickly up the ranks of my favorite authors list, but the dynamic ass-kicking, ebony and ivory duo of Ha...more**spoiler alert** Not only is Lansdale moving quickly up the ranks of my favorite authors list, but the dynamic ass-kicking, ebony and ivory duo of Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are becoming two of my favorite fictional characters.
This installment was darker than the series opener, and had the normal fisticuffs and backtalking that I loved in the first book. The crime that occurs was much darker, more interesting and much less palatable, but Lansdale is great at writing stories like this. Reminded me a little of THE BOTTOMS, with the crimes against children and the sexual deviance angle. The funny thing is, I knew the instant the guilty characters were introduced that they were involved and for some books, that would kill it for me. But Lansdale is such a great writer that he keeps you guessing. Just because you know the who, doesn't mean you know the where, what, why or how and they are still very complusive reads and thought-provoking and that's what I love about his books.
And its hard not to love his descriptive passages like this: "The black cloud of fate came with rain, of course. Two days later, early afternoon, I was sitting on my front porch taking in the cool wind and the view. One moment there was just the same red, empty road that runs by Leonard's place, and beyond it, great pines and oaks and twists of vines, and above it all, clouds as white and smooth as God's own whiskers, and the next moment, the wind abruptly changed direction, blew harder from the north, turned damp and sticky, and the clouds began to roll and churn and go gray at the edges. Out of the north rolled darker clouds yet, and they filled the sky and gave up their rain and the pines became purple with shadow and the road turned from red to blood-clot brown, then darker. The rain slammed down hard, and the wind thrashed it onto the porch in steel-colored needles that stung my face and filled my nostrils with the aroma of wet earth."
Or the lovingly said, but racially and sexually charged, banter like this: "Aren't you embarrassed undressing in front of a queer? Leonard said. "All you know, I might be sizing up your butthole." "Just call me a tease."
I really like how Lansdale uses Hap and Leonard to bridge the racial and cultural gaps between the two friends and even the social commentary that the two clearly state without coming to blows, well, most of the time anyway. "Shit, Hap, I don't give a damn what happened to him in his childhood. I mean, he got fucked by his next-door neighbor who was a scout leader, I'm sorry for the kid he was, but for the man he is, I don't give a shit. He made his own choice." This is an EXCELLENT series and I'm so thankful to my friend Marvin for leading me to it! Thanks friend! :) (less)
**spoiler alert** Another chapter in the adventures of Harper and Tolliver. I heard that this was the last book in the series, but with the way it end...more**spoiler alert** Another chapter in the adventures of Harper and Tolliver. I heard that this was the last book in the series, but with the way it ended, I could see it continuing on. There's still plenty of dead-body mysteries to solve. Maybe I'm not so good at letting characters move on. :) I enjoyed this book as much as I have the first three, even though I finally figured out who killed Cameron pretty early on (okay, VERY early on) in the story. I thought that the mystery that tied both families together was a bit of a stretch, but she thought it out and it IS fiction, after all. There were some slips that stood out, like after the detective was killed and Harper went to the hospital and said that they shouldn't have been running with the death threat, that she didn't take it seriously, but he hadn't told her that when she decided to go for the run??? Did I get an advance copy...nope. Hehe. I would have to say that murder mystery-wise, the third book of the series was my favorite. It was very dark and more believable and atmospheric for me. I thought this plot was good in theory but I would have liked more explanation for how Matthew carried out his dastardly deed with Gracie, particularly since it was part of the explanation of Cameron's disappearance, which readers of this series have been trying to solve through four books. I always enjoy Harris' writing and I'm looking forward to what's next.(less)
**spoiler alert** Well, I can say I've finished a trilogy that I started reading five years ago. Some of what happened was satisfying, but there was a...more**spoiler alert** Well, I can say I've finished a trilogy that I started reading five years ago. Some of what happened was satisfying, but there was a lot of over-explanations, irrevelance and distasteful stuff going on here. It's really too bad, because the whole idea of government's overcontrolling its citizens and the invasion of privacy, preserving freedom, dystopic societies and everything else this book talks about is very interesting. The book didn't feel as dark to me as the first or the second, although it was less so too. I wasn't as interested in what happened to the characters and feel like the romance-ish thing between Maya and Gabriel was described in a very generic and unrealistic way. It felt like I was reading a book written for someone who just doesn't get it, can't think for themselves, needs to be talked down to. And I realize that the Evergreen Foundation had to make citizens afraid of a free and unchecked society, afraid enough to allow themselves to be controlled and tracked. But where in the heck did kidnapping and killing children come in? Yes, New Colony was decimated in Book One, but not for the purpose of killing children. Maybe that's why it felt so sinister then. After reading the first two novels, it didn't fit well. I mean, maybe Hawks did it for shock factor, and yes, I know, the kids didn't die. But it was overkill, for me. Really, there are so many options to control people through fear, and I just thought that was a cheap and easy shot. Yeah, dead kids --real original and thought-provoking. Also, I didn't appreciate the way every little detail had to be explained. If you're reading this book, you've probably read the first two, so why all the on and on?? And I didn't care for the whole "my daughter died, feel sorry for me and my terrible nature" turn that happened with Boone. If we have been hating him since book one, no sob story is going to change it. I liked the story enough, and I'm glad that I read it and closed out the series. It wasn't totally satisfying and I feel like it could have been so much better. I gave THE TRAVELER 5 stars, THE DARK RIVER 4 and now 2 (maybe 2.5) to this. Not a good sign. For all of the buildup created in the first two novels about Gabriel and Michael and their dad, the actual meeting and conversations just weren't that revelatory. If there was a time in the novel to delve deep, that would have been it. If he writes another book, I would probably read it. But I am taking him off my favorite authors lists, which makes me a little bit sad. (less)