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)
Every book I read from Gaiman just makes me want to read more. It's going to be a sad day when I have caught up and have to wait for his next release....moreEvery book I read from Gaiman just makes me want to read more. It's going to be a sad day when I have caught up and have to wait for his next release. ANANSI BOYS was a lighter, more fun read than even some of his children's stories, and I thought that it was a great retelling of some old folktales. Gaiman's take on familial relations and siblings and love were fun and imaginative and kept me reading. To be honest, after AMERICAN GODS, I put off reading this, as Anansi was in that too, and I didn't want to mar my experience with that book. This was a stand-alone though, and it wouldn't have mattered if I had read the other or not. I needed something fun and light and not too deep to keep my spirits up this week and this did the trick. Well done, Neil, well done.(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)
When I thought about the rating for this book I wasn't basing it on historical accuracy or the author's technical skills. I base these thriller/histor...moreWhen I thought about the rating for this book I wasn't basing it on historical accuracy or the author's technical skills. I base these thriller/historical fiction/religious suspense books on the experience of reading them. In high school, history WAS my favorite subject. In college, my favorite class of all was my World Religions course. The history of belief systems and symbology and religion is and has always been fascinating to me. So it stands to reason that this book would interest and entertain me. I like Robert Langdon as a character. Not a typical, macho superhero type, but someone who uses his intellect and quick thinking to save the world over and over. Some people complain about the leading lady always changing, but it's fiction people, just enjoy the ride. As far as female characters go, I liked Katherine Solomon. The "twist" at the end of the story wasn't super shocking because I had already guessed that, but it was nice to know we were on the same page. Haha. Are the characters' abilities to save the world every time realistic? Nah. Are there historical facts and ideas that are manipulated to fit in with the plot of this story? Quite probably. I'm sure Brown researches a lot of stuff and tries to keep it as accurate as possible, but its gotta all fit together somehow. But is it entertaining, does it make you question your beliefs (and by questioning, I mean, just consider them and therefore experience spiritual growth)? For me, yes. I always like reading things about other people's beliefs, religious history, etc. AND...I think that this movie will be better than ANGELS & DEMONS. :) It's a fiction book people. Just read it, be transported into the story, experience it, and enjoy it for what it is. A STORY!(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)