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1984 is not a particularly good novel, but it is a very good essay. On the novel front, the characters are bland and you only care about them because ...more
Jan 2005
Aug 12, 2007
Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)
No one should argue the importance Dune. It laid the foundations for a great deal of the themes and constructs in modern science fiction. Frank Herber ...more
Dec 2006
Jun 24, 2007
A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)
If long Fantasy stories have fundamental rules, they probably go like this: 1) create a rich world, 2) put interesting characters in it, and 3) mix up ...more
Jan 29, 2009
Jun 04, 2008
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1)
This is a novel that blows past conventional ideas like "disbelief." Apparently humanity, a species whose only real claim to fame is war, now stinks a ...more
May 2006
Aug 13, 2007
Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)
Wizard's First Rule is a good example of why people think all post-Tolkien Fantasy is trash. It bears one tenth of Tolkien's imagination, a smaller fr ...more
Dec 2005
Aug 12, 2007
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
I had a heck of a time thinking who I'd recommend this to. It won a Fantasy award, yet I can't call it Fantasy. It's set in a bygone period, but it do ...more
Jul 2006
Jun 24, 2007
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
There are reasons to be wary of this book. The title is a little silly, and Max Brooks's Zombie Survival Guide was tongue in cheek. Hell, he's the son ...more
Jan 2007
Aug 02, 2007
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)
This may be the best Fantasy I've read since J.R.R. Tolkien. I highly recommend it to any fans of the Lord of the Rings series who have been disappoin ...more
Apr 20, 2008
Jun 25, 2007
Cry, The Beloved Country
This isn't an infinitely quotable book, but occasionally it produces a line that is devastatingly clear and true. Lines like, "It was not his habit to ...more
May 02, 2008
Jun 24, 2007
Woefully overwritten to the point where most modern readers who might be moved by Thoreau’s transcendentalism will be put off by the prose alone. If t ...more
Oct 1998
Mar 01, 2009
King Rat (Asian Saga, #1)
The beginning of Clavell's truly epic series of culture clash novels is a curiously autobiographical book. King Rat takes us to Changi, a Japanese pri ...more
Jun 2006
Jul 29, 2007
A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)
To those who made it through Clash of Kings, welcome to the Promised Land. On at least five nights this December I regretted having to go to bed rathe ...more
Dec 23, 2011
Jun 04, 2008
Y: The Last Man, Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores (Y: The Last Man, #10)
It'll be hard to respond to this without spoiling a lot, but here goes...

So we finally bring all the characters together, and all the longing and all
Feb 24, 2008
Feb 21, 2008
How the Irish Saved Civilization
Mind-numbingly written, building up to a nearly inconsequential conclusion on how Irish monks might have helped preserve some of Europe's classic lite ...more
Jan 2006
Mar 11, 2008
Don Quixote
In short: it's a frickin' classic of world literature. Read it.

In slightly longer, but still short: an amusing and infamous first fifty pages with lot
Mar 31, 2008
Jun 25, 2007
Watchmen, Complete Edition
I admire Alan Moore as a public figure and regard how much he apparently shook up superhero comics. That’s not going to make me like The Watchmen. Fun ...more
Feb 2007
Aug 09, 2007
Final Crisis
Batman is at risk, no I mean the planet is at risk, no I mean the universe is at risk, no I mean all 52 existing universes are at risk, no I mean all ...more
Feb 02, 2009
Mar 01, 2009
The Complete Tales and Poems
Holy crap, it’s a brick of brilliance! This doorstop-sized volume contains the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. The poetry, the essays, the short st ...more
Mar 2003
May 25, 2008
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife
Mary Roach's book has two great strengths. The first is that she's damnably funny; she brings humor to any place of uncertainty and any place of anyon ...more
Jan 2008
Jan 27, 2008
Written under the pseudonym "Richard Bachman" and pulled from the shelves by its author, The Rage is a hard book to nail. Most of the Bachman books ar ...more
Apr 2006
Aug 31, 2007
Lies & the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair & Balanced Look at the Right
I’ve been a registered Democrat since high school and many of my values are liberal, but this was awful. This book is an example of atrocious holier-t ...more
Jun 2005
Mar 07, 2009
The Leftovers
Though promoted as a novel about The Rapture or a Rapture-like event, fifty pages in you realize The Leftovers isn’t. Tom Perrotta’s novel is about hu ...more
Mar 25, 2012
Nov 06, 2011
Ethan Frome
Bleak fiction for bleak fiction’s sake about a miserable man in an inescapable, loveless marriage and his desire for another woman. Hollow and myopic, ...more
Sep 1998
Aug 17, 2007
Jesus' Son
I wouldn’t dislike this book so much if professors and literati hadn’t rubbed it in my face so much. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't entertaining, enli ...more
Apr 2003
Nov 15, 2007
The Boys, Volume 1: The Name of the Game
Apparently Garth Ennis hates superheroes and decided to show it in this comic book about a bunch of people dressed in black who cuss a lot and torment ...more
Apr 19, 2008
Apr 17, 2008
Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life
This was by far the most annoying book I read in college. It isn't just wordy; it's bloated with needless
tangents and almost incomprehensibly dense pa
Oct 2001
Oct 01, 2007
On Bullshit
Yes, the subject is a funny word. But the text is dry, and the substance is suspect. Frankfurt spends most of his (admirably few) pages examining caus ...more
Jul 2006
Aug 13, 2007
Uzumaki, Vol. 1
Well, that was messed up.

The black and white style of manga is very helpful to setting the subdued mood of the stories. The town feels oppressed, prim
Mar 03, 2008
Feb 28, 2008
Duma Key
If Stephen King had died fifty years ago and left all these books for us to read whenever and in whatever order, I wouldn’t have placed this one in th ...more
Aug 2008
Mar 14, 2008
Homage to Catalonia
As important as Animal Farm and 1984 are, Orwell was probably a better non-fiction writer than a fiction writer. In telling true events he is moved to ...more
Feb 2007
Jun 22, 2007
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