I only found out this was a book less than a month ago. I have loved the movie for decades so I HAD to read it. It's very different. If you're expectiI only found out this was a book less than a month ago. I have loved the movie for decades so I HAD to read it. It's very different. If you're expecting word-for-word, it's not there. Some choice lines are still the same. Tucker still loves him some Burger Barn. But Gilbert... Gilbert is so much more developed. Being from his perspective, it does really help to see exactly how he feels about people. You kind of get it in the movie, but obviously way more here. Becky is a completely different character here, and I kind of hated her. But Gilbert, man. Brooding and sad and stuck. "We sit in silence for minutes that feel like funerals." It was really beautifully written. Some of the dialogue was painful, I think because the author was trying to convey the slowness of the town and mindsets, and maybe the idiocy of some of the characters. Gilbert and Amy and all the Grapes were great. You feel frustrated right there with Gilbert. It did end rather abruptly, so I'm going to pretend the ending of the movie is the real ending. But still really enjoyable. ...more
This book triggered my anxiety so bad, you guys. It was really hard to get through. BUT I will say that it was written pretty well and it was interestThis book triggered my anxiety so bad, you guys. It was really hard to get through. BUT I will say that it was written pretty well and it was interesting. I liked the way the story was told, switching back and forth between POV and time. And I was totally sold on the mystery until the last 5th or so of the book.
I kind of figured out the ending about 3/4 of the way through, but it still kept me doubting myself. But when you finally get to the payoff it felt rushed and ragged out all at once. It felt like the author was like, "well, huh. I guess I have to end this thing," and then tried to wrap it up. The female characters remained pretty true to form to the end but the male characters simultaneously reacted to the full moon or something because they became crazy, and not in a good way. It was strange and strained, and when I finished I thought, "okay, done." Almost like it was a chore because it made me feel nothing but anxious and bad and like I needed a drink.
3 stars because I liked it okay, it just didn't reach its potential. And it made me SO uncomfortable to read. ...more
[Edit: was just talking about this book again and got mad about it, so I'm editing in a few thoughts I was too incensed to remember to put in here ori[Edit: was just talking about this book again and got mad about it, so I'm editing in a few thoughts I was too incensed to remember to put in here originally.]
Where do I start? I went into this knowing that it was self-published and that I wasn't going to really enjoy it. It was... worse than I was expecting? I mean, the idea was sort of there. Kind of. It wasn't fleshed out, and there were a few holes. The writing was alright. But it was very clear that it was self-published. It was almost more of a cautionary tale for making sure you go through drafts, plural, before publishing. Let me put it this way...
There were moments when reading this book that I thought "Oh, well, this author isn't so bad." But then, far outweighing those moments, were moments and scenes and chapters where I felt like he was largely losing the voice of the story and of the characters, and didn't really know himself where he was going. There is a ghost of a 7-year-old, but he alternates between seeming like a middle-aged demon and Casper the Friendly Ghost. I couldn't figure him out. Even when the character was alive, and a child he didn't talk like a child most of the time. Instead, he said things like "Not as sweet as yo' ass, Grandpa," when asked if he liked the taste of well water? I mean, FFS.
Some of the plot points bordered and then fell over the line of ridiculous. Like climbing the fence on top of a skyscraper to get a damn hat. Or (view spoiler)[Using sixteen sticks of dynamite to blow up his own house, which didn't really blow it up, but only set it on fire? Or throwing a couple of sticks down a well, where the main character's friend met an untimely death, to fill it in, but it didn't fill in? And the dude's hand was left intact? (hide spoiler)].
Maybe it can be argued that what the author was going for was an unreliable narrator. And I think it would have worked if it had been executed in a more convincing manner. Instead, the main character spent 80% of the book seeming like an idiot. So by the time we got toward the end where it could be argued he's unreliable, he just seems like an even bigger idiot. And the end wasn't a surprise at all. It was telegraphed the entire book.
And don't get me started on how big of an idiot the female character was made out to be. OH GOD YOU'RE CLIMBING A FENCE ON TOP OF A SKYSCRAPER AND YOU COULD POSSIBLY KILL YOURSELF BUT MOTHER OF GOD SAVE MY HAT. Also, what f**king idiot acts like it's no big deal to (view spoiler)[pick up the remaining pieces of her blown-apart brother and act like nothing happened and continue to call the idiot who blew up her brother "sweetie" and other pet names? (hide spoiler)] Run, girl. Run far. [Edit: Not to mention the whole forgiving him for trying to kill her by BURNING HER ALIVE IN HER HOUSE. Fuck spoilers. See this ridiculousness.]
The love interest story line was pointless and underdeveloped. [Edit: seriously, the few sex scenes were non-scenes and so awkward. As my friend Sarah is quick to point out, the author refers to a full-grown man's penis as a "curious turtle" and "Johnny on the spot." I felt violated the whole times. Also, idiot main character? You knew the girl for like 2 months one summer when you were a kid. That a "childhood sweetheart" does not make. It was some weird nostalgic lust at first sight at best, and the whole thing was very off putting.] There were countless plot points and pieces of characterization that went nowhere for no reason. Not until toward the VERY END does the reader find out why the main character suddenly showed up in whatever town this took place in (I don't care) with a sack full of money.
[Edit: HOW DID I NEGLECT TO MENTION THE DOG THAT LITERALLY UNDERSTOOD ENGLISH AND BARKED ONCE FOR YES.]
[Edit: Okay, the drunk driving bit toward the end. Spoilers and whatever: this idiot is drinking, like, whiskey and getting shitfaced and driving around. At this point the cops are on to him, and he sharing the freaking bottle with his brother-ghost. The ghost is taking fucking swigs off the bottle and it's going right through him. It was like a mix between the uncles eating in Casper The Friendly Ghost movie with Christina Ricci, and the moment in Fight Club when you find out Tyler isn't real. More the former than the latter. How dare I compare the latter to this book, but there you go. I think I'm on to something with the Casper thing. How could it not be inspiration? Seriously. It was completely ridiculous and I think there was a wreck and that's how he ended up in the hospital but not dead but I can't remember nor do I care. Ugh.]
The ONLY thing I kind of enjoyed about this book was the twist regarding how the little brother died. It's a shame that twist couldn't be part of a better book.
It's pretty clear it wasn't really edited except for some light proofreading (and even that is doubtful that it was done by a professional). The story wasn't well developed, and it was just disappointing. Don't read this book unless it's published again after a major revision.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
"A criminal is a criminal is a criminal." That's the overall message I got from Inside the Criminal Mind by Standon E. Samenow, Ph.D. The book goes in"A criminal is a criminal is a criminal." That's the overall message I got from Inside the Criminal Mind by Standon E. Samenow, Ph.D. The book goes into detail on a myriad of different criminal behaviors, and the thought processes behind them. But chapter after chapter, it was "once a criminal, always a criminal."
I actually found this quite refreshing since most other books that I've read on this subject (there haven't been many), have indicated that criminality is the result of upbringing. As a casual student of criminals (i.e., I am not actually a student; I just consume a lot of media on the subject), I hear all the time that. My thinking is more that it's a combination of factors. But, Samenow's logic is pretty sound. If a person is going to commit a crime, it doesn't matter where he grew up, what family he belonged to, or what school he attended. If he has the mind to commit a crime, big or small, he will commit it. I found that really fascinating.
The book was very broad and covered many subjects, but my one complaint was that it was a bit repetitive. That's perhaps the result of multiple revisions and editions. I felt like some chapters contained good examples, but the others gave one or three too many. I get it. Let's move on. I do also wish that there had been more named re-life examples, like Timothy McVeigh and Lee Boyd Malvo, instead of pseudonyms, just for more context. But there was one unnamed example that I remember from real-life news, so it was nice to have have that frame of reference.
Overall, I really enjoyed the author's approach to the subject, and it was an intriguing read for anyone interested in the thought process of criminals -- but be warned. It is only that: thought process. There is little to answer the question of "why."
Click here for more information about the book and the author.
This book made me incredibly sad. I have it at a 3 but I guess it's more of a 3.5.
I mean... I really like the idea of it, and I always liked those "wThis book made me incredibly sad. I have it at a 3 but I guess it's more of a 3.5.
I mean... I really like the idea of it, and I always liked those "write a letter" assignments in school. I thought the voice was pretty authentic to a high school freshman who strives to be "better" all the time. That kind of hit home for me. Her attitude about things, why she does or doesn't say things was... way close to high school me.
But the fact that this took place in modern day, I guess I had a hard time believing these teenagers were obsessed with Nirvana, The Doors and Janis Joplin. I it's possible since I lived The Doors in high school too, but it felt strange.
All the characters were pretty much stereotypes, but it wasn't that troublesome. The book was funny and sad. It made me actually cry twice, and a physical response is ALWAYS a good thing. That's the extra half a star. ...more
I was disappointed by this book. I wanted to like it, and expected it to be strange from the start, but it was so dismally boring, I found myself hatiI was disappointed by this book. I wanted to like it, and expected it to be strange from the start, but it was so dismally boring, I found myself hating this compulsion I have where I have to read books all the way through, even if I hate them. (Because what if something changes my mind?) I didn't HATE this book, just mildly, okay kind of strongly disliked it.
I saw the ending coming about a quarter through the book. There were a few parts that did suspense fairly well but for the most part I wished I was just reading The Tale-Tell Heart instead. And the 80 million pages about how humans can be part bicycle and bicycles could be part human were a bit overkill.
I might have gone on a tirade on Twitter about this book. I'll just copy and paste.
You ever read a book that never gets better or worse but just a maI might have gone on a tirade on Twitter about this book. I'll just copy and paste.
You ever read a book that never gets better or worse but just a maintains the same level of awful? Yep. http://t.co/Ghd1vX0GeW
It's been a while since I've felt so violated by how terrible a book was. Like, I can't tell if it was SUPPOSED a to be scary or funny.
Spoiler alert: it was neither. And the Ikea knock-off furniture having Norwegian names and/or puns made me wonder if a child wrote it.
It was bad, you guys. So bad. Don't even bother. #horrorstör
Okay, I'm done.
Correction: in my book-rage I accidentally a word in a tweet. The Norwegian names were dirty words. Hence. A child. http://t.co/jvOHTCZTJR
I'm just sad I wasted $15, okay? :(
Additional thoughts: the premise sounded fun. I've seen the premise used before, effectively. But the situations that the characters found themselves in were just... silly. They kept getting captured by the "ghosts" but it was ridiculously easy to escape. I'm pretty sure the main chick escaped 3 times. Things were pretty telegraphed. The end was really dumb and obvious. There was ONE tense scene where shit started to go down (though didn't really ever), but that's it. Lame lame lame. Disappointed....more
I don't know what I was expecting. Is this a case of ruining the book by seeing the movie first? Maybe. I really liked the movie. I don't know. I loveI don't know what I was expecting. Is this a case of ruining the book by seeing the movie first? Maybe. I really liked the movie. I don't know. I loved all of the chapters from Oskar's POV. I love how precocious he is, and how hurt he is, and how much guilt he carries around with him for such a small boy.
I hated almost every single chapter from the grandparents' POV. Specifically the grandfather's. What a weirdo. I don't know if I was supposed to, but I felt close to zero sympathy for him. The grandmother I liked only in relation to Oskar. The whole thing about nothing spaces and putting up with the grandfather's crap kind of made me mad. The chapter where I finally started liking her didn't come until about halfway through the book, where she writes to Oskar about That Morning.
I did tear up a few times during the book, because of course I did. And it was always only during Oskar's chapters. Oskar is a great character. I just couldn't muster feelings for anyone else (except some of the Blacks). Meh.
This one was a little bleak. I mean, four people meet when they happen to go to the top of the same building on New Year's Eve with the intent of throThis one was a little bleak. I mean, four people meet when they happen to go to the top of the same building on New Year's Eve with the intent of throwing themselves off. The fact of them all being there keeps any of them from doing it, and they form a bond, a gang with a pact: If they're not dead by Valentine's Day, they'll come back up there to kill themselves. They become deeply involved in each other's lives whether they want to or not.
The characters are sad, but real. And I absolutely loved Hornby's writing style. It's the first Hornby book that I've read, though I've seen a few movies based on his books. It was great. There were several laugh-out-loud moments, which is always interesting with such a heavy subject matter. I also really enjoyed the jumping between each of the four characters' POVs. A+, would recommend.
The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was the ending felt a bit abrupt. I listened to the audiobook, and had to listen to the end a couple of times before I grasped what happened. It just wasn't... what I expected I guess. The rest of it was great though. I may have to go back and read it again....more