Disclaimer: Copy via Netgalley in return for a fair review.
This is hyped as a mash-up of a ghost story and Ocean’s Eleven. And...moreCrossposted at Booklikes
Disclaimer: Copy via Netgalley in return for a fair review.
This is hyped as a mash-up of a ghost story and Ocean’s Eleven. And it is. But the Ocean Eleven is the George Clooney version and not the Old Blue Eyes version.
This is not intended as a criticism, but it needed to be said.
Ghosted is about con, Winters, who is hired to steal a ghost. He gets together a crew, there is violence and betrayal. It is a solid if not outstanding read.
It also is more in the tradition of Noir then something like Ocean’s Eleven, either one. It reminds me more of the mini-series Mob City on TNT – gritty, dark, templates rather than characters. And while Ghosted is not as good or compelling as Mob City, it isn’t a waste of trees either.
The heist story is gripping enough to keep the reader’s attention, and this makes up for the fact that the characters are not as real as they could be – they are very much types. The plot twists are well done and not insulting, and while a woman reader could wish for better female characters, they are not bad or weak characters – just women in the tradition of noir. This makes the criticism genre driven as opposed to the comic driven.
There is some humor, mostly of a sexual banter between Winters and Anderson; however, there is a rather funny Harry Potter reference. It should be noted that despite the humor this is a story for teens and adults and not children.
The ending actually does transcend noir and humanizes the villain. This is done rather well, and much better than certain villains who become stars of their own and then heroes (cough Magneto cough). It is wonderful to see storytellers who can make a bad guy human without making the bad guy into a good guy. The end is also thought provoking, a good bonus that makes up for the lack of Ocean’s cool.
The artwork ties in very well to the story and is very noir like in its own right. (less)
I’ll come right out and admit it now. I am not a fan of Downton Abbey. I tried watching it when it first appeared. I love Upstairs, Downstairs after a...moreI’ll come right out and admit it now. I am not a fan of Downton Abbey. I tried watching it when it first appeared. I love Upstairs, Downstairs after all. But the phrases rip off and saw it coming, keep popping up. I don’t even watch it and I know what it is going to happen. Yet when I was at Joseph Fox bookstores (a bookstore where you must buy more than two books) this was close to the register. I picked it up for my mom who loves cats and Downton Abbey. I read it on my way home – it really is a quick read.
It’s Downton Abbey with cats. This means the dowager’s snide remarks have to do with voles among other things. Newspapers are put to interesting usages. Place settings are cleverly arranged to have more than one glass for milk. It is just the right amount of stupid and funny.
I brought this audio edition with a monthly credit. (I succumbed after looking at all the cool narrators. Very good so far, this book aside).
I have no...moreI brought this audio edition with a monthly credit. (I succumbed after looking at all the cool narrators. Very good so far, this book aside).
I have no problems with the narrator, Vikras Adam is very good. I'm not sure if this book works best in audio form, however. GR friends whose reviews and opinions I respect greatly love this book, and for that reason alone I will give this a try in print version. But Ash is annoying me and I find some of the description to be rather repeatitive. Will try print version.(less)
The title is somewhat a misnomer. Most of the fairy tales in this collection are Native American based (the language sounds Eu...moreCrossposted at Booklikes
The title is somewhat a misnomer. Most of the fairy tales in this collection are Native American based (the language sounds European, but the tale is Native American or First peoples). There are two exceptions, one of which seems to be simply a grafting of a Native American tale onto the fairy tradition of Europeans; the other involves Saint Nick.
At least one of the tales bears a strong resemblance to the Brer Rabbit tar baby story. (Note, that if you actually read the Brer stories, the trickster characters are the slaves who get the best of the masters, the wolves and bears, time and time again. Best version of Three Little Pigs I ever read is one of these stories). This is interesting and I wonder about the connection. Still an interesting read.
I think I first heard about the Troubles in Northern Ireland on a Saturday morning. This is way back when, and before cartoons the networks would put...more I think I first heard about the Troubles in Northern Ireland on a Saturday morning. This is way back when, and before cartoons the networks would put on shows like Lorne Greene’s New Wildness and Wild Kingdom. It was some type of mandate for educational programming. One channel had a half program that presented plays with social aspects. One play, a very good one, was about a group of people trapped in a pub with a bomb right outside the door. It took place in Northern Ireland. This was before I heard U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. This book looks at Bloody Sunday though the lens of the Saville Inquiry, which took place years after the event and lasted years. It is a more narrative form of the inquiry; I guess and points to suggests and conclusions. There is a chapter about each of the major witnesses as well as a section dealing with the actual day itself. It also looks at the roles of both sides – more damning naturally to the army, but there are some interesting comments about Derry and Bogside. It would help to have some familiarity of Bloody Sunday before reading this book. (less)
This is a rather good children’s book. The title princess is four, so it seems that the book is designed to be read to young children. This might expl...moreThis is a rather good children’s book. The title princess is four, so it seems that the book is designed to be read to young children. This might explains the showing rather than telling that occurs. The princess desires to put a stop to the dragon that is attacking her kingdom and has some wonderful spunk. There are some sequences in the story where showing a conversation rather than telling about it would have been funnier. Still, a rather good read.(less)
Well, Aphrodite’s goddess garden does seem to get quite a work out. I can’t say that I find the writing particularly erotic. At times, Aphrodite seems...moreWell, Aphrodite’s goddess garden does seem to get quite a work out. I can’t say that I find the writing particularly erotic. At times, Aphrodite seems almost silly at times and lacking in power. However, I do like the discussion about marriage before her wedding.(less)
I read this after reading The Siege because this book is referred to several times in that one.
The book chronicles the lives of several people in th...moreI read this after reading The Siege because this book is referred to several times in that one.
The book chronicles the lives of several people in the city of Mumbai (Bombay). Because the focus shifts on each section of the book. I found the section on the bar dancers, police, and mobs to be the most interesting. The section on Bollywood just seemed lacking somehow. The last section combing school and religion was a little better.
Even though I enjoyed it, I found the section about the bar dancers to be problematic because it seems to be an almost too romantic a view, even though it really isn’t romantic at all. It almost is a too facile look and even too much of an outside look. It’s strange.
Dante’s Divine Comedy is perhaps best known for the Inferno which is about Hell. It is, perhaps, a self full-filling view of t...moreFull review at Booklikes
Dante’s Divine Comedy is perhaps best known for the Inferno which is about Hell. It is, perhaps, a self full-filling view of the human race that it is the Inferno that everyone talks about and not the other sections that deal with Purgatory and Heaven. The human race wants Hell. Perhaps this is due to fear; perhaps it is due to a sense of superiority – he might have been famous, but at least he’s there and I’ll go here.
Today, perhaps Dante’s hell would be a store or mall in the US on Black Friday when all the insane people decide to do their shopping for themselves. I don’t get it. You can sleep in. I hope Dante would feel the same. I can just see Virgil lifting a skeptical eyebrow. (less)
Harry Hole has a problem. Several problems. First, his girl has left him. Second, his de facto son (his girl’s son) is growing. Third, he has to work...moreHarry Hole has a problem. Several problems. First, his girl has left him. Second, his de facto son (his girl’s son) is growing. Third, he has to work with that bastard, Tom. Fourth, he likes the booze a bit much.
And then there are the nightmares.
There is also a serial killer loose in Oslo.
And he might be losing his job.
While Nesbo’s Devil Star has shades of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – I mean honestly, isn’t Scandinavian suppose to be so much more advanced in terms of gender relations and status, because these Nordic thrillers keep suggesting otherwise – there is something compelling about the read. While the ending and twists might not be able to occur in real life, they are just enough believable and clever enough to past muster. I’m not entirely sure how many sisters Harry has; I think it is two. Regardless, these sisters give the Nordic hero the required TRAGIC PAST that every detective seems to have to have these days. Somehow it is all starting to feel like the same tragic past. There are shades of Wallander in Harry (at least I think Wallander came first). It’s like every show that has a female lead detective has to have her mental strange – Homeland, the Bridge, the Fall. Apparently well adjusted people do not go into police work. (less)
Disclaimer: ARC read via Netgalley in exchange for a fair review. The ARC did not have all the illustrations, so I cannot comm...moreCrossposted at Booklikes
Disclaimer: ARC read via Netgalley in exchange for a fair review. The ARC did not have all the illustrations, so I cannot comment on those.
When I was a freshman in high school, the Iliad was one of the books used in English class. I didn’t have a problem reading it because not only had I read Bullfinch and Hamilton, but also the children’s version of Troy. My first reaction was this is it, no wonder everyone else finds it boring. All the good stuff was left out.
In many ways, it is that reaction that this Osprey book about Troy battles, and seems to battle quite well. While the matter of Homer’s epic is covered quite well, the details that appear in the non-Homer work, the needed sacrifice to sail, the fate of the women, Helen’s back-story – all make an appearance here. The good bits are here.
The use of the good bit – the violent and disturbing bits that many people I would imagine, want to be left out – make the book entertaining and show that the story can still compete with the likes of Ironman and Thor, those box office behemoths. By keeping the nasty bits, the story becomes more engaging.
The prose is lively and matter of fact. It is not purple, and, more importantly, it is engaging enough to keep the attention of the reader. While it does focus on the story, told in chronological order, there is a historical reference – a look at the site of Troy as well as Greek culture. Additionally, there are boxes that contain a breakdown of who brought how many ships and which god was on which side. These boxes are nicely designed and make accessing the information quite easy. There is also a section about Hollywood versions of the story. Better yet, there is a bibliography at the end.
It is true that for the reader more familiar with the story (say, long time fan of the story), there isn’t anything really new – though the ease of access for detail might be worth the cost of book alone. The book, however, is ideal for a teen or pre-teen who expresses an interest in the story or who is not responding well to Homer. (less)
Your child has just watched the Disney cartoon of Robin Hood and wants to know more? What do you do? You get this book.
Osprey’s Robin Hood book contains a breakdown of the legend drawing not just on the famous book by Pyle but also on the ballads. The stories follow the well known tracts of Robin Hood. However, like the Troy book in the series, this book is rather deeper than first appears. First, most of the major characters in addition to Robin Hood get a close look. For instance, there is a look at the change in Much the Miller’s Son as well as Little John and Marian. There is also a look at who the Sheriff might have actually been as well as contenders for the Robin Hood figure. The Robin Hood section is most interesting because each contender is dealt with in terms of strengths and weaknesses.
The story is not sugar coated so not only is Robin as Puck here, but Robin as outlaw. It is this outlaw aspect that makes the book the most interesting for there is a look at the changing nature of the story. The section about Hollywood versions of the tale illustrates this quite well and covers up to the BBC recent series as well as the Crowe movie. The variations in the film versions are woven into an analysis of the tale, showcasing the everyman aspect that is a thesis of the critical aspect of this work.
Despite the scholarly side, the book is designed for pre-teen and teens. The writing is not condescending and is engaging. Included is a bibliography for further reading. While the book does not have anything new for the long time student of the tale, it serves as a good jumping off point.
Princess Tiffany is a tooth fairy, and it is a very tough job because fillings are rather heavy. Perhaps, well, undoubtedly the message and moral of...more
Princess Tiffany is a tooth fairy, and it is a very tough job because fillings are rather heavy. Perhaps, well, undoubtedly the message and moral of the story is too heavy handed for older children, but the artwork is nice and the story has moments of humor. (less)
If you have seen the documentary shown on HBO about the 2008 Terror Attacks in Mumbai then you will want to read this book. If...moreCrossposted at Booklikes
If you have seen the documentary shown on HBO about the 2008 Terror Attacks in Mumbai then you will want to read this book. If you are interested in current events, read this book. In people facing down the odds, read this book.
Quite frankly, read this book it is a powerful piece of writing.
The focus on book, quite obvious from the title, is the events that occurred in the Tajo hotel. If you want a blow by blow for the entire terror attacks then you are better watching the HBO (it would help to watch the film first, I think, to get the timeline in mind). While passing reference is made to events outside of the Taj, the focus is on the Taj. Biographical information is given both about the attackers and to some degree the victims. The authors trace the development of the attack to a degree as well.
The media here in the United States at least tended to focus not so much on individuals but as guests as a whole. When the hostage taking occurred, the focus was on those paying to be at the hotel as opposed to those who are paid to be at hotel. This book does much to change that and the heroic actions of the staff, most of whom would not have been able to afford a minute at the Taj as a customer. For my American perspective this was the best part of the novel because most of the news reports here focused on customers, foreigners, and not Indians.
This is not to say that guests are ignored. The paths of three groups of foreigners are followed, starting with the attack on the Leopold Café. Nor are wealthy Indians ignored. Some of the most gripping and poignant passages include the story of the Indian food critic, which as the New York Times Book review pointed out is parallel by the story of one of the chefs whose food she is reviewing. There are also the guests at the wedding, the Marine pilot, and the security personal. The young couple in love and the parents desperate to get back to their children alive.
But the best parts of the book, the ones that overwhelmed, gripped, and demanded that you do not put the book down, involved those who lives and/or deaths did not make big international news. The kitchen staff, the waiters, the police who went in knowing that they were massively outgunned. The manager whose family is trapped on the sixth floor. The man who goes back in for his daughter. It is those stories that truly grip the reader and make any interruption, any slowing of what happened annoying and frustrating.
For that is also what happens. Details are given about the planning leading up to the attacks as well as the attackers. It makes for a rather complete and damning picture of various agencies both in Indian and international stage.
In terms of layout, the book is well designed. There is a list of the people the authors follow at the beginning of the book. The people are divided into guests, staff, police, and terrorists. Pictures are below each description. Additionally, there is a complete list of the victims at the hotel at the back of the book. This includes not only guests and staff, but police and even the sniffer dog.
I do wish, fervently wish, that the authors will write a book about the attack at the other major hotel. The references made to events there, including a couple standing up to the terrorists and praying over the body of the victims seem to indicate that the story of that siege should be more widely known.
I suppose the question one must ask and consider is why you should read something about such in cruelty to fellow men. I suppose it is to know that cruelty and compassion go hand in hand. I suppose to understand or to try understanding more than what goes in your small corner of the world because in this era we are all connected.
I have to say that this short story isn't the type of book that I usually read. I have to also admit that I picked this up bec...moreCrossposted at booklikes
I have to say that this short story isn't the type of book that I usually read. I have to also admit that I picked this up because it was free. It is not something that I would pay money for (simply because it is not my thing).
That said, while I didn't find it erotic, it was pretty clear of typos and other faults that seem to make their way into SPA work. Bell knows what editing is. I also have to give Bell credit and props for giving May a friend, and showing May actually working (even if I didn't quite buy her in the position).(less)
The greatest thing about any online site or program that allows a reader to create virtual shelves for books is that it allows the reader to create vi...moreThe greatest thing about any online site or program that allows a reader to create virtual shelves for books is that it allows the reader to create virtual shelves for books. If you have a library, a private library, than you know the contrasting feeling of joy of rearranging the books but also the terror of doing it. But you also know the joy of being surrounded by your books. This is a book about books en masse for people who own them in masse. If you have two books, this is not the book for you. If you are worried about being crushed to death by library, read this. Once you have moved past envy for someone who has his own free standing library designed how he sees fit, you will fall in love with this book (and add more books to your own library). In this book, Manuel takes the reader on a tour of that which they already know. It is how we see the library. Along the way, you will be told stories about the power of books, the importance of books, and the conflicting “arghs” that we go though when we shelve books. It’s about books. It’s about the power of books. In particular, in light of recent events on various reviews and reviewing sites, I think anyone who has followed those you want to call them, should read this book. The section on censorship alone is worth the cost of the book and points out the essential truth of censorship – we all censored, but then goes into the debate about how far is too far. (less)
Charles River Editor's Native American series is actually pretty good. Each book (averaging about 57 pages) is overview of the title tribe. For the mo...moreCharles River Editor's Native American series is actually pretty good. Each book (averaging about 57 pages) is overview of the title tribe. For the most part, the series is well done and moves from pre-European meeting to present day. This one is about the Choctaw. I did not know that Code Talkers were used in WW I.
While a good portion of the book is rehashing of various stories, most of the book is rather interesting in describing and discussing what Hades could...moreWhile a good portion of the book is rehashing of various stories, most of the book is rather interesting in describing and discussing what Hades could have symbolism and the connection to other, earlier, belief systems.(less)
Like the first novel, this one makes use of long standing relationship. It is dark, but the humor comes from the relationship between the Marshal and...moreLike the first novel, this one makes use of long standing relationship. It is dark, but the humor comes from the relationship between the Marshal and his wife, a marriage of mutual respect, love, and frustration. The pacing was slower than the first, and it seemed to make the book drag a little.(less)
Fallen Petal is a geisha. She lives in Japan. She has sex with men, and doesn’t seem to get paid for it, so...more**spoiler alert** Crossposted at Booklikes
Fallen Petal is a geisha. She lives in Japan. She has sex with men, and doesn’t seem to get paid for it, so I think I am missing something about a geisha. They are companions, right? Not just for sex but for conversation and what not? But they do earn an income.
Anyway, Fallen Petal has three nipples, which might explain while she doesn’t charge.
Yeah, I don’t think it does either.
She has apparently has a rather big mouth, which I would think could allow to charge above average rates. Apparently, it just allows her to service two brothers at once. One of them has a feckle.
And then she has sex with a polar bear hybrid (a Yeti). And it sounds like the yeti is using her like a pogo stick (he pulls her up and down.)
I’m pretty sure it is not erotic if I am going boing, boing, boing, in my head. (Maybe because I'm not a guy. Additionally, I don't think Japan at that time had pogo sticks).
The yeti has a big tongue.
Apparently no and to are the same word.
Still, not quite as bad as I thought it would be. (less)