At first I wanted to give up on the book, I was only a few pages in and I was having buyers regret, it starts out in sucI absolutely loved this book.
At first I wanted to give up on the book, I was only a few pages in and I was having buyers regret, it starts out in such a strange disjointed way, Death, your narrator, jumps around alot and talks about colors in a way that makes no damn sense. After a few pages of this you begin to wonder if the book will have anything like a plot or characters. But I stuck with it and the story settled into a more normal rhythym and I began to become attached to the main character Liesel. She is the definition of a tragic character, within the first few pages of the book her baby brother dies right next to her and she is abandoned by her mother. Your heart goes out to this little girl right from the beginning and you want her to be alright.
It is the relationships and people that Liesel meets on Himmel street and the rest of Molching that make the story really go. Her foster parents, Papa and Mama, or Hans and Rosa Hubermann. They are written in a way that you experience them much like Liesel experiences them, you develop and immediate love for Hans and are wary of Rosa, but over time you realize her hard exterior hides a very tender and loving heart. I really loved Liesel best friend Rudy Steiner though, a boy who knew no fear, who always liked to keep people guessing, and who would not give up in the face of anything. Max felt a bit cliched, but you still develop and fondness and affection for him, and I might be unfair calling him a cliche, but he feels like an amalgamation of every Jewish survivor story you have ever heard.
Strangely Liesel is the weakest character in the entire book. The book title and her title is very misleading. Liesel actually stole very few books, but books are what defined her, words defined her in a fundamental way that I guess makes the title work. Liesel is a loving and resilient little girl, but she is not a hero, she is not even especially special, she feels very normal, she is not Katniss Everdeen or Harry Potter, she is just a little girl making the most of a very bad situation, trying to be happy in the face of constant struggles, trying to understand how the world can be such a hard and cruel place. That is what makes the right character to tell this story through, this story didn't need a hero, it just needed a voice and Liesel is that voice.
You forget from time to time that the actual narrator is death, but then Death speaks up and reminds you, I really enjoyed these asides from Death, they mostly displayed a kind of dark humor that helped to balance out a lot of these terrible things that were happening. But most of the time the point of Death seems to be to show you the beauty in the human spirit regardless of the situation, or maybe even because of the situation.
Other than the beginning I loved everything about this book, it was one of those books that I didn't want to ever end....more
It was a good book, but hardly the legendary book I have been led to believe. The setting of the house is awesome, the book a had a few freaky momentsIt was a good book, but hardly the legendary book I have been led to believe. The setting of the house is awesome, the book a had a few freaky moments in it, but if you are expecting a haunted house book here you will sadly disappointed it is more of haunted people and way more cerebral than I had thought it would be. Eleanor, the main character, is a bit tiring after the first two or three pages. And the further along the book goes and the more insane she gets the more confused you get reading her, too often you are confused by her actions and thoughts. Hill House is fantastic, it is a big creepy mansion with an interesting history, and there is definitely something going on in that house and it is a tad disappointing that it never gets fully explored or explained. There seems to be a great ghost story here waiting to get out, it is buried beneath boring characters doing boring things though. Were Mrs Montague and Arthur suppose to be comic relief? That is how they came off, and the timing of their comic relief is very questionable when the book is reaching its climax. Still there was enough here to like, and the end was actually good, but this book has its flaws and it not deserving of its reputation as one of the scariest books ever written. ...more
I am not going to give this book one star even though that represents my enjoyment of it. I am giving it 2 stars because David Sedaris obviously has aI am not going to give this book one star even though that represents my enjoyment of it. I am giving it 2 stars because David Sedaris obviously has a talent as a writer, my problem is that I just didn't care for the stories, I could not find myself amused by Sedaris stories of a gay boy growing up in an upper middle class New England household, I think there is just too much cultural difference for me to be able to relate to the stories or find the same things amusing. My only concrete complaint about the book was that I found his first jokes about being a gay man amusing, but after a while it seemed that all his zingers revolved around that and I didn't find them funny anymore...more
This was a thrilling book, the first part of this book develops slowly and very methodically, it creates a paranoia in you as the read. Hurwitz does aThis was a thrilling book, the first part of this book develops slowly and very methodically, it creates a paranoia in you as the read. Hurwitz does a great job bringing you into these characters life, he catches you up on everything that had happened up to that point and you feel invested in these people very early. Then you add in the all the paranoia of someone who can see to enter your life at will and manipulate you any way they want.
The plot pulls you along nicely from there, one of the great things Gregg Hurwitz does here is making you think like the main character, you understand his reasoning most time, you can sympathize with him and you could see yourself making the same decisions.
I don't want to give away any plots details, there are alot of twists and turns and they are worth experiencing and I would have hated to have any of them ruined for me. But I do have to talk about the plot in general, not in specifics, to relay my one real complaint. At some point you are really left scratching you head, suddenly everything seems really stupid. At some point it is going to seem like the people setting the main character up are using a nuclear bomb to kill a ant hill. Hurwitz does a passable job trying to explain how there are billions of dollars at stake, to justify the level of the setup, but when you think about it still doesn't work. It still feels like someone burned down the barn to get rid of rats.
That is my only complaint though, this would be a 5 star book without that complaint, because that complaint carrys on long after you close the book. ...more
After the last Harry Bosch book "The Drop" I wasn't sure I would ever pick up another. I wasn't even sure Michael Connelly would write another one, itAfter the last Harry Bosch book "The Drop" I wasn't sure I would ever pick up another. I wasn't even sure Michael Connelly would write another one, it had seemed that he had developed some sort of antipathy towards his creation. Bosch had become a grumpy old man and I wasn't sure I had any interest in taking another journey with him. But I am glad I did.
With "The Black Box" we get back to the Harry Bosch that we like. The Harry Bosch who is hard nosed and driven who is determined to get justice for the victims no matter the cost. No more is it Harry going solo at the expense of his partner and in the way that makes him seem like he has a superiority complex. Sure most all the book is Harry by himself, but the improved relationship with his partner is much better here, Harry seems like he actually wants to help him, maybe mentor him, not exclude him.
Harry's love life takes a back seat even while at the same time being very central to the plot. And Michael Connelly keeps the best relationship, the most interesting one front and center, Harry's relationship with his daughter. Harry struggles to be a good father while also being a good cop, and spends too much time thinking he is failing at both, when we know his is winning at both.
The novel was great, not the best Bosch book I have ever read, but as fantastic as most of them, Michael Connelly is by far the best crime fiction writer working today and has been for some time, and you should not deprieve yourself of reading his work. ...more
I am giving this book a 4 star rating but it has to be quantified a bit because my opinion changed drastically and often throughout the book. The begiI am giving this book a 4 star rating but it has to be quantified a bit because my opinion changed drastically and often throughout the book. The beginning was a solid 4 stars right off the bat, the idea of waking up in a box with no memories is supremely interesting, the immediate and confusing nature of the Glade draws you in quickly and makes you want to know what is going on. It is that need and desire to understand what is happening that keeps you reading through many of the books weaker moments.
The 4 stars declined to 3 as I got more aggravated with characters acting in no way that made any sense. Repeatedly characters will feel emotions that are compeletly out of line with what person would logically feel and show at that moment. Characters being angry for no reason, aggravated at nothing, and most annoying characters being skeptical or trusting at all the wrong moments. A great example of these behaviors is the main character Thomas deciding to with hold information from the group, and then literally in the next sentence getting mad at the group for keeping something from him. Or early on when conversing with Chuck, Thomas gets aggravated with a joke Chuck makes and asked why he has to always be like that, at that point Thomas had known Chuck for less than 12 hours, and the character had never displayed that behaviour previously. After a while you start rolling with the punches and get used to characters acting totally out of context, but it still hurts the immersive quality of the experience by making the characters feel fake.
But here is the real hit the book took. How do you feel about the phrase, "Shuck it you greenie, you are nothing but a clunk head." Does that kind of childish made up profanity aggravate you. Making up words for a book in nothing new and it is good in a lot of ways and can become part of our culture, I mean everyone knows what muggle is now and we don't even think about it not being a real word. But what if the word muggle was in every third sentence of the Harry Potter books, how would you feel about it then. A character every other sentence is going to contain either the words, shuck, clunk, or shank. It got so damn annoying that my rating for this book dipped all the way down to 2 stars.
Things got very slow toward the middle of this book and this is a problem I see in books very often these days, with nothing beside that main plot to hold the readers interest the middle of books like this drag by and I came very close to just stopping and had to force myself to continue at one point. I was very glad I did. At a certain point things just start happening one right after another, the mysteries aren't solved exactly and in many ways more are piled on top, but it gets more exciting, each twist and turn in the plot reveals more twists and turns and you get excited wondering what is coming next and it gets hard to stop then.
The ending was so exciting and kept me so glued to the seat that I had to give it back two of its stars and if it wasn't for my character complaints I would give it all five.
All questions are not answered in this book and it sets up the next book perfectly and makes me want to run out instantly and get it. The build up to the end it great, you see what the Gladers have to do before they do, although I did find it far fetched in some ways, but it is a fantasy adventure in a dystopian future so of course it is going to be a little far fetched, but there comes a point where a very complicated clue is discovered and you can't really imagine the thought process that character used to come up with it, and the author just writes it that the character couldn't explain it but he just knew it. Well he figures out this incredibly convulted clue and then when it comes time to use that clue he can't figure out the simple meaning behind it which you the read will know easily because it is logical.
The book keeps getting compared to Hunger Games and I understand why, they are both basically young adult books set in a dystopian future, but that is really where the similarities end, so you don't need to go into this book comparing it the Hunger Games, if you do you will be disappointed. That is not to say the Hunger Games is better, actually I think this book has the better more original plot, nobody says it much but the Hunger Games as an idea is a straight up rip off from a Japanese movie. The Maze Runner on the other hand feels alot more original, you don't have that feeling you read this before, that I kind of had with the Hunger Games, which to me felt like Stephen King's Long Walk and Running Man got together and had a kid named The Hunger Games. But that is not to knock The Hunger Games, the characters are better and the book is better written. The point is that these books are wildly different. Here is a great comparison of Dashner's The Maze Runner, it is like a Dan Brown book for kids. In a Dan Brown book the characters don't matter, you barely notice them and care very little for them and they are quickly forgotten, what keeps you reading and what you remember in a Dan Brown book is the carefully crafted and laid out plot, the mysteries that keep you turning the page. That is what whe have here, so if you can handle weak characters, especially if you get a strong plot in return, you really need to check this book out. ...more
Loved this book. The Reacher series is my favorite ongoing series of books today, and Worth Dying For is one of my favorite books in this great seriesLoved this book. The Reacher series is my favorite ongoing series of books today, and Worth Dying For is one of my favorite books in this great series.
You have all the basic stuff here that you come to expect from a Reacher book, the biggest critique of these books at this point is that they are formulaic. And that is true, but for escapist fiction I don't see why that is a bad thing. Reacher wanders kung-fu-like into a Nebraska town and would wander out soon enough, but he gets caught up in something. As usual it is triggered by Reacher seeing something that isn't right, and he feels a need to right it and one thing leads to another and pretty soon Reacher is completely involved in screwing up the bad guys plans and balancing the scales of justice. But like I said this story is particularly satisfying. The story has bullies that deserve to feel what it is like to be bullied, and has truly evil people that deserve every ounce of fear and pain that Reacher causes them. That is what makes this book so very satisfying. The good people in this small community are helpless and have been relentlessly abused and bullied. And when you find out what has been going on for 25 years in this town, it will make you sick and you will rejoice that these people are getting what they deserve, Reacher.