This book includes various selections from HST's work during the '80s. Politics, violence, gambling, tom foolery, sporting events, etc. The usual HSTThis book includes various selections from HST's work during the '80s. Politics, violence, gambling, tom foolery, sporting events, etc. The usual HST stuff. Although it was better than a lot of what is out there, when compared to the rest of his books it seemed to fall short. Maybe that's because the '80s didn't provide much that was worth writing about. Having been born in the mid-eighties, I can't really say. However, I just didn't like this one as much as his other books. I definitely wouldn't recommend this to a Thompson-newbie, but for the completist, it's definitely worth a read....more
This is the final book in Gibson's "Sprawl Trilogy," taking place fifteen years after "Neuromancer" and eight years after "Count Zero." As with the otThis is the final book in Gibson's "Sprawl Trilogy," taking place fifteen years after "Neuromancer" and eight years after "Count Zero." As with the other books in the trilogy, it features three interconnected plot lines and sets of characters that join up near the end. "Mona Lisa Overdrive" includes characters from its two predecessors and nicely ties up the trilogy, while leaving a lot up to interpretation.
By the time I read this book, I felt familiar with Gibson's prose. His style can be a bit thick and self-referential, although this proves to be a good thing if the reader sticks with it. Rather than being spoon-fed the events of the book, every once and a while things made sense and I experienced an "aha" moment. It can be a bit like learning a foreign language - the rewarding feeling of understanding a section, although fleeting, makes up for the confusion during the rest of the book. I am quite amazed at Gibson's ability to create a unique world like the Sprawl, which contains so many interesting characters and thrilling events. I can't wait to read the rest of his work, and would suggest this trilogy for any science fiction fan.
I don't believe that these books need to be read in order, although it does help from a timeline perspective. Things that happen in the first book could help readers understand the events and characters' actions that occur in the second two books. But each book stands on its own and would be a great introduction to Gibson....more
I enjoyed this one - the second book in Gibson's "Sprawl Trilogy," although it took me a while to work through. Mostly due to personal life getting inI enjoyed this one - the second book in Gibson's "Sprawl Trilogy," although it took me a while to work through. Mostly due to personal life getting in the way. The plot is interesting because it is three separate plot lines and sets of characters that are interwoven throughout the book, meeting each other in the end. I found all of the characters to be believable and either likable or hatable. I'm looking forward to reading more of Gibson's works soon....more
Without going into Krystle Cole's background too much (I would suggest watching the Underground LSD Palace YouTube video for more on her unique life eWithout going into Krystle Cole's background too much (I would suggest watching the Underground LSD Palace YouTube video for more on her unique life experiences), "Lysergic" is a book about her involvement with LSD manufacturers for the Brotherhood of Eternal Love back in the late '90s and early 2000s. Cole grew up in Kansas with very little and met Todd Skinner, one of the involved chemists, at a strip club where she was temporarily employed. Cole had no experience with psychedelics when Skinner insisted she try MDMA, which turned out to be a life-changing journey for her and led her onto a psychedelic path. In "Lysergic" she sheds light on many of her personal experiences with a wide array of psychedelic compounds and explains the many complicated and confusing legal cases that this group of people were involved in. The second half of the book is a collection of letters Skinner sent to her following his arrest but before he was given a life sentence for kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon.
I found Cole's explanation of telepathic experiences to be very moving and aligned with my own experiences. The variety of psychedelic compounds that she and Skinner took is quite amazing to me - Skinner's list fills four pages! Cole's writing style left a lot to be desired, as the book is riddled with spelling and grammatical mistakes. However, once I got into the flow of the book I found it to be a unique tale and enjoyed it. I would suggest this book to anyone interested in Krystle Cole's story....more
I received this book as a hand-me-down from my parents and knew nothing about it before reading it. The information in this book was somewhat intriguiI received this book as a hand-me-down from my parents and knew nothing about it before reading it. The information in this book was somewhat intriguing, but it didn't hold my attention very well. I couldn't retain most of it, and after a certain part I stopped trying to. It just wasn't a rewarding book for me to read. I realize there is an updated version of this book that would be more current, but as it is now this book is over forty years old and certainly felt that way. I wouldn't really recommend this to anyone. There have got to be better books on international conspiracies than this one. Still, it wasn't written poorly and seems to be an honest effort to expose the plans and methods of conspiracy groups (with a large emphasis placed on members and/or supporters of the Council on Foreign Relations). Since it seemed sincere and wasn't offensive from a writing standpoint, I wouldn't say this is a "bad" book - it just wasn't for me....more
I liked this one a bit more than most of Heller's other's works, excluding Catch-22 of course, which is a wacky fun ride and by far his best effort. CI liked this one a bit more than most of Heller's other's works, excluding Catch-22 of course, which is a wacky fun ride and by far his best effort. Closing Time is actually the sequel to Catch-22, and we get to see the characters in their old age, 50 years after World War II. While they were in their 20s, fighting in the war, they were afraid of being killed by the enemy. In their 70s, they are still afraid, because they believe cancer or another illness will result in instant death. I found it really hard to keep track of the characters and what was happening to them because Heller switches up the narrator fairly often and it remains unidentified for several pages into each chapter. After a while all of their lives started to blend together and I felt bored and unsatisfied by their character development. But like I said - this one is a still better than most of Heller's other books. It took me a long time to get through because I never got hooked by anything - plot, characters, language, or writing style....more
This Reality Sandwich single follows the story of its author, Eliezer Sobel, on his lifelong quest to achieve enlightenment. Or at least to explore itThis Reality Sandwich single follows the story of its author, Eliezer Sobel, on his lifelong quest to achieve enlightenment. Or at least to explore it. Sobel takes us on an entertaining journey - his 30 years of study with teachers, gurus, shamans, healers, channelers, yogis, etc. Although he feels that he never achieved enlightenment, he stresses that he did make an effort.
I found the story to be fairly uplifting and funny. I have had many similar experiences, and therefore can relate to the author's story. The question I came away from this book with is, "What exactly is enlightenment and why have we been striving for it?" This book doesn't have any answers, just more questions. And in a way, that makes it even more enjoyable....more
This is a straightforward book that covers psychedelic research from the 1960s to current day. It covers studies on ketamine, iboga, psilocybin, MDMA,This is a straightforward book that covers psychedelic research from the 1960s to current day. It covers studies on ketamine, iboga, psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, and salvia divinorum. There are mentions of other substances, such as mescaline and DMT, but they do not receive dedicated chapters.
I found this to be a great resource, and since the author plans to update it every six months it should continue to get better with time. The book starts with an overview of psychedelics in medicine and then goes into detail with each of the above substances. The last third of the book goes beyond the medical application of psychedelics and considers how they affect pleasure, creativity and problem-solving, ESP and psychic phenomena, and higher dimensions and nonhuman entity contact.
I would suggest this book to anyone interested in the topic. As I said, it is straightforward and a great overview of what is currently going on in psychedelic research....more
This is a strong overview and resource list for all things Terence McKenna. I have read most of McKenna's books and listened to hundreds of hours of aThis is a strong overview and resource list for all things Terence McKenna. I have read most of McKenna's books and listened to hundreds of hours of audio/video of his lectures, so I felt like a lot of the material was redundant for me. But this is a great introduction for someone new to McKenna. I have shared it with a few of my friends because they could use more McKenna in their lives. In addition, this is the first Reality Sandwich Single, and as of right now can be purchased from this link. I am a big supporter of Reality Sandwich and the Evolver.net movement so I encourage you to check them out!...more
This book concludes my reading of J.D. Salinger's works. I enjoyed it, although I didn't find it to be as strong of an effort as his other books. TherThis book concludes my reading of J.D. Salinger's works. I enjoyed it, although I didn't find it to be as strong of an effort as his other books. There are actually two novellas in this book. Both of them are written from the first-person perspective of Buddy Glass. The Glass family is common in Salinger's works. The first, "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters" is a tale about the wedding of the eldest Glass sibling, Seymour. Buddy tells it from his viewpoint, in which the wedding is cancelled at the last minute and he ends up with members of the bride's party and eventually invites them back to his home only to find out that Seymour and his bride had eloped. This story is pretty interesting and well-written. The second novella is "Seymour: An Introduction" and I didn't like it so much. However, it is a great character piece, once again written from Buddy's perspective. He describes his older brother Seymour in full detail, but I never felt that grabbed by the text. Either way, Salinger is a great writer, so a Salinger book is still going to be better than the majority of books out there. I'd say give this one a read, but only if you've read the other books by Salinger first....more
The mentally ill patients from Earth have been sent away to an Alphane Moon to separate them from the sane inhabitants of Earth. Chuck Rittersdorf, thThe mentally ill patients from Earth have been sent away to an Alphane Moon to separate them from the sane inhabitants of Earth. Chuck Rittersdorf, the protagonist, is going through a divorce with his wife, Mary, that ends up sending them to Alpha III M2. Mary and Chuck get in the middle of a war between Terra and the Alphanes, Chuck and Terran TV figure, Bunny Hentman, and the politics between the separate clans of the moon. There are Pares - paranoid schizophrenics, Manses - manic depressives, Heebs - hebrephrenics, and a few other separate groups of ex-Terrans who have been labeled as mentally ill. And there are simulacra - non-humans that appear to be fully human that are operated by members of the CIA. Although this isn't the best book by PKD, it's still a really solid one. I definitely enjoyed it....more
This is a collection of short stories written by J.D. Salinger. I really enjoyed at least seven of the stories, and the two that I didn't get into asThis is a collection of short stories written by J.D. Salinger. I really enjoyed at least seven of the stories, and the two that I didn't get into as much were alright but just didn't hold my attention. These stories were published between 1948 and 1953. It was a pretty quick read, although it took me a long time to get through due to life getting in the way. I'd like to reread this sometime when I can devote an entire weekend to it. It would make a great vacation book. Now I look forward to reading "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction," and then I will be done with all of J.D. Salinger's books! I highly recommend reading some of his works. They are very well written, and the characters are fleshed out so well that it is easy to connect with them and understand who they really are. This was Salinger's strong suit, in my opinion....more