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The Name of the Rose
What a didactic, tedious, prolix piece of trash! Eco writes whole paragraphs in Latin and then leaves them untranslated, because he's such an awesome...more
Feb 2010
Apr 27, 2010
The Wall
The plot is essentially that of Robinson Crusoe, albeit more boring and with a more back-to-nature theme. The protagonist becomes isolated in an islan...more
May 11, 2009
May 11, 2009
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
Man Booker notwithstanding, this isn't good. There are bits of brilliance throughout and I think a decent editor might be able to tease a good novel f...more
Feb 03, 2014
Feb 03, 2014
The Woman Upstairs
I am not a 42-yr-old single schoolmarm, but somehow I really sympathized with the seething anger of the protagonist. Some have question the sanity of...more
Feb 03, 2014
Feb 03, 2014
A Farewell to Arms
I just reread this novel, and even though I knew what was going to happen, the ending still got me. Hemingway purportedly wrote about forty endings; f...more
Jun 30, 2013
Jun 30, 2013
Daddy-Long-Legs (Daddy-Long-Legs, #1)
Are there no other male readers of this book? Isn't it more of a male fantasy than a female one? (Manufacture the perfect girl!) And this book is funn...more
Jun 10, 2013
Jun 10, 2013
Odd Interlude #1 (Odd Thomas, #4.1)
I found myself delayed in the airport with all of my books exhausted and was forced to buy a book in the terminal. These are the options I had: Michae...more
May 22, 2013
May 26, 2013
The River Why
There is a good book hidden inside The River Why, though I couldn't call it a good book. It's a bit of a mess, all over the map. In the afterword the...more
Jul 06, 2013
Jul 05, 2013
The Martian
I have a lower bar for SF, and this definitely rates high in that category. I'd almost hesitate to call it SF because it's just barely speculative--it...more
Mar 14, 2014
Mar 14, 2014
The Fountains of Paradise
Arthur C. Clarke is a brilliant man of science but a pretty weak author. How did this win a Hugo Award? Is SF that bad that this book can win one of i...more
Feb 14, 2014
Feb 27, 2014
His Master's Voice
This is a worthwhile read, but definitely not for everyone. It's very cerebral science fiction. The beginning is very slow to get to the point and the...more
Jun 2013
Jun 03, 2013
Breakfast at Tiffany's
I just reread this wonderful book. First, let me lament the disappearance of the novella. A good story, told concisely, is always better than a good s...more
Apr 20, 2013
May 26, 2013
Kiss Me, Deadly
I read this in German, in which it was called Rhapsodie in Blei, which is a pun in German, as "Blei" means "lead". Having seen the movie, I was a bit...more
Apr 2010
Apr 27, 2010
Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961
Like most biographies, this is too long and full of details the reader could care less about with some sections more appropriate for a master's thesis...more
not set
Oct 16, 2012
Chaos: The Making of a New Science
Do you like math books with no math, books that pretend to be deep and recondite while actually being facile and having the nutritional value of cotto...more
Mar 04, 2011
Mar 21, 2014
Portnoy's Complaint
I wasn't a great fan of this book and found it overly ribald and onanistic, but I did sympathize with the narrator when he had to dump the Monkey, his...more
May 15, 2013
Jun 10, 2013
Red Harvest
I'm of the school who prefers Chandler to Hammet, but I still enjoy his work. This isn't one of his best, but it's still a good and pretty quick read....more
Apr 12, 2009
Apr 12, 2009
We the Living
This is one of Ayn's first books, which she wrote about her homeland, Russia. It's clear she didn't like the place much. The writing isn't subtle, but...more
Feb 2009
Apr 12, 2009
Daisy Miller
Daisy: what a shameless coquette! Mores have changed, but pretty girls are the same as ever. This is an enjoyable novella with a rather abrupt ending....more
Aug 2013
Aug 01, 2013
Die Maske des Dimitrios.
I found the German version of this, "Die Maske des Dimitrios", in a dusty bookshop in Berlin, which only added to its allure. I loved it. Most of all,...more
Jun 2011
Aug 29, 2013
The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4)
My favorite section of this novel is an epic ski trip taken across the bitterly cold latitudes of the planet Winter. At the time I read this I was spe...more
Jan 2010
Apr 27, 2010
The Most Dangerous Game
This is one of the tightest short stories I've ever read. I found it in a fifty-cent pulp anthology of adventure stories upon my father's bookshelf as...more
Jan 1984
Apr 27, 2010