Nightmare Range is a hard boiler set in the bases around the Korea country during the Korea war. It is a collected stories about two military police dNightmare Range is a hard boiler set in the bases around the Korea country during the Korea war. It is a collected stories about two military police detectives who go around solving various high profiled cases with political and personal impacts on the G.I. and the Korea civilians. Riddled with rituals, shrines, even shaman, and Korea language, where G.I. boys either fall in love with the business suit girls or discard them like dolls, the backdrops to the stories are stirring and realistic.
I really like both characters, couple of mavericks who refuse to cooperate with the brass's goal of keeping it quiet even at the expense of innocents being held for questioning via the Korea police rubber hoses or sucker punches to the stomach. Also walking around with brass knuckles in the pockets of the black jacket with the dragon stitched on the back, jeans and sneakers, and the narrator by his partner's side with a 45 in a shoulder harness is a bad assed way to be on the job. ...more
**spoiler alert** "The Lie" is what Stephen King meant when he said this is what great fiction is all about.
At first I thought it was a neat tightly w**spoiler alert** "The Lie" is what Stephen King meant when he said this is what great fiction is all about.
At first I thought it was a neat tightly written spy thriller created by an author with an extensive background in Israel Defense Force and as a war correspondent during the global wars on terrorism. The writing is very sparse but compelling. In short chapters, scenes are high wired tensions as a mother, who was hired as an advisor chief superintendent for the prime minister and left in charge of the Arabic Canadian reporter's life and limbs, debates what to do when her own son in the IDF is kidnapped and tortured the tape sent to the Al Jazeera network news. She must chose to follow or bend or break the law as the source of her son's rescue awaits her in a locked room with a black hood over his face. The twisted bookends of beginning and ending reveal the utter senseless of war between the Israelite Jewish fear and paranoia and the unending hatred of the Arabic Israelites. The brilliant irony turns this novel from a run of the mill spy thriller into a Charles Dickson's classical story of shattering blows in the family lines of the previous generation and the next. ...more
**spoiler alert** This review is offensive and I think I am the only one who think this is funny.
I really learned a lot about the damages that untrai**spoiler alert** This review is offensive and I think I am the only one who think this is funny.
I really learned a lot about the damages that untrained bloggers could cause a business, political figure, and even each other. I learned about the inflated goal of how many page views a website gets and the whoring for attention by all immoral bloggers. It made me look at the websites with a wary eye for their main agenda is to attact my attention. They even made it difficult to log on to give out an opinion on their websites to trick me into increasing the page view and at the same time view more ads. After reading that, it would be benefical for me to copy then paste the word "SHITTY" each time I give out my opinon on each website portrayed in this book.
I feel like an idiot for wasting my time in reading websites that tell me to click on that to lose weight, get rich, get a pecker stretcher (they probably would send me a rubber chicken on a stretcher), get a hot girlfriend, and many other secrets to happiness.
I am surprised the author did not mention one guilt trip internet charities lay on me. One strong example is putting a stop clock in a pop up, with the statement, "Every Forty Five Seconds, a Eithopia Child Dies." Then forty five, forty four, forty three... First of all it takes me at least one minute for me to get off the porn website that I was watching. Second of all how many children have to die before I decide to cease viewing porn? How many is forty five seconds in ten hours? Who knows?
While I agree with the author that soul crushing snark is wrong, I can't help but think some of them are pretty damn funny. Especially the one about a public figure living in a masturbatorium. But I could see how that could quickly turn back on the person who thinks he or she is funny. It made me ashamed to guess why Kelly Osboure got a black eye on the recent flight over and then immediately to myself, "I did not know that women had to do the dishes on the airplane." I guess it is only funny if it happens to someone else. ...more
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
Bit of warning. I will be bringing up my third novel in progress in this review. If yThe Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
Bit of warning. I will be bringing up my third novel in progress in this review. If you do not like it when I do that, do not read any further.
This book inspired me to plan to write a deaf version of a superhero of my own for my third book ten years ago. The parts where Joe Kavalier inked and wrote out the stories of the Escapist, and Monitor, and Luna Monitor made me decide to write my own epic story of Christopher Poole, a troubled golem of my own. I have finished the first novel, gather the weeds and rewrote it to involve the language aspect of it just now, and am almost finished with the sixth rough draft rewrite of what I had taken to calling a Yiddish dystopia horror novel, Living Envy Dead, the story of how Christopher’s father and mother met. The story about Kavailer discovering the Golem was set from the author’s own childhood with slight variations of details. In it, the readers get a hint of the story from the descriptions of the artworks in the panels:
There were no balloons in any of the panels, no words at all except for those that appeared as part of the artwork itself–signs on buildings and roads, labels on bottles, addresses on love letters that formed part of the plot–and the two words THE GOLEM! which reappeared on splash page at the start of each chapter, each time in a different guise, the eight letters and exclamation point transformed now into a row of houses, now into a stairway, into nine marionettes, nine spidery blood-stains, the long shadows of nine haunted and devastating women, Joe had intended eventually to paste in balloons ad fill them with text, but he had never been able to bring himself to mar the panels in this way.
When I read the story of a story, I became breathless with excitement. The story that I mulled over since high school and decided not to do that yet made me change my mind once again. I became desperate to write that story even though it had not fully formed in my mind until now. My mind was as Michael Chabon described:
…boxes brimming with the raw materials, the bits of rubbish from which they had, each in his own way, attempted to fashion their various golems. In literature and folklore, the significances and the fascination of golems–from Rabbi Loew’s to Victor von Frankenstein-lay in their soulessness, in their tireless inhuman strength, in their metaphorical association with overweening human ambition, and in the frightening ease with which they passed beyond the control of their horrified and admiring creators.
I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Chabon at a writer conference in Montgomery Community College and was able to tell him personally how that book is my personal favorite. He wrote in the inscription, ‘You being here made the evening special’ with his giant bloated and sloppy, more like initials than first and surname and that key symbol. And he shook my hand. He also hugged my interpreter whom he seemed to have a crush on and even told the attendees at the podium before the signings how that interpreter is lovely enough to remind him of his heroes like his wife and his mother.
After writing that, I still think my third book, ‘SAVIOR NEED MUST’, about my own Deaf superhero will be better. ...more
I became a fan of Gillian Flynn’s fiction when she wrote Dark Places, especially in the passage where the narrator stated that it must have Gone Girl
I became a fan of Gillian Flynn’s fiction when she wrote Dark Places, especially in the passage where the narrator stated that it must have been difficult to try and save the children, especially with mother’s face half gone. (From a gunshot wound as the narrator a family mass murder survivor wrote). And of Sharp Object in which the narrator had been the kind of a insecure teenaged girl who would sleep with the boys in the popular crowds to belong and cuts herself to feel anything. In Gone Girl, two characters take turns telling he said, she said, story about a murder, from the perceptive of a husband who is accused of murder and the wife who is the victim. They started out sympathetic at first, but slowly revealed their loathsome thoughts and deeds as the story moves on. I like the perceptive of the wife who tries to be a ‘Cool Girl’ the kind of the girl who eats chili hotdogs, watches sports with the boyfriend, and giggles at fart jokes. She lays down the cold hard truth is that when a girl acts like a ‘Cool Girl’, she is just trying to please you to stay in the relationship.
I really like the reaction of the husband near the end when he numbly realizes the fallouts of his douchey behavior when the police officers open the shed at his sister’s house to reveal all the male items like golf clubs, mounds of pornographic D.V.D’s., and others that he claimed not to have purchased on his credit card. (“Okay.”) Dark, wicked, and funny, it is the cocaine of the literacy world. The book’s appeal is that it makes the worst half too human and the evil half a twisted grotesque monster.
In the twentieth century, a large philosophy movement, existentialism, tells us the individual is his or her**spoiler alert** A Confederacy of Dunces
In the twentieth century, a large philosophy movement, existentialism, tells us the individual is his or her own agent and responsible for his or her own choices. John Kennedy Toole, the writer who also wrote Neon Bible, revealed that through use of irony as a structure of his funny novel. The first passage describes Ignatius J Reilly, (as in Really?) wearing a green hat, durable but comfortable clothing, and being morbidly obese with his cartoony blue and yellow eyes. What is truly funny about him was his indignant hypocrisy and blatant lack of self-awareness at how he consistently humiliated himself by trying to control the events in his life. Through dialogues and in German and Irish districts of New Orleans, in the Mediterranean accents like the Greeks’ ‘Poppa.’, it reads like a comedic play. Republicans would have called him a remarkably accurate portrayal of a populist progressive Princeton humanist from his perversions with his beloved but deceased pet dog, his laziness and selfishness in having his mother wait on him hands and knees and his mockery of humanity through his harshly judgmental but slow and sloppy written study of history. Revolving around Reilly are various patched characters who are resigned to their fates in the drudgery of their jobs. There is Lana Lee, the owner of the dive bar and the laconic Jones used to being called a Negro or worse a nigger, and the diva but incompetent waitress, Darlene. There are the affable but tasteless Patrolman Mancuso who became Reilly’s mother love interest, Mr. Gonzales the polite but peon factory manager, and Miss Trixie, the crone of a secretary. More to come are the owners of the Pants industry, Mr. Levy and his generous with other people’s money, wife, Mrs. Levy, and Mr. Clyde who is the owner of a hot dog stand. This is despite the fact that Reilly’s mother life seemingly revolves around Reilly, which explains her frequent wine drinking. Why I don’t like the character, Reilly, I think it is because some of his flaws remind me of myself and the way I sometimes contradict myself most, some or all the time. However, I find him very fascinating and I love the scenes of his routines. He thinks highly of himself, despite he is dependent on his mother and food for income and pleasure. My favorite scene is of him attempting to lead a worker protest rally within his attempt to work for a living and the hilarious use of his bed sheet as a banner, the exact same stained one that upon it, he performs his own self-adulations. Throughout the book, Mr. Reilly is a true force of a nature disaster, changing the lives of the people around him and making them more humbled and richer in characters than if he had been a straight arrow.
**spoiler alert** Full Dark, No Stars By Stephen King
What we got is another Stephen King novel, a collection of novelettes. I tend to favor his older**spoiler alert** Full Dark, No Stars By Stephen King
What we got is another Stephen King novel, a collection of novelettes. I tend to favor his older works like ‘The Long Walk’, which is scary to me, and reveal the atmosphere of Vietnam and the militant American society at that time, (Don’t trust anyone over 30.) It is like the years between 2000 and 2008 with all the chicken hawks posturing and the twisted version of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney’s “Hey, Let’s Put On A Show!’ kind of a war in Iraq.
I like all his works and I love how he has an ear for the language while I have to develop an eye for the language as a Deaf person. These stories are mostly straight on revenge-thriller tales, but without the supernatural horror that we have been used to in the past. It seemed that Stephen King is drawn to the darkness in ordinary people’s hearts and he shows that very masterfully. It seems that he got the case of dem’ what I call ‘The Milligrubs’ a southern expression meaning ‘the dark blues’ in his later years. There is only one supernatural element in one of his tale, a deal with the devil kind of a story which is dark but eh…It is small minded and petty but at the same time, I do sympathize with the main character who is down on his luck later in life and used it to wish unpleasant and nasty misfortunes in his friend’s life. Schadenfruede certainly is hell on other people. The others novelettes deal with the darkness in a person’s heart, whether that may be his or hers own, or the darkness in a person that character thought he or she knows. 1922 deals with a Steinbeckian character whose plans to kill his wife to save the farm and is written in letters by the narrator of the same character. Big Driver deals with a midlist mystery author who is raped and is driven by insanity and rage to take her revenge. Fair Extension is the one with the supernatural and the horror of schadenfruede upon the main character’s friend. A Good Marriage deals with a wife who is slowly discovering the evilness of her mild but loving husband. The stories are not plot driven but merely a way of characters’ sketches although inventive and well done.
When I read them, I love his scary descriptions but at the same time, I feel a bit empty, that these stories are like the snakeskins left behind. Yeh-uh, it’s scary that the snake had been here but look, it’s gone now and hopefully it won’t come back so whatever. I remember how as a child, he really knows how to reach the fear inside all of us and shove us into the creaky old shed and lock us in with it. Maybe I am getting a bit older but I tend to fear hemorrhaging money from bills rather than blood, losing my shot at making my own mark in life, and not having lived enough in terms of debauchery and youth. I think it is me that is too old to enjoy Stephen King’s beasties that rest inside all of us. It is probably sad and true that each person feels that way about others who are close to him or her which he or she professes to care about and love. ...more
**spoiler alert** What we got here is a vicious school shooting by a teacher and after reading of the students that bullied the repressed teacher of h**spoiler alert** What we got here is a vicious school shooting by a teacher and after reading of the students that bullied the repressed teacher of history, I wish that he would have brought more ammo to school. It brings back memories of my own high school years and the bullying students whose mothers should have been forced fed morning after pills while pregnant with them. Even a gym teacher gets into the act, laughing at the fellow victimized teacher and even having sex with the teacher's ex girlfriend. The ultimate douchebag scene came when the gym teacher shows up at a students/teachers match with a soccer uniform with Beckham's number and name, and four other teachers show up in the same shirt as the gym teacher. God, it makes me want to shut up that jock teacher with a sledgehammer.
Running parellel to the shooting is the investigation in which the female detective is subjected to the sexual harassment from the loathesome male detective who makes the worst commments. It is a harrowing tale of vile behaviors that keep the pages turning. ...more
This brilliant debut novel is from the author who went on to write Cloud Atlas. It starts with one ch**spoiler alert** Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
This brilliant debut novel is from the author who went on to write Cloud Atlas. It starts with one character and migrates to another character through news traveling through television, newspapers, the Internet. There are various loose strands of connections between the various first person narratives and the reader finds out what happens to these characters sometimes through another background character. The book even uses a what is called a transmigration spirit who/that has its own character and own story complete with a history that connects characters in other chapters in other times, past and future. Characters in the story vaguely are aware of each other only through reading, learning the news of that person, heard of that person, or is related to that person. There appears no moral or immoral judgment. It simply is.
For a brief time, the reader’s soul is about to learn the true meaning of life no matter if he or she is a thief, shiftless musician, unethical lawyer, a DJ locked in own world, a peasant woman lost in the past of her history, a homeless spirit, a threatened physicist, all stunted somehow by the limits of life or choices and the only way they could transcend themselves is through remembering and being remembered.
I had a hard time reading these stories because the book feels disjointed and out of place and the strands that connect each chapter are fragile like spider webs. The events are too subtle and too queerly realistic that no matter how surreal, they remain true to life.
I had to read the flaps again to keep track of the characters, which is just a little flaw in this fine book. There are many stories that take hold of you and this book reminds me that it is just a glimpse into the broad unending cosmos that rest inside this wonderful author’s skull. ...more
**spoiler alert** Looks good...I guess the beginning with the details of today's world pulled me in, unlike the earlier version. I like the details of**spoiler alert** Looks good...I guess the beginning with the details of today's world pulled me in, unlike the earlier version. I like the details of a Raider mesh shirt in the rain, and the cover is simply lovely to behold. I look forward to reading it and seeing all the improvements over the first version. I guess I would make a lousy editor for not seeing the potientals of the earliest version because I thought the earliest version really really sucks in most parts, with few narratives that I liked. ...more
**spoiler alert** I read this book and throughly enjoyed her narrative voice as she regaled the reader with these tales: helpful advice in preventing**spoiler alert** I read this book and throughly enjoyed her narrative voice as she regaled the reader with these tales: helpful advice in preventing rapes by defecating in front of the rapist, yowling pet cat raping her face stories, pets defecations, causing P.T.S.D. in children as she and her soon to be husband endure for pay, putting on a side show with nonsense story line and tight spandex costumes that the barely legal girls are required to wear, her future husband and father of her children ruthlessly badgering the toddlers to tears as he goes out in the audience in his Masked Tuxedo costume to brutally confront the children in Q & As' with the star of the show, a dispirtual trip to a water show in Mexico where the female dolphin got raped by a male dolphin and the other male dolphins, acting like frat boys, turned their backs on the thrashing female frantically trying to say no means no! in dolphin sign language with her fins, and finishing it off with her miserable trip to a local dude ranch where the bullying cowboy harangued her in German and (f) words as she tries to ride a bucking water cooler suspended by a contraptions of ropes wearing a pink bicycle helment and a cowboy hat planted on top of her. In between all this, she shares her love of giving fanciful wrapped gifts to unappreciative folks and smarmy expecting them to show one iota of graditude and complaining about not getting even that.
Something tells me we won't be seeing this on Lifetime channel.
I laughed loudly throughout the hell life that she creates for herself and for her close ones that she claims to love. Her domestic life must be a seething nest of rabid drooling killer pets hellbent on destroying everything and everyone that would ever care for and love her. ...more
**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this next 'fratire' in the epic adventure of Max Tucker. His stories as always are hysterical and I wish I was him as I li**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this next 'fratire' in the epic adventure of Max Tucker. His stories as always are hysterical and I wish I was him as I lived vicariously on his debauchery. Blake wrote that the 'the road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom.' However his palace of wisdom has two bisexual girls ready to indulge his every whim by the end of the book so it seems that Max Tucker would be paving the road and putting a clearly marked exit on his highway zone to excess with a neon sign pointing to his palace with another sign saying, 'I get off here, you don't' for people like me who can't stomach the risks and miserably plug on to the next exit.
My favorite is him dressing up as an offensive clown and bringing his beloved bullhorn along with him and unleashing the clowns onto the unsuspecting public. The police report and his dazed out of it p.p. (police picture) are sad to behold.
His story about meeting his 'cool' fans is also hysterically funny, especially the one about Sippy, one of his fans that he wants to just punch in the mouth for screwing up their hijinks by spilling his beer in the RV they, well TheGinger, rented, for more than five times. Of course Max Tucker talked TheGinger into buying insurance for it for four days later they had to return the RV in the middle of night so they don't have to deal with the fallout by letting the manager see what the gang did to the RV while driving it up and down in Harlem being black out drunk. I was shocked that they did not end up in body bags afterward.
He also has some useful advice for those who look to raise hell. )Be really really really polite to policemen. They can really fuck with you if you are rude to them. You should have read about the way they fucked with Nils by pretending to screw up his name and number in the computer system and keeping him as a 'guest' in their police station for longer than necessary for falling asleep and waving the police officer off after being yelled at to pay attention.
Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go is a lovely book that I am hoping to inspire me to do the same for my second novel.**spoiler alert** Never Let Me Go
Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go is a lovely book that I am hoping to inspire me to do the same for my second novel. He writes with a restrained passion, and yet somehow involves the readers into the sadness of lives and loves lost. The entire story is written in nursery dreamy but plain style, even the tattered plastic bag that clings to the barb wires. It is ironic to me that the Hailsham in its humane desire give the children false and empty hope that somehow, their souls and efforts in living their lives that they would count for something more than donors.
The story is told in first person, I believe, in order to show the inner soul of the girl in question, Kathy. The belief is reinforced in that the children there have to turn in their crafts, arts, poems, projects that reveal themselves, and even as the narrator turned in hers as a child, she continues to prove it by the telling of hers and others’ story. The character, Ruth, while seemingly cruel and selfish, turns to someone to be pitied when she play acts as if she is in control of all, but as it turns out, she had been the one to believe in the lies the most, especially the ones she tells herself.
One of the foundations of Mr. Ishiguro’s story is his sharp viewpoint on group behavior of the students at Hailsham. They go out of the way to emulate those believed to be elite, and in turns, betray themselves for hiding their true selves as they live their lives as carers and donors.
The ending is a bitter pill to swallow for it is revealed the futility of bettering oneself through education, art, and learning how to be happy. But then, we all have our lives also, and we don’t know the length of time given to us. If only if the other character, Tommy could have realized that. Then he could have spent more time creating his preferences of artwork instead of making a joke out of art and not putting in the effort. After the former custodian, Miss Emily, and Madame reveal the truth, Kathy claims that somehow Tommy knew the truth from his tantrums in the past.
In the Reader’s guide questions at the end of the book, it was claimed that the reviewers expressed surprise at how the characters seem to resign themselves to their fates. I disagree. It is perfectly normal for most people to say to themselves, 'fuck it all' and give up. I mean how many of us would rather be a jazz pianist than a janitor at a snotty school? Everyone make mistakes in deciding their lives and careers, including the high school counselors which doesn’t exactly qualified them as counselors.They're the experts on what careers the students can work toward? If the counselors are being paid what they are really worth, they all will have to get used to living in refrigerator boxes under the local underpass. It is it is. Most people get jobs to pay the bills.
I guess we don’t usually get what we want out of life and death comes for all of us, donors or not so I should not feel depressed at the outcome at the end. Yet I do because in movies and books, people are supposed to fling themselves fighting against fate, win or lose. Who the hell knows?
This book is very realistic and thoughtful for a science fiction piece. ...more