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The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death
"Eat, Pray, Love for depressed shut-ins" is the self-applied description of this relentlessly self-aware, self-loathing tract covering mostly poker, w ...more
Jun 02, 2014
Jun 02, 2014
Bullet Park
I have to laugh at the lurid come-on printed on the first page of my 1988 Bantam paperback of this book: "HAVE YOU EVER COMMITTED A MURDER?" Anyone wh ...more
Nov 22, 2010
Nov 15, 2010
Tropic of Orange
Like other readers who have posted their thoughts, I wanted to like this book and it disappointed me. To be honest, it's fairly awful. The plot is con ...more
Sep 04, 2009
Aug 30, 2009
Winter in the Blood
The dialogue is great; the descriptive writing a little more uneven, sometimes slipping into that dreaded vein known as "Bad Hemingway." (Something al ...more
Jun 14, 2010
May 27, 2010
A Visit from the Goon Squad
The Pulitzer Prize has gone to some great books in its time, and to a fair number that have been quickly forgotten. I suspect that this one will end u ...more
Aug 27, 2011
Aug 19, 2011
The Partly Cloudy Patriot
2002 was a simpler time.

George W. Bush had just stolen the presidency, terrorists had attacked on American soil, and we were launching ourselves into
Dec 07, 2014
Dec 02, 2014
The Cave
"'Listen,' the voice said. 'I dont care--the whole bleeding world waiting for the sunrise does not care--if half the hillbillies in East Tennessee get ...more
Feb 23, 2014
Feb 11, 2014
Ready Player One
I shouldn't have liked this book, let alone devoured it in three sittings. It doesn't do any of the things I claim to admire in fiction: the prose is ...more
Sep 25, 2014
Sep 07, 2014
Motherless Brooklyn
This book was okay. The main character is Tourette's syndrome, transported through the narrative by a flesh-and-bone cipher named Lionel Essrog. There ...more
Jun 20, 2013
Jun 19, 2013
Volcano stories are never really about volcanoes, just like shark stories are never about sharks, and zombie stories are not about the shambling horde ...more
Nov 21, 2013
Nov 11, 2013
Huey Long
They don't make politicians like Huey Long anymore -- idiosyncratic to the bone, frequently profane, sometimes comic, always shrewd and intelligent, b ...more
Nov 28, 2014
Jun 05, 2011
The Same River Twice
For an alleged "literary thriller," this book doesn't do either genre much justice. It's both ponderous and bloated in the style of bad literary novel ...more
Sep 30, 2012
Sep 23, 2012
The Collected Works of Billy the Kid
"I'll be with the world till she dies."

So says William Bonney in Michael Ondaatje's impressionistic, avant-garde novel about the West's most mythologi
Aug 26, 2014
Jan 19, 2011
I can't think of another book that could be so aptly described as VISCERAL. People get eviscerated, viscera are exposed, and the writing itself origin ...more
Nov 21, 2011
Nov 06, 2011
There is a huge writerly risk taken on nearly ever page of Erasure, and the fact that each part of the book functions more or less equally well is a t ...more
Aug 08, 2011
Aug 07, 2011
Casino Royale (James Bond, #1)
The dossier on James Bond as he appears in "Casino Royale" is this: Handsome. Stupid. Easily tricked. Loses every fight. Unjustifiably arrogant. Good ...more
Jul 27, 2011
Jul 26, 2011
True Grit
I had been meaning to read True Grit for about 10 years, but it took a movie adaptation and a serendipitous encounter with the book at the LA public l ...more
Jun 19, 2011
Jun 16, 2011
Bel Canto
Never was there a more well-behaved assembly of terrorists and hostages than those that appear in this novel. Credit to Patchett for finding a way to ...more
May 22, 2011
May 19, 2011
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
"Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned" improves as it goes along, starting out with 4 wretched stories before finding its feet with "Leopard" and ach ...more
Nov 2010
Oct 28, 2010
Man Gone Down
Complex, challenging, compelling, and imperfect.

Our un-named narrator is given a clear mission -- raise a substantial amount of cash in 4 days in ord
Oct 21, 2014
Oct 15, 2014
True Confessions
The hardest of hard-boiled novels--made all the harder by its moments of restraint--a masterwork of grit, suspense, and narrative control, not to ment ...more
Mar 02, 2015
Feb 28, 2015
This was a curious one. Charles Johnson, whose novels always seek the balance between character and commentary, succeeds brilliantly in revealing the ...more
Dec 26, 2012
Dec 19, 2012
A calm, cool, quiet, eerie novel - which is surprising, considering that it's about war, submarines, top secret missions, and inflatable sex dolls.

Apr 10, 2015
Apr 03, 2015
The Moviegoer
The Moviegoer's greatness as a novel is reflected in the difficulty of summing it up. There is that ineffable core which you find in so many enduring ...more
May 10, 2012
May 03, 2012
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)
You know what you’re doing when you crack “A Game of Thrones” open. It’s not immediately clear whether this 900-page doorstop is a novel or some kind ...more
Jul 05, 2011
Jun 28, 2011
Zuleika Dobson: Or, An Oxford Love Story
Zuleika Dobson - lady prestidigitator and Helen of Troy reincarnate - arrives at the Oxford train station one afternoon, and over the next few days wr ...more
Sep 07, 2014
Aug 27, 2014
Memories of childhood, lies, secret meetings, sexual encounters, the horrors of war, and the triumph of the human spirit.

How can a book with all the m
Sep 29, 2011
Sep 20, 2011
Inherent Vice
If the fantasy of the tough-guy private detective is that he can penetrate the city's secret webs of power through sheer, grim doggedness, the fantasy ...more
Apr 28, 2015
Apr 20, 2015
A strangely constructed book in that most of the key plot points unfold out of sight - or are related through the gauzy lens of Hugh's narration - but ...more
Oct 28, 2010
Oct 17, 2010
The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes, #5)
"Now is the dramatic moment of fate, Watson, when you hear a step upon the stair which is walking into your life, and you know not whether for good or ...more
Oct 09, 2010
Sep 28, 2010
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