Overall this was good. Del Toro writes a very engaging thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Despite a few (admittedly glaring) probleOverall this was good. Del Toro writes a very engaging thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Despite a few (admittedly glaring) problematic aspects, I felt compelled to read this all the way through.
On the plus side, the book has very vivid imagery. It's extremely graphic and detailed descriptions help paint a very frightening mental image. I also like how detailed the book was with regards to the biology and science behind the vampirism, as it made the book feel extremely realistic. And without giving away any spoilers, let's just say this book keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
Now for the negatives. First of all, the book was extremely male-centric. With the exception of Nora, there aren't really any independent female characters. And even then, although Nora does have some autonomy, she's mainly painted as Eph's romantic side-kick/love interest. Very stereotypical. All the characters, with the exception of Gus, were also white. And, of course, Gus is a stereotypical Mexican gang-banger. So in terms of characters, it wasn't really diverse or realistic. Especially since it took place in New York City (mainly).
Also I didn't feel like there was very much character development. The other novels in the series improve on this, but THe Strain really leaves a lot to be desired in terms of how the characters evolve. The only characters who you really feel a connection with are Eph and Setrakian. Everyone else is pretty cookie-cutter.
The worst part of the book though has to be the dialogue. I felt like I was reading a 5th grader's essay. "Setrakian said.... Fet said.... 'bla bla bla' said Eph." etc etc. Very basic and un-engaging, which is a disappointment given how otherwise detailed and well-written the book was.
Overall, though there are some glaring flaws in the book, I feel like the suspense and the descriptive capacities of the writing are enough to at least compensate for the other negative aspects....more
This collection of essays is well-formatted, detailed yet not impossible to understand, and gives a great general overview of the philosophical movemeThis collection of essays is well-formatted, detailed yet not impossible to understand, and gives a great general overview of the philosophical movement known as logical positivism that dominated Western philosophy for the first half of the 20th century. Ayer's choice in essays gives the reader a very diverse array of the varying viewpoints and opinions within the general group of logical positivism, and also does a great job at explaining the views of the Vienna Circle and their offspring. The essays contained within this collection are a must-read for anyone interested in 20th century philosophy, analytic philosophy, or logical positivism....more
For young adult fiction, this is pretty good. the plotline is engaging and sucks you in, althogh admittedly its a tad predictable. I credit that to itFor young adult fiction, this is pretty good. the plotline is engaging and sucks you in, althogh admittedly its a tad predictable. I credit that to it being YA fiction more than poor writing though. I also like how the book touches upon deeper themes of economic inequality, imperialism, and satire of American sports culture and an infantile society obsessed with entertainment. While reading it I couldn't help but notice all sorts of thinly veiled Marxist points (I do not say that perjoratively). Overall it was a good read, and would be great for any middle or high school student...more
This isn't goign to teach you to become a professional gambler, a master card-counter or a poker pro. if you want to buy the text for that purpose, saThis isn't goign to teach you to become a professional gambler, a master card-counter or a poker pro. if you want to buy the text for that purpose, save your money and look elsewhere. However, what this book IS good for is for giving a concise yet thorough and mathematically rigorous treatment of all sorts of gambles and games of chance. If a game is in a casino, there's probably a chapter on that game in this book. For those with an interest in mathematics and want to see how mathematics is applied to casino gambling and games of chance, this is a great book....more
A must-read for any player looking to improve their tournament game. Sklansky assumes the reader is familiar with the basic concepts of competitive poA must-read for any player looking to improve their tournament game. Sklansky assumes the reader is familiar with the basic concepts of competitive poker, and has at least an above-average understanding and skill of the game. This book is ideal for those who are already very familiar with the game of poker, and are cash players looking to adapt their strategy for a tournament environment. Sklansky also discusses the "Gap Concept" in great detail, which is one of the most crucial things that any succesful tournament player must understand. He also advocates a strategy of shoving all-in which sounds crazy, but apparently works well enough. I've tried it a few times to a larger-than-expected degree of success. Overall a must-read poker book for anyone looking to improve their tournament game....more
Although I don't agree with everything he says in this book, for the most part he's spot on in his analysis that the current economic depression and tAlthough I don't agree with everything he says in this book, for the most part he's spot on in his analysis that the current economic depression and the Crisis of 2008 were caused in large part by reckless monetary policy by the Fed and too much easy credit. I found his analysis of statistical methodologies of the CPI in particular to be very insightful - I always had a feeling that those statistics were crap, but Phillips really goes into great detail with his discussion on how weighted averages and hedonics are used to game this inflation statistic. Although it's very insightful, it's also an easy read that you don't have to be an academic economist to understand. Overall, I think it's a fantastic book to educate yourself on why we are in the crisis we are in right now....more
I like this book not necessarily because it contributes any fresh new ideas to philosophy, but rather because it is quite possibly the best introductiI like this book not necessarily because it contributes any fresh new ideas to philosophy, but rather because it is quite possibly the best introduction to logical positivism I've read. Short, concise, easy-to-understand yet thorough. Not to mention a classic text within the history of philosophy. Anyone interested in modern philosophy, analytic philosophy, or logical positivism must read this book!...more