Although I read this very quickly, within 24 hours, the beginning of the book was somewhat difficult to get into. The switching between characters poi...moreAlthough I read this very quickly, within 24 hours, the beginning of the book was somewhat difficult to get into. The switching between characters point-of-view with no reference to how they relate to each other was disconcerting. Later you come to find out how these people are connected, but it took a little while. I gave this book a decent rating because I enjoyed the uncommon words the author sprinkled throughout the book, and in the end she created very rich main characters. I did find the Henry character's health breakdown somewhat distracting from the overall story arc, but perhaps there is more meaning for his placement than I'm giving credit for at the moment. (less)
Love the TV show Castle, love this idea of a book, but did not like this book as much. The woman detective - Nikki Heat here just does not do it for m...moreLove the TV show Castle, love this idea of a book, but did not like this book as much. The woman detective - Nikki Heat here just does not do it for me, not a very realistic character. The playful teasing just didn't play so well in the written material. Still, I will probably read the next one. (less)
It was a good read, but I kept wondering how old is this child? I had expected her to grow up during the course of the novel. Her illness must have co...moreIt was a good read, but I kept wondering how old is this child? I had expected her to grow up during the course of the novel. Her illness must have contributed to her being portrayed as younger than she really was. Although the fascination with all stories may have made it more difficult for her to see reality. The ending is to be the shock of her life with an overwhelming dose of how life is for the poorer Peruvians. Since I do not know much about the culture of Peru I don't know how closely the tales match the native stories, and being fiction it is hard to really know. I wish I did.(less)
Great book!! What is missing are notes, references, index, something where all this great information can be looked up and delve deeper. Since Lake Ta...moreGreat book!! What is missing are notes, references, index, something where all this great information can be looked up and delve deeper. Since Lake Tahoe is in my backyard I really enjoyed the stories from this area.
I believe the author presented different sides of some of the story, although the tales of Cal/Neva with Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe do not have a set of hard facts. He apparently waded through volumes of information and gleaned a tale that may be true, but without all the references it makes it more difficult to verify. I will give him that he does list book titles often throughout the text, and there is a very short section in the acknowledgements where he lists some very useful titles of books he read.
Okay, so I'm going on about that, but this is a great book to read about the area. Lots of fascinating folks have lived here - from Sarah Winnemucca to Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain (his time here was when he changed his name), to John Steinbeck and Bertrand Russell. Great writing style as well. I borrowed the book from the library and now think I should buy a copy. It's a book I'd read again. (less)
I loved how the author kept this fiction as close to fact as possible. It's absolutely amazing what they did in the Nevada desert testing nuclear bomb...moreI loved how the author kept this fiction as close to fact as possible. It's absolutely amazing what they did in the Nevada desert testing nuclear bombs, and this book covers just one series - the Upshot-Knothole which was 11 bombs dropped onto southern Nevada soil, with all the fallout, during March to June 1953. Amazing how many and how frequent!
Each chapter has a story from a different character point of view, different type of job all surrounding this series: reporter, secretary, 12-year old future vet, radiation specialist, FBI agent posed as bartender, mother who is outside during the raining fallout in Utah, soldier sent out in the trenches at ground zero, and a scientist who wonders if this is all worth it, just some of the characters. Their stories occasionally overlap, and most are patriotic and are all for the testing thinking it will help us beat the commies. Perhaps it did. (less)
I read this in April (2010), and think it will be the last new Octavia Butler book I'll read. Sadly she is no longer with us and this was probably goi...moreI read this in April (2010), and think it will be the last new Octavia Butler book I'll read. Sadly she is no longer with us and this was probably going to be the first book, with several others to follow in the same world, like several other series of hers. Octavia Butler is one of my favorite authors. She has written several different types of book, mainly considered Science Fiction, but all very well written books. This is a page turner. I think I read it in two days, if not less. (less)
I had to give up on this book, it was due at the library and I ran out of renewals. Then again, I did have plenty of time, it just wasn't compelling e...moreI had to give up on this book, it was due at the library and I ran out of renewals. Then again, I did have plenty of time, it just wasn't compelling enough.
The book is more or less self-published, since the author runs a publishing business, and it really could have used more editing. Not that it was really horrible, just some sentences could have been clearer and there was the occasional mistake. Overall the theme of the book is to prepare yourself to be self-sufficient, with food & energy. The author predicts we will be completely out of oil in the not too distant future, so prepare! But we aren’t currently there. The other side is as we get toward being completely out, then we’ll have increasing costs of energy, so you should be as independent as possible as soon as possible. The book is written with these various scenarios in mind as we go through the end of oil, yet the organization of the book isn’t consistent and provides for some confusion.
Despite the above mentioned complications some practical advice is given; especially if you don’t know anything about renewable energy or reducing your energy costs, such as switching to CFL’s. I suspect that many people already know these basics. I was hoping for something going beyond the obvious, but didn’t find it here, or at least not in the parts I did read. Given all of this above, I still did want to finish reading the book. Perhaps if I owned a copy, or had endless renewals at the library I could have gotten through it all.
Decent book. Author uses humor to talk about his life in a very small town, about how easily he settled and found many different jobs, most just walke...moreDecent book. Author uses humor to talk about his life in a very small town, about how easily he settled and found many different jobs, most just walked up to him. Makes me wonder why I haven't moved there already. Having visited the town several times I recognized at least one person I met. How neat to come across a personal connection in a book! So rare. Austin seems like a town that would have lots of books written about it. There are only a few and this one definitely adds to the Austin cannon.(less)
The story takes place in 1911 in Northern Nevada. A fictional account of historical events, but kept close to the history. Most Native Americans have...moreThe story takes place in 1911 in Northern Nevada. A fictional account of historical events, but kept close to the history. Most Native Americans have been sent to reservations and their old way of life has died. One man and his family attempt to live a little like the old ways, but it is difficult as the “white” man is everywhere and the animals they used to hunt to sustain their life has been replaced with cattle.
The clash between this one family and the other Nevadan residents is one of the last battles between cultures as the native peoples way of life dies. Although it is a sympathetic view to side with a dying culture, the author takes every side to this story and relates that view point well. You are in the mind of the county sheriff’s wife and the county sheriff, the son of one of the murdered Basque men, a vigilante on the posse hunting down the killers, and you have view of the daughter of old Shoshone Mike, and a catholic priest.
Although there are many different views it is written well enough that it isn’t confusing. The only confusion I had was near the beginning when the time line wasn’t direct. This shifting around did give me pause once or twice trying to figure out where the story was. A minor flaw in an otherwise well written story bringing to life details of an unfortunate past.(less)
The book has a very personal feel to the narrative as it revolves around the family grocery store that has been in Mountain City for decades. The stor...moreThe book has a very personal feel to the narrative as it revolves around the family grocery store that has been in Mountain City for decades. The store provides a view to all of the residents, but it ultimately sticks with his family, grandparents, cousin, aunt & uncle, who all work in the store. The book has sorrow attached to it, as the town is the diminishing, the aging residents, and it leaves you asking what will happen to this very small town (and others like it throughout rural Nevada) over the next few decades. (less)