I can honestly say nothing else like Sharp Teeth is on the shelves today. When I think of poetry, Byron and Emerson and Frost come to mind…not werewolI can honestly say nothing else like Sharp Teeth is on the shelves today. When I think of poetry, Byron and Emerson and Frost come to mind…not werewolves, revenge, crime and murder. This debut novel by Toby Barlow looks at lycanthropy in a whole new way. His passages of simple words are able to convey an enormously graphic picture. To say this is a book about werewolves would be doing it a disservice, as it overflows with themes of beauty, loss, love and the flaws of human society. A perfect mix of mystery, sci-fi and fiction makes for a wonderful read.
“There’s a dog sitting there, on the lawn across the street. Watching him. Calley’s not social but he’s been around long enough to know that’s not the neighbor’s dog.”
There's been a rash of apocalyptic books lately, but by focusing on a small suburb in Ohio, and one family in particular, The Things That Keep Us HereThere's been a rash of apocalyptic books lately, but by focusing on a small suburb in Ohio, and one family in particular, The Things That Keep Us Here feels amazingly real and very frightening. While the infrastructure of society crumbles, we join the Brooks in their journey of surviving a pandemic with a 50% survival rate. Locked in their home, no electricity, unable to communicate or trust friends and neighbors, we get to see the psychological impact on everyone and the lengths people will go to insure they keep themselves and loved ones safe.
I kept putting myself in their position and trying to figure out how I would react or what decisions I would make. It's definitely an uncomfortable topic to dwell on and Carla Buckley has done it beautifully and without flinching. I brought the book's premise up at Thanksgiving with my family in South Texas and was surprised at how quickly the topic went to violence, self-defense and protection. Yikes.
This book will be one you recommend to friends and have interesting and meaningful conversations about. The book's H5N1 virus is eerily close to our real virus H1N1. I sure wish more people would cover their mouths when they cough. ...more
Took me a little bit to write about this book, but I'm glad I waited - here's why. There were a couple instances in the book where I wanted more inforTook me a little bit to write about this book, but I'm glad I waited - here's why. There were a couple instances in the book where I wanted more information or wasn't sure I liked the direction things were taking. Since finishing The Passage, I've had the chance to talk to other readers and compare thoughts and opinions. Being able to look at parts of the story through another's eyes has given me even more respect for this amazing book. Anything that can provoke discussion and good conversation gets a thumbs up in my world. I've grown to like the story more by chatting with other readers about it.
The characters are amazingly rendered - even the most peripheral people are given depth and humanity. Also, The Colony was super interesting and imaginative. Cronin's created a society that has no history or memory, but is completely believable and realistic - I love how some words have made it into everyday use in this place. For example, calling jeans and pants "gaps". It's brilliant and makes complete sense because you can imagine how it came about. Little touches like these are what make his writing so engaging.
Did I mention it’s also terrifying? It is. Makes me wonder if all the leaps and bounds we make in science and genetics is always a good thing.
The only disappointment so far is that I have to wait until 2012 to read the next one.
This book inspires both awe in the human spirit and anger at the dark side of mankind. It shows how an average person, a child especially, who is homeThis book inspires both awe in the human spirit and anger at the dark side of mankind. It shows how an average person, a child especially, who is homeless, confused and lost in a country ravaged by civil unrest can easily become a ruthless soldier. The horrific effects of war on family & society are detailed in his matter-of-fact voice…the same voice that talks with such childlike excitement about American hip-hop music.
“If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die” - Ishmael’s father ...more
From the woman who had die-hard fiction readers curiously wandering into the science section comes another side-splitting foray…this time into sex. BoFrom the woman who had die-hard fiction readers curiously wandering into the science section comes another side-splitting foray…this time into sex. Bonk had me crossing my legs - sometimes to keep from peeing I was laughing so hard and other times in sympathetic pain (see pg.184). She is a fantastic and meticulous researcher with a wicked & wonderful sense of humor, an ability to treat her subjects with dignity and intelligence, all the while imparting knowledge and staying entertaining.
Find out why… sea cucumbers auto eviscerate, what a “c-ring” emergency is, why scientists are clubbing hamsters to death and why Napoleon’s ancestor cut off her…what?!? You’ll have to read for yourself. ...more
I discovered Charlie Huston late and am devouring all his books. I haven't been disappointed yet. The main character in The Mystic Arts of Erasing AllI discovered Charlie Huston late and am devouring all his books. I haven't been disappointed yet. The main character in The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, Web, manages to be a complete asshole and wonderful at the same time. Mystic Arts... is phenomenal! Interesting characters, razor-sharp dialogue, insane situations, shocking violence & humor all rolled up into this flaming ball of a novel. You heard me...a ball of fire!
Huston manages to write hard characters with heart. One sentence plot summary: Former elementary school teacher, Webster Goodhue, takes on new job of crime scene clean-up...adventure & misadventure ensue. A really fun read - I like this guy! ...more
It's possible one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was to learn that I am not alone. I am not the only person in their mid (okay, late) thirIt's possible one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was to learn that I am not alone. I am not the only person in their mid (okay, late) thirties that still loves video games, often loses sleep because of them, and may have even called in sick to work once to finish a "mission". One of the reasons I have such a fondness for the author Mary Roach (Stiff, Spook, Bonk) is her ability to write about non-fiction subjects, specifically science, and entertain and amuse the reader at the same time as educating her. Tom Bissell has this ability too. I caught myself laughing out loud and often, in complete mental harmony with his love/hate relationship with the video game.
Extra Lives reads like a collection of essays, each section focusing on a specific game or company. The author sticks with console games, mainly first-person shooters and other fighting games. I myself am strictly a PC gamer, playing RPG's and adventures. This seemingly opposite attraction in no way detracted from my enjoyment, understanding and identification with so much Tom Bissell has to say. I actually think he may have piqued my interest in some areas I would never have looked at before. His emotionally wrought "Headshots" section discussing his first Resident Evil experience was hysterical! He painted such an accurate picture that I read over 10 pages with a big stupid, understanding grin on my face before I realized that a couple at another table were beginning to stare. The interviews and conversations with game designers were some of my favorite parts. There are people & companies out there who are not all just money-hungry capitalists churning out game after game with no thought or innovation. They have a real love of the video game and the technology and are constantly striving to expand the capabilities of games.
I'm not sure Extra Lives actually proves the statement that video games matter, but it brings up compelling discussion points on the video game as art, as a medium of story-telling and as an ubiquitous, even important, cultural staple. I found the discussions on narration and ludology especially interesting and enlightening. The video game has so many similarities to a narrative story or a film, but can't do exactly what they do, and can do what they can't (the author puts this much more eloquently). He examines the beauty of games and the experiences they can help to create along with their faults and short-comings.
"We're going to change the world and entertain in a way that nothing else ever has before." - Sir Peter Molyneux
Excerpts from a 2009 interview between game designer Sir Peter Molyneux and author Tom Bissell:
MOLYNEUX: I think the expression wheel worked because it allowed people to make their own stories up without it being totally encapsulated by what I wanted to do. And that is an amazing place for us to get to.
BISSELL: I can tell you that when I played Fable II I became a slutty lesbian bigamist who had tons of children, all of whom I abandoned.
These stories blew me away. Tim Johnston manages to catch fragments of life filled with humanity and fleeting moments that change everything. The writThese stories blew me away. Tim Johnston manages to catch fragments of life filled with humanity and fleeting moments that change everything. The writing is dark, beautiful and bare. He manages to say more in 7 pages than some authors do in entire novels. My favorite is probably Water or Things Go Missing...or maybe Irish Girl - damn, they're all so good and unforgettable. ...more
This doesn't happen often, but I'm pretty sure I liked this more than the original trilogy. Bartimaeus is a great character and I would love to hear mThis doesn't happen often, but I'm pretty sure I liked this more than the original trilogy. Bartimaeus is a great character and I would love to hear more of his early escapades....more
I loved this! A perfect mix of adventure, mystery and plot. Vanessa Monroe is a woman who can get information that others can’t and her services are mI loved this! A perfect mix of adventure, mystery and plot. Vanessa Monroe is a woman who can get information that others can’t and her services are much sought after. Much of the book takes place in Africa. This is an Africa you don’t see in all those nature documentaries. Corruption and poverty, violence and also love and loyalty. The author’s unusual childhood circumstances have give her a unique perspective on world affairs. This comes through in her writing - The authenticity is palpable....more
Totally awesome! I loved this book! You do not have to be a child of the 80's or a computer-playing, arcade-going geek to appreciate it, but it wouldTotally awesome! I loved this book! You do not have to be a child of the 80's or a computer-playing, arcade-going geek to appreciate it, but it would probably help. Enough people have been raving about it that I don't have much to add. Ernest Cline is my new hero for using all his obscure 80's knowledge to make money, and he deserves it. I'll be buying a copy for myself when it comes out :-)
I also wanted to add that one of the first things Ernest Cline bought with his book advance money was a Delorean and then installed a flux capacitor. He lives in Austin, where I am also from, but I have yet to spot the car...I'll keep you updated on my search.
I have now met both the author and the car. Mr. Cline was super nice and funny, a guy who enjoys geeking out. The car is awesome, duh, with a stuffed gremlin on the dash and an ECTO(some number here) license plate. I'm not trying to be secretive, I just forgot...maybe 66. I rarely would recommend an audio book over the real thing...but Will Wheaton reads this so it might be worth it. Ernest (I'm pretty sure it's Ernie, but that sounds too familiar and Mr. Cline so adult-like) told us a funny story how Wil Wheaton didn't know he was in the book, and he reads them aloud without reading them first when recording, so it was pretty funny when Wil comes upon himself in the book.
That's finally it, no revisiting this review...just go out and get it already! ...more
I'm still thinking about this and my rating. There was so much I loved, but I still had some issues following all the characters and how abruptly we wI'm still thinking about this and my rating. There was so much I loved, but I still had some issues following all the characters and how abruptly we went from group to group. Also, having read The Passage as an ARC...so over 2 years ago, I feel like I could have used a refresher. Even with my uncertainty, I am already looking forward the the 3rd. I'll be reading the previous 2 in the series before it comes out. Back to back reading of all three books will put a whole different feel to it. It's a great, convoluted story with wonderful characters....more