Oh wow... what a powerful story. I'll list this book as 'true crime' because I don't doubt that stories like this are taking place all over the US (anOh wow... what a powerful story. I'll list this book as 'true crime' because I don't doubt that stories like this are taking place all over the US (and the rest of the world probably too) every day.
This whole book just spoke to me, for some reason. Perhaps because I can understand the main character, Catherine, and thus can identify with her plight. Still, I feel like I can identify a tad with at least all of the characters.
The plot was very riveting (I read this book pretty quickly) and the characters were all believable and flawed and terrible in their own way. The writing was amazing: the first half of the book I had no idea what to think of anyone, since new information came to light in each chapter which contradicted that which we'd learned before. In that way it really matched to reality, since when do we ever know the 'true story'?
My thoughts about the ending: (view spoiler)[I am glad that this book had a happy ending (in a way). I don't think I could have stood it if the bad guys had won more than they already achieved. Also, the whole incest thing was just disturbing. I suppose I could understand why Maryanne and James did it (I have read most of Middlesex after all) and yet they are still despicable for trying so hard to cover it up. Selfish people are the worst. (hide spoiler)]
All in all, it was a good book. Not all that much along the lines of deeper thought, but I could see this novel being turned into a movie. It'd probably have a similar feeling to A Perfect Murder.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Wow... what a powerful book! I noticed this on my friend's book update feed yesterday, searched around for an ebook, found one, started reading, and pWow... what a powerful book! I noticed this on my friend's book update feed yesterday, searched around for an ebook, found one, started reading, and practically didn't even stop for much else. (Although there was a 16 hour break in between reading there :P)
Normally I don't like nonfiction books: they are dry, not engaging and just don't deal with subject matter in an interesting way that I can absorb readily. This book reads more like an action novel filled with tons of real life tidbits. I think the tidbits are what I enjoyed most. Travelling through the decades of hacking took me back to my own misbegotten youth (especially when Back Orifice was mentioned being released at DefCon!) but it was also a bit of a look into the movie Hackers, Hackers 2 and so forth. Just that this book continued up until right now (it even included a footnote at the very very end about the recent Wikileaks hack.)
All in all, this is a great book for learning about the huge world carding scams out there (descriptive enough to make you never want to use a credit card in America again until they change the system), about the main hackers on the scene and in between filling in your tech knowledge gaps (for instance, it explained SQL in a few short, very easy to understand paragraphs. Anyone want to change the Wikipedia article to make more sense??)
All in all, a very well written book, that I felt really covered the whole area of hacking while still maintaining a somewhat unbiased point of view. I thoroughly enjoyed it!...more
A very fun book, with somewhat cookie-cutter characters and a mostly-predictable plot, it was still a joy to read. I read too many dry books, so tuninA very fun book, with somewhat cookie-cutter characters and a mostly-predictable plot, it was still a joy to read. I read too many dry books, so tuning into something else is great.
This is a steampunk fantasy novel that features all my beloved typical elements: airships, guns, sword-fights, magic, pirates, loot and so much more! ...more
Oh my gosh is this book amazing. 6 our of 5 stars. 7 out of 5. More out of five! It really is incredible!
First off, this is my second book by MiévillOh my gosh is this book amazing. 6 our of 5 stars. 7 out of 5. More out of five! It really is incredible!
First off, this is my second book by Miéville that I have read (well, I listened to this one as an audiobook). The first one was The Scar, which I also absolutely loved.
Miéville is a rare author: most of his work is original. Or at least it feels original, which is a lot more important in my eyes. In this book he took the quantum mechanical theorem of string theory, which essentially says that two objects can hold the same space at the same time. In this case, there are two cities which are located in the same space, at the same time. These are two fictitious cities located in Europe in our modern age.
Beszel and Ul Qoma hold the same space, but the citizens are under strict regulations to 'unsee' each other; if they don't, then they are in Breach, which is this umbrella police group which make sure that breach doesn't occur. Breach is the name of the organization, the verb if you are caught and the noun where you are held in... quite an amusing way to apply one word, actually. 'The cities have different airports, international dialling codes, internet links. Cars navigate instinctively around one another; police officers cooperate but are not allowed to stop or investigate crimes committed in the other city.'
The main story is that of a murder mystery: Beszel detective Borlú is put on a case where a woman is found murdered. There are a lot of questions about the case and hardly any leads. With very great detective work (honestly, for once I wasn't bored by the detective work; Miéville really knows how to keep my interest there) Borlú figures out that a type of breach did occur and tries to hand the case over to them. But someone in the government of one of the two cities doesn't want that to happen, so when Borlú is kept on the case, he needs to go over to Ul Qoma and work together with one of their detectives.
Critical to the mystery is the idea of a third city between these two cities. As we delve deeper into the phenomena of having two cities, the reader can't help but consider the possibility of another city on top of these two, regulating everything that goes: perhaps they are even in charge of Breach.
It all comes to a head in the last few chapters... and they are amazing. This is one of the best endings I have ever read in a book. Everything was tied up well, with enough open for me to contemplate how life will be afterwards, but not in an annoying fashion like most books do it. Miéville really has talent at writing, in my opinion, and it was definitely expressed in the neat and tidy and absolutely wonderful way that he finished off this novel!
You would think that the author wants us to learn something about our own lives... having all these people 'unsee' each other, up until the very end of the novel, almost sounds like a parabolic reference for us to pay more attention to our own lives. But that's not at all the case. I didn't feel patronized at all, and all the conclusions I made on my own on this subject did not seem like they came from the author.
I tend not to like mystery stories, so I was a bit aprehensive reading this book. But, it didn't feel like a crime/mystery/thriller/suspense all that much, although that was really the main focus. I loved all the references to the string theory phenomena, and I will probably listen to this book again (or find a hard copy to buy!) which means a lot, coming from me, since I tend not to re-read books like ever....more
I really dislike Dekker's books. This is the second of his that I have read (both times as a book club read) and a lot of the things bothered me thisI really dislike Dekker's books. This is the second of his that I have read (both times as a book club read) and a lot of the things bothered me this time around as well.
Firstly, all the religious bits just get in the way of the storyline. In Thr3e it wasn't as pronounced as in The Bride Collector, but it still bugged me. Perhaps if you're religious you can see it all as "normal", but it just annoyed me.
Secondly, Dekker doesn't write well. There is nothing that stands out as amazing, nothing where the plot flowed extremely well, or I, as the reader, felt totally drawn into the story. At best, I can say that he doesn't suck at writing. It read like a very plain, very boring, very perfect writing style. Like a perfectly scripted computer would release. Completely boring.
Thirdly, the only interesting part of the plot was the very end... but if that's what you call a "major plot twist", then we're gonna have a problem. It's a rather overused theme, so not all that major and not all that amazing either.
Fourthly, all the references to psychology, and all the different types of mental disorders that Kevin could have just confused me. Perhaps Dekker should have dragged over a medical dictionary and researched a bit with a real reference source, not just the internet. Then I wouldn't be so annoyed at his vague descriptions.
And last of all, the characters were just flat, boring and predictable. Kevin was supposed to grow, that's the whole point of a main character. (view spoiler)[ And if finding out that you have a personality disorder is growth, then I suppose discovering that the main character really is bipolar and it's not all faked is also growth. Sorry, but it just doesn't cut it. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, I doubt that I'll read Dekker again. There is nothing at all special about his works, his writing or his style. I can spend my time on much better books, where I can actually learn something, or at least be entertained. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
As crime books go, this was one of the more interesting ones that I have read. This was a book of the month for January for my Serious About Books groAs crime books go, this was one of the more interesting ones that I have read. This was a book of the month for January for my Serious About Books group.
The plot was very interesting. At times it was really dragging at me, because there was just too much going on while not much was actually happening. That sounds paradoxical, but just imagine a lot of characters talking about things, but nothing is really happening.
The characters were the most interesting. Well, not all of them, since the FBI agents were rather boring, as were the so-called insane. The serial killer, the bad guy, Quinton, he was the most interesting, until about 60% of the way in, when he became mundane and human. Which is why I really didn't enjoy the rest of the book as much as I did the first part.
The fact that he kills women by drilling holes into their heels and then lets their blood drain out seems just wrong to me. Not at all like how a "normal" serial killer would operate. I couldn't come to terms with that part either.
The writing style also bugged me, only because it was so dry. Maybe it's just that I couldn't get into the story, but there wasn't anything special about the writing. Not like Neal Stephenson who would make me squeal with pleasure from some of his sentences.
Not much stood out for me in this novel. I still give it 3 stars, though, because it wasn't a bad book. I'm sure that someone who enjoys crime novels will adore this one; it just wasn't all that for me....more
Of the first three books in the series, I'd have to say the second was my favorite. I loved how at the end of the first the series started deviating fOf the first three books in the series, I'd have to say the second was my favorite. I loved how at the end of the first the series started deviating from the TV show (LaGuerta dies, yay!!!!!)
The third book really bugged me.. marriage, strange kids, and then this weird cult thing, plus Dexter having issues with his Passenger? There the TV Show did a better job, although the show did get rather boring.
In general, I rated these books so highly because they are like nothing that has been written yet (well, nothing that I found, anyway). Most books are copies of other books, so this was definitely a fresh take (especially on the topic matter)....more
Wow, I finally finished this book; after a couple of months! I started out on my interest in serial killers (and what makes them tick) last fall; halfWow, I finally finished this book; after a couple of months! I started out on my interest in serial killers (and what makes them tick) last fall; half a year later I finally finished this most comprehensive guide on killers!
And really, this book has everything in it. It even reaches out of the strict realm of serial killing into some side branches like mass murderers. The only thing that really bothered me was the repitition of some of the stories. "Yes, I learned about Albert Fish's atrocities 10 pages ago. No need to repeat yourself." still, I can see why he author chose to do that, since this is largely also a reference work.
Otherwise, every single aspect from the killers themselves throughout history to catching them to their public reception is mentioned. A great guide and not necessarily meant for before-bedtime reading! ...more
I had actually read this book a few years ago and had totally forgotten... until I got to the part in the summary about the crazy old grandma who twisI had actually read this book a few years ago and had totally forgotten... until I got to the part in the summary about the crazy old grandma who twists the main character's mind. That part has stuck with me all these years, which goes to show good storytelling. Or maybe it just goes to show how creepy this book actually is.
As a crime and get-inside-the-killers-head novel, it is one of the best, no doubt. I don't know if I'd read it again right now (I think that I much prefer the quirky humor provided in the Dexter series) but there is something compelling about this novel that made it worthwhile to read. So give it a try if you want to get inside his head....more
Okay, so, this book was lacking quite a bit more than even the last crazy romp. The killer was actually quite interesting, but dearly departed DexterOkay, so, this book was lacking quite a bit more than even the last crazy romp. The killer was actually quite interesting, but dearly departed Dexter (or so it would seem) seemed to have mentally regressed. But not just Dexter; the plot has regressed as well. It's almost as though the author has been reading Paul Auster in the mean time and trying to somehow feed Auster's insane ambiguity into his own novels!
Anyway, I don't think that I'll read the next in the series. I could write a better serial killer than this anyday (although mine would probably use less alliteration). ...more
This was very different from the other two books in the series. More fantasy, less crime. My favorite parts are Dexter's nights of sharp steel shinninThis was very different from the other two books in the series. More fantasy, less crime. My favorite parts are Dexter's nights of sharp steel shinning in moonlight, not him becoming human.
Still, I suppose that the question of where the dark passenger comes from is a legit one. Can we go back to darkly demented Dexter nights now?...more
So, I'm not sure whether or not I liked this one better than the first book. Lets analyze.
Plot: Much more interesting this time around. The murderer wSo, I'm not sure whether or not I liked this one better than the first book. Lets analyze.
Plot: Much more interesting this time around. The murderer was especially unique (a surgeon who is so skilled as to remove the eyelids of a human without causing other damage, and leaving the patient alive) but the last book did have that whole familial aspect which made a nice circle (although I find that the TV show connected that one a bit better.)
Characters: Deeply demented Dexter became more distinct, at least personality wise for me to understand him. It's still not to the point where I could say "hmm, so that's how a serial killer thinks" but I suppose that is lack of the author's skill, and not our darling dark Dexter. (Gotta love the alliteration thrown in!)
I wish Lindsay would have explored Deborah's character a bit more (especially with what happened at the end of book 1) but I suppose I'll just have to pursue book 3 to see if dear Debs decides to follow up with her hidden suspicions about Dexter.
The other characters all played according to rules, but I do so love what is starting with Rita's children. I wonder what Dexter will end up making out of them in the long run? (Perverse, indeed, but from a purely fictional story side, quite amusing.)
Writing Style: Once again, Lindsay was lacking a few fundamental skills (like a too hasty ending) but they weren't so outrageously evident as in book 1. I did have an evil chuckle or a perverse giggle every few pages, though, something that I deeply appreciate. They not only made the story more interesting, but it did give a deeper insight into Dexter's mind. Also, it resonates within me (fore who can still live in our modern western society and not become a bit cynical; like a catch-22).
I think I'll start reading the next book and let the full moon lure out my own literary dark passenger. (Cliche much?)...more