**spoiler alert** I was initially excited to read this book. I've always enjoyed heist movies and count Oceans' 11 and The Italian Job as a couple of**spoiler alert** I was initially excited to read this book. I've always enjoyed heist movies and count Oceans' 11 and The Italian Job as a couple of my all time favorites. And since I knew nothing of the real-life heist, or the perpetrators, beforehand, so I came into it with a clean slate wanting a fundamental question to be answered: Why?
Sadly, I walked away highly disappointed. The main character, by all accounts, had it all: a beautiful wife, a great education, and a promising future as a NASA scientist. One would think it would take a lot to throw all of this away. Unfortunately, the author never even attempts to craft a convincing thesis, with reasons ranging from money, to love, to the advancement of science, to fame. This is the main reason I walk away dissatisfied because I never have a clear view of what was going on in Thad's mind.
Unfortunately, that was not the only problems I have with this book. Ben Mezrich, at this point in his career, is pretty much writing a book as a precursor to a screen play. His style of novelization makes it a better "story," but does leave questions about plausibility of it all. In the book, we're lead to believe that everyone in Thad's life is a stunningly beautiful person, including the college-aged NASA co-ops. Somehow, Thad is also the social-life of NASA, wooing other coops along with aged scientists and NASA veterans.
You would also think a novelization of true events would e the number of plot holes. Unfortunately, there are many. Why did a intelligent girl, who had barely known him a month, go along with this? Why did Thad "suddenly" decide to raid Gibson's lab instead of the moon lab? How did he and two other girls described as "tiny" manage to lift a 700-pound safe into a vehicle, out of a vehicle, into a vehicle again, and into a dumpster? What exactly could have happened to the notebooks that led to his harsh sentence (sorry, "I don't know" doesn't cut it for me knowing its coming from a convicted liar)? I'm sure these holes will be fixed or removed from the eventual movie, leading to even greater questions of plausibility....more
The Groom's Instruction Manual is designed with the twenty-something male in mind. The book is stocked full of cute and funny info-graphics; granted,The Groom's Instruction Manual is designed with the twenty-something male in mind. The book is stocked full of cute and funny info-graphics; granted, they're not as informative as the ones you would find in USAToday, but the do make the book a bit more fun to read and flip through. There is a music checklist that is particularly helpful to those that are bringing an iPod for reception music, but most of the rest can be found online for free.
The biggest failing of this book, however, is it's reliance on common myths about wedding planning. One of the first pieces of advice is that the bride is always right and compromise mimics the way Barack Obama gives in to Republican congressional leaders. In fact, the majority of the book is dedicated to reminding the groom that the day is all about her and he should be doing everything to reinforce that. For couples seeking a more balanced approach, this book is not for them....more
Short Story: Fever Pitch is an elegantly crafted memoir as an individual tries, and fails, to find the way that sport describes the ups and downs of lShort Story: Fever Pitch is an elegantly crafted memoir as an individual tries, and fails, to find the way that sport describes the ups and downs of life.
Story: At no point in this memoir do you doubt Nick Hornby's love for Arsenal or football in general. It shines through much of the way an individual's personality or temperament does. His fanaticism makes the memoir easy to relate and understand, as the reader is able to substitute in their own teams or obsessions that grip them. As a sports fan, the memoir was almost a reflection of the thoughts I have also shared.
The best parts of the book are when Nick Hornby attempt to use football as a metaphor for his life. When invest so much time and thought into our teams and obsessions its not unusual for us to see a winning streak as a prophecy of good things to come. For Hornby, this metaphor continually broke down, leading to a particularly poignant revelation as why this is so:
Sport and life, especially the arty life, are not exactly analogous. One of the great things about sport is its cruel clarity: there is no such thing, for example, as a bad one-hundred-metre runner, or a hopeless centre-half who got lucky; in sport, you get found out.
As for the writing, the memoir takes a bit of time to get rolling. The book is roughly divided into three sections corresponding with phases of his life: childhood to teenage years, young adult to twenty-something, and maturing adult. It isn't until he reaches his post-university years where I started to feel a connection with the book; however, that could do more with my current standing in life than Hornby's writing ability.
Overall, I say anyone that can relate to the passion of sport, or any obsession, should consider picking up Fever Pitch. Further, those looking for a way to understand or relate to their fanatical partners may also find understanding and joy in the memoir....more
The criteria for books like this is simple - provide a few laugh out loud moments with plenty of other smirks or snickers. This book failed in all accThe criteria for books like this is simple - provide a few laugh out loud moments with plenty of other smirks or snickers. This book failed in all accounts. It was enjoyable, but not something I would look at again unless there were no other options. The blog the book is based off of is a perfect example of what is in the book, with nothing expanded upon....more
On the back cover, Foer promised to present a complex analysis of the world solely using soccer as a metaphor. While he falls short of this, I walkedOn the back cover, Foer promised to present a complex analysis of the world solely using soccer as a metaphor. While he falls short of this, I walked away knowing more about the history/development of soccer, global political forces, and different cultures than I would have imagined. Given the topics, you would expect this to be a very heavy read. On the contrary, Foer is able to keep the subjects and metaphor alive with simplistic writing about complex tasks. Although this leaves me worried about what he's leaving out, it has convinced me to look deeper into soccer allegiances instead of treating them solely as fandom....more