I'll stipulate upfront that Howie and I have been friends since 1976 so I am predisposed to like most everything he writes. That said, I have been watI'll stipulate upfront that Howie and I have been friends since 1976 so I am predisposed to like most everything he writes. That said, I have been watching with admiration how deeply he has researched and how painstaking his writing and editing on this novel has been. The finished results are certainly well worth the time and effort.
For fans of the old Maverick TV series or light-hearted adventures, the Galloway brothers will be most welcome in your hands. The boys had a tough childhood and they left home to make their fortune and the novel covers those first few years as they mature and find themselves. When their mother and the Texas town that has grown during their life is endangered, they come back and in a scheme worthy of Mission: Impossible, Leverage, or the Maverick brothers themselves, they get the job done.
The writing is engaging and the narrator's voice is spot on, easing you through their trials and tribulations.
If anything, they do not seem to suffer too much or sustain losses for long. Their mother may be a little too saintly and things wrap up kind of patly but none of this robs the book of its entertainment value. This is well worth your time....more
Deb recommended this book to me as one that was exceptionally well-written and the subject matter was relatively new to me (at least fiction goes). ThDeb recommended this book to me as one that was exceptionally well-written and the subject matter was relatively new to me (at least fiction goes). The story tells of two branches of the Kemp family and the slave trading business in 1752. We get to understand what motivates a man to outfit a ship for the unsavory business, the character of its captain, and the makeup of its crew. Then, slowly, we get to meet those who would enslave their fellow Africans and the captives themselves. To my surprise, the book later jumps a dozen years and takes on a whole other character.
Erasmus Kemp, son of the ship owner, and his cousin Matthew, do not get along and we more or less parallel their lives as they diverge and intertwine. It's clear early on that Erasmus is a bigoted, closed-minded idiot while Matthew is a man searching for spiritual redemption so their differing philosophical outlooks drives much of the narrative.
Unsworth's writing is quite good and I can see why this earned praise and awards. Some of the latter part dragged on but I grew quickly fond of many of his characters. If you're at all interested in the era or subject matter, you should give this one a try....more
I finally read this classic psychological thriller and from a contemporary standpoint the characters are all a bit flat. Still, Bloch makes this a pagI finally read this classic psychological thriller and from a contemporary standpoint the characters are all a bit flat. Still, Bloch makes this a page-turner by creating an atmosphere of suspense surrounding Norman Bates. Tightly structured and compelling, he sets the bar high....more
Reading the book today with modern sensibilities is interesting as it combines then-modern writing with the fading epistle style of writing. StevensonReading the book today with modern sensibilities is interesting as it combines then-modern writing with the fading epistle style of writing. Stevenson effectively creates a wonderful mood but really saves all the interesting character and action for the final chapter which is then told in the past tense, robbing the reader of the chance to experience Jekyll's descent. Scott Brick did a superb job narrating the audiobook. ...more
The second volume in The Devil 's Road does a terrific job of expanding and exploring the North American territory ruled by the DevA Strong Follow-up
The second volume in The Devil 's Road does a terrific job of expanding and exploring the North American territory ruled by the Devil. We have a greater understanding of the relationship between the people and their land along with the dangers. There is an internal threat that is the focus but we learn of an increasing danger from the Americans.
What I had hoped for and was disappointed not to get was a deeper understanding of Isobel and Gabriel as characters. But I am along for the full ride....more
Given the thinly veiled world of comic books and science fiction television series, I was intrigued by the novel's premise. Then I saw the mainstreamGiven the thinly veiled world of comic books and science fiction television series, I was intrigued by the novel's premise. Then I saw the mainstream rave reviews and knew I had to read it. Overall, the book represents a familiar world really well, with few obvious missteps. But it is all window dressing to a story about a woman confronting her obligations to her ex-husband and their nine year old son. The mother and son are driving across country so she can leave him for the next two years, stopping at three conventions along the way where each meet new companions to help them in the painful transition.
Proehl writes fairly well, but there are stretches where I just wanted things to move along or wrap up which is not good. Some characters are better delineated that others giving it an uneven feel. It is not bad by any means but I think I wanted something more. If I could this would be a 3.5....more
Meticulously researched, Mike Kooiman and Jim Amash deliver the only history of Quality you will need to read. One of the more successful comics publiMeticulously researched, Mike Kooiman and Jim Amash deliver the only history of Quality you will need to read. One of the more successful comics publishers during the Golden Age, its characters may not have been as iconic as DC's Big Three, but they delivered years of entertainment. The line of titles proved to be an excellent training ground for many who got their start at the Iger & Eisner shop.
The book provides a detailed history along with capsule biographies of the key talent and profiles of the costumed heroes and heroines.
Also included is a color section with nine stories culled from the line to give you a flavor and appreciation for what the authors describe.
An invaluable reference and addition to the comics history library....more
My wife Deb recommended this book to me, a rare enough occurrence that I downloaded it to hear without hesitation. It had appeared on enough Best of lMy wife Deb recommended this book to me, a rare enough occurrence that I downloaded it to hear without hesitation. It had appeared on enough Best of lists that I was curious, especially since I had never read Pratchett before. If I had the chance, this would get a 3.5 star rating because it is very well written. She paints pictures and brings characters easily to life. The book's strength, I believe, is in its non-linear structure so we jump back and forth through time and you're challenged to figure out where this fits and what the changes to the status quo have been. Interestingly, many capsule reviews talk about how a blended family is devastated by their life becoming fodder for a best selling novel, when it's merely one of many threads to run through the book.
To me, the book stumbles in making just about all of the characters fairly uninteresting. Many have their personal demons to confront, too many are lost left drifting through life after one character dies. There's really no one to be deeply invested in, no one to root for. They're an interesting bunch collectively, but one by one, they're mostly losers at life.
Most disappointingly, the book doesn't end but merely stops, with no real subplots or character arcs completed....more
Neil Gamin's affection for the Norse myths is evident in this lucid, clear retelling of the core myths of the Nine Realms and its inhabitants. GrowingNeil Gamin's affection for the Norse myths is evident in this lucid, clear retelling of the core myths of the Nine Realms and its inhabitants. Growing up on them as a child, he has infused much of his own writing with the legendary figures as seen in American Gods (read it).
In his introduction, Neil notes that he went straight to the surviving sources, Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, and with the verses of the Poetic Edda, cleaning them up and rewriting them as if they were modern day fairy tales. While many of the players are familiar to readers of Marvel's Thor, the differences are striking. More, Neil picks selected stories to retell so there are more stories to tell and fragments he laments he cannot retell for there is not enough source material to work from.
Next to good old Bullfinch, this volume stands tall and belongs beside it on the shelf....more
The Hidden Universe tour guides from Insight Editions takes readers on a cursory tour of the media tie-in universe, which is a clever concept. FormerThe Hidden Universe tour guides from Insight Editions takes readers on a cursory tour of the media tie-in universe, which is a clever concept. Former Marvel editor Marc Sumerak tackles the vastness of the Marvel Universe, simplified for mass readers who know only the movie and TV versions of the concepts. As a result, the visits to the various realms and empires -- Kree, Skrull, Shi'ar, etc. -- are dramatically distilled to the essentials and written as a travel guide.
Earth gets a disproportionate number of pages as New York City, Latveria, Atlantis, Wakanda, the Savage Land, Atlantis, etc. -- all get attention.
Since this is a cut-down version of the cosmos, dozens of established worlds are omitted in favor of a final section visiting the Ten Realms of Asgard, the Negative Zone, the Dark Dimension, Limbo, Battleworld, and so on.
The book is also time-locked, reflecting the reality of the Marvel Comics continuity through 2016 and obviously, the status quo on Earth and around the universe will change by the time this is released in early 2017. One example would be the imminent Monsters Unleashed event which will likely change at least the Monster Island entry and the still-evolving situation with the Inhumans.
Annotating the book are the Guardians of the Galaxy, a clear tie-in to May's second film, and most of the witticisms and asides are fun while others seem to be there merely because they needed more commentary. The movie personalities show through here, more than their comic book antecedents.
The art is curiously underwhelming and feeling homogenized and no art credits were evident in the proof provided by NetGalley....more