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James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses
3.98
An odd little book; I seem to remember that Joyce deliberately misled Budgen, but I am not sure at all. What I do recall is that this is the book wher ...more
Mar 1987
Feb 27, 2012
 
The Trinity Six
3.71
Just wrote a capsule review of this excellent 2011 book by "the next le Carre" (which is how they are marketing him). It's a terrific story, well told ...more
Sep 30, 2010
Sep 30, 2010
 
The Pretender
3.67
This quartet of novels is quite amazing. In 2003, I wrote down, "a more interesting book is hard to imagine." At the end of the year, I named it (with ...more
Jan 2003
Feb 23, 2012
 
Geography III
4.37
One of a handful of books I can't quite bring myself to sell or give away, and I have the original hardcover first edition, somewhat rare and lovely i ...more
Jan 1985
Mar 02, 2012
 
Nothing Personal: A Novel of Wall Street
3.31
Pretty well-written novel by someone who clearly knows and understand Wall Street, but it's so dated (an Eighties setting) that it feels, well, dated. ...more
Dec 12, 2013
Dec 12, 2013
 
The Balthus Poems
3.58
I am going through my shelves and came across this beautiful book, a small edition signed by the author, whom I met at a course at MIT (on contemporar ...more
Jan 1983
Dec 15, 2010
 
Blood on Snow
3.59
I am a huge fan of the Scandinavian authors, but I don't get or like Jo Nesbo--clearly I am in the minority, but this book did little to change my min ...more
Feb 2015
Feb 01, 2015
 
Red Rain
3.48
Crow is a pseudonym, but I never tried to figure out who he is--but he wrote a helluva thriller in "Red Rain," which I reviewed for PW (also did a Q&a ...more
Apr 2003
Feb 23, 2012
 
Lucky Jim
3.80
Found a notebook from the late 1980s and early 1990s, and so can date my first read of "Lucky Jim": March 1990. One of the quotes I copied out: "In th ...more
Mar 1990
Feb 20, 2012
 
The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers
4.00
What I copied out of this book:"In bad or unsatisfying fiction, the fictional dream is interrupted from time to time by some mistake or conscious ploy ...more
Mar 1994
Feb 28, 2012
 
The man who wouldn't get up: and other stories
3.55
A limited edition from Bridgewater Press (not a Spanish language book as Goodreads might have you to believe); just 138 copies, and mine is oddly enou ...more
Jan 2005
Feb 24, 2012
 
Naming The Bones
3.28
Not a great book, and not as compelling as "The Cutting Room." Welsh is a pleasure to read, but the story in this one is thin thin thin--barely a hint ...more
Sep 19, 2012
Sep 19, 2012
 
The Descendants
3.82
I cannot believe I read this! I read the descriptions of the movie and it all sounded terribly familiar--and yet I could swear I hadn't read it becaus ...more
Jan 2007
Feb 17, 2012
 
A Flash of Green
3.94
Re-read and while there were occasional touches of JDM brilliance, it felt more didactic than I remembered -- too many speeches, the bad guys were too ...more
Oct 04, 2013
Feb 20, 2012
 
The Postmortal
3.80

Satire mixed with dystopian fantasy. Very clever but ultimately tiresome (like most dystopian novels are, at least to me), with a terrible character
...more
Jan 2011
Feb 03, 2013
 
Shadow Play (Helen West, #4)
3.48
I'm telling you: if you like intelligent and thoughtful suspense, Fyfield is your gal.

"What would she do next? What did a person ever do when they we
...more
Jan 2003
Feb 22, 2012
 
The Letters of Kingsley Amis
4.26
A magnificent tome--more than 1000 pages and every one of them worth reading for all their opinionated, rancorous honesty. True, one has to be an Amis ...more
Feb 10, 2010
Aug 05, 2010
 
Skin
3.81
Mo Hayder is a good writer with a definite taste for the macabre--almost kinky, but rarely overtly so. The Rape of Nanking is a better book than "Skin ...more
Oct 2010
Oct 01, 2010
 
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
3.65
Bad like junk food: You kind of enjoy reading it, but you hate yourself when you're finished. And you know what? You don't even really enjoy it while ...more
Oct 1990
Feb 20, 2012
 
The Vicar Of Sorrows
3.53
I am a great fan of A. N. Wilson -- (HLB, I'm sending you this copy because I know you will like it) -- a quintessentially British writer, learned, wi ...more
Jan 1993
Dec 15, 2010
 
Dirty Money (Parker, #24)
3.82
I know he's considered a master of genre fiction, and I was definitely intrigued by the premise (the aftermath of a heist gone wrong), and the dialogu ...more
Dec 20, 2010
Dec 20, 2010
 
The Drop (Harry Bosch, #17)
4.12
Another terrific chapter in the Harry Bosch series. I never tire of this character, and Connelly is a great storyteller, with a tremendous understandi ...more
Sep 04, 2011
Sep 04, 2011
 
Scoop
3.87
A classic comic novel in Waugh's classic comic style (but not antically comic like Wodehouse; he's a more serious writer, I think). Great British adap ...more
Jan 1991
Jan 21, 2012
 
A Savage Place (Spenser, #8)
3.96
The LA book...when Spenser has an affair with the television reporter, Candy Sloan.

LA type asks Spenser, "How did you end up in such a strange busine
...more
Aug 28, 2014
Aug 28, 2014
 
The Drowner
3.82
Every time I read one of JDM's 75+ books (not too many left now), I think: the greatest pulp novelist ever? And he is so much better than a pulp novel ...more
Feb 25, 2011
Feb 25, 2011
 
L.A. Outlaws (Charlie Hood, #1)
3.68
This turned into a franchise for Parker, and it's quite good--the most recent entry is excellent (The Jaguar, out sometime in 2012). I reviewed both f ...more
Jan 2007
Feb 17, 2012
 
Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie, #4)
3.87
Brilliant. Amazingly good. I should have known, but didn't, that the title comes from an Emily Dickinson poem:
"I started Early - Took my Dog -
And visi
...more
Oct 06, 2010
Sep 11, 2010
 
Room at the Top
3.66
An early 'Angry Young Man' (henceforth known as AYM) novel, which I read only because of my budding interest in K Amis. Not a bad movie with Laurence ...more
Jan 1991
Jan 21, 2012
 
Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers
3.71
No one writes like Tom Wolfe; no one see like Tom Wolfe; and no one has captured the pseudo-intellectualism and earnestness of the Left with more acui ...more
Mar 18, 2010
Aug 05, 2010
 
A Summons to Memphis
3.65
Bruce Bawer in The New Criterion (11/86): "To Peter Taylor, in other words, the writing of fiction is a moral act--and he brings to it a reverence for ...more
Sep 1987
Feb 20, 2012
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