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The Cat's Table
It's a four-star book with five stars. I'll explain in a minute.

I'm still thinking on the Cat's Table. I've enjoyed Ondaatje's poetry more than his no
Jan 30, 2012
Jan 13, 2012
1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3)
I hate this book. I have the time to continue, but am disinclined. It's always tough with translated literature to criticize the author's skill, but i ...more
Jan 22, 2012
Jan 13, 2012
Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution
There's a very nice intro and using Darwin's acknowledgments from the second edition of 'Origin' was a nice outro, but most of the in-between bits wer ...more
Jun 21, 2012
Jun 14, 2012
The Dharma Bums
Certainly not worthless - has it's place in American lit - but this just does not speak to me as it did to the 19 year old version of me. What a goofy ...more
May 23, 2014
May 23, 2014
The People in the Trees
**spoiler alert** This damned thing is probably worth two or three stars for being imaginative and well-written. Really interesting voice and fully re ...more
Jan 23, 2014
Jan 14, 2014
Nothing makes me less sympathetic to the cause of good lit than authors writing about author characters and, through them, getting jabs at critics, th ...more
Dec 09, 2014
Dec 08, 2014
I don't remember which review convinced me to pick this up, but I never found my way into Mort(e). It just kept moving from implausible to ridiculous ...more
Feb 05, 2015
Feb 02, 2015
Leaving Earth Why One-Way to Mars Makes Sense
Can't go. Claustrophobic. :(
Apr 20, 2015
Apr 17, 2015
Love in the Time of Cholera
I worry when I don't love a classic that I've missed something. It's not that there's nothing to appreciate in this novel - it's well-written, grand i ...more
Jan 18, 2015
Jan 09, 2015
I think China Mieville is tremendously inventive. In Embassytown (and a few others, really) he struggles to give his imaginings a structure in which I ...more
May 28, 2015
May 21, 2015
The Divine Comedy
I'm finding it difficult to separate my theological leanings from my literary judgment with this. Inferno is fascinating and horrifying; Purgatorio is ...more
Mar 04, 2015
Feb 19, 2015
Gone Girl
I think this is nearly a four, as there is a lot of good stuff in Gone Girl.

It's original and self-propelled, hard to put down, with just the right am
Aug 07, 2012
Jul 29, 2012
Dimension of Miracles (Dimension of Miracles #1)
Dimension of Miracles is a bit fun, often very absurd, but not particularly engaging. For all the similarities, it is surprising that Douglas Adams ne ...more
Mar 31, 2013
Mar 29, 2013
The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell is my favorite author, I think, so this one probably suffers from high expectations. Perhaps it deserves a 4, but I'll need some convin ...more
Sep 24, 2014
Sep 09, 2014
The Marriage Plot
The Marriage Plot was my first read of Jeffrey Eugenides and I think I get the hype, now. I feel a little too Goldilocks saying this, but everything w ...more
Feb 04, 2012
Jan 29, 2012
Mere Anarchy
Sometimes you see something that makes you smirk a bit and you think "There's a joke in there somewhere." Sometimes Woody Allen comes along and proves ...more
Jan 07, 2012
Jan 05, 2012
Tremendously imaginative speculative shorts. There might be a bit too much viscera involved to say it's perfectly delivered, but the way she makes the ...more
May 15, 2015
May 11, 2015
Authority (Southern Reach, #2)
I think this was better than the first, consistently wrong-footing the reader while building suspense and a suffocating atmosphere.

Moving straight to
Apr 28, 2015
Apr 20, 2015
A Hologram for the King
Usually I'll let a book simmer in my head for a few hours to a couple of days before I handle a review on it, but I finished this one about 5 minutes ...more
Aug 10, 2012
Aug 07, 2012
The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King, #1)
I read these as a single volume, The Once and Future King, but had to break them up into their original publications to rate them. I found the quality ...more
Apr 10, 2012
Apr 19, 2012
So Much for That
I didn't earn the right to claim that this book is horrible. I did earn the right to say that the first third is, though. I can't go on.

Except for She
Mar 03, 2011
Feb 27, 2011
The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu
I could almost give this two stars just because being finished with it has made me very happy.

This is a horrible book. It's probably not the most raci
Jul 24, 2011
Jul 19, 2011
Jamrach's Menagerie
I kind of hated this four-star book. It has a subtle kind of horror to it that leads the reader to accept as normal some pretty terrifying circumstanc ...more
Aug 10, 2011
Aug 03, 2011
The Good Earth (House of Earth, #1)
I'm having a difficult time rating/reviewing this book. I think I'm trying to look past the 'cultural imperialism' argument (though I've not always de ...more
Sep 04, 2011
Aug 29, 2011
The Killer Angels: A Novel of the Civil War
Very engaging story and characters, scads of frustrating and shattering loss. I'm too far removed from a proper history of these events to know with c ...more
Jul 18, 2011
Jul 11, 2011
The Great Railway Bazaar
I love Theroux's rambling architecture. It's a frantic bit of Dylan Thomas-like prose, touching here and moving to the next before any significant rev ...more
Aug 19, 2012
Aug 14, 2012
Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books
Outwitting History really is a bit of an adventure story, but it's also an emotional education on Jewish culture, the history of Yiddish, and (a bit) ...more
Sep 17, 2011
Sep 11, 2011
Darkness at Noon
Darkness at Noon is one of a class of novels, mostly prison and interrogation things, in which all is just so hopelessly restrictive and cramped - so ...more
Jul 22, 2012
Jul 15, 2012
I'm very glad to have gotten in touch with this book again. I last met it 20-odd years ago after I'd performed in Beckett's Waiting for Godot in colle ...more
Sep 11, 2011
Sep 04, 2011
Brooklyn is captivating and beautifully told. It's a brief and spare account of a young Irish immigrant, Eilis Lacey, making her way alone in Brooklyn ...more
Jun 27, 2012
Jun 21, 2012
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