I'll admit this is the only Reacher novel I have read, and will be my last. Unless something transcendental has happened to Lee Child, I don't see how...moreI'll admit this is the only Reacher novel I have read, and will be my last. Unless something transcendental has happened to Lee Child, I don't see how his writing style or story telling ability could really get me interested enough to pick another Reacher novel up.
The list of distractions is tremendous, so I'll just "shrug" it off (yes, there is a lot of shrugging going on). I suppose if you just want to occupy yourself and have the ability to skim a good third of a book in order to finish without missing a beat, then this would be a worthy read. Die Trying certainly didn't get me interested in Jack Reacher as a character. The plot stretches beyond its means in order to add (unsuccessfully) gravity and drama. The villains are nothing more than punching bags for a hero that really has no credibility. The ultimate "man-from-nowhere-wrecking-havoc" in order to walk into the contrived sunset ending is what Die Trying is all about.
I'd say it would make a great read for boys in study hall and women in need of fulfilling their white knight fantasies. Sorry, I wasted the time on this one.(less)
So, Dean Koontz, Odd Thomas...my first Koontz experience to be exact...
Okay, so it turned out exactly opposite what I thought, my experience with Koon...moreSo, Dean Koontz, Odd Thomas...my first Koontz experience to be exact...
Okay, so it turned out exactly opposite what I thought, my experience with Koontz that is, not Odd Thomas. 2 stars, okay is exactly what I thought. Odd Thomas is nothing outstanding or moving in my opinion. In fact, this is Koontz attempting a thinly veiled lift and twist on the Sixth Sense. Trust me, go with sixth sense (even M. Night hasn't been able to replicate his success with that story). Drop kick the book by the end...maybe not that strong, but it does surprise me how weak the actual story and plot line were. The strength of Odd Thomas lies in its characters and the relationship/love interest between Odd and Stormy. And this is where I was SURPRISED with Koontz.
This is the exact opposite I was talking about, Koontz actually writes pretty good prose. I mean his actual style and writing weren't bad. Yes, some parts were a bit purple (overwritten), but not enough to distract me. For an author that has God knows how many books now, Koontz writes pretty well. He was able to create some interest in his characters and puts them in a setting, Pico Mundo (spelling???), that I want to know more about. I suppose the appeal of Odd Thomas lies in these two points alone. Odd and Pic Mundo are certainly things people, especially teens and 20 somethings, can relate to. He paints these things well and pulls them into a situation that can be considered (by some at least, not me) exciting. The event itself is, unfortunatly, also something most people (Americans especially) that haven't been asleep for the past fifteen or so years can identify with.
I suspect the Koontz's appeal to his fans probably lies with his sensibilities or philosophies, that with most writers simmer in the background (think Hemingway, iceberg principle). In Odd Thomas, Koontz isn't too subtle with his libertarian proclivities or his thoughts on the existence of evil. I say these things due to the fact that they are obvious in the text and the fact that any of his characters all adhere to similar ethos with no middle ground or nuance. Hence, the inevitable good v. evil clash.
I will not be reading any further in the Odd series. One was enough for me. But, from my experience with Odd Thomas, I will give Koontz another go. He can write, it's just an issue of finding the right book, if that book even exists. I suppose that's reason enough to keep reading and exploring.(less)
Dan Simmons can certainly put together a decent story and his prose ranks right up there with Gibson and the like. Personally, the best of Simmons is...moreDan Simmons can certainly put together a decent story and his prose ranks right up there with Gibson and the like. Personally, the best of Simmons is his muscular writing style, not so much the story or characters. Simmons certainly stretches his writing muscles in each of the stories he put forth in this first installment of Hyperion, and to some degree shows what he later made into his career -- success in writing across several different genres(sci-fi, hard boiled detective, horror and historical fiction)I have read a good cross section of Simmons and have to say that he writes well for a more popular author, especially Sci-Fi. I'll go on and finish what I started with the second installment, The Fall of Hyperion. If you like a solid read and aren't a stickler for hard sci-fi, this is worth some time poolside. I will read anything (any genre) well written and I liked this one.(less)
Elmore Leonard shows how style alone can't carry an entire novel. Pretty disappointed in the broad character sketches and total lack of substance to t...moreElmore Leonard shows how style alone can't carry an entire novel. Pretty disappointed in the broad character sketches and total lack of substance to the overall story. What the book does have is a dark sense of humor throughout, although not too dark. Looking for an easy rip through, light as fat free ranch dressing, pop read...Maximum Bob might do you poolside. I'll be turning to some of Leonard's earlier works next to try to get closer to his essential thoughts/writing. I suppose a good writer only has so many in him and Maximum Bob, to me, reads too much like an author (not writer) looking to fulfill contractual obligations. Then again, Leonard might have started feeling his age about the time he wrote this piece. Higher level, fully realized writing should and does take its toll.(less)
Wow, this is the one in the series that is a must read. The Green Ripper serves as a significant sign post in the overall character arc of Travis McGe...moreWow, this is the one in the series that is a must read. The Green Ripper serves as a significant sign post in the overall character arc of Travis McGee. The level of writing in the last chapters and epilogue really spoke to me and where McGee was mentally. The story is captivating enough and considering this was written in the late '70's and first published in 1980, the content is as timely now as ever.
It's not necessary to read the entire McGee saga, but if you have to read just 3 or so, this one is mandatory in my opinion. Like I stated, for me, the most important thing about this book is its context and relationship to the unfolding arc of Travis, John D's most famous character and one of modern crime/mystery/tough guy fiction's best. (less)
This one was my Siesta Key beach read a couple of weeks ago. The story is okay as is the book overall. Nothing spectacular in either story or characte...moreThis one was my Siesta Key beach read a couple of weeks ago. The story is okay as is the book overall. Nothing spectacular in either story or character.(less)