After a bit of a slow start, I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I appreciate Alarcón's writing style. The book reads like a movie...moreAfter a bit of a slow start, I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I appreciate Alarcón's writing style. The book reads like a movie that you begrudgingly start to watch, all the while questioning whether something substantial is ever going to happen, but inwardly sensing that something frightful is, in fact, about to transpire. I kept turning the pages and it was worth it.
I think, though, what I liked the most about this book was Alarcón's ability to capture the feel and mood of living in the fictional South American country. I lived in Uruguay for some time as a young adult and I think another reviewer described it best when they said that the author was able to convey the almost hallucinatory feel of South America. It felt that way for me, anyway.
The book has some fairly unstable but very interesting characters. I recommend it.(less)
A thinly veiled, pro Palestinian disappointment. I thoroughly disliked this book. The premise was initially intriguing, but in the end was just too pr...moreA thinly veiled, pro Palestinian disappointment. I thoroughly disliked this book. The premise was initially intriguing, but in the end was just too preposterous for me to be actively engaged in the outcome. I understand others loved this book and I respect that, but I couldn't find anything redeeming or positive to say. I can't recommend it.(less)
The Beggar King, is the third book in Oliver Pötzsch's "A Hangman's Daughter Tail" series. While still retaining the energy of the first two books, it...moreThe Beggar King, is the third book in Oliver Pötzsch's "A Hangman's Daughter Tail" series. While still retaining the energy of the first two books, it lacked plausibility. Granted, this is fiction, and while the settings and much of the background details are historical, much of the language the author used was too contemporary and unbelievable. This was a huge distraction for me. Set in the mid 1600's, I hardly think anyone would be telling someone to "shove it" as one of the principle characters does. Far too many instances of using modern slang were hard to ignore as was the way some of the character's conducted themselves. Even if the Hangman's daughter was considered a social outcast, I hardly think that in the mid 1600's her intimate relationship with Simon, the son of the town doctor, would go unpunished. The book had so many twists and turns that instead of engaging me, I felt overwhelmed. It was as if the author was trying to stuff as much mystery into the book as he could.
Overall, this installment was a disappointment.(less)
I had a difficult time reading this book. I was drawn to the mystery and potential of a story involving Ambrose Bierce in Mexico and the revolution bu...moreI had a difficult time reading this book. I was drawn to the mystery and potential of a story involving Ambrose Bierce in Mexico and the revolution but I was put off very quickly by the author's writing time. It was as if he attempted to paint a mythical, ethereal dream filled with allegory but ended up with a boring nightmare. It was confusing at times, especially when midway between a character's dialog the author dropped you into someone else's narrative. I finished the book feeling as if I was no closer to understanding the main characters and like I had just wasted my time. The best part of the book was an excellent narrative of a minor character's dismal marital history, the death of her husband, and her eventual liberation by the Mexican Revolution. Had the writing and story been as interesting as this I would have enjoyed the book.(less)
This book was very informative. I appreciated the author's (also a diabetic) writing style. He turned what could have been a very dull medical read in...moreThis book was very informative. I appreciated the author's (also a diabetic) writing style. He turned what could have been a very dull medical read into an easy read that was educational and enjoyable. I gave it 4 stars because he didn't commit enough space or information to insulin users who are type 2 or who struggle with any level of insulin resistance. The basics and more are in this book and I would recommend it to any type of diabetic. Required reading.(less)
I don't know why this book caught my interest as I was browsing the Lender's Library on my Kindle, but it did. When I started reading it, I thought it...moreI don't know why this book caught my interest as I was browsing the Lender's Library on my Kindle, but it did. When I started reading it, I thought it was a read that was very timely, given that I was in the throws of a very stressful situation and felt, well, quite alone. On a personal level, this was a gentle reminder that God does indeed care and I'm not alone. It's a theme that is recurring in this book and in that sense, the book worked for me.
Why the 2 stars, then? Hmm ... I agree with many of the reviews here. There is a wonderful cast of quirky and entertaining characters, all of whom provided numerous laughs and enjoyment for me. If I could rate the book on that criteria alone, I'd give this book 3.5 or 4 stars but the story and the circumstances these characters found themselves in were improbable, at best. The resolution of their main problem was so far-fetched to the point of being completely unbelievable.
I enjoyed reading the book, but it left me unsatisfied and wondering if somehow the author couldn't have done a better job of conveying his message in a more realistic way, instead of the quirky and rather fantastical way he reaffirmed God's intervention in the main character's life.
I'd recommend this book to someone looking for a quick and light beach read, especially if you have a Kindle and can read it for free :-)(less)
Simply put, I loved this book. I picked this book up under unusual circumstances. Stranded for the day in a town about 30 minutes from home, I had som...moreSimply put, I loved this book. I picked this book up under unusual circumstances. Stranded for the day in a town about 30 minutes from home, I had some time to kill and I wandered into the local library and started perusing the shelves. From page one, I was hooked.
Curiously, in the span of less than two weeks, I found myself reading books whose main characters both struggled with anxiety disorders. My prior read was "Prime of Life" by P. D. Bekendam, and the main protagonist exhibits obsessive compulsive behavior, as does Martin's character, but that is where the similarity ends.
This is the first book I've read by Steve Martin and I wasn't disappointed. Reading this book was like being at "all you can eat" word buffet. I really enjoyed the way he composed his writing; his descriptive and narrative composition. His characters were engaging and real. As I said before, the protagonist is obsessive compulsive, and instead of drawing him as a nut job, he portrayed him in a manner that made me feel that I understood the OCD. Granted, I'm sure not everyone suffering from the same or similar disorder is as sympathetic, but it was important in this story. It made me want to finish the book.
I have always been a huge fan of Steve Martin's work. I appreciate his acting, his comedy, music, directing, and his writing, which up until this book was limited to a few of his magazine article contributions. I now have an even greater appreciation for the renaissance man that is Steve Martin.
I was amply rewarded for pulling this book off that library shelf. I'm moving on to "Shop Girl". Can't wait. I highly recommend this book.(less)