In this book, we have an eccentric, reclusive filmmaker named Stanilas Cordova, whose films are so dark and edgy that many could only be viewed in sec...moreIn this book, we have an eccentric, reclusive filmmaker named Stanilas Cordova, whose films are so dark and edgy that many could only be viewed in secret, underground screenings. Cordova cultivated a cult-like following in his audience and therefore many questions about the man and his personal life were left unanswered, though dissected and theorized in every possible way. Cordova's daughter, Ashley, was found dead of an apparent suicide and this news spurred Scott McGrath to revisit the story that eluded and destroyed him years prior. McGrath is an investigative journalist who probed into Cordova's seemingly sinister and dark world, trying to reveal the man and his actions once and for all. After the case fell apart--as did McGrath's personal life--he was ready to leave it in the dust, until news of Ashley's death awoke the sleeping beast.
In the spirit of vindication and resolution, McGrath recruits Nora and Hopper along the way--additional pieces to the Cordova puzzle. He digs out leads and gathers more and more information, trying to assemble the answer to all the riddles that appear to be unanswerable. Black magic, cults, disappearing actors, secret and intense film shoots, tragic family history, and other strange themes present themselves time after time in McGrath's investigation, culminating in the isolated Cordova compound called The Peak.
I gave this book four stars because, overall, I think this book is very good. The characters are charismatic and mysterious, the plot winds around itself until you begin to question everything you've read, and the visual elements peppered throughout the novel are intriguing and add dimension to the story. However, I could not really get into it until about halfway through. It was at that point that I found myself NEEDING to know what was next for our protagonist. I recall reading through certain portions, my eyes skimming the pages rapidly and my heart constricting with the words I was consuming. The descriptions and actions that the characters were going through. This was all very well done. What I did not like so much was the ending. There was a moment where I felt that if the book ended at that point, I would be disappointed--and then it continued! I was excited! Then it ended in precisely the same...I don't want to say "anticlimactic" because that certainly wouldn't be fair or accurate...but rather I felt that the ending was a little too "real world" given the rest of the novel before that point. Cordova is evocative of Hitchcock and I guess I was expecting a real twist, a final stab in the heart that better suited the intrigue and thrill that the novel had crafted so well. But hey, it was still a good book and worth the read.(less)
To me, this was like a fairy tale for adults in terms of the fantasy elements. I really enjoyed this but felt that it wasn't long enough (always an is...moreTo me, this was like a fairy tale for adults in terms of the fantasy elements. I really enjoyed this but felt that it wasn't long enough (always an issue, eh?). The narrator leaves a funeral service and heads to his childhood home, suddenly finding himself drawn to the farmhouse down the lane and his hazy memories of Lettie Hempstock and her ocean. An emotional tale filled with a certain breed of longing, love, and admiration, this novel transported me to the narrator's world--one not far from present day and yet so far removed from it. (less)
I'll be honest, this book was tough for me to get into. I picked up a used copy after a recommendation from my boyfriend's sister's mother-in-law (did...moreI'll be honest, this book was tough for me to get into. I picked up a used copy after a recommendation from my boyfriend's sister's mother-in-law (did that even make any sense?) during our Florida vacation and, being a complete book-buying fiend, figured I'd give it a shot. I commute on a train for almost three hours for four days a week, so having something to read during the ride is definitely something I'm interested in and I threw this book in my bag. I opened it in the morning and after about twenty pages, I closed it and left it in my bag for about two weeks. I even read another book instead, choosing to ignore this one for the time being. But then I figured I'd give it another chance and I'm glad I did.
This novel is set shortly after World War II in Brooklyn where an eleven-year-old Michael Devlin, the son of working class Irish immigrants, loves comic books, the Dodgers, and his friends. Then he befriends a rabbi and his life is forever changed. We then follow Michael and Rabbi Hirsch as they forge a tight bond, learn from each other, deal with neighborhood animosity and violence, and do their best to be good people.
What I enjoyed about this book was you slowly learn more and more about these characters and you begin to feel as though they're real people whose lives have been recorded for you to read. Also, I liked that it was an emotional tale that made me feel enraged at some of the actions in the book. But mostly I loved following Michael Devlin around and seeing the awe and wonder that he saw all around.
This book is about faith and friendship, love and loyalty. Above all, this book is about magic--in all its forms.(less)
Have you ever read a story in which Richard Gere was a central figure? Neither have I--until I picked up "The Good Luck of Right Now." In this novel,...moreHave you ever read a story in which Richard Gere was a central figure? Neither have I--until I picked up "The Good Luck of Right Now." In this novel, an almost-40-year-old man named Bartholomew Neil has only ever known a life with his mother. They devoutly attended Catholic mass and took care of each other since Bartholomew's father was out of the picture (martyred, in fact). That is, until Bartholomew's mother passed away from brain cancer where "squidlike" tumors attacked her mind and caused her to spiral into declining health. Just like that, Bartholomew didn't know how to live his life. His grief counselor, Wendy, constantly urged him to go out and make friends. His longtime priest and mentor, Father McNamee, persistently told him to listen to God for any instructions. But Bartholomew wanted only two things: to have a beer with an age-appropriate friend at a bar and to have to a drink with a woman. "The woman." The Girlbrarian. As a result of philosophies telling Bartholomew that synchronicity is a pervasive force in the universe and that good and bad always balance each other out (i.e., the good luck of right now), our protagonist makes friends with Max and the Girlbrarian (who is his number one crush) and learns more about Cat Parliament than he ever expected to. But he also learned more about himself and what he is capable of. What starts out as a sort of reliance on letters to Richard Gere and invoking his presence to overcome obstacles becomes a journey of self-discovery and confidence. Bartholomew Neil reminds me, in a way, of Forrest Gump with the exception of a higher intellect that happens to be shrouded in a lack of social skills. Bartholomew understands more than people assume of him--and in some ways, more than he assumes of himself--and his empathy is almost heartbreaking at times. You get glimpses into Bartholomew's past when his inner voice berates him and calls him names like "retard" and "moron," to the point where he almost believes it to be true. This is a heartfelt book with humor and an interesting cast of supporting characters, even if they come off a bit flat at times in the book. Overall however, I enjoyed this novel. It was a bit of a "Quick" read (SEE WHAT I DID THERE???) which I attribute to the author's skilled writing style. The tone is somewhat casual and conversational, though that could be because it's written in first person. Either way, I liked it and I liked the ending (which isn't always the case with me). If you enjoy books featuring a protagonist you can really sympathize with and feel for, this may be your bag. If you don't like Richard Gere, don't read this. Because he is all over this book. Seriously. Richard Gere haters, heed my warning.(less)
3 things you're going to want to keep in stock after reading this book: 1) Oxi Clean (and lots of it!) 2) White vinegar (AND LOTS OF IT!) 3) Denture t...more3 things you're going to want to keep in stock after reading this book: 1) Oxi Clean (and lots of it!) 2) White vinegar (AND LOTS OF IT!) 3) Denture tablets (generic ones will do just fine)
If you're at all interested in domestic goings-on, I highly recommend this book. The author has a humorous tone that keeps things interesting--which is important when you're reading an entire chapter on how to do laundry. Plus, she weaves in real-life examples and stories and, if I'm being honest, it makes you feel kind of good to read about other people who don't have their shit together. But seriously, I plan on singing the praises of this book to everyone I know because there is so much useful information in here! I've even taken to dog-earing the pages, though that isn't exactly necessary given that the book has a super handy INDEX in the back. Yeah. An index. Awesome. I have a strong feeling that rather than living in the library of my home, this book is going to reside within arm's reach so I can reference it often.(less)
I would have given this book five stars, but I am SO COMPLETELY frustrated with the ending that I'm still reeling. Granted, I finished the book litera...moreI would have given this book five stars, but I am SO COMPLETELY frustrated with the ending that I'm still reeling. Granted, I finished the book literally six minutes ago...and it IS almost 3:30 in the morning. But c'mon! I was told this book was an excellent thriller. And it is. There is no doubt about that. Several times I found myself switching my theory of what happened (only to have fallen short of being 100% correct, though I was close so I suppose that's some consolation). But even as I read the ending, and I could detect what was coming, I realized I was trying to steer things in a different direction. No dice. So yes, I am very frustrated and angry at the ending, but it was still a GREAT book with a great plot. Also, and this may have been fun for me simply because I'm a second-year law student and am being trained to think this way, but I was coming up with fun theories of the case I would use with the facts given. So there's that. (less)
All in all, it was an okay book. There were certain...interactions that hit a little too close to home and in general, reading Julie's tales was fairl...moreAll in all, it was an okay book. There were certain...interactions that hit a little too close to home and in general, reading Julie's tales was fairly relatable. I noticed that it seemed a little lost at times, as though it were rambling on with no affirmative destination. There was something a little missing for me, but hey you can't have it all! One thing that really bothered me was her liberal use of the word "retard," but frankly I can't tell if that's her brand of sarcasm (like some of the anti-feminist statements or observations of gay men she made that I can CLEARLY tell were made in jest and in opposition of her actual views) or if she was being remotely serious.(less)
I love Harley (she might be my most favorite comic character) and I am really digging the New 52 featuring her. Three pages in and I loved her even mo...moreI love Harley (she might be my most favorite comic character) and I am really digging the New 52 featuring her. Three pages in and I loved her even more. Read it and you'll see what I mean.(less)
Very helpful in understanding and developing concepts of evidence. I love that, unlike casebooks, the examples in the study aid come with detailed exp...moreVery helpful in understanding and developing concepts of evidence. I love that, unlike casebooks, the examples in the study aid come with detailed explanations (hence the title). Also discusses in brief landmark cases in certain areas of evidence.(less)