First CJ Box I've read. I understand his usual book is a good whodunit, solved by a likable game warden named Joe Pickett. And that it doesn't read liFirst CJ Box I've read. I understand his usual book is a good whodunit, solved by a likable game warden named Joe Pickett. And that it doesn't read like an Ayn Rand meets Clive Bundy.
The anti-federal paranoia is palpable, with mustache-twirling agents working for the EPA who are just out to screw the good people of Wyoming. I put that aside to enjoy a well-written book, reasoning that it's just a fictional book, and it's about some bad people that happen to be federal agents or state bureaucrats who don't like to get their hands dirty. But then after the last page, there was a chart of how much land is owned by the feds in the twelve states with the most federal ownership. I can only conclude that the anti-federal writing is intentional.
Well, it's easy to do when you make your characters up, isn't it? You can make stuff you don't like espoused by strawmen. You can then introduce Howard Roark Joe Pickett as the reasonable, brilliant stalwart we should all wish to be, and ignore the fact that none of us are him.
The book's a page-turner and entertaining, but that 'EPA people are stuuuuupid' vibe is really distracting....more
Another seminal sci-fi entry and your faithful Bup responded on the wrong level.
I see that he didn't approach Mars colonization as cowboys and IndiansAnother seminal sci-fi entry and your faithful Bup responded on the wrong level.
I see that he didn't approach Mars colonization as cowboys and Indians. Meeting a civilized alien species will be more complicated than that, if it ever happens.
Nevertheless, his choice to make everything unfold like a Twilight Zone left me nonplussed. It's a novel, Ray. You can make things disastrous without making it like an encapsulated 22 minute teleplay, where (and this is not a spoiler) our usual cast finds exactly one survivor who has to die in the final minute.
Further, I'm just embarrassed for him with all the stuff he missed. Women are still just housewives, and media is just like it was in 1950 - record players, landline phones, no way to see who's calling or automated way to catch a missed call, etc. Sending a rocket with a few men, without them being in fairly constant contact with Earth, is laughable. Going out and exploring a planet without radioing home "we landed safely?"
I guess I can't forgive giant plot holes and sloppy story-telling just because the book was in one or two ways prescie--no, wait. It wasn't even prescient. Just because it was cynical. That doesn't make it great literature.
I found this a pleasant read, entertaining enough, but I think I might have liked it better when I was twenty-five. A lot of story-telling that skipsI found this a pleasant read, entertaining enough, but I think I might have liked it better when I was twenty-five. A lot of story-telling that skips around adds unnecessary confusion, and Adams' overused trick of beginning many new scenes with pronouns to keep us in the dark about who it is gets annoying.
I noticed Adams has a thing for personifying things that are not only void of intention, but almost not concrete concepts - the wind, light, and so forth. In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I found sentences about what the wind was busy doing when it 'should have' been tousling the protagonist's hair, or whatever, clever and funny; here, it made me think Adams was really just a writer with a relatively small bag of tricks that he used over and over. Another one - several points in the book where he pretty clearly started with his iconic metaphor of 'flying in exactly the way that bricks don't' and inserted a new noun and unlikely action.
I don't mean to sound like I'm hatin' on the book. It was fun. But I had high expectations, given that this launched a second series of books for him, and this is on that '1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die' list.
If you need to read a book about adolescents with depression or bipolar disorder, I don't know a better one.
This one is pretty basic, and is a quick rIf you need to read a book about adolescents with depression or bipolar disorder, I don't know a better one.
This one is pretty basic, and is a quick read - a very light 170 pages. I'm not sure I learned anything, but it helped cement my instincts.
So I guess it's a good first read, although it may be getting a bit long in the tooth. I don't know how much of the information about health benefits and navigating the US health system is still accurate....more
I think my favorite thing about this gothic romance is that one of the characters - an attorney working for the crown to ferret out witches (and who,I think my favorite thing about this gothic romance is that one of the characters - an attorney working for the crown to ferret out witches (and who, historically, was the clerk of the county) - is just as bad as anybody else.
Ainsworth also, although it may have been unintentional, doesn't make clear which way he's going - whether the witchcraft is real, or the creation of a superstitious populace - for a good long while in the telling. But when he makes it clear, he puts the pedal to the metal and goes whole-hog.
It's a rip-roaring amount of fun.
Relatively speaking. You know, for an 1849 novel by a guy who was probably all stuffed shirt and took himself really seriously. Probably thought he was so great. He wasn't so great....more
My biggest problem with the book is how short it is, but really, maybe I shouldn't make bones about that. People want friendly things, not intimidatinMy biggest problem with the book is how short it is, but really, maybe I shouldn't make bones about that. People want friendly things, not intimidating.
It's officially 160 pages, but a whole lot of it is whitespace.
It boils down to a few simple things - ERP, contracts - and walks the reader through them in a friendly manner. It's a good book if you're dealing specifically with OCD - other diagnoses in the obsessive-compulsive spectrum area, not so much.
Also, I don't know of many other books like this, so it's a good thing to read if you want to learn about it....more
Oh, people, I do not get it. You all give it 5 stars. Explain to me why. A friend and I decided to read this together (we both loved The Book Thief) -Oh, people, I do not get it. You all give it 5 stars. Explain to me why. A friend and I decided to read this together (we both loved The Book Thief) - we thought we'd read and discuss every few days. We discussed once and gave up. We agreed - this isn't worth discussing.
There's no believability, the protagonist's motivations aren't convincing, but he acts motivated, and his quests don't make sense, and I don't buy that his actions 'heal' the situations they purport to heal. But everyone in the story buys that they do.
And the writing - a young author finding his voice (even though this is maybe his 4th book), but leaving too much evidence of the writer in love with his own words. Description that calls out, "hey! I'm imagery!" Metaphor that sweeps in like so many tiny newborn spiders on the breeze of a new morning's hope.
Fragments of. Sentences. They communicate bittersweet...
Do they not?
(OK, here's a real snippet.)
Fear is the street. Fear is every step. The darkness grows heavier on the road and I begin. To run.
The resolution is way too much the work of a first-time novelist, and felt like the work of a collegiate pretension generator who's pretty sure he's blowing your mind. It shouldn't have been published. Although I'm glad he did get published (later)....more