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Steppenwolf
4.07
Likely the dumbest Important Book that I've read.

Yeah, it's cool that the narrator thinks he's a werewolf, but is really just a recluse pseudo-academi...more
May 2012
May 28, 2012
 
Bleeding Edge
3.55
A parable of reading. Protagonist is a fallen CFE, with her “skill set being a tendency to look for hidden patterns” (22), which is the sole necessary...more
Sep 2013
Sep 29, 2013
 
Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West
4.21
All reading is transformative for the reader, even if it’s merely additive or supplemental--a cumulation of more knowledges, the text inscribed on the...more
Aug 2013
Sep 02, 2013
 
Legend (Drenai Tales, #1)
4.23
Nutshell: military dilemma comes to improbable resolution through the intervention of a surly codger who kicks half million kids off lawn.

We know we m...more
Jun 2013
Jun 09, 2013
 
The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2)
4.13
Nutshell: how-to manual that recommends radical luddite social restructuring in order to defeat slave uprising.

Abandons chaucerian structure of first...more
Jul 2013
Aug 10, 2013
 
The End of Eternity
4.15
Nutshell: antisocial nerd, responsible for historical amendments to spacetime continuum, dicks it up for everyone in order to lose virginity.

Eternity...more
Nov 2012
Nov 24, 2012
 
The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism
3.40
Part II of multi-part review series.

Reading Rand reminds me of teaching freshman composition at university years ago. There’s not nearly as many spell...more
Aug 2013
Jun 11, 2011
 
Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)
4.11
The text wants rhetorical discipline, its worst problem, and likewise evidences, at best, an amateur aesthetics.

The text moreover adopts a number of t...more
Jan 2000
Jun 10, 2011
 
Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)
4.16
Framed narratives while on pilgrimage to religious site suggestive of The Canterbury Tales, but not drawing any real influence from it. Whereas Chauce...more
Nov 2012
Nov 11, 2012
 
Madame Bovary
3.61
Nutshell: bucolic twerp, well read in romance novels, gets bored with bourgeois husband, has affairs, bankrupts estate, dies.

A tremendous narrative. O...more
Dec 2012
Dec 31, 2012
 
Behemoth: The Structure & Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1944
4.27
Corollary to Lemkin’s Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. Like Lemkin, Neumann is European attorney in exile in the United States during WW2, writing about...more
Jan 2014
Feb 01, 2014
 
How the North Won: A Military History of the Civil War
4.05
Very persuasive. Strictly a military history, from the opening of hostilities until the surrender of the remaining confederate armies. Very much a nec...more
Feb 2014
Mar 01, 2012
 
Notes from the Underground
4.13
Nutshell: proto-hipster suffering from hepatic encephalopathy throws tantrums and advances retrograde polemics.

Some of Dostoevsky's ugly politics leak...more
Dec 2012
Dec 14, 2012
 
Reflections on the Revolution in France
3.66
A turgid, incoherent, mean-spirited confusion of barely readable proto-teabaggery and ancient dogmatic douchebaggery. Written in the form of a letter...more
May 10, 2012
Oct 09, 2011
 
SCUM Manifesto
3.46
Not sure if this is serious or not. If serious, it’s one of the worst books ever written. If an elaborate satire, then very effective. Object of the s...more
Feb 2014
Mar 02, 2014
 
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
3.93
Like Mary Shelley, McCullers is wunderkind.

Set in late ‘30s great crisis, when “times is hard for everybody” (40-41), and by damning contrast with Ca...more
Oct 2013
Oct 06, 2013
 
Modernism and Fascism: The Sense of a Beginning under Mussolini and Hitler
3.89
Simplified: offers first a definition of modernism and then a definition of fascism that arises out of the definition of modernism.

Herf, in Reactiona...more
Feb 2014
Feb 01, 2014
 
Libra
3.96
Nutshell: soporific account of JFK assassination, intermixed with bildungsroman of assassin, with implied subtitle The Sorrows of Young Lee Harvey.

Nar...more
Dec 2013
Nov 30, 2013
 
The Anatomy of Fascism
3.98
Very effective. Attempts a wittgensteinian, as opposed to a platonist, definition of fascism, drawing its operative principles from the laboratory of...more
Dec 2013
Dec 31, 2013
 
The Quantum Thief
3.82
The ultimate in nerd-boiled, maybe.

Protagonists are an Arsene Lupin and an Auguste Dupin, plus a Finnish soldier with a sentient ship (soldier and shi...more
Oct 2013
Nov 02, 2013
 
From Hegel to Marx: Studies in the Intellectual Development of Karl Marx
3.62
Highly readable snapshot of 1840s neo-hegelian German philosophy, as carried out by sniping in the radical press.

Originally written in the 1930s when...more
Apr 2013
Apr 19, 2013
 
What To Do When The Russians Come: A Survivor's Guide
3.36
The paranoia on display here is rooted in Stalin-era issues, and, in some cases, civil war issues, extended dishonestly into the '80s. Ultimately, sil...more
Aug 2013
Aug 10, 2013
 
The Eye of Argon
2.80
Prefer an "engrossed titan" who ignores "the queries of an inquisitive female, pulling her towards him and crushing her sagging nipples to his yearnin...more
Mar 2013
Mar 14, 2013
 
The Unfit: A History of a Bad Idea
3.50
History of biopolitical management doctrine, maybe. Opens with biblical conceptions of human unfitness, then skips ahead to the 18th century. I’d’ve a...more
Jan 2014
Feb 01, 2014
 
Fourteen Byzantine Rulers: The Chronographia of Michael Psellus
3.73
Suetonian/procopian memoir, touching on the late Macedonian dynasty, the whole of the Doukai, and the beginning of the Komnenoi. General thesis is tha...more
Jan 2014
Dec 31, 2013
 
The Naked Sun (Robot, #2)
4.05
Nutshell: superstar earthling detective imported to dyslibertopian planet to investigate murder.

Libertarian dystopia is Solaria, a planet of 20,000 hu...more
Nov 2012
Dec 02, 2012
 
Who Is Ayn Rand?
3.02
First supplemental to multi-part review series.

Nutshell: hopeless epigones burp up salty randroid load that they’d swallowed as adolescents.

Part I: At...more
Nov 2013
Nov 30, 2013
 
Love in the Time of Cholera
3.85
Nutshell: rapist doesn’t let war stop him from stalking widow.

Story of many decades generally takes place during ongoing civil war, which creeps into...more
Oct 2013
Oct 13, 2013
 
Axis Rule in Occupied Europe
4.83
Author must have fallen to Earth. This one is contender for Best Book Ever Written by a Human Person.

Comprehensive evaluation of Axis occupation statu...more
Jan 2013
Jun 14, 2011
 
V.
3.97
Nutshell: orthographic mystery spins out of control as narrative ponderously stencils over trifling profanities.

Quite an achievement. Probably should’...more
Mar 2014
Jan 01, 2014
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