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The Plato Papers
3.46
More of a clever intellectual exercise than a novel, but then that's Ackroyd, author of a biography of Dickens that unabashedly situates itself inside ...more
not set
Jun 10, 2008
 
You Have to Be Careful in the Land of the Free
3.39
Not Kelman's best, but for those attracted by his clever use of stream-of-consciousness narration, this anti-American diatribe sustains interest despi ...more
not set
May 11, 2007
 
Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945
4.22
What REALLY happened to that Band of Brothers as they gingerly subdued the German army in WWII.
not set
Apr 13, 2007
 
Pastoralia
4.13
Brilliant short stories in the early Barthelme/Pynchon mode -- can't wait to read more!
not set
Oct 30, 2012
 
The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870
3.95
There's one major lack in this otherwise worthy study: the experience of those enslaved, which is implied by descriptions of the terrible conditions u ...more
not set
Jun 02, 2008
 
The Dragon: Fifteen Stories
3.84
A mixed bag of short fiction from the author of We, the dystopian clasic that influenced both Brave New World and 1984. Zamyatin tried to satisfy both ...more
not set
Jun 14, 2008
 
Enduring Cuba
3.56
People keep telling me how excellent Lonely Planet's "Journey" series is, so I finally got around to reading one. I'm glad I did, because this is a re ...more
not set
Jun 02, 2007
 
A Distant Challenge: The U. S. Infantryman in Vietnam, 1967-72
3.20
Interesting as the exact opposite of all the personal how-messed-up-Vietnam-was books. This material is taken from an official infantry-officer's maga ...more
not set
Apr 18, 2007
 
The Overlook (Harry Bosch, #13)
3.84
Connelly's latest mystery starring Harry Bosch was significantly shorter when serialized in the New York Times, and was probably the better for it. Ov ...more
not set
Jun 03, 2008
 
Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45
4.20
All of Hastings' military histories are well-written and engrossing, but Retribution is particularly fine. He narrates the end of World War II from th ...more
not set
Jun 08, 2008
 
A New History of Torments
3.91
Not in the first rank of magic realists, but still quite entertaing when he's NOT writing historical fictions--avoid those like the plague. This one w ...more
not set
Jul 03, 2007
 
Daydream Believer: Confession of a Hero-Worshipper
3.40
This self-styled "obsessive creep," an English writer primarily famous for his obituaries, has written a wonderfully entertaining memoir of some compa ...more
not set
May 16, 2007
 
The Maltese Falcon
3.94
Picked up a 1987 edition with photographs of the venues described in this wonderful novel, and spent 3-4 hours in heaven. Great characters, full-throt ...more
not set
Jul 01, 2008
 
Norwegian Wood
4.02
Finally got around to the novel my daughters had been bugging me to read, and...right they were. This deceptively simple love story is developed with ...more
not set
Jun 19, 2007
 
The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps
4.15
More than 900 pages of mostly pure pleasure for hardboiled fans. Minus a star for an excessive amount of material from the Grade-Z zine "Gun Moll," a ...more
not set
Jun 22, 2008
 
Writing in Restaurants: Essays and Prose
3.76
When you become famous you get to have your collected laundry lists, after-dinner speeches, and random samplings of hot air set down in book form, whi ...more
not set
Jun 26, 2008
 
Wonder Boys
3.94
Loved The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, was just a tad disappointed by The Wonder Boys, entertaining though it is. But do we REALLY need yet another dysfun ...more
not set
May 31, 2007
 
The Myth of the Birth of the Hero: A Psychological Exploration of Myth
3.96
Frequently brilliant, always stimulating exploration of myth, art, psychology, and oh yes, religion, for which Rank makes a clever case as a necessary ...more
not set
May 25, 2007
 
Captain Gronow: His Reminiscences of Regency and Victorian Life, 1810-60
4.00
Although probably only of interest to period aficionados, this frequently charming memoir of life in the Victorian fast lane contains some juicily sca ...more
not set
Apr 29, 2007
 
The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara
4.37
Hadn't read him for decades, but picking this up at a yard sale led to many hours of pungent reading. O'Hara has the common touch as well as a nice li ...more
not set
Aug 08, 2007
 
Some Write to the Future: Essays on Contemporary Latin American Fiction
4.00
Literary essays of variable quality, with two -- one on memoirs of the post-1973 repression in Chile, which is must reading for anyone who has confron ...more
not set
Jul 30, 2007
 
Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts
4.10
James has overstepped himself here, trying to make a major cultural statement out of a misconceived and poorly argued collection of short essays on si ...more
not set
Jul 03, 2007
 
The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi & Arrowroot
3.67
Arrowroot is small autobiographical beer, but Secret History is a teasingly ambiguous blend of fierce eroticism and medieval Japanese history, intoxic ...more
not set
Apr 29, 2007
 
Single & Single
3.43
A rather dull and disappointing effort from an author who has never recovered from Perestroika's removal of the Soviets as master villains. Has its mo ...more
not set
Jul 29, 2007
 
Out of Danger
4.02
Supposedly one of Britain's finest poets, but strictly chump change based on this unimpressive collection, embarassingly greeting-cardish except for a ...more
not set
Aug 17, 2007
 
The Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller, #1)
4.10
A welcome change of place from Connelly's police procedurals. Here the protagonist is a scumbag lawyer, very well realized in a lively and realistic-s ...more
not set
Jul 29, 2007
 
A Smile on the Face of the Tiger (Amos Walker, #14)
3.78
A lesser effort in the "Amos Walker" series, whose earlier titles sketch a gritty, hardboiled Detroit that is within shouting distance of Chandler's L ...more
not set
May 21, 2007
 
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
3.90
Yes, it's very good; no, it's not the definitive answer to the world's problems, largely because Diamond often adopts an ex-post-facto approach in mat ...more
not set
Apr 29, 2007
 
Kipper's Game
3.31
A first novel from one of the U.S.'s most impressive public intellectuals, and a generally compelling if often overwritten tale of skewed family dynam ...more
not set
Apr 29, 2007
 
The Best American Movie Writing
3.22
Disappointing melange of entertainment journalism and more aspiring academic commentary, with most of the individual selections undeserving of book me ...more
not set
Aug 15, 2007
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