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The Dharma Bums
Don't read Kerouac when you're too young. Read him as you join that long death march called steady employment. Then look back. Look back to all the pe ...more
not set
Feb 17, 2012
Leaving Las Vegas
John O'Brien was an alcoholic. He died at the age of 34 by a self inflicted gunshot two weeks after learning that Leaving Las Vegas, published four ye ...more
Feb 10, 2013
Jul 20, 2012
Short, simple, poetic.

Could be about 10,000 words; a long short story, almost a novella, but just the right length for the story.

The prose is spare, b
not set
Dec 21, 2011
Falling Angel
Not quite a four really, more like a 3.5.

Yeah, I liked the movie (Angel Heart) and the movie follows the book pretty well, although there are some maj
Dec 27, 2013
Aug 12, 2011
The Prone Gunman
This is the first Manchette I've read. He reminds me of David Goodis and Jim Thompson.

Noir is as much a literature of convention (cliche) as is the Ro
Jan 02, 2015
Sep 24, 2011
King Rat (Asian Saga, #1)
I refer you to Wikipedia for the basics. Honestly, it's worth a look.

This is a deeply subversive novel as witnessed by the acts of the senior British
Oct 24, 2012
Oct 10, 2012
**spoiler alert** I have the bad habit of seeing a movie I like that's based on a book and then reading the book because I'm CERTAIN there must be mor ...more
May 09, 2014
May 08, 2014
Cruel Poetry
Tart noir...I liked it.

I was hooked on the characters by page seven and had no trouble turning the pages all the way to the end.

The story starts out
not set
Jan 27, 2012
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
As so many have said before me, an interesting 30 page essay whipped into a 300 page souffle.

Taleb is not mathematically sophisticated and dismisses
not set
Sep 07, 2013
The End of Everything
"It was long ago, centuries. A quivery mirage of a thirteen-year-old's summer, like a million other girl summers, were it not for Evie, were it not fo ...more
not set
Aug 14, 2012
Dare Me
Yeah, I gave it five stars - I would be willing to read it again.

Why? Let's go down the checklist:

Theme: Yep, got that. Betrayal. And it's comprehensi
Apr 11, 2013
Apr 09, 2013
Call for the Dead
John le Carré's first novel and I liked it.

You can see the mature le Carré in this first effort. He uses good prose, knows the value of characterizati
Jan 18, 2013
Jan 16, 2013
Baby Shark's Beaumont Blues (Baby Shark, #2)
Haven't read Baby Shark, but it didn't seem to matter.

Liked the characters, liked the time (middle 1950's), liked the setting (Dallas and environs). I
Nov 18, 2011
Nov 16, 2011
Memoirs of Pancho Villa
Goodreads currently has two entries for this book. This one and this one. The associated description given in this entry correctly describes the book ...more
Nov 02, 2012
Oct 29, 2012
The Engagement
A noir, a roman dur; not a psychological novel.

Simenon examines the case of Mr. Hire with an unsentimental eye. A hard look at a pathetic man. Thus, a
Oct 16, 2011
Oct 15, 2011
Ham on Rye
Ham on Rye is a volume of the fictional autobiography of Henry Chinaski, Bukowski's alter ego. It covers the years between his birth in 1920 until Pea ...more
not set
Jul 23, 2011
The Bottoms
Lansdale reimagines To Kill a Mockingbird; 3.5 stars.

I didn't know this going in, but it became apparent early...and often. And, much against the odds
Jul 11, 2012
Jul 06, 2012
The Friends of Eddie Coyle
It was a quick read, maybe 45,000 words (it was as long as it needed to be and no longer - a resoundingly good thing). The focus of the novel is Eddie ...more
not set
Jul 23, 2011
Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey, #12)
Apparently in 1935, a wife's job is her husband. Sayers begs to differ and uses this theme in Harriet Vane's dithering over Lord Peter Wimsey as well ...more
Jul 19, 2012
Jul 12, 2012
I gave it three stars, but it's really more like 2.5. Why?

The story turns out to be rather disappointing, there are unforgivable lapses in characteriz
Nov 10, 2012
Nov 02, 2012
Black Narcissus
A good story, serviceable characterizations, lush descriptions, effective atmosphere, good technique, good prose.

Rumer Godden appears to us in the gui
Apr 04, 2012
Mar 28, 2012
The Given Day (Coughlin #1)
As of this writing, there are 68 one star reviews of this novel. I haven't much to add. It is a loosely plotted, fictional justification of the Boston ...more
Aug 09, 2011
Jul 31, 2011
Boulevard (Hayden Glass, #1)
Two stars? Kinda harsh. After all, it's a first novel. More like 2.5 stars.

What went wrong? Characterization. You know the characterization in a novel
Feb 07, 2013
Jan 29, 2013
The Prince of Tides
Three stars? Isn't that a bit harsh?

Well, yes. Make it three and a half.

This is the first Conroy I've read and the first thing I noticed was the prose
Jun 13, 2012
Jun 02, 2012
Folklore, Memoirs, and Other Writings
This is a compendium of Hurston's non-fiction.

I went into this one having never read Hurston at all, but was interested in the sections on Hoodoo and
Oct 2012
Sep 14, 2012
The Day of the Jackal
Forsyth's first novel. I had seen the movie, of course, and remembered it fondly. As I read the book, I realized that the movie closely followed it. N ...more
not set
Jul 22, 2011
Dark Places
Abandoned on page 114 out of 345 and it BROKE MY HEART.

First of all, Gillian Flynn and I share some roots and I am predisposed to LIKE her work. I LIK
not set
Jan 05, 2012
The Hunters
Brilliant first novel. Prose fresh and strong. Good characterizations, good story.

Don't worry if you've seen the movie, a pale and mutilated version
Apr 19, 2012
Apr 19, 2012
November Mourns
This is the first Tom Piccirilli I've read. The more knowledgeable Goodreads reviewers haven't been as enthusiastic about November Mourns; I bow to th ...more
Oct 13, 2012
Oct 10, 2012
Methinks The Lady
This is a wonderful send-up of psychoanalysis in the guise of a murder mystery. (Endore was a committed Communist and Communism, especially the Soviet ...more
Dec 04, 2013
May 25, 2012
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