I thought this was a brilliant book, full of exciting 80s pop culture and references to all the things I enjoyed as a child at that time. It's a gripp...moreI thought this was a brilliant book, full of exciting 80s pop culture and references to all the things I enjoyed as a child at that time. It's a gripping page-turner with plenty of suspense and action to keep you moving. I think I'll be adding this to my list of favorites.
I thought maybe it was a little far-fetched that these characters had time to watch every single episode of Dr. Who, or watch War Games thirty-seven times in a row and memorize every line. All of this while staying plugged into this virtual universe. And listening to the entire Rush discography over and over. While reading every Mad Magazine ever printed, cover to cover nineteen times. While beating Pac-Man and playing a perfect game with one quarter. I mean, come on. The list goes on and on. If that's all I ever did with my life was play Pac-Man, I might get to where I could beat it in a few years. But these guys breeze through games like I can tear through a box of frosted flakes. There just aren't enough hours in the day to do all the things these people are able to master.
Other than that, I thought the plot was reasonable, the universe was believable and enjoyable and I liked the characters. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who has fond memories of the eighties and wants a good quick read. Fun!(less)
Man this was good. This was great. I was once again, like in Killing Lincoln, impressed with how well Bill was able to keep his political bias from en...moreMan this was good. This was great. I was once again, like in Killing Lincoln, impressed with how well Bill was able to keep his political bias from entering the prose. It was a really well done, and educational book for me. I learned a lot about Kennedy. He was a fascinating character - even though he was a womanizer and a scoundrel at times.
The book brought us through the last three years of his life, up to and including the end of it. Bill did this with class and taste. There were also some surprises. Like some of the little things he slipped in there as subtle nuances made big impacts with me. I found myself thinking about this book long after I finished it.
Conspiracies aside, I think this is a great resource for the complete story on what happened that day. Of course some assumptions are made, but most of them are pretty believable. But to all the conspiracy theorists out there, why did Oswald flee the book depository if he was innocent? Why did he kill his cop on the way to the theater? Come on. Just... Never mind.
Anyway, very good read, very informative, and very well done. I'll probably read O'Reilly's Killing Jesus next based on the strength of this and Lincoln. (less)
I feel really bad about having to quit this one. I made it halfway. That was one hundred fifty pages of some of the hardest reading I've ever done. An...moreI feel really bad about having to quit this one. I made it halfway. That was one hundred fifty pages of some of the hardest reading I've ever done. And to what end? Exactly halfway. I then skimmed a while. I wanted to see what it was I was supposed to be missing. I then went to wikipedia and looked it up to see what it said about the plot. Was I missing something grand here? I don't know. I sure didn't see it.
The book is not so much about race as it is about gender and class differences. So what? Maybe I'm just not as well cultured as I should be at my age, but this kind of reading just doesn't do it for me. I won't apologize, this was just completely drab and boring. My interest never really got up with this book. I was never really pulled into the story. I wanted so badly to finish it. To do my duty and be honorable for my book club. Heh.
Nah. I can't do it. And I won't feel bad about it after all, because it's just really not that good. This Toni Morrison may have won a hundred awards with this book - isn't that always how it happens? - but she's not winning my love. I thought it was confusing, hard to follow, and pointless. She literally jumps between past and present from one sentence to the next - and doesn't give you any indication what she's doing. You read four or five long paragraphs further before you realize what's going on and that she's making an allegory to something that happened in the character's past, and then you have to skim back up and reread it so you'll understand. Seriously. This is not something someone can just glean. The world's most cultured and well read man would not be able to decipher it any other way. It's either deliberately puzzling or she was just trying to be mysterious. It came off to me as a literary version of Memento. It was written backwards. One chapter takes place in August, the next in July. And then you have to figure that out before you understand what's happening. Why? Why do people like that crap? I shouldn't have to study so hard when I'm reading something that I get a headache. I shouldn't have to work so hard to enjoy a novel. It should flow.
Gah! This was just downright awful. I'm moving on.(less)
This was better than I remember it being the first time. It's a standalone book - a different set of characters than Spacey's normal group, but they'r...moreThis was better than I remember it being the first time. It's a standalone book - a different set of characters than Spacey's normal group, but they're good. An interesting read full of plenty of action, suspense and yes, romance. There's a lot of love going around in this book. But it's good. This book was a tribute to a real person too, from what I hear. Based on a true person from the author's life.(less)
I read a sorry review of this on Amazon and wanted to go back and read the book again to see if that reviewer had it right. He did not. All his chief...moreI read a sorry review of this on Amazon and wanted to go back and read the book again to see if that reviewer had it right. He did not. All his chief complaints are non-issues, and apparently he was confused by all the excitement. Because though the characters were a little aloof sometimes, I found it to be a very good read. I had a lot of fun reading this.(less)
Hard to know what to say here. I read it with the same eyes as I do any other time-travel tale, and quite like the story. So I guess it's appropriate...moreHard to know what to say here. I read it with the same eyes as I do any other time-travel tale, and quite like the story. So I guess it's appropriate that I rate it five stars. That is all.(less)
Wow, what a page-turner! I couldn't put this book down! Well I had to when my eyes were going blurry and crossed from lack of sleep. But I was so exci...moreWow, what a page-turner! I couldn't put this book down! Well I had to when my eyes were going blurry and crossed from lack of sleep. But I was so excited to get up this morning and pick up where I left off that I almost could not fall asleep anyway.
Like many King novels, he comes up with a great story line and captures your attention swiftly and completely. Very good concept here. Reality TV, man gets a head-start, runs for his life against the Network, the hunters, all to be aired on prime-time television. Excellent. Sign me up.
For the read, not the game.
Down to the last minute it was packed full of action and tension, edge-of-your-seat suspense. Incredible. And the ending wasn't your typical King ending either. It wasn't necessarily what you wanted to happen - it wasn't Hollywoodistic - but it was better than a lot of his other books' endings.
One of the things I found fascinating was Mr. King's gall while writing this. He wrote The Running Man under the pseudonym Richard Bachman because the publishers weren't allowing more than one book per year, and he had more to write than that. Well, I guess he wasn't trying too hard to hide the ruse, because Bachman started using the town of Derry, Maine in this book (he used it a lot, actually) and we all know that's a fabrication of King's own hand. Bold? Or was he playing with his readers, hoping someone would catch him? I always liked how in Thinner, also by Bachman, he mentioned something being scary - like something right out of a Stephen King novel. That takes some pretty good balls.
Well, the writing shone through too. Simply put, no one writes like Stephen King. And had I not already known this was him, I would have been onto him by the second chapter. It's pretty blaringly obvious.
But it was great. I enjoyed every minute of this book, and it was only a two-sitting read, very short. Definitely recommend this to the adrenaline junkies out there - especially if you like reality television.(less)
Boy this started out like a house of fire. The first night I sat down with it, I couldn't put it down. I tore through a hundred pages of it before I f...moreBoy this started out like a house of fire. The first night I sat down with it, I couldn't put it down. I tore through a hundred pages of it before I finally hit the pillow. And though it was disjointed and badly written, I was absorbed. Then the next day I picked it up again and felt like I had missed something. The author started referring to things she hadn't mentioned earlier, like I was supposed to just know. Had I blacked out? Had another of my personalities kicked in and read those parts?
Well, the whole book is like that. The author is all over the place. It's very confusing. Nothing happens in order. In one paragraph she'll be talking about something that happened to young Sybil when she was eleven, then the next it bounces back to when she was six months old. And stays there. The bouncing around didn't make much sense in and of itself. Why write that way? Was the intention to deliberately confuse the reader? Create an empathy by making the reader feel as though he too suffered from multiple personality disorder?
At first, the alternate persona was one thing. And even the addition of the second was tolerable. But by the time I got to the half-way point, it just started getting ridiculous. A literal dozen personalities inside this poor girl? I started losing faith that this was a biographical account of a true person. There's just no way I can be made to believe that anyone could break off into that many personalities to hide anything. It was simply too much. So I decided to do a little research.
Well, not to my surprise, we come to learn that the doctor was in cohorts with the author, and was leading the patient to act out these other personalities because it would make a good book. So, as it turns out, it was mostly fictitious - even though every word might indeed have been uttered, even in different vocal tones - it had all been a deliberate act. I don't know if all those terrible abuses really happened to the girl when she was young, but they too seemed to be a little embellished. Maybe not, but when the veracity of the author is called into question, everything in the book becomes suspect. But obviously she did get carried away with the multiple personalities. Had she stuck with two or three extras it would have probably been a lot easier to digest. Indeed, a lot easier to believe it was "the true story of a woman possessed by multiple personalities." As it lay, it's just silly.
And furthermore, with so many personalities to explore and divulge to the reader, there becomes a lot of substantiating circumstance to present. One must justify the splits. And the more splits there were, the more space you have to fill. The bigger the story gets. The more the filler. I found myself skimming long parts and diatribes about the lives of grandmothers and great-uncles and twice-removed cousins who seemed to bear no relevance on the protagonist. It was just dribble. On and on an on it carried, and I finally lost interest. Especially considering that it had at least in part been fabricated, at two-thirds complete, I finally had to abandon. The story just turns to nonsense.
There were good parts, and sad parts, but overall, (especially knowing what I know now) I felt cheated and that my time had been wasted by someone trying to get me to believe something that was simply too extravagant. And not doing it very neatly or concisely. Again, had she backed off the SIXTEEN PERSONALITIES! I would probably have engaged the complete work and never been the wiser. But she got too big for her britches. Too many good books out there to waste time with drivel.(less)
I was probably ten or eleven when I read this, so I don't remember much about it. I do remember liking it quite a bit though. I was very fond of the d...moreI was probably ten or eleven when I read this, so I don't remember much about it. I do remember liking it quite a bit though. I was very fond of the dog.(less)
I learned a lot from this book, but it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that I learned. Think the names of the rules, the sets, the font faces, t...moreI learned a lot from this book, but it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that I learned. Think the names of the rules, the sets, the font faces, the theory... But in actuality, I found I have already been practicing these techniques and obeying these rules for years and years now. This is comforting to me because it tells me that I'm not a non-designer. The fact that I started employing these practices and techniques without ever formally being instructed to strengthens my confidence.(less)
Mr. Burke's descriptive narrative is remarkable. It's the primary reason I enjoy his books at all. I'm not terribly fond of the old western cop drama...moreMr. Burke's descriptive narrative is remarkable. It's the primary reason I enjoy his books at all. I'm not terribly fond of the old western cop drama series itself, and I've never read a paper book by him. I listen to the audiobooks because Will Patton reads them all. And if you haven't listened to Will Patton reading James Lee Burke, you have denied your ears a wonder.
Not much to say about the story line. Sometimes I found it hard to follow with all the characters, but it moved along nicely, it seemed. It wasn't overly interesting or not. It just was what it was. Like I said, I listened to listen.
I finally ended up abandoning the book because it's been too long since I started it (seven months) and it's been too long since I last listened (at least five). Maybe I'll give it another shot someday.(less)