It's a pastiche of tough guy P.I., dialogue-y driven Gregory Mcdonald, and shifting P.O.V.'s.
Some of it works, but never long enough for you to get aIt's a pastiche of tough guy P.I., dialogue-y driven Gregory Mcdonald, and shifting P.O.V.'s.
Some of it works, but never long enough for you to get a toehold.
My rule with thrillers / crime novels is sheer word clumpage the last 10-30 pages. The bigger the clumps, the crappier the execution. You get to almost-the-end of The Caribbean Account and all of a sudden it's like trying to negotiate Kafka. By comparison, Furst's pre-WWII thrillers are precision models of sparseness.
In short, despite paperback reprint blurbs from a pre-Along Came A Spider James Patterson and Tom Robbins, I understand why Furst doesn't want this thing in print. ...more
For a time, right out of high school and into the mid-twenties, Gibson rated as my polar star. Then I stumbled on Chandler, Fitzgerald, the Beats, andFor a time, right out of high school and into the mid-twenties, Gibson rated as my polar star. Then I stumbled on Chandler, Fitzgerald, the Beats, and I dismissed him.
For some reason, I've toe-dipped into a Gibson Renaissance. Watching YouTube interviews, reading Conversations With William Gibson, Distrust That Particular Flavor, and now The Peripheral.
I could never put together why reading him was such a chore, until now. It shouldn't be. I should lap up every polished word eagerly, but there's dissonance...
It's because Gibson fiction is like trying to cram John Updike and Elmore Leonard in your head at the same time. Leonard novels are pedal to the floor, not breakneck thrillers where there's guns and explosions every chapter, but they zip right on by. Updike is all about minutiae, the scenery, vast extrapolations upon nothing at all. Updike is a mosey.
Moseying and sprinting are aesthetics which do not cheerfully co-exist. They birth a stutter step pace. Which is why Gibson is more laborious than he ought to be.
All that said, the man is a genius at what he does. The Peripheral is worth the read, but brace yourself for the heavy lifting involved. ...more
The local library doesn't give a fig for publisher street dates. It's 5/30. End of Watch officially releases 6/7. I just finished it. I guess what yThe local library doesn't give a fig for publisher street dates. It's 5/30. End of Watch officially releases 6/7. I just finished it. I guess what you get in the day of patrons demanding e-entertainment is a shrugs care towards formerly concrete institutional agreements.
The nitty. Don't read book 3 without having read 1 and 2. This is one of those trilogies where you have to be up to speed. A former boss once watched The Dark Knight Rises without having seen Batman Begins or The Dark Knight. Neither he nor his wife liked TDKR. Yup. Behavior none unexpected from hipsters, I suppose.
Latter-career King is like latter-career Le Carre. Compared to the flab of mid-career, it's very near a different creature. I still want 70-ish Le Carre to time travel and take a whack at A Small Town In Germany. Repeat same for King, only with Insomnia in his sights.
Like Cell, EOW is in part a commentary on media/screen addiction. Though our bad guy is out to touch and spawn dark deeds through a video game, the delusions and self-harm burbling in the potential victim pool could be tapped even without the nefarious Brady Hartsfield pulling strings.
The ending and 'After' are not unexpected. This is commercial entertainment and King knows what the people want. It might've been cooler for a slider instead of the expected fastball, but it's King. I'll take the fastball anytime.
Overall, the Bill Hodges Trilogy is super-solid entertainment. The slow changeover from crime to a crime-and-horror story is expertly pulled off.
And the geeky, at first withdrawn and eventually heroic Holly Gibney is the standout character. No idea if King will ever visit her again, but she could totally command the center of her own story. ...more
Sometimes the 'iffy' decision to continue a series pays off.
The only other Rapp novel I've read was Pursuit of Honor. That was at least two cats agSometimes the 'iffy' decision to continue a series pays off.
The only other Rapp novel I've read was Pursuit of Honor. That was at least two cats ago, but I recall liking it. Of late, I've loaded up on the crime/suspense series and clipped through Connelly, Child, Sandford, and started in on Daniel Silva. I happened upon a Vince Flynn interview on YouTube, and after that, nabbed The Survivor the next time I was at the library.
The Survivor does a great job in making the reader visualize the scenes with just the right amount of detail. Mills doesn't drown you in niggling minutiae. And he pulls off making characters no doubt ultra-familiar to long-time readers seem full-bodied to us relative newbies.
A book so entertaining it makes me want to sit and consume all the books I've missed, preferably (though unlikely) in one sitting.
Every series author stumbles now and again. Connelly, Crais, even a god like Raymond Chandler will eventually write a book sadly not quite up to snuffEvery series author stumbles now and again. Connelly, Crais, even a god like Raymond Chandler will eventually write a book sadly not quite up to snuff.
I liken Sandford to comic book writer Garth Ennis. The man's consistency is both admirable and intimidating.
In this go-around, Lucas Davenport is more or less on his own, loaning out his talents to investigate the potential assassination of a political candidate. It's an enjoyable ride, and even 26 books in, a swell stepping on point for the first-time reader. Sanford's dialogue-driven style remains lean and muscular, propelling the story forward in a manner that leaves the let's-sit-around-and-natter style of Robert B. Parker or Elmore Leonard in the dust.
I've read the Prey series horrifically out of order. Secret Prey was my first. Before Storm, I finished Extreme. Now - Storm in the can - I've read thI've read the Prey series horrifically out of order. Secret Prey was my first. Before Storm, I finished Extreme. Now - Storm in the can - I've read them all.
Storm kind of underwhelms...compared to the rest. That's a little like saying A Darkness More Than Night is a stinker; the rest of Connelly's Bosch books are so good a gibbering, spastic weak sister can't help but stand out.
Storm veers a little too close to the chummy smugness so prevalent in Spenser novels from - say - A Catskill Eagle - onwards. Here, Weather is in danger, but it's Weather. My guess is so long as stepdaughter Letty is school or college-aged, Sandford wouldn't actually drop the axe on the wife character, but in interviews he talks about the possibility enough I'm convinced if he's still writing Lucas stories five years on, Weather will be eating dirt.
Come to think of it, Storm is a wee bit like one of those stuffed to the gills Batman movies where Batman is barely in it. Here, the bad guys are - like always - characterized in swift sure strokes, interesting and awful at the same time. But there's way too much time spent on Weather assisting surgery on twin rugrats, and Lucas puts in these sparse appearances. At times it feels like special guest star Virgil "that fucking" Flowers is in this more than Lucas.
It's off-putting. I don't know why. Different is different, different can be good. Maybe this is a book Sanford wrote mostly distracted rather than focused on the task at hand.
All that said, the ending is solid; the last sentence at the end of Chapter 22 chilled me like nothing else I've read this year, and the deep dark soulful note the book wraps up on seemed out of place for a Prey novel which is why it was so glorious and gloriously pulled off. It felt more like a situation Raylan Givens would be in rather than rich, hot shot cop Davenport.
So yeah, not a good jumping on spot for the uninitiated, but not a bad place to stop...at least until next years episode. ...more
This Tanner mystery a bedrock entry into the eternal argument for/against reading a series in chronological order. Tanner's secretary Peggy takes centThis Tanner mystery a bedrock entry into the eternal argument for/against reading a series in chronological order. Tanner's secretary Peggy takes centerstage in a story fairly erotic and disturbing.
A lot of series I've jumped and skipped around (Kellerman, Lescroart) without feeling too much of a bite, but it's a mark of Greenleaf's quiet, consistent craftsmanship that I've tried to read the Tanners in order. It pays off, too, since the last sentence of the highly enjoyable Book Case reminds you of the repercussions stemming from this, it's stellar predecessor. ...more
Typical Lange, a fast and easy read, this tale spiced with a Philip K. Dick sense of disorientation the deeper Roger Clark delves into Advance BiosystTypical Lange, a fast and easy read, this tale spiced with a Philip K. Dick sense of disorientation the deeper Roger Clark delves into Advance Biosystems. Plus, a joke about coprophagia. Sweet....more
Trying to temper my reaction to The Blue Hammer with the knowledge that Macdonald's mind was about to enter the horrors of Alzheimer's. The final LeTrying to temper my reaction to The Blue Hammer with the knowledge that Macdonald's mind was about to enter the horrors of Alzheimer's. The final Lew Archer isn't bad like Chandler's Playback is bad, but I slungshot through most of Archer in a short amount of time. Then took a 3 year break. And picked up The Blue Hammer and it just didn't ignite the way most of them do.
The all-too-familiar problems of the crazy and rich is territory Lew's negotiated before and in more interesting, lethal company...It could be, too, sandwiching a loner like Lew with a (much younger) woman just seems off somehow, and the gargantuan cast-list hampers momentum from the get-go.
The completist in me is happy I finally got around to it, but I wish it would've been so good, I'd feel like scampering off and picking up The Moving Target and reading them all again. ...more
Reviews on GoodReads for Charlie are refreshingly sane compared to the whining twits on Amazon.
Dutch in his prime - which is most all 40+ entries iReviews on GoodReads for Charlie are refreshingly sane compared to the whining twits on Amazon.
Dutch in his prime - which is most all 40+ entries in his oeuvre - is Coke. All the sugar is there.
This early stuff is Diet Coke. Not Coke. If you want to taste Coke, drink a Coke.
The Amazon reviewers are screaming at the fact that the publisher offered up a can of Diet Coke, told them explicitly on the dustjacket it was Diet Coke, and they drank the Diet Coke, and damned if it wasn't the Diet Coke the publisher promised.
I can't imagine Elmore would want such folk as fans. I can only begin to imagine the treatment dished out to such a lot by the likes of Louis and Ordell or Cundo.
About as limp and half-finished a book as you could ever believe they'd allow out into the wild.
Almost no insight into his novels or his creative proAbout as limp and half-finished a book as you could ever believe they'd allow out into the wild.
Almost no insight into his novels or his creative process, instead all soapsy dish like detailing his pal Susan Sontag pissing people off right and left and then when it comes to his writing, you get grating revelations like Larry's decision to stop writing intros to Pocket Books reissues of some of his novels because they decided to stop paying him $1000 for each effort, and there are at least two instances of his pouting over why the east coast book reviewers have never paid him enough attention.
Boo. Fricking. Hoo.
I wonder how much Simon and Schuster paid Larry and Michael Korda - his editor - also mentioned in the book for filler material purposes - to squeeze out this colossal dud.
I wish I could go back in time and unread the handful of McMurtry's books I've spent time with. In 170 pages he manages to paint the hyphenate writer-Texan-and-book collector species as a gray souled worm that can't go extinct fast enough. Maybe that's harsh. Me, I'd settle for licking the tips of my fingers and swiping them down the front of his glasses. ...more