Andrew Post's Knuckleduster is a futuristic neo-noir detective novel featuring a hardheaded war vet turned fist-for-hire turned reluctant detective wh...moreAndrew Post's Knuckleduster is a futuristic neo-noir detective novel featuring a hardheaded war vet turned fist-for-hire turned reluctant detective who is such a compelling character, the reader is left with the hope the author has plans for a sequel or, better yet, a series of Brody Calhoun novels. Having said that, Knuckleduster on its own is one satisfying page-turner. From the get-go, the reader is sucked into the dark and scary, yet very believable futuristic work that Post paints with adept strokes so palpable, you can feel the cold and grey world in which the characters live and breath on every single page. This apocalyptic world is peppered with impending conventions such as jigsaw cards (the ultimate ID/debit card), print on demand newspaper kiosks, nationwide wireless coverage, and automated diners with cheeky robot waitresses. All that is backdrop, though, for a cast of well-drawn characters and the addictive must-find-the-girl-before-it's-too-late storyline that punches you in the gut from the opening chapter before delivering a never-saw-it-coming upper-cut that propels you headfirst into the pages. Even during the hectic week I was having, I could not stop myself from reading 'just one more chapter,' and (damn you, Post) the last one-hundred pages of Knuckleduster are of the impossible-to-not-read-in-one-sitting variety. Consider yourself warned.(less)
This book surprised me. Truth told, I did not think a story involving a caregiver, Holocaust survivor, and their unlikely bond would resonate with me....moreThis book surprised me. Truth told, I did not think a story involving a caregiver, Holocaust survivor, and their unlikely bond would resonate with me. However, while speeding along in my rather self-involved LA-based life, I was pleasantly sideswiped, and for several hours a day, over a few days, I was immersed in this honest, heartfelt, and poignant story. And I'm thankful for that. I needed that. Long story short, I loved the book and would recommend it to anyone. Trust me, it's not what you think.
The author has succeeded on so many levels in relating this extremely personal story to the reader. You're drawn in from the get-go, and the book, for me, surprisingly turned into a page-turner. For that, I credit the writing, which takes the reader by the hand and leads them through a very intimate story with adept storytelling skills and an addictive sense of humor. It tugs the heartstrings often, and then yanks them at just the right time -- but that's what great writers do and do well. The dialogue was also great. In fact, several lines made me jealous as a writer of fiction. I know the words and exchanges were real and came from a real people, but I found myself wishing I had penned them. I still do. One I'll never forget involves the comment, "Fish f*** in it." I'll say no more and will let you discover the situation surrounding that quote.
And you should discover it. You should take a chance on this book. I noticed the bevy of five-star reviews after I finished reading The Accidental Caregiver, and I was glad to see them. They are well deserved. And now I add mine to mix.(less)
You Are A Writer by Jeff Goins is an essential book for every writer. Put it up there with The War of Art by Steven Pressfield...moreevery page resonates...
You Are A Writer by Jeff Goins is an essential book for every writer. Put it up there with The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and lean on it when that creative monster we battle daily has you in headlock and seems to be winning. I'm certain it will help you turn the tables, free your mind, and get back to what you love to do: write. Jeff uses his words in a manner that affects. Every page resonates. Every point made compels. Which begs the question: what more do you need in a book? Stop reading the reviews and hit that purchase button. You'll be glad you did.(less)
Urged for weeks by my sister to read this novel, I finally picked it up while on holiday in the UK and France. Five days later I finished it, which is...moreUrged for weeks by my sister to read this novel, I finally picked it up while on holiday in the UK and France. Five days later I finished it, which is impressive given all the activities that kept me away from reading during that time. Needless to say, 11/22/63 was engrossing and is an amazing work that grabs hold of you in the first pages and takes you on a time-travelling adventure involving indelible characters parading around key events in world's past -- namely the assignation of JFK. As a writer I was swearing King's name chapter after chapter because of his unparalleled talent at juggling characters, creating vivid worlds, and drawing out drama and tension to the Nth degree. I hate him for that (jealousy) and love him for that (appreciation) at the same time. I'd hate to give away any of the plot or twists. In fact, I won't. All I will do is highly recommend it to you. When you have the time for its 800+ pages, pick it up -- a few days later, you'll be wishing it was 200 pages longer (in a good way).(less)
Here's the deal: I was a comic book kid. Truth told, I was an uber nerd who crawled up inside my imaginative head on a daily basis as I flipped the pa...moreHere's the deal: I was a comic book kid. Truth told, I was an uber nerd who crawled up inside my imaginative head on a daily basis as I flipped the pages of anything/everything Marvel and DC supplied on a monthly basis. I don't admit that a lot these days because I aim for attention from the opposite sex on a daily basis and aspire to getting laid at least on a monthly basis. Suffice to say, talking comics and superheroes doesn't usually benefit that quest. Sure, motion pictures like The Avengers and Batman and Spiderman have made superheroes the talk of the town, but when the conversation strays from Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man and into Frank Miller's Daredevil, pretty eyes tend to glaze over and shapely legs clamp shut. Trust me, been there. Having said that, I will proudly display Fallen Superheroes on my coffee table -- forever. And that's the most honest endorsement I can give this 324-page mutant work-of-art. The creativity sprung from the collective minds of Eric Curtis, Scott Allen Perry, and Adam Mock is radioactive -- but in a good way. The trio has rewritten the rules of a genre I've been a fan of since I was a little kid, and that's a pretty amazing feat. I thought I saw it all, yet Fallen Superheroes takes me to new heights page after page after page. And if there's a villain in all this, it's all those collective souls that don't get it -- and I mean comprehend it and/or purchase it.
Uncanny work, gentlemen. When can we expect the sequel? (less)
I read "The Art of Fielding" a few months back and really enjoyed it (you can read my review for that book here also). Last week, a friend told me abo...moreI read "The Art of Fielding" a few months back and really enjoyed it (you can read my review for that book here also). Last week, a friend told me about "How a Book is Born: The Making of The Art of Fielding" and I immediately picked it up. With my debut novel ("The Holden Age of Hollywood") hitting bookshelves in August, I was very interested in this behind-the-scenes look at how "The Art of Fielding" came to be and how it became a best seller. And the book did not disappoint. I loved it and could have read another 300 pages -- it was that good.
The book is a very thorough look at the journey a book takes -- from writing to re-writing, querying to finding an agent, bidding wars to marketing. And it also explores the amazing changes going on in the industry since the inception of Amazon and the Kindle.
I'd recommend it to any and every writer I know as it really does provide a lot of insight into the craft of writing and the uphill battle of getting published. The one thing I'd recommend is to read novel before this tell-all because the latter will make you want to read the former, but the latter also contains many spoilers of the former. You've been warned. Now go get both books!
As of fan of the enigmatic band The Blue Nile since the release of their first album (A Walk Across The Rooftops), I thoroughly enjoyed this book by A...moreAs of fan of the enigmatic band The Blue Nile since the release of their first album (A Walk Across The Rooftops), I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Alan Brown. Over the course of their 30-year career, the band has released mere four albums. However, those albums are held in high regard by their ardent fans -- myself included. In fact, the first two releases by the Blue Nile (Rooftops and Hats) are cemented in my personal list of the top 10 albums of all time. So, when a book was written charting the strange course the band took over the decades, I happily ordered a copy and dove into the story. Alan Brown succeeds in documenting the facts, while also delivering a love letter to the band and the compelling music they create. The story is not always a happy one, but it is a tale that every fan of the Blue Nile needs to read. And hopefully it will give birth to new fans too. After all, The Blue Nile deserves them. (less)
I received my copy of Mime Very Own Book yesterday and I am blown away by the quality, detail, and cr...moreunlike a mime, I laughed out loud again and again
I received my copy of Mime Very Own Book yesterday and I am blown away by the quality, detail, and creativity stealthily displayed within each and every one of the 240+ pages -- not that I'd expect anything less from Scott Allen Perry and Medallion Press. Add in the talented miming of Doug Jones, the keen eye of photographer Eric Curtis, the overall vision of Adam Mock, and a few humorous appearances by Scott's brother, Ponce, and the end result is the Mime book to end all Mime books. No joke. The book is aptly described as "a hilarious visual smorgasbord" and it exceeds the hype. Even the cover elicits a smile with it's proclamation of "more than 5 in print. more than 2 sold." Once inside, you meet the players and then the fun begins...and once it begins, it never relents. The pop culture spoofs are all A+ in concept and execution. My favorite is the parody of "Say Anything" entitled "Say Nothing" (of course). I'm not going to attempt to describe it, because you have to see it to appreciate the joke and the attention to detail of this movie poster parody. That page made me laugh out loud (I could never be a mime) about three times. That alone was worth the price of admission. So, what are you waiting for? BUY THIS BOOK.(less)
"The Art of Fielding" is a captivating novel about the discovery of a baseball prodigy and his journey toward potentially being drafted to play profes...more"The Art of Fielding" is a captivating novel about the discovery of a baseball prodigy and his journey toward potentially being drafted to play professional baseball. Having said that, I would not call this a book about baseball. Yes, that is the backdrop for the story as the main characters attend college and play on a team together -- however, it's simply a engrossing story with compelling characters that live, breathe, and reach out from the pages and take hold of you. I'm purposely not revealing much about the story because the beauty of the book is in the directions it takes as it surprises you page after page.
NOTE: if you like this book, also check out "How a Book is Born: The Making of The Art of Fielding." It's an A+ look into the publishing world.
Blake Northcott's debut novel -- "vs Reality" -- contains a character who uses the word 'watershed' often and often in the wrong...moreRE: a watershed novel
Blake Northcott's debut novel -- "vs Reality" -- contains a character who uses the word 'watershed' often and often in the wrong context. However, calling Blake's first installment in a planned 3-part series a watershed novel is not only the correct usage of the word, but apropos. Having said that, I usually utilize the word 'conceit' when I come across original ideas in any medium -- books, comics, films, etc. And the conceit of Blake's novel is what makes "vs Reality" something to be read, because within the superhero genre, it's difficult these days to arrive at a truly watershed concept. Within the chapters of "vs Reality" Blake accomplishes that and more. Her conceit of a new generation of pill-popping heroes might seem bleak until you realize it's the pills that grant these heroes their powers and, in turn, infuses her story with a page-turning wow effect that leaves you, well, addicted. I cannot wait to see where Blake takes the story and her characters in Parts 2 & 3. It looks like it will be a conceit-filled ride. So what are you waiting for? -- hop aboard already. (less)
Like many, I loved the movie Sideways. However, like many, I never got around to reading the novel by Rex Pickett that it was based on -- that is, unt...moreLike many, I loved the movie Sideways. However, like many, I never got around to reading the novel by Rex Pickett that it was based on -- that is, until last month. Reading Sideways was like catching up with an old friend. While I would have loved to have read the book first, I do feel my familiarity with the characters (from the movie) added to my reading experience. I found myself excited to spend more time with Miles, Jack, Maya, and Stephanie, and was delighted to dive deeper into their personalities amid the prose. While the movie, for the most part, does stay true to the adventure in the novel, there are more than enough differences and added scenes to satisfy the reader. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that Sideways: A Novel is a not a movie adaptation. Rex Pickett was struggling to get his book published when it fell into the hands of filmmaker Alexander Payne -- and the rest is history. However, that history began with a delightful novel by Rex that should be read by all. (less)
Headhunters is an impeccably written and thoroughly entertaining crime novel by Jo Nesbo. It's such a page-turner, I read the entire 300-page novel on...moreHeadhunters is an impeccably written and thoroughly entertaining crime novel by Jo Nesbo. It's such a page-turner, I read the entire 300-page novel on a flight from London to LA. I could not put it down or read fast enough. The book brilliantly morphs from a corporate drama to heist story to action-packed thriller, and the reader gets caught up in the addictive ride. There are so many twists and turn in the story that you'll find yourself paging backwards to marvel at the seeds the author plants in order to inform you, fool you, and manipulate you -- unbeknownst to you at the time. I do not want to discuss the plot and/or ruin any of the surprising twist and turns -- because that's the fun of Headhunters. And trust me -- it is a fun book. If you want to talk about it AFTER you read, feel free to email me. It's definitely a novel you'll want to discuss with others after completion. Suffice to say, I highly recommend this book. (less)
Ready Player One is a brilliant/entertaining/thrilling love letter to the 80's -- a decade jam-packed with game-changing TV shows, movies, and video g...moreReady Player One is a brilliant/entertaining/thrilling love letter to the 80's -- a decade jam-packed with game-changing TV shows, movies, and video games. Author Ernest Cline (he wrote the film Fanboys) covers it all in his 370-page quest novel that's been dubbed The Matrix meets Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. That's a pretty astute comp, but there's also so much more going on in this book. From the get-go, you'll be drawn in by an A+ prologue that sets up the brilliant conceit of the story and ends with a revelation by the first-person narrator that will cause you to smile and start turning the pages. And be prepared to turn the pages at a rapid rate. I could not put the book down and essentially read it in three sittings -- the third being a "are-you-kidding-me-this-book-is-sofa-king-good" marathon to the end. If you are of the generation that grew up in the 80's, be prepared to relive your youth -- everything from Dungeon & Dragons to Atari to Pac Man to John Hughes films to Star Wars to War Games to Duran Duran to Rush. It's all in there. And it's utilized and referenced in such a brilliant way. I am obviously avoiding telling you much about the premise, because I do not want to ruin any of the fun of discovering it all for yourself. Trust me, it's a fun ride. Now get on it. (less)
I really enjoyed reading this book. I was amazed at how much the film, The Social Network, stayed true to the source material. Many scenes in the book...moreI really enjoyed reading this book. I was amazed at how much the film, The Social Network, stayed true to the source material. Many scenes in the book are mirrored in the movie. But that's because Ben Mazirch has a knack for creating compelling scenes and dropping the reader right into the middle of the action. This gets you turning the pages at a rapid rate, and, despite it being so similar to the film, the book still thoroughly entertains. The story does seem to end abruptly, which is my only gripe. That might have something to do with when it was originally released and what was known at the time about facebook versus the added info to date. In any case, I wanted more -- which, if you think about it, is a compliment. Regardless I still highly recommend this book. (less)