Dr. Temperance Brennan investigates gangs of warring bikers in Montreal. Part of the reason I didn't enjoy this book is no fault of the author. I starDr. Temperance Brennan investigates gangs of warring bikers in Montreal. Part of the reason I didn't enjoy this book is no fault of the author. I started watching the TV show Bones before I read the book. The protagonist, setting, and auxiliary characters in the books are totally different from the show, but the protagonist has the same name and the same occupation, which was distracting. Also, the book's melodramatic portrayal of biker culture didn't ring true to me. The author portrays all bikers as "the scum of the earth," and she uses appearances to create "character." So if a character has tattoos and a leather jacket you can be pretty sure they are an evil low life. I don't even have tattoos, I don't wear leather, and I certainly don't own a chopper, but I found her judgmental attitude annoying. ...more
A well-crafted mystery with vivid characters, written with searing wit. Everyone who tried to claim J.K. Rowling can't write can suck it. This book isA well-crafted mystery with vivid characters, written with searing wit. Everyone who tried to claim J.K. Rowling can't write can suck it. This book is fucking great. I love the author's sensibility, and it's a pleasure to get a version of her worldview that's intended for adults. ...more
I loved Christopher Moore's first five books, and then he started to lose me. I kept reading, but was on the verge of giving up. And then this. This bI loved Christopher Moore's first five books, and then he started to lose me. I kept reading, but was on the verge of giving up. And then this. This book is bloody amazing. The raunchy comedy here feels less gratuitous yet no less hilarious, and the plot is intricately crafted and mesmerizing. In my opinion, it's his masterwork, though I must give a nod to my old favorite Island of the Sequined Love Nun.
Moore set the story in nineteenth century Paris, among the impressionists and post-impressionists and their attendant whores and bartenders. The book is obviously well-researched, and Moore's obvious love for the characters comes through. The writing is beautiful--a couple of passages about Toulouse Lautrec and the demimonde actually moved me to tears.
I feel it's worth mentioning that the book is beautifully printed, with color prints and a gorgeous design--really reminds you why actual books are still worth your time and money. ...more
To me, a good book is one I actually enjoy reading. I enjoy reading Charlaine Harris. One of the things I like about this series is the setting: Bon TTo me, a good book is one I actually enjoy reading. I enjoy reading Charlaine Harris. One of the things I like about this series is the setting: Bon Temps, a small Louisiana town beset by supernatural entities. Despite the cannibalistic fairies, Bon Temps is a believable place, populated by (mostly) believable small town characters, including the likeable and bad ass protagonist, telepath Sookie Stackhouse. In this installment, Sookie is forced to solve the mystery of a dead stripper on her vampire boyfriend's lawn. As with most of the books in this series, the plot doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense, but it doesn't really matter. Amidst slapstick violence and amusingly smutty romance, Harris actually explores interesting and important themes, such as classism and the human tendency to be scared and suspicious of "the other." Although Sookie (and probably the author) are vocal Christians, Harris repeatedly paints an ugly picture of religious zealots and also populates the books with gay and lesbian characters without making an issue of it. When it comes to writing, Harris is no Shakespeare, but she's funny and her books have heart. ...more
From the shores of Lake Patzcuaro to the cloud forest of Manatatlán to the mines of Zacatecas, Western Mexico: A Traveler’s Treasury takes the armchaiFrom the shores of Lake Patzcuaro to the cloud forest of Manatatlán to the mines of Zacatecas, Western Mexico: A Traveler’s Treasury takes the armchair traveler on a tour of western Mexico’s treasures, many of them little known. The author, geographer Tony Burton, gets off the beaten path time and time again, and provides detailed historical and cultural information about towns that many guidebook authors only mention in passing: La Barca, San Juan de los Lagos, Tamazula, and Lagos de Moreno, to name just a few.
Some chapters give walking tours of towns and ruins, while other sections are more focused toward historical narrative. I found the historical narratives fascinating, particularly since several were devoted to my favorite haunts, including places such as Barra de Navidad that seldom appear in ordinary history books. I read with great interest about the history of piracy on the Pacific Coast, and was delighted to read Burton’s mini biographies of famous characters from Colima, Jalisco, and Michoacán.
But Burton offers more than just history: he recommends scenic routes, obscure ruins, shopping expeditions, eco-reserves, and specific destinations within towns and cities. Among the areas covered are Zacatecas, Jalisco, Colima, coastal Nayarit, and Michoacán. I cannot wait to take this book to Mexico with me. Although I have already traveled in western Mexico extensively, I must have added a hundred things to my bucket list as I read. Western Mexico: A Traveler’s Treasury would also be an ideal guide for planning an unusual and culturally rich itinerary.
Now in its fourth edition, Western Mexico: A Traveler’s Treasury includes maps, attractive line drawings, a solid index, and a travel timetable.
note: I originally published this review at thepeoplesguidetomexico.com...more
A story of African witchcraft and murder set in modern Miami. Gruber is a brilliant writer and his ability to make the supernatural believable is imprA story of African witchcraft and murder set in modern Miami. Gruber is a brilliant writer and his ability to make the supernatural believable is impressive. I had two quibbles with this book: one of the protagonists, the anthropologist Jane Doe, got on my nerves from time to time, mostly because she was constantly miserable and always dramatic. Also, both she and homicide detective Jimmy Paz (otherwise a great character) were a little rocky in that they seemed to swing unpredictably between disbelief and conviction. I have not noted this type of rockiness in the other Gruber books I've read (The Book of Air and Shadows, and The Forgery of Venus). At any rate, a recommended read for anyone who likes intelligent, unusual thrillers. ...more
One of those books where the author clearly lost interest in the boring protagonists(principled lawyer and plucky Irish-American FBI agent/former nun)One of those books where the author clearly lost interest in the boring protagonists(principled lawyer and plucky Irish-American FBI agent/former nun)and focused all his energy on the antagonists, Chinese heroin lords. All you ever really know about the lawyer is that he's an everyman because he drinks Budweiser and he's principled because he used to be a crusading assistant DA. The antagonists are actually pretty interesting, but the book isn't satisfying because it's difficult to really care about/sympathize with any of the characters. Also the romance is nauseating. ...more