A sweeter romance than I usually get from Samhain, but a fun one to read nonetheless. I like old Hollywood stories and this had a touch of gangster jaA sweeter romance than I usually get from Samhain, but a fun one to read nonetheless. I like old Hollywood stories and this had a touch of gangster jazz to it....more
A clever story; reminded me a bit of certain plot points of the 9th era and others. Donna was a favorite of mine, so I liked having an original Donna/A clever story; reminded me a bit of certain plot points of the 9th era and others. Donna was a favorite of mine, so I liked having an original Donna/Ten story....more
I've had this book in my Kindle for some time, and I can't recall how/why I picked it. Like others have mentioned here I suspect the title and cover gI've had this book in my Kindle for some time, and I can't recall how/why I picked it. Like others have mentioned here I suspect the title and cover grabbed me. The title alludes to a small social group united by lifelong friendship and a chowder recipe, but there's not much chowder eating in the book. The majority of the book covers this angst-ridden love affair between a college boy and his "uncle's" younger second wife in the early 60s.
I've seen remarks that this is a Christian/inspy book. I don't think it is. Granted, the college boy's mother is devout and there's lots of Bible talk, but overall it's a long story about a boy pining over a woman married to his father's best friend. Neither person is very likable, either. I might have given them a pass if the husband was a prick, but he's not. He's the Nicest Guy in Cape Cod.
MASH is billed as a novel, but it reads more like a series of related vignettes. Many chapters are dedicated to specific events and/or people in the sMASH is billed as a novel, but it reads more like a series of related vignettes. Many chapters are dedicated to specific events and/or people in the story, and if you've seen the movie first you'll realize they cherry-picked the best sequences from the narrative.
It's not a story with deep character development - you pick up immediately on the three key players: Hawkeye, Duke, and Trapper, but most everybody else (except for Henry Blake) come and go in brief spurts. Hooker is descriptive and has a knack for dialogue, and in that respect it's easy to see how people saw potential in expanding on the universe for TV. Don't expect the kindler, gentler Alda-fied M*A*S*H while you're reading this, though.
I liked it, but I found the humor darker and cruder than anticipated. Given the setting, it's understandable....more
First things first: James McBride wrote an excellent, excellent memoir called The Color of Water. Go read it.
Second, don't expect a traditional biograFirst things first: James McBride wrote an excellent, excellent memoir called The Color of Water. Go read it.
Second, don't expect a traditional biography when you open Kill 'Em and Leave. Authors of biographies concern themselves with facts, typically in chronological order. That's not to say McBride isn't interested in the truth about James Brown; this book features input from many people involved in Brown's inner circle and some on the fringes: musicians, money men, friends and family. How McBride presents what truth he finds happens in a narrative that's personal and evokes an almost spiritual journey.
Explaining James Brown equates, one could argue, to trying to explain what Jesus actually looked like. Different versions of the Brown story/legend exist because, as we see in McBride's book, it's how Brown wanted it. For a man who enjoyed the spotlight, he craved the mystery and privacy just as much. The title of this book comes from advice Brown was fond of giving and sticking to: knock their socks off, and go. Kill 'em and leave. As McBride writes, "James Brown's status was there wasn't no A-list. He was the list." Watch any clip of him on YouTube and try to argue.
McBride's narrative reminded me in part of Citizen Kane and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, in the respect that you have a person searching for story, looking for an answer (What was Rosebud? Who was the real James Brown?) and in the process you come across a variety of people whose interpretations not only magnify the legacy of the subject, but make them people you want to know better. McBride talks to the last surviving member of The Flames, Brown's early group, his first wife Velma, the man who helped save Brown from the IRS, surrogate son Al Sharpton, and Miss Emma, a devoted friend for decades. Their stories are raw and engaging and bring pieces of Brown's life together like a puzzle we're amazed to see at the end. It's more than a story about one the great soul singers, it's a history of black music and a social commentary about how we treat people, and how we revere some after death...and how greed makes us blind to the need of others. The story of James Brown after his death - the multiple funerals, the fight over his estate, the midnight visit from Michael Jackson - would make one hell of a movie on it own.
This is a book that will stay with you. It's awesome. Just read it.