I'm a big Palahniuk fan, but the last couple of his efforts kind of read to me as same-ole same-ole even though they were very entertaining reads. WitI'm a big Palahniuk fan, but the last couple of his efforts kind of read to me as same-ole same-ole even though they were very entertaining reads. With Pygmy Palahniuk shakes things up a bit by writing the entire book in a type of broken English that gives made me sit up and take notice.
At first I didn't think I'd be able to get through a book written in this unfamiliar dialect (never really got through A Clockwork Orange), but after the first couple of chapters it gets into your thoughts and suddenly you start describing things the same way the narrator does (or at least when you're at the airport bar).
The premise is that a foreign exchange student without a firm grasp of the English language narrates his mission to carry out terrorist acts on U.S. soil with help from the rest of his stealth unit of foreign exchange students. Yep, that's the premise.
The voice is unique, the premise is engaging, and the details are hilarious (just wait until you get to the science fair). Where the book falls short for me is the essentially standard ending. Maybe I was looking for something with more punch, but it didn't take away too much from the journey. ...more
This is essentially a sequel of sorts to a number of Leonard books, but most directly to Out of Sight. And I couldn't help but picture George ClooneyThis is essentially a sequel of sorts to a number of Leonard books, but most directly to Out of Sight. And I couldn't help but picture George Clooney playing Jack Foley again. Several Leonard characters from other books (some I haven't read) show up here. But if you haven't read them, don't worry. This story stands on its own.
This is vintage Elmore Leonard for sure. It does take more of a minimalist approach to the typical Leonard story, with a relatively short page count, and a scaled down number of main characters. But it has all of the essential elements of a Leonard novel: Small time criminals, femme fetales, failed half-baked criminal plans, and of course double-crosses and violence that never seems violent.
For anybody who has a missing place in their heart for HBO's "The Wire" you can immerse yourself in Richard Price's "Lush Life." Price, who wrote forFor anybody who has a missing place in their heart for HBO's "The Wire" you can immerse yourself in Richard Price's "Lush Life." Price, who wrote for "The Wire", brings the same sense of relatable characters from different sides of the law and a dead-on ear for dialogue to this story. On the surface this sounds like a law-and-order procedure. A guy is murdered. The cops look for whodunnit. But Price colors what is essentially a simple plot with easy-to-picture characters and interesting relationships between them. The only criticism here is that one of the character-building sub-plots could have been dropped. But that couldn't take away from my Wire-longing mind when enjoying the banter between the two lead detectives (whom Price might as well have named McNulty and Greggs) and the desperation of the bungled-and-botched young project kids and man-child loners that Price depicts. It feels more like he's reporting that creating fiction. ...more
You don't have to go to the nerdiest school in America, like I did (CMU. Sorry MIT you can't have the title. Your school has girls), to enjoy a book tYou don't have to go to the nerdiest school in America, like I did (CMU. Sorry MIT you can't have the title. Your school has girls), to enjoy a book that is about the history of cryptography. No, really. Simon Sing weaves each of these items into an engaging narrative to introduce the concept. At times you'll forget that you're essentially reading a history mathematics. By the time he gets to the specifics of how the Allies broke the Nazi Enigma machine or the formula behind RSA encryption Sing has already gradually bumped up your IQ to allow you to understand it. Yes, you will understand it. You'll feel smarter for having understood it. ...more