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Dan rated a book 2 of 5 stars
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Beautiful Ruins
by Jess Walter
read in March, 2013
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Decent pop fiction but nowhere near as good as "Citizen Vince," the author's noirish take on low life in his hometown of Spokane. This novel is more ambitious, but while it's engaging and crisply written enough to keep you turning the pages, it's fai...more
Dan rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss
by George Eliot
read in March, 2013
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Though marred at the end by a tedious, drawn-out climax and a melodramatic dénouement, this is a terrific novel. Maggie Tulliver is a tempestuous but thoughtful heroine. Her brother Tom is blinded and stultified by family honor but sympathetic in his...more
Dan rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Patrick Leigh Fermor by Artemis Cooper
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Highly recommended for PLF (Fermor) fans, though it will be puzzling to most others. Cooper fills in gaps left by PLF's books, most of which combine adventurous travel with personal memoirs and observations, and she shows how he used poetic license t...more
Dan rated a book 4 of 5 stars
With the Old Breed by Eugene B. Sledge
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War is hell, and this is a hell of a guided tour from a former WWII Marine infantryman. Gene Sledge was a 20-year-old Alabama college student when he fought in the invasions of Peleilu and Okinawa, two of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific War. He...more
Dan rated a book 2 of 5 stars
The Iliad by Homer
The Iliad: A New Translation
by Homer
read in December, 2012
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This Iliad reads like Homer as translated by Hemingway: terse, vivid battle scenes with plenty of blood and guts but no rosy-fingered dawns. A nice try to bring it all down to earth, but it winds up being an epic poem without the poetry. Mitchell see...more
Dan rated a book 1 of 5 stars
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
How to Be a Woman
by Caitlin Moran
read in December, 2012
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I may lack the chromosomes to appreciate this insider humor, but to me it was just rude and crude masquerading as honest and funny. The "confessions" and "jokes" were all along these lines (almost always in all caps): "I REFUSE TO GET A WAX JOB!" or...more
Dan rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Uneasy Money by P.G. Wodehouse
Uneasy Money
by P.G. Wodehouse
read in December, 2012
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An early 20s Wodehouse - i.e., as he was emerging from his "musical comedies without the music" formula but before he got truly hilarious. Moves right along with lots of chuckles and a few L.O.L.s There are at least two dozen funnier Wodehouse novels...more
Dan rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Murder in the Marais by Cara Black
Murder in the Marais (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #1)
by Cara Black (Goodreads Author)
read in December, 2012
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A serviceable genre mystery featuring a Franco-American detective who picks up the mantle from her slain father. This, the first of a long series of neighborhood-centric tales, involves neo-Nazis and old Jews in the haunting former center of Jewish l...more
Dan rated a book 4 of 5 stars
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
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The title essay - actually, a 100-page travel article written for Harper's, about a week-long trip on a Caribbean cruise - is the funniest non-Wodehouse prose I've ever read. Two other Harper's pieces, on the Illinois state fair and on playing tennis...more
Dan rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
Telegraph Avenue
by Michael Chabon
read in October, 2012
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I give this 3.5 stars out of 5 - liked it a lot but didn't love it. The likes included three truly amazing passages: protagonist Archy Stallings' funeral paean to his surrogate father, musician Cochise Jones; a 12-page sentence chronicling the flight...more
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