Pierre, or the Ambiguities
3.62
it was amazing
"Pierre" is a shocking, stunning book that, I think, deliberately gives readers what they do not want, and which they may not know they are glad to ha ...more
Feb 11, 2010
Feb 11, 2010
 
My Wonderful World of Slapstick
4.23
really liked it
When I saw Buster Keaton's autobiography available as a free file from the Internet Archive, it received the honor of becoming the first work that I w ...more
Feb 18, 2010
Feb 18, 2010
 
A Slight Trick of the Mind
3.43
really liked it
In outline it sounds almost like a joke, or something deliberately bizarre: a ninety-three-year-old Sherlock Holmes travels to Japan. Instead, this is ...more
May 30, 2010
May 15, 2010
 
Smile When the Raindrops Fall: The Story of Charley Chase
3.90
really liked it
I'm a big fan of the comedian and longtime star of film short subjects Charley Chase, which of course is why I borrowed this only biography of him int ...more
Feb 17, 2010
Feb 17, 2010
 
A Taste for Honey
3.67
really liked it
This was simply a fantastically enjoyable read. As a Sherlock Holmes fan I found the mysterious and ingenious "Mr. Mycroft" -- a rural beekeeper who i ...more
May 16, 2010
May 15, 2010
 
When We Dead Awaken
3.82
really liked it
Poetic and spare evocation of our simultaneous yearning for and dread of the full experience of life; revolves around familiar themes of Ibsen with a ...more
Mar 26, 2011
Mar 07, 2011
 
Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)
4.00
it was amazing
**spoiler alert** "Oryx and Crake" is full of moments of bitter and revealingly on-target humor and irony, and it's also a constantly compelling narra ...more
May 25, 2010
May 15, 2010
 
Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War
4.08
liked it
"Confederates in the Attic" is a slow, deliberate book that takes its time as the author meanders through a great many disparate aspects of the Americ ...more
Apr 18, 2010
Apr 18, 2010
 
Ball Four
3.99
really liked it
I picked up "Ball Four" based on its formidable reputation as the best baseball book ever written. Immediately I knew that this real-time diary of a s ...more
Dec 24, 2009
Dec 25, 2009
 
Eccentrics
3.64
it was ok
The strength of this book is that it is highly entertaining. Large sections of it are taken up by reportage of unusual people in history deemed eccent ...more
Jan 18, 2010
Jan 18, 2010
 
Scamorama: Turning the Tables on Email Scammers
3.27
really liked it
Eve Edelson's print spinoff from her popular "scambaiting" website begins with the advantage of a collection of tongue-in-cheek exchanges by witty peo ...more
Dec 28, 2009
Dec 25, 2009
 
Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile
3.45
really liked it
Charming, very humorous, and ultimately very sad story of a revolutionary soldier's misadventures, grounded in the ultimate failure of human loyalties ...more
Jul 08, 2009
Jun 29, 2009
 
Midnight's Children
3.99
it was amazing
**spoiler alert** The prose is beautiful, rich, evocative, and musical -- and at the same time rushes along urgently. Better than in almost anything I ...more
Apr 27, 2017
Apr 28, 2017
 
Augustus Carp, Esq. By Himself Being the Autobiography of a Really Good Man
3.82
it was amazing
Extremely hilarious novel narrated by a brilliantly conceived pile of ironically unjustified self-regard. Highly recommended and apparently almost com ...more
Aug 10, 2017
Jun 29, 2017
 
A Delicate Balance
3.91
it was amazing
Emotionally harrowing, exhausting, and revealing -- and violently funny. Old themes of love, fear, and obligation made violently immediate.
Dec 20, 2014
Dec 20, 2014
 
The Demolished Man
4.00
liked it
In outline this novel resembles a version of "Crime and Punishment" but with ESP. Bester's novel doesn't approach the depths of introspection that mak ...more
May 08, 2010
May 08, 2010
 
The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1)
4.08
liked it
By their very nature most Sherlock Holmes pastiches do not really take on a life of their own; as good as some are, most of them still betray their ro ...more
Jan 08, 2010
Jan 08, 2010
 
This Census-Taker
3.31
it was amazing
My first by by this author and I already want to read much more. Rich, beautiful, evocative prose that I wanted to savor and admire at the same time a ...more
Sep 12, 2016
Sep 12, 2016
 
The Worst Team Money Could Buy
3.59
liked it
Full disclosure: I'm a lifelong Phillies fan, so I'm naturally predisposed to a book that documents a colossal Met failure. Actually, people looking f ...more
May 2010
May 03, 2010
 
To Say Nothing of the Dog
4.13
it was amazing
Extremely wise and just about superhumanly witty. Connie Willis has somehow managed to write an intricately plotted tribute to Jerome K. Jerome's _Thr ...more
May 06, 2011
Mar 16, 2011
 
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
3.81
it was ok
Kept me involved enough to want to finish and contained some good humour and memorable scenes, but did not do much else for me. Much of the prose, cha ...more
Jul 2008
Apr 21, 2009
 
Lost Cities of Atlantis, Ancient Europe & the Mediterranean
4.11
it was ok
The history, linguistics, and archeology in this book are complete garbage. But as an unintentional picaresque by a self-declared "archaeologist" trav ...more
Mar 04, 2017
Mar 06, 2017
 
Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence
3.71
liked it
This book is a disjointed, meandering, digressive hodgepodge that never gets around to defending its claimed central thesis or several other daft theo ...more
Jun 18, 2016
Jun 09, 2016
 
The Lifecycle of Software Objects
3.91
it was amazing
Extremely touching an extremely thoughtful mediation that rings true about how humanity might create thinking creatures and the inhumanity with which ...more
Sep 09, 2016
Sep 09, 2016
 
Ambrosio.
3.00
liked it
I've never read the original, but this stage adaptation of the novel is a very intense and memorable piece that raises a number of interesting questio ...more
Apr 29, 2010
May 04, 2010
 
The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
3.91
it was ok
Scattershot, though there is some interesting material. The whole thing rests on a notion of "well being" that Harris can't define and can only descri ...more
Dec 23, 2014
Dec 23, 2014
 
Benito Cereno
3.60
it was amazing
Masterfully-written and haunting -- a lament over how we cannot, when all is said and done, ever truly understand the thoughts of another, and a deep ...more
Apr 12, 2009
Apr 12, 2009
 
A Protegee of the Mistress
3.25
liked it
**spoiler alert** Surprisingly sudden and bleak ending to this short play, with the heroine married off against her will due to spite, and the suggest ...more
Jan 02, 2014
Jan 02, 2014
 
I and My Chimney
3.60
it was amazing
Melville fantastically entertaining in a humorous vein. His narrator is heroically stubborn about preserving the strange monolithic mystery of his chi ...more
Jun 20, 2009
Jun 18, 2009
 
Did She Fall?
3.38
liked it
A solid murder mystery enhanced by regular whiffs of Smith's immortal sense of humour, but no match for the outright comedy of his other novels.
Mar 2002
May 16, 2009
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