OMG, I can't believe I read all three of these ridiculous "books." All I can say is that it's like eating marshmallows: there is no nutritional valueOMG, I can't believe I read all three of these ridiculous "books." All I can say is that it's like eating marshmallows: there is no nutritional value whatsoever, they taste sweet at first, but then you feel awful having indulged in something so stupid and airy. I have to laugh! Kudos Ms. James for making a mint off of all of us gullible, no-willpower buffoons - you just laugh it up all the way to the bank, and more power to ya! (I'm just glad I read a neighbor's copies ... no way I was actually spending money on this repetitious, poorly written drivel, even though I wanted to find out what all the hype was about.)...more
Excellent, quick, and amusing read … and SOOO illuminating! Medieval Underpants reminded me a bit of reading Bill Bryson’s work, filled with clever quExcellent, quick, and amusing read … and SOOO illuminating! Medieval Underpants reminded me a bit of reading Bill Bryson’s work, filled with clever quips and tons of factoids. Alleyn does a fabulous job of pulling together examples from literature and film to illustrate the howlers that writers just get “all wrong” about clothing, hygiene, money, food, and myriad other topics when portraying the past in various lands. This is a must-read for aspiring authors of historical fiction, but also a fun read for the rest of us!...more
Another post-apocalyptic tale ... have we had enough of these yet? Apparently not. Luckily, Peter Heller's writing style is fresh and engaging and briAnother post-apocalyptic tale ... have we had enough of these yet? Apparently not. Luckily, Peter Heller's writing style is fresh and engaging and brings readers into the psyche of the main character almost before they know it. From there, it's an easy trip to perceiving how Hig resists the decline of the small remaining population and retains hope amid the overwhelming losses of both tangibles and his inner humanity. This book is thought-provoking and, as other reviewers have mentioned, quite poetic. It also has a good balance of the solemn and the ludicrous. At times, it moved a bit slowly for me, but that seems to be part of its point -- life is often slow when all you have it time. After depressing glimpses of the population that's left -- either sickly and dying or Mad-Max-ish marauders -- the unresolved ending provides hope for the future....more
Well, what can I say. It took me forever to finish this book. It starts out well enough: a good-hearted thug(I received an advance copy of this book.)
Well, what can I say. It took me forever to finish this book. It starts out well enough: a good-hearted thug named Pepper is wrongly committed to a psychiatric hospital, and he encounters an entity that some believe is the Devil. Cool!
But then I got bogged down in the middle of it, where it began to crawl like molasses, as though the author rambles without knowing where the story should go next. Where is the Devil? Instead of seeing more of that story, we get an entire chapter about the life of Van Gogh and a unit romance. This might be interesting if it wasn't so forgettable and meaningless to how the story started. The characters all verge on being quite interesting but we never quite get to know them well enough to love or hate or miss them if they are suddenly taken away.
I am not sure where this book fits. It's really NOT horror, though parts of it read that way; it's not a thriller, as it is painfully slow in some parts and makes no sense in others; it's a not really a character-driven book and kind of loses track of some of the interesting personae.
In the end, it seems it might not have been the Devil at all. Then, is the book really a commentary on society in general and psychiatric care specifically?
I'm left stumped and rather disappointed. There are glimpses of really terrific observation and writing here, but it's rather like a first draft, not having been edited for flow and best content. (Yes, I know this was an advance, unedited copy, as evidenced by the typos, missing words, extra words, and so on - but you'd think the STORY would be finished.) There are also disturbing missteps, like the author addressing readers directly many times, jarring them from their story experience.
All in all, this was not one of my favorite reads of the year....more
What a ride! This is a creepy possession story akin to Japanese lore, in which the evil spirit never rests and can't be exorcised. That's tough to takWhat a ride! This is a creepy possession story akin to Japanese lore, in which the evil spirit never rests and can't be exorcised. That's tough to take in our "hero makes everything right" culture. The details unfold slowly, revealing layers of horror. I was confused at times, wondering what exactly was going on and what the possessing entity really wanted. But in the end, that's the point -- it doesn't matter. It just feeds on angst and grief and fear and terror. In that respect, this fast, fascinating read is well constructed ... and very creepy!...more