Absolutely - as the title suggests, there are traits found within a serial killer's psyche that suggests we all have something to learn from the way their brains are wired.
The examples and cases provided by Sutton.
It was clean and easy to follow.
No extreme reaction - just really enjoyed it.
Excellent read! This book was a quick and easy read for anyone interested in the fine line that separates psychopaths from heroes. Dutton does a great job outlining the traits that people attribute to psychopaths in an attempt to correlate those qualities with everyday, successful folks.
Dutton also does a good job keeping the topics concise and clear, rather than cluttering each topic with terms and theories that require a few psychology classes to understand. Aside from the format, the subject matter is really interesting to me and I appreciate the length and depth that was taken in this book.
I'll probably read this book a second and third time.
Pros: Great length and fascinating topics.
Cons: Could have used more insight to altruists; however I understand that altruism rests on the opposite side of the spectrum to psychopathy. The overlap that Dutton provided served as a great opportunity to go a little more into altruism to really appreciate the entire scope.
Bottom line: Highly recommended to anyone interested the dynamic between heroes and villains.
Not sure...if the print version has pictures then I would say no, but if it's entirely published text, then I'd say sure.
The events surrounding Texas Independence from Mexico is always fascinating to read about.
The narrator should have learned how to pronounce Texas towns and cities the way they're meant to be pronounced. As a Texas Native, it was extremely frustrating to hear him butcher the names of towns like "Nacogdoces" and "Natchitoches". Even "New Orleans" and "Sabine" were cringe worthy to hear the narrator mispronounce. I understand that by not living in and around these areas there has to be a level of forgiveness for people who can't pronounce them correctly, but if you're going to read the news or much less an audio book on Texas History, at minimum they should know how to pronounce the names correctly.
"The legends, mystique, and truth behind the Lone Star State"
This was an excellent read and great overview of Texas history. I really enjoyed the way "Gone To Texas" was laid out and can appreciate many of the questions posed by Campbell.
GTT will be something that I'd like to re-read every year or so, and as a Texas Native could identify with much of what Campbell was writing about. I also enjoyed his cultural perspectives that offered a look at Texans and the Texas mystique.
From a people perspective, I also enjoyed at how Campbell spoke about the state's darker history when dealing with Indians and slaves. We never really got that perspective in school, so it was good to read about what actually happened during those troublesome times of people learning to live side-by-side and adjust to various cultures.
Pros: a great, exhaustive look at Texas history from the earliest Native people to 2011.
Cons: a bit heavy with all of the political changes and people; however I understand how the politics helped shape Texas into what it is today. Just a little hard to get through compared to the other material.
Bottom line: an excellent summary of Texas history for anyone interested in this great state's origins, history, and future.
It probably ranks as "not bad, but not great"
Not really on the edge of my seat, but the story was engaging and very interesting subject matter.
Probably the main character since the story is told from his point of view.
Um...this is kind of a strange question to have in a review. No comment regarding characters. I'd probably like to have dinner with Stephen King just for the heck of it and ask how he came up with the bizarre ending. Seriously...it did not make sense.
The premise of "Revival" seemed really cool; however it falls in-line with more of King's recent work. I guess he's not looking to return to his horror roots anytime soon, as this title is more like 11/22/63 and Doctor Sleep that hinges more on the supernatural rather than straight-line horror that has made King a household name.
Altogether it wasn't bad. The first person narrative and main character was likable enough and his cast of characters were enjoyable. I felt like the story was great up to the very ending. Basically after everything took a supernatural turn, I can't say that I was engaged much more in the story. And like most SK works, the climax doesn't happen until the very end of the book, which if not done well can end up leaving a bad taste in your mouth regardless of how good the rest of the story might have been.
Pros: great story and characters with a few "Dark Tower" elements sprinkled throughout the story, which fans of SK would appreciate.
Cons: the ending. Much like chewing gum - tastes great at first, but after a while you're tired of it and can't stand the taste.
Bottom line: not too lengthy and worth the read, especially for any fans of SK.
Not sure...any readers of Stephen King will probably pick it up since it's written by his son, Joe Hill. There are also a few Dark Tower references scattered throughout that makes it entertaining.
No, I'll continue to read horror and science fiction. It just wasn't a good book. And to have good perspective, it's always good to read excellent works, the classics, and also terrible books. This just happened to land on the terrible end.
Anyone who can get their accent under control. Kate's accent was way too northern, or mid-western for my liking. By doing that, it "regionalizes" the characters. I'd like to have Kate reading a book like "Fargo", but not something like this where the characters are all cross-country, yet they sound like they're all from North Dakota. It takes the reader out of the story when the narrator's accent gets the best of them.
Disappointment. I didn't know what the story was about; however I hoped it would at least be decent. It was terrible. See below for details.
I was not impressed with "NOS4A2" and it was no where good as I thought it would be. Maybe I went into it with high expectations, yet I didn't really know what it was about so I can't really blame myself for not liking it or holding it to a certain standard. All things considered, I've already read Joe Hill's other two works: "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Horns", as well as a couple of short stories, and I can say that there are now three distinct elements that are consistent in all Joe Hill novels:
1. Dead animals, or the killing of animals
2. Music/pop culture references
I would also add the supernatural element; however I think this has become the genre that Hill is sticking with. In regard to writing style, one of dislikes to "NOS4A2" was the overuse of similes. Every page was just about scattered with similes, like sprinkles on a cupcake, they were everywhere and really took away from the story.
Regarding the story, and in the words of Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons: Worst. Villain. Ever. The villain was terrible, unoriginal, lame, and had way too much dialogue. Imagine having a poorly scripted Bond villain that was inept at killing, terrorizing, or even being menacing, yet all he wanted to do was talk about all the "bad" things he was going to do or even worst: bore you with details from his own life.
The heroine wasn't much better. I'm not sure if it was from the poor excuses she made or if it was Hill's attempt at making her vulnerable and driven by regret, but she was certainly hard to root for. And I'm not talking about in an anti-hero kind of way. She was very unlikable and annoying.
Even the sidekicks were terrible. The heroine's sidekick was chocked full of comic book references that only made him seem too immature to do anything serious and the villainous sidekick was too cliche to expect him to do any harm. I can honestly say that there were no characters that kept my interest.
As for the plot, this was one of those books that you get half way through hoping it will get better. Spoiler alert: it didn't. Then you reach the point of no return and figure that if you've made it more than halfway means you might as well finish it. Like any B-movie, you have to at least see how it ends. And like any bad B-movie, "NOS4A2" did not disappoint.
If I were ever to re-read this book, I'd probably look back and think I was being a bit harsh in the review. Chances are, the only way I'd re-read this book is if they made it into a movie and I'd be curious to go back and see if the movie was any better than the book.
It's also worth pointing out that this book had way too many penis references. Not sure why they were needed because they certainly didn't add to the plot. Just saying - it was one too many for my liking.
There were also obligatory references made to his last two novels, as well as references made to his father's Dark Tower series. I failed to mention in my other reviews, that there was at least one DT reference made in each novel. This one had a handful. At some point I just wanted to roll my eyes and say "Joe, I get it. Stephen King is your dad and everyone loves his Dark Tower series. Just because you're related, you're allowed to do stuff like that, but lets not over do it."
Pros: not many...actually the last page was the only pro because I knew that meant that I was finally finished.
Cons: many. Way too many to bore with details.
Bottom line: bad story that was poorly executed with flimsy characters and cheap plot devices.
Yes - it was an interesting read with original concepts and likable character perspectives.
Unsure. It was like a supernatural murder mystery.
No - this was the first. He did a good job voicing the main character and the others were pretty good.
No...too long for one sitting.
"Horns" started off great, with the right kind of pace and character development that kept the reader engaged and the plot moving forward. As a whole, the story was well organized and made interesting by being told through other character perspectives.
I liked that the back story and history of the characters was revealed in the form of flashbacks; however some went on a bit too long which would sometime leave the reader wondering where the main story had left off. The supernatural element of the horns is still something I didn't fully understand after finishing the book and the main character's full transformation near the end still left me a bit confused.
Altogether is was entertaining and worth the read as being something different, which can be appreciated. There were clues scattered throughout the story which would make it fun to read again. I haven't watched the movie version yet, but I can't imagine it topping the book.
There was a neat reference to Hill's previous work "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Horns" only verified that Hill's writing is becoming very distinctive to be scattered with various music and pop-culture references. I only hope that this doesn't end up dating his work, or become lost on another generation over the next decade.
Pros: neat idea and good execution.
Cons: a bit blasphemous at times when it didn't need to be and the explanation for the supernatural elements were not conveyed very well.
Bottom line: overall good and worth the read, length wasn't too bad and the characters were enjoyable.
Probably - length wise it was good and the story wasn't bad. It was a pretty good ghost story.
Yes, in a way and I wouldn't say on the edge of my seat - only in a way that the characters kept moving. They never stayed too long in one place, which kept me engaged as reader.
Articulate. Monotone. Low.
No extreme reactions, and I certainly didn't laugh or cry.
As a ghost story, Joe Hill's "Heart-Shaped Box" wasn't all that bad. The length was just right in a way that the story didn't feel too drawn out and the plot was engaging enough that the story never felt monotonous.
Altogether the characters were likable and somewhat relatable. After reading other reviews, apparently the concept was not wholly original; however I still enjoyed the perspective and for a ghost story, it wasn't all that bad.
And as the title suggests, the story is full of music references.
Pros: decent enough ghost story, likable main character, and not too long.
Cons: some of the plot devices tended to be a bit cliche and there were a few moments that lent itself to being "too convenient" to move the plot along.
Bottom line: not bad, but also not great.
If I could change anything, I would have removed many of the ancillary characters and stick with the primary and secondary character POV's.
Absolutely - five books in to a seven book series pretty much dedicates me to finish the series.
Yes - the previous four "Song of Ice & Fire" books were also read by Roy Dotrice and they were all done well.
The series has already been made into a popular series on HBO.
Overall good, but not great. I've never been one to complain about book length; however I felt that "Dance of Dragons" was probably 30% longer than it needed to be. I felt like many of the problems I had with "Feast for Crows" showed up in DoD.
Without going into details and including spoilers, there were too many character perspectives that could have been edited down where it probably would have been better if Martin could have blended FfC and DoD together. In doing so, he could've eliminated many of the ancillary characters and stuck with his primary and secondary character perspectives that have made the series so popular.
The primary character perspectives were done really well and very enjoyable to read. Martin also did a great job allowing for the climax to come near the end of the book rather than the middle or two-thirds of the way through.
Pros: Excellent continuation of the characters that readers have grown to love reading in the "Game of Thrones" series.
Cons: Too many "outside" character perspectives that did not add a whole lot to the overall plot.
Bottom line: at this point there is no turning back in the series.
Yes - probably when I'm ready to re-read the entire series, but I probably would not read it as a stand-alone novel.
It picked up well after the events in "A Game of Thrones" and progressed the overall story very well.
Roy was able to make the accents very different from the characters, which made it easy to tell them apart.
Not many extreme reactions, but then again any major character death is pretty impactful.
A more apt title should probably have been "A Conversation of Kings" as there was no real fighting or action until roughly half way through the book.
On a positive note, and similar to how "A Game of Thrones" was written, Martin is able to write in a way that each word, phrase, and scene adds to the greater story. There is not a lot of "fluff" or misdirection (so far) in this series.
Pros: excellent editing with incredible character development.
Cons: a somewhat slow start.
Bottom line: a decent follow-up to GoT that leaves the reader wanting more.
Yes to both.
"A Dance of Dragons" - Book 5 in the "A Song of Ice & Fire" series.
The last scene in the book that you see of Cersei
Any of the Iron Island characters...any would do fine.
Probably the weakest book (so far) in the series. "A Feast for Crows" was no 'feast' at all and was served up more like random appetizers from an obscure Japanese restaurant with too many strange, new characters and a handful of familiar ones.
**Light spoilers** I felt like the biggest downside to this book was the lack of primary character POVs, such as Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister - some of the series most beloved characters (up to this point). It'd be like watching an episode of LOST without having Jack, Kate, or Sawyer...so I guess it was actually like Season 3 with 'The Others'...Anyways, there were far too many new characters and story lines introduced that made the reader feel disoriented and confused about what was going on...again, kinda like S3 of LOST.
With that being said, the plot line following Jaime & Cersei Lannister were well done and there were many twists and turns that became very entertaining as the story progressed. Sam & Arya's story felt a little detached at times and were not very engaging.
Overall, it will be hard to tell if this is the worst book in the series since the series remains to be unfinished (at this time) and may be subject to the same curse that befalls many "bridging" books in some series, such as "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" or even in film where most folks feel that "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" does not carry the same weight as Episodes IV & VI (not counting Episodes I-III, of course).
Pros: a great continuation of the Lannister story line.
Cons: too many new, uninteresting characters and convoluted conspiracies.
Bottom line: not great as a stand-alone novel, and certainly not a great follow-up to "A Storm of Swords", but should work decently within the series.
In my opinion, yes - only because I can listen to audiobooks while sitting in traffic and with two little kids at home, I never have time to sit and read.
Jon Snow is probably my favorite character. After following him since the beginning of the series, it's easy to like him and struggle with many of the challenges that he faces.
Probably Tyrion Lannister.
HBO has already taken care of it.
This is only my first time through the series, but so far my favorite. "A Storm of Swords" was full of action, plot & character development, and despite the length, a great read through from start to finish.
It is probably well known that this book has the (in)famous 'red wedding' and even though I knew something big was going to happen to some unknown major characters, I was still in shock when it actually happened. I think for people to be upset about it only goes to show the incredible job that Martin has done in crafting his characters and allowing the reader to become so attached.
This book alone makes re-reading the entire series worth while.
Pros: in a strange way the character deaths were the best part of the books, only because it evokes such a strong response from the reader.
Cons: there were a few scenes that were sexually graphic and I did not care for.
Bottom line: so far the best in the series and draws the reader in from start to finish.
Not having to read an 800+ page book, and being able to read this series during commutes to and from work.
The only other non-trilogy book series I've read is Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. I think George R.R. Martin's Fire and Ice series is already off to a much better start than Dark Tower, only because Marin writes every scene with purpose. With King it can get frustrating because he adds a lot of "fluff" and sometimes you never know why certain things were added into a scene, or what is driving a character's motivations or dialogue.
So far I've been quite pleased with F&I and am eager to continue on in the series.
He did a great job on having different accents for the various characters...and there were plenty of them!
No extreme reactions, but very dramatic and well written.
Although lengthy, I felt that Game of Thrones was great start-to-finish. Without going into details or spoilers, I thought each character was developed in an excellent manner and there was never a story arc that felt rushed or out-of-place.
I also have to admit that I was apprehensive to begin the series since most of the low-rated reviews indicated that the sex, language, and violence was gratuitous. I did not feel this way at all. There was little-to-no vulgar language and nothing perverse or offensive. After watching the HBO series, there is (for some strange reason) a large amount of unnecessary language and nudity that is not part of the book.
I'm eager to press on in the series and felt that every page added to the overall story.
Pros: Every written word has purpose to the story and there is not any "fluff" that some authors use, just to add more pages.
Cons: The very end of the story (which I won't go into to avoid spoilers), but none really.
Bottom line: an excellent beginning to a series that I am eager to read more about.
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