Elizabethtown, IN, United States | Member Since 2006
This novel became a movie with Jimmy Stewart and Marlene Dietrich - ignore that. The movie didn't work well. The movie was awful, and I never realized it was based on a Shute novel. Ben Elliot's great vocal characterizations bring the subjects to life. Shute writes on a subject he knows - aircraft engineering - but it's the character clashes, especially those in the decision making meeting rooms, that make this piece sparkle. Great surprise alliances when people are speaking bluntly - I love a good scene like that - it's as good as any courtroom scene written in the past generation. Shute probably doesn't get his due for anything other than "On The Beach."
I am a lifelong fan of Faulkner, but this is one work I have never read. While it has many of the style traits I love in Faulkner; the sharp, hard focus on the subject of race and the angst of the main character leaves me dry.
"Light in August" is an admirable work, and I read it to close a gap in my Faulkner reading history. But unlike "Intruder in the Dust" and "The Reivers," each of which I've read several times, I'll never read "Light in August" again.
I purchased this book based on Audible's recommendation to me. It is very clever and well done, but there is nothing in the review concerning the amount of vulgar language. To me, "irreverent" and "vulgar" are not interchangeable.
Not a bad book, but definitely not one that I have any interest in hearing front to back.
I've tried and tried to read Stegner - I've started this book three times, and I also have 'Angle of Repose' and 'Big Rock Candy Mountain,' and I just can't make it work. Stegner is very talented, but I can't make any lasting connection to his characters and their lives.
I have the same problem with Philip Roth's work. Very good stuff, but zero resonance with me.
So I feel a little guilty giving a low review - but it's an honest opinion of my relationship with the book and not meant as an opinion of Stegner's talent.
The editing is so choppy that phrases are repeated in two or three instances. The story feels rushed as the reader flies past punctuation.
The Hunger Games are such a cross culture success that I chose to read Book 2 when the movie was released.
I read Book 1 from print, and although Carolyn does an excellent job of reading Book 2, her formal, almost British enunciation didn't match the voice of Katniss that spoke in my head. Suzanne writes a solid story, but I felt the action and details of "Fire" were a little thin and at times took a back seat to Katniss' internal angst. I could hear the rule of "writing 101" echoing in my head - "SHOW me the story, don't TELL me."
The ending was well done, and I'm sure I'll get around to reading the third book in the future.
The story is well researched, and there is so much to learn here - how "post roads" worked in Europe, the scattered ruins of castles that still littered the countryside like dinosaur bones of the feudal system, the shifting alliances of the powers of the day.
If I were editor on this project I would make one change - just as the journey reaches it's penultimate point, with Louisa across most of the continent and Napoleon returned and growing stronger - just then the book takes a long detour to describe the background of Louisa's state of mind - everything from the details of her marriage to her miscarriage in St. Petersburg. These are interesting facts, too, but their placement in the book detracts from the story of the journey, and if I were editing I would rearrange the chapters for better continuity.
Tony's old school journalism training and talent are displayed well in this collection. I purchased this book for background research on some fiction I'm writing, and the stories were much more varied and entertaining than I expected. The title piece is pure entertainment, but other stories are more sober as Tony writes about the people and the culture of New Mexico. I'm not a personal fan of desert climates, but reading Tony's collection makes me want to visit New Mexico.
When the summary mentions MI5 in the early 70's, I think of the generation that lived in fear of repeating Burgess and the Cambridge spy ring. The generation that came after Peter Wright, after George Smiley.
McEwan makes references to this generation of brinksmanship, but it is just name dropping. This is not the spy novel I expected; this is part sappy love story and part a writer's description of his introversion.
The heroine is talented at describing her sexual needs and experiences, a talent which may in turn represent her generation. These depictions guarantee that readers will stay with the book through the slow sections.
I enjoyed the portrayal of daily life in England at a time of crisis. McEwan is a good writer, but Stevenson is a more talented narrator.
"Sweet Tooth" is a good book, but not the book I expected, so I was disappointed.
Okay, I was steered away from the use of anthropomorphism in maybe the ninth grade, maybe earlier.
I considered this piece for a long time before I purchased it.
The references to great road drivers is very entertaining. The hard turn into dark crisis in the middle of the book surprised me (I didn't know the plot before reading.)
The sudden appearance of the resolution may have put me off just a little; I like a solid ending, but this one came quick.
Yes, I cried at the end. I am a dog person, after all. It's been six years since I had my last dog put to sleep, and this book brought up many good emotional memories of time spent in a dog's company.
I thought the characters were well developed and put into a setting seldom used. In fact, it was the setting which made me select the book, not the topic.
And the topic - well, it's something we're all forced to have an opinion of in this age - not having an opinion on this matter is considered a crime of omission.
And that's why I would nominate this book for group discussion - because while reading this book I had several interesting thoughts - and that's a compliment to the author. What intrigues me is that I suspect my thoughts are not the normal reaction to the characters and the situation.
Well done. A book that gives me new thoughts, that is my compliment to the author.
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