Rochester, NY, United States | Member Since 2011
Was looking for something to keep my brain busy, and got exactly what I wanted. Plot premise was great, setting interesting and I liked the characters... but I had to suspend my disbelief repeatedly towards the end and it markedly diminished my enjoyment. A little bad language, a whole lot of violence, and just a couple low key sexual innuendos for those who wonder. Has the feel of a "John Wayne" western mixed with "Law and Order." It kept my attention fully, but it will be a while before I choose a rerun.
Plot sounded great... but execution didn't work for me. Way too much un-needed sex and innuendos, jerky, preachy and I was unable to suspend my disbelief. Think computer pro's racing through New York, Russia and France while people all around them are being murdered. This is not an EOTWAWKI book, rather a near repeat of 9/11 type attack using cyber terrorism. The computer as a risk for doomsday is clearly shown and I would love a more realistic book using that scenario.
This book is beautifully narrated, well written... and both the beginning and end are touching and poignant. My heart aches for Philomena and her son... however, this is not Philomena's story at all... it is the story of her son and his forced adoption from Ireland into a dysfunctional American family. His successes, failures and behavior that sounds much like Borderline Personality Disorder. The middle of this book drags you into leather and whip male relationships... and much more... I was forced to repeatedly fast forward. I did feel like it is a bait and switch book with a very liberal and political agenda being promoted. I was very unhappy with the false advertising.
"Call The Midwife" was my favorite book last year and I snatched up the last two in the series as quick as I found them. Although each book could stand alone, I still recommend reading it first. This book goes back to the actual midwifery work with real life experiences being shared much like Book 1. Deliveries are followed step by step, botched abortions, infanticide, tuberculosis, single mothers, didn't know was PG moms, hair-raising situations... and again its not for a young reader as real life is accurately portrayed. This book wraps up the work of the midwives, as the 60's brought birth control and the closing of East End "slums" and in the end Jenny shares what happened to all the main characters. If you loved CTM, you will love this. Just as a note the BBC has made it into a popular TV series that can be viewed on Netflix.
"Call The Midwife" was my favorite book of last year. Although the next two books both stand alone, I would strongly suggest reading it first. Shadows of the Workhouse focuses less on the work of the midwives, rather on the experiences of older neighbors, nuns and patients who either lived in or were strongly effected by the workhouse (poorhouses). You get a vivid insight to the system that damaged families and left many who were still alive in the 1950's scarred by their experiences. I really enjoyed this book: it is tender, humorous, heartbreaking and makes history real. I do genealogy and have found several family members who lived and died in the poorhouses, so it was very personal to me. There remains a James Herriot feel to the books which consists of multiple short stories flowing together around the theme. Sister Monica Joan continues to steal the show with her antics, the book is worth the credit to see her arrested and in court for stealing jewelry. I didn't realize this is now a popular series in Britain by the BBC, you can view it on Netflix.
Don't even consider reading this book without having read the first two, it won't make sense. After you have read two you will really want to read this... be warned, as others have mentioned this does not end the series (the next comes out about June 2014), and this is very short and without any end point... it just ends. This book follows Morgan and friends, as the government seeks to send them to a FEMA camp and they are forced to retreat to the woods.
The narration is slightly better in this book, the military involvement increases and most major characters are back together. I had to suspend my disbelief more often... but dang I like these people and the plot and am ticked I have to wait to know. I'm also starting to worry after the abbreviated nature of this book that it will be the series that never ends. Writing skills remain the same, language a touch stronger, rape of a main character is intense but he tactfully shows only the start and emotional results.
This is a view at what happens in a neighborhood when some have and some don't. You see this type of setup in books like "Jakarta Pandemic" and "Cyber Storm" (books I enjoyed) and "The End" (didn't). This is not a stand alone book... although you can stop reading after book one, you must read book one to understand this and you will be left falling off a cliff needing to read book three afterwards... and then waiting impatiently for June 2014 to read four. I almost wished I had stopped at one and waited for four to be ready before making the plunge.
The writing style is still very basic, the narrator instead of getting better gets worse (goes from one set of characters to the next without a breath or pause, leaving a person confused at where the heck he is... plus blatant mispronunciations which he finally gets corrected (but they didn't go back and edit). The plot continues to be brilliant and original, with less named brand supplies and more military involvement.
There is strong language peppered though it, lots of gun violence, minor sexual innuendos and lots of hungry, beaten down folks and others who take advantage of them. The characters become even more real in this book and you follow not only Morgan and his family, but the friends he made in "Going Home."
I read a lot of EOTWAWKI type books... my favorites being "One Second After" and "Alas Babylon." The premise of "Going Home" is an EMP while the main character, Morgan, is away from home and family... very similar to the premise of "77 Days" or "The Walk," except Morgan is a prepper and walks home with a complete inventory of supplies. Like "Patriots" this book states brand names of supplies, but honestly it was less blatant... no model numbers. Although I'm pretty sure if you liked Patriots you will like this, they fill a similar niche in teaching along with the story.
There is a lot of gun violence, but I appreciated that it was in self defense by likable characters who didn't want to harm others (unlike "The End"). Swearing is a lot more than I would like but is limited to specific characters and much less than in "The Walk" which I couldn't bear. There is un-witnessed sexual assaults reported and a few sexual innuendos. If made into a film it would have to be R rated but the book felt PG-14 to me.
The writing is very basic, the narrator not great, some internal inconsistencies... and you do have to suspend your disbelief regarding the government takeover. That said... I loved this book and its characters...didn't want to go to bed and shut it off. The twists are different than any EOTWAWKI books I have read and the author does a great job of showing us the many and varied ways people and communities might respond.
Now for the series... yep, I have finished all three available this week and the next isn't due out until June of 2014. This book is the best of the three and there is a logical end point where you can stop and be content. Books 2 & 3 do not stand alone and leave you hanging. I am frustrated the 4th isn't available and am worried there might also be a 5th... as the 3rd book is much, much shorter... marketing game? Well I guess it worked as I will certainly buy the next when it comes out.
Raised in the filth of her hoarder parents home, Kim shares the shame, chaos and challenges she faced growing up... while trying to be normal. Then the reversal of roles as an adult she tries to keep her parents safe from their ongoing hoarding... while doing so triggers nightmares of her childhood. It is an intensely personal book with very little action but a whole lot of emotion, love of family and an inside look at the issue of hoarding without the gratuitous extortion of the situation as seen on "real life TV."
The Cohens are lucky to have such a nicely done family history to pass on through the generations, it will be priceless for them. The first couple of hours in the 1920-30's is of general interest to all and interesting as he is passed from home to home, but the book gradually becomes so family specific and plotless that I was done long before the book. The audio was poorly editered, there are about 15 spots where the same sentence or phrase is repeated.
Jewish orphan, NYC, 1920-30... It tempted me into the purchase as I had enjoyed Orphan Train recently... I'll leave for Cohens to enjoy.
I have a weakness for disaster, plague, famine, EMP, earthquake... coping and surviving the challenges books. "One Second After," "Alas Babylon," "Jakarta Pandemic," "The Road," and "77 Days" are all books I have really enjoyed. I have purchased a bunch of other books looking for similar and often end up with over-the-top preppers, zombies, profanity and violence. Although definitely not perfectly written... a slow start, some unbelievable events and a tell instead of show ending... "Cyberstorm" will still be part of my much enjoyed list.
It is set, mostly, in a New York apartment building as a cyber attack takes down communication, feeds misinformation, crashes computers... heat, water, power, shipping, radio, TV are all gone... of course, in the midst of a series of winter storms. You get to know the neighbors from the old couple with tea and biscuits, to the criminal, the prepper, the friends, the kids and the doorman as they deal with the ensuing and long lasting chaos. Of course, technology and "hackers" are both the villains and stars.
Language is clean, minor sexual innuendos, some intense violence and un-witnessed cannibalism. Probably PG-13 read but R if made into movie. Have fun. I love that it is complete... no next book to buy to learn the ending.
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