This is a nice piece of "political" as opposed to "mechanical" or "dreary philosophical" - Sci-fi, with a great reader. but since I also enjoy historical and contemporary Hollywood stories, the best part for me was the "Agent" part which highlights what appear to be actual trials and tribulations - generally very funny ones - of a Hollywood agent. It is a true "cross-over" genre and clearly has a place in any fan's TInseltown collection.
Ok, it was only $4.95, but the few good parts are highly derivative; the bad parts (for example all the parts where the main character is confused; having flashbacks; or getting punched out or otherwise physically assaulted) are too long, repetitive, and just basically not very interesting. Kind of like in one of those movies that never really make it to a theater. I really tried, but after three hours I don't care about the cardboard main character or what may or may not be going on. So I'm returning it, but writing this review first because the last time I returned a book before writing a review I wasn't able to write the review because the book was no longer in my library.
...should go to Nick and Amy. But maybe that is the whole point of the book? It is hard to stick with a book when you find the characters to be so unlikeable, but soon after it began I moved into "thank god I don't have anyone like this in my life" space and stuck around to see how low they would go. Stupid (Nick) and Unlikeable (Amy) as they are, the readers capture them perfectly. And Gillian Flynn is certainly on top of current popular culture. There is a great part about 3 hours in where Nick compares reality to TV - this book compares TV to reality.
I have noticed that a some point after writing one, or generally two, very serious and critically acclaimed books, very good writers tend to turn out a movie script - I'm hoping this is Ms. Flynn's and that she has gotten it out of her system. I'm waiting for winter SAD season to pass before listening to Sharp Objects, but Dark Places - yes VERY VERY DARK - was very very good - Gone Girl simply doesn't compare with its depth and characterization, so if you didn't like it, don't dismiss Ms. Flynn, but you may want to wait for next spring.
This book has everything: espionage; economic ruthlessness; social scandals; pre-WWI national power plays; anarchists; hidden identities; great use of language; great narrators - and completely wastes it all as its increasingly unlikeable characters tediously wind their way to an improbable conclusion. My rule is that if I finish a book, however boring, I do not return it, but you could save yourself the trouble by not buying it.
There are audiobooks that make you laugh out loud in public but this one had me in tears on the subway more than once. Fortunately, the reader had an academic style, which kept the book from being even more difficult to bear. The book is also academic in nature with distinct chapters devoted to various populations. In addition to actually learning a lot of history, what I got from the book was a sense that I (and a lot of other people who grew up in the '50s) had been effectively brainwashed - the book contrasts press presentations such as those of The Allies entering Paris with the lack of information on the misery and devastation on the Normandy front, the starvation of Holland, and a number of other situations in which 'the little people' felt the pain of the efforts underway to free them from Nazi rule ranging from actual bombing to misplaced political and military decisions. Not an easy read, but a must read for anyone attempting to understand WWII and the years that followed (up to the future for that matter).
It was good to find that a Swedish writer could write something that did NOT endanger your mental health. With its echoes (pronounced) of Forest Gump and (faint) Crytonomicon, this book is a terrific antidote to the usual dour northern european crime fiction. It is a great romp with the perfect narrator. As it says in its introduction, "those who only says what is the truth, they're not worth listening to..." Go ahead, suspend your disbelief and enjoy!
if there are any...seems impossible. This is one of the most annoying books that I have ever tried to read. I started it a couple of times, put it away, and now its too late to return it or I would do so. AND I resent the reference by another reviewer along the lines of "60 year old grandmothers" not appreciating it. Many 60 year old grandmothers (and grandfathers) grew up in the heyday of the great science fiction writers - Clarke, Heinlein, Brunner, too many to mention, - and this writer is simply not in their class. If you go ahead and buy this showy piece of jumpy junk, don't let the "return by" date pass you by.
... this should be required reading for anyone interested in business, management, politics, great scams, or just wants an exciting story that they already know the end of. The author's fly-on-the-wall details of how key figures behaved; the intricacies of the financial sleight of hand; and the behavior of the management, employees; auditors, lawyers, and rating firms were beyond what even the most cynical (well almost the most cynical) person could imagine. It is a true tragedy - on both the personal and political level - which reads like a fast-paced novel. If you are interested in (or obsessed by) other contemporary accounts of corporate and political bad behavior (as for just one example, The Big Short) don't miss this book.
This was my third-in-a-row Enron book, so maybe I was just over it by then, but although it was an interesting perspective, it didn't add much to either Conspiracy of Fools, in my opinion the best, or The Smartest Guys in the Room, which did make some of the financial dealings a little easier to understand. It took me until the second section to get resigned to the narrator - it made sense to have a female narrator and maybe she actually sounded like Sherren - but she was definitely trying (way too hard) to emphasize things that were really not that exciting and did nothing to add to the story. Stick with stopping at two unless...
I love Jasper Fforde. I like Thursday, love the Nursery Crimes, and go back often to Shades of Grey, which keeps turning up new shades of meaning. I actually pestered Audible to make The Last Dragonslayer available in the U.S. Although I'm not at all sure that my pestering helped, I feel a bit responsible, and therefore want to warn others. This is in no way up to Mr. Fforde's standard.
I like paranormal tales, and in particular creepy appartment stories (Rosemary's Baby remains one of my favorites, and I have been a H.P. Lovecraft devotee since I discovered him many years ago, so I bought 14 on the basis of the description and the good reviews.
At the start it looked like I was onto a good thing. The book starts well with a cast of normal-but-just-a-bit-off-center characters (voiced perfectly by Mr. Porter) and increasingly weird indications that something very strange was going on. Then it got stupid, draggy and pointless, And then it got grossly ugly in an an apparent attempt to channel Lovecraft (which failing, remained only gross), and moved on to an ending that didn't make any sense at all.
Maybe, maybe, if Mr. Clines had written three separate books each of them would have been able to have a focus, or maybe if he had tightened up the plot? Or, as someone once said about Stephen King, "he's a brilliant writer, but he really does need an editor."
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