Washington, DC, United States | Member Since 2002
An ordinary book sewn together with implausible events and stereotypical characters. There is the misunderstood girl who may or may not be crazy, a gallant police officer who attempts to help, a cult that is after her family, witches who are everyday women, a family mystery, and a conventional ending. Lace reading is a good hook, but Barry doesn't follow through with intersesting predictions. The cult does improbable things and is accused of everything bad except global warming. The surprise at the end is no great shakes, in fact it made the main character, Sophia (Towner), a less reliable narrator.
The best part of The Lace Reader is that it was first self-published then popularized through word of mouth amongst book clubs.
A creepy bookstore run by a peculiar man inveigles a young man into a web of intrigue which involves a boy-girl investigation into an ancient cult with secret codes by using the tentacles of google to find a needle in a haystack. If you are not into fantasy, many references will be incomprehensible, but you may still enjoy the quest. There is little character development and the plot creates the tension of a well-used rubber band.
How far can a story go when the protagonist starts off at 100? The answer is everywhere and anywhere. With a shifting time line, Jonasson weaves an incredible story about a remarkable man, Alan Carlson, an explosives expert with a calm temperament. Alan gets himself into more binds than Houdini, and like the great magician, wiggles his way out.
The story is not only funny, but gives the reader a lesson in Twentieth Century history. Jonasson manages to combine "Forrest Gump" with "Zelig" and comes up with an unforgettable character whose exploits manage to effect world history.
I could not give a fifth star for story only because Carlson found himself in way too many predicaments.
Sappy, trite, obvious, cliched, boring, and sophomoric can't plumb the surface of this book overwrought with inane metaphors. The narration lacks inflection and the story is unoriginal. I could not get passed one hour and asked for my credit back.
WW1 has just begun and two English boys meet during basic training and become fast friends. Tristan lies about his age to enlist because he has been thrown out of his parental house with his father's condemnation that it would be best if he were killed by a German bullet. Will, the son of a vicar, enlists for patriotic reasons. The boys develop an emotional relationship that becomes strained when Will asks Tristan to support him in a point of principle. Tristan, the more pragmatic of the two, refuses because both he and WIll could be put into jeopardy if Will reveals what really happened to a prisoner of war.
John Boyne deftly straddles the line between cowardice and honor and love and hate. He leaves us stunned as we careen toward an ending so unexpected that I cannot get it our of my mind. This novel is a true tour de force.
Dave and Clete are tough,cynical, alcoholic,and world-weary, and operate on the edge of the legal system. Yet they ask seek the answers to life's eternal questions. Is it justice to blow away a piece of pond scum or should they make the tax payers bear the cost of his incarceration? Does the little guy still count in a world controlled by petro-dollars? Where does friendship end and duty begin? Does anyone really care about the down-trodden? Do the rich always win?
Burke takes his characters from a Nazi prison camp, a mob family, hit men, pillars of the town, and everyman, and endows them with more idiosyncrasies than are found in a tax code. The occupants of Creole Belle are as loathsome as they are interesting and more than they appear. There emerges some good in some of the evildoers and some bad in the good-doers.
Will Patton's narration is as smooth as a mint-julep on a summer evening, and he makes the listener feel like he's sitting cross-legged listening to his grandfather on a columned veranda.
Jake is asked to go through a rabbit hole into the past and prevent the assassination of JFK. In Stephen King's world, we find this plausible because we want it to be. The protagonist finds that the past is obdurate and throws obstacles in his way. We are presented with the possibility of changing history for the better. But, at what price? King gives no clues along the way and keep us guessing until the end.
Only at the very end, an ending that will be hard to forget, do we realize that changing one or two past events has more consequences that can be imagined. If a butterfly flutters its wings in Japan, the effects are felt all around the world, but what if it's prevented from fluttering, can anyone predict what will happen?
I couldn't give the story a five because the pace is slow before Jake enters the past and the description of Lee Harvey Oswald's plans to kill the president are tedious. But, the love story that develops between people from different times is pure gold.
This is not a horror story, it is a love story to rival Romeo and Juliet or Tristan and Isolde.
The plot was boring, the characters moody, self-indulged, and tedious. They labored from one place to another without any real purpose. I persisted to listen to the entire story hoping that the end would reward my persistence, but I ended up unfulfilled. Also, I wanted to give Eugenides the benefit of the doubt because of his last, great novel,
Pittu did a great job of differentiating voices, and does a particularly fine job with the women.
It does not need a follow-up book because the characters are one-dimensional and not likable or interesting. The Plot was too long as it stands.
P.D. James writes in the style of Jane Austin and Rosalyn Landor gives voice to the many characters with the expertise of a trained actress. James tells an interesting story, but she gives too few clues to possibly guess whodunnit, and then she has to give too long an explanation of the culprit's motivation. I wish she had included the pomposity of Reverend Collins and Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
It is well worth the read just to return to the characters immortalized by Austin in
Yes, she writes well.
Her voices were spot-on. A good reader like Landor helps the listener keep focused on the characters.
Death Comes to Pemberley: Family Feud Fuels Fatality
The author reveals that Stanley Ann Dunham had a list of impressive academic credentials, a the determination to help Asian women, an iconoclastic personality, and a deep love for her family. What made Stanley Ann singular was her commitment to prove that a woman's work is sometimes hard on her own family but worth the effort to elevate the status of women all over the world. Her marriages to an African and an Indonesian were motivated by love. Her commitment to her work was driven by passion.
Ann gave up time with her children to carry out her work, as would most men. However, she provided her children with love, vision, and character. Her inability to save money and her spontaneity left her without the funds to have proper cancer therapy and led to her untimely death.
Ann was unique at a time when the women's movement was taking shape and did more than her share to promote women as financial providers for their family. The irony is that she could not do the same for herself.
The author spend a bit too much time on the intricacies of Indonesian cottage industries. However, she did, I feel, capture Ann's humanity, flaws and all.
David Rakoff talks about everyday things with in a "isn't that always the way?" or "people do the darnest things," or "aren't things just so fake?" manner. Of course, his reflections are meant to be ironic, satiric, and funny, but they come off as curlish and so too too. I was unable to finish the book because after a few chapters, I was running on empty.
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