Albany, NY, United States | Member Since 2005
Sentimental, cliched and unlikely. I'm more than willing to suspend belief and I enjoy it when a plot moves towards the fantastical, but this one just asked for too much. Characters were dropped or undeveloped, the main theme was "yeah, right" and the "surprise" ending was just oh so "Oh."
Loved this book! Everything was great: the plot and the characters. It is funny and touching. Enjoyed it all the way through.
Banks masters the arts of character development and plot construction. Scott Shepherd's reading was spot-on.
He read each character's voice exactly the way I would imagine them speaking, with just the right difference in tone or accent to make it clear who is talking. Even the female characters (of which there aren't many).
Caught between a rock and a hard place.
I wasn't particularly drawn to reading a novel about the plight of America's convicted sex offenders but after hearing Russell Banks speak last summer, I decided to pick up the book. The story was gripping, the characters were fully drawn out, and Banks keeps the action and the suspense going until the very end.
Eighteen year old Strauss was driving to a game of mini-golf when a girl on a bicycle swerved in front of his car. This book is a thoughtful, respectful, and unsparing reflection on his struggle to shape the rest of his life around that single, horrific event.
I enjoyed this story of a woman who has had to come to terms with her very unusual upbringing; how it has affected her relationships with her parents and her brother, and her own ability to establish significant connections with other human beings. The author has managed to give each character depth, even the peripheral ones, and even the not-so-nice characters are sympathetic. Well-told.
Excellent and deserving story of a "Lost Boy" of Sudan. Dave Eggers does a skillful job of framing Valentino/Achak's story and inserts just the right amounts of foreshadowing, tension vs.relief, and humor. The only thing I take exception with is that he calls it "a novel". Eggers' explanation of why he does this makes sense, but for a story that is so clearly biographical, where the political and physical settings are real, I think there are other, better, ways of saying this story is based on one person's memories - and memories aren't always the most reliable of sources. In this case, it doesn't make the story any less true.
Typical David Sedaris: Honest, irreverent, touching and crude with lots of laugh-out-loud moments, read the way it was meant to be read. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Even his name is friendly, slightly humorous, self-deprecating. This book gives the reader an interesting, funny and somewhat scary peek into the world of mental illness.
Saunders' characters struggle with issues we've all faced - or will face sometime in our lifetime: sorrow and loss, wanting to give more than we have to our children, conquering our deepest fears in order to do what we know is the right thing. But the settings of his stories are weirdly futuristic, and only somewhat recognizable. Saunders is a great narrator.
A great little compilation of Jon Ronson's self-deprecating, anxiety-ridden stories about family life. He's kind of a straight David Sedaris.
Kincaid has done away with any real semblance of plot in this masterful, stream-of-consciousness "rant" about a marriage gone downhill. She has an endearing slant on southern Vermont and its inhabitants, and there's a lot of humor in this book, and some "ha ha" moments, even though the subject is actually sad and hopeless. Kincaid's narration adds authenticity to the narration. I enjoyed the story but by the end I'd had enough.
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