Tempe, AZ, United States | Member Since 2006
This is some of the most self-indulgent prose I've seen (heard) in a while. He has the elements of a good story buried in the whiney narration. Because of the self-conscious feel, it seems like it was written by the Lit. professor rather than the attorney.
The story of how the US let itself and its African-American people down after Reconstruction and Emancipation is more nasty and bitter than the Civil War itself. All the Civil War ended up doing was preventing the spread of slavery to the new territories and states. Once the US Army left, the racist White Supremacist southerners found clever new ways of re-instituting their hateful practice of getting cheap labor, and their sadistic jollies at the same time.
I am conservative as they come, but if anybody tells you that Affirmative Action or Reparations are wrong, I will hereafter reply that they are a blunt instrument, but not half so blunt as those which beat upon the backs of the Grandfathers, and Great-Grandfathers of my African-American fellows.
Having the FBI as the antagonist in a Reacher novel gives us a very un-concrete un-villainous villain. Not one that inspires passionate hatred in Reacher. Although Mr. Child, being a Brit may see these agencies as being the ultimate 'dark side'. I'll have to wait and see.
Dick Hill brings his great gifts to a story without much momentum, and tries his level best to give it some of the old Reacher swagger, but I think the material fails him. There is only so much narration can do.
Others have thought that Lee Child's gifts may be dwindling, I ( hope) and say, nay, nay, in the last two novels he has had these U.S. governmental villains. He's done such great work before, with such believable villains. But if this is all we get in the next ones; it's so long Reacher, it's been really nice hanging out with you.
The concept of psychotherapy for these hard-asses is very funny. The fact that it is a woman psychotherapist who self confidently believes that her analytic style just might yield better results than the practitioners of violence, and certainly without so much collateral damage adds to the tension. And then you have the sexual tension. Dr. Snow is not embarrassed to use all the tools at her disposal to straighten out these psycho-killers.
By the end she's only straightened out one thing on each. . .this was an entertaining listen; but don't make this your one credit for the month. It disappeared on a puff of wind.
If you are into hunting down killers who have offered the reader/listener really vile and despicable descriptions of gruesome slasher scenes you might like this. Truly repugnant.
David Corbett had the plot elements of both an Elmore Leonard caper novel and an Oprah book club weeper. He couldn't decide which one he was going to write, and the book doesn't work either way. Instead he gives us throw away political correctness of the Northern California school and turns "The Devil's Redhead" herself into helpless trailer trash.
I am almost finished listening to this, but at this point I am completely blown away! Rushdie is great. The narrator is a man of many voices (just like Saladin Chumcha), and brings forth the comic, the serious, the seriously comic and the positively transcendent from the book. I am both vastly entertained, amused and inspired.
"One must have a mind of winter
. . .
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is."
I give you lines from Stevens' The Snow Man to remind gentle readers that the works of a novelist of ideas, as Neal S. has become, are all about what the reader/listener brings to them. At the very least, you have to pay close attention. To get even more out of the books, you should be familiar with the history of philosophy and the history of science. And in the case of Anathem, a more than passing acquaintance with the philosophy of Edmund Husserl is recommended, as well as the basics of Geometry.
Stephenson's novels are most entertaining to the readers who are prepared to do some work, to try to catch up a bit with the author's fantastic education and intelligence.
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