The book has been compared to The Stand. It's not in the same league. It is about a viral apocalypse that kills most people and leaves a few survivors holding out against rabid vampires. This scenario is set up plausibly but it is shockingly boring boring boring.
The first part is slightly compelling as the background is set up, although the author is too long-winded with descriptions and inner monologues that never pay off. He's simply not good at creating differentiated characters.
Then there's the second big setting where a large community hides in a fortress against "the virals." It's hour after hour of nothing but not very intriguing descriptions of political alliances and love triangles among the residents.
There are a few skirmishes with the virals but they're not tension-filled. And the computer hacking 90 years after the end of civilization is preposterous.
The last thing I would say is that I might've given the book two stars because I could see how maybe fantasy fans might like some of it, but the book costs two credits! There are longer (and better!) books available for a single credit, such as The Pillars of the Earth. I can't imagine anyone finding this book worth two credits, all of the positive reviews notwithstanding...
P.S. The narrator is fine, perhaps a bit slow or maybe that was my desire for action to happen.
A sociopath book not about serial killers but instead about your average sociopath — the stepdad, the co-worker, the boyfriend. A Harvard psychologist, Stout says 1 in 25 people is a sociopath, meaning they have no conscience. I found the whole thing fascinating, especially the stray comment about how sociopaths are more dangerous in societies that worship greed and individual accomplishment while they are more innocuous in societies that reward cooperation and community achievement — that’s because life is a game for the sociopath and being a ruthless cooperator is very different from being a ruthless capitalist.
Memoir of growing up in extreme poverty in Battle Mountain, Nevada; Phoenix; and a tiny coal town in West Virginia. What makes it so fascinating aside from one harrowing adventure after another is how damaged yet intellectually sharp her parents are as they haphazardly care for four kids. The scenes involving cheetah-petting and traveling in the back of an enclosed U-Haul truck across Nevada will stay with me a long time. A classic.
A serial killer is using medieval torture devices to kill men, and a psychological profile named Tony Hill gets brought in even though the cops don't think the cases are related. I thought I knew where this was going and kind of wrote it off as a predictable serial killer book, but the ending was magnificent. Contains some good gender discussions. The first in an ongoing series. I've now read three in the series and each one makes me appreciate the others more.
The narrator did an excellent job, especially consider how the killer's identity needed to be disguised despite conveying much of the action.
A popular TV personality is killing fans — revealed right at the start. The cops can't believe the beloved star could possibly do such a thing. Meanwhile, a group of smart cops are brought together to train with profiler Tony Hill and a serial arsonist is at work in detective Carol Jordan's jurisdiction. Everything ties together. An excellent example of the serial killer crime procedural, with subtle commentary on celebrity and gender politics. Bechdel test: pass.
The narrator is excellent.
Short memoir about growing up on an Indian reservation in rural Washington while dreaming of breaking out, even if that means the scorn of everyone left behind. Moving, funny, just great. I've already shared the book with multiple friends. (I didn't realize it was a YA book until after I was finished. It's great for adults, too.)
I'm glad I listened to this instead of just read it because Alexie's narration only deepened my enjoyment.
This is one of the books that explains how the brain works with tips then on how to get it to run with maximum firing power. I like that Medina makes clear that the studies he cites aren't just studies that support his premises but he only picks ones that have been replicated and are considered established fact. The studies were interesting, and the anecdotes of how their results play out in the real world were good. Where I didn't think Medina did well — and it made it difficult for me to trudge through chapter 2 especially — was in his explanations of brain chemistry, which often meant metaphors about armies. Maybe I'm just not that bright, but he lost me completely in the technical language and biology/chemistry details. That said, there was lots of good information that inspired some changes in my behavior. In short, get enough sleep and exercise and you'll do well.
The author narrates it himself. He's no pro, in that sometimes he reads too fast, but it's mostly out of excitement for his own words so I liked it.
A former porn star finds herself stuffed in the trunk of an old Honda Civic with some gangster trying to kill her and the police wanting to arrest her for murder. Good writing, good insights into porn world. Sexy and very sexual but never graphic. Always pro-woman and sex positive. A cut above the typical noir crime novel. Bechdel test: pass.
Susie Bright's narration is fabulous. She really seems to be feeling the words she's speaking. Fun, tough yet vulnerable.
A crime procedural written when Kennedy was president about a sniper killing seemingly random people. A vaguely described orgy plays a central role. Decent but for genre fans only. Bechdel test: Fail.
Dick Hill is excellent as always.
Can't express fully how much I loved this book. It sounds like one that I'd maybe avoid: A sci-fi novel about a group of Jesuit priests and their secular colleagues who travel to a distant planet from which radio songs have been detected in order to spread the gospel and/or visit God's other children. But it starts from the end, when the sole survivor returns to Earth near death and is implicated in debauchery and the murder of a child. The revelation at the end of what's really happening on the planet is profound and deserves long contemplation. Plus the writing itself is stunning, both beautiful and smart.
The narration was perfect.
Bechdel test: Unsure.
Completely immerses you in Ozark poverty for the tale of a girl looking for her meth-cooking father, who put up their house for his bail bond. If he doesn't show, the house will be taken away — and the girl, her two little brothers and mentally disabled mother will be tossed out. If you've seen the movie, the book is pretty much exactly like it, sort of like how the movie "Silence of the Lambs" was a great re-creation of the book. But it's still worth reading for Woodrell's beautiful language. Bechdel test: Passed.
The narration is excellent. Galvin becomes the main character.
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