Stephen King is a great writer, and no doubt will get plenty of 5 star reviews on his reputation alone. In this sea of glowing stars and smiling faces singing his praises, I hate to be "that guy" but I will.
This book is nothing new and is pretty average at best. King can tell a story so it is not dreadful, and the short length of this book keeps the pacing moving better than some of his other works of late. Ultimately a handful of things made me not like this book very much.
1. Overly Sentimental. Geez is King writing romance novels for elderly ladies lately or what!?. No offense but where's the guy that wrote freakin' Salem's Lot! The sappiness in this story was over the top - especially the ending which was almost too much to listen to.
2. Not cohesive or focused. Was this a paranormal story or a detective story or a coming of age story? The story lines were each sketched out but none carried the weight very well and the intereaction between them was clunky.
3. It was preachy. The story is told from the perspective of this old geezer thinking back on his 21st year with all the "wisdom" of the ages. Groan. King also throws in all these preachy bits about smoking, racism, religion, politics that did nothing for the story at all. Do we really care that the amusment park was smoke free!? These points took me right out of the story.
4. This last bit is for all authors out there (like any are reading my review, right?). Please don't write about NC or the south in general unless you really know about the area. It is like a guy born and raised in MA trying to do a NC accent. It just sounds totally false. This book had southern stereotypes and descriptions of the locales and weather that made me go - huh? NC? really?
I give this book a 3/5 stars. Even though it might deserve a little less, this is Stephen King after all and even I am not immune to his reputation.
Tell no lies is not bad - much better than other thrillers I've read (even by much more well known authors).
I almost put this book down early on, however, because I felt that it was sanctimonious. There seemed to be a hostile tone towards wealthy people that was hypocritical based on the actions of some of the characters. While this tone was very strong at first, it was moderated somewhat later on. I am not sure what the author was trying to say here (if anything) so I tended to ignore it.
The mystery was very good except for a few surprising clues that emerged towards the end that immediately ruled out suspects and made others fit. Also, I found the endings of the side story lines trite and saccharine. Overall though, the plot was well crafted and MOST characters were believable. I feel like this novel is worth reading if you have the time.You'll especially like this novel if you know details of San Francisco geography. Hurwitz has peaked my interest as an author.
I must admit that I've had Defending Jacob on my media player for a long time. I started this book several times. I found it slow and centered on suburban life with kids (something I don't know much about), and I just couldn't get into it. I am so glad that I gave this book one more chance. It was excellent.
The story starts with the murder of a middle school child. The asst. district attorney takes the case only to realize that his son may be involved. The story follows the trial of the son and raises some interesting questions, such as, "how far would you go to protect your child", "can violence be inherited and are we doomed to commit the sins of our fathers."
This book becomes a real page turner, and I could not put it down, which is rare for me. The book will keep you guessing until the very last moment. If you're like me, you won't see the ending coming. The story is told in retrospect and is mysterious in certain ways (perhaps a little too mysterious in some aspects).
I liked this book and I will be reading more of Landay soon. The style reminded me of Scott Turow. The narration was excellent and the narrator's style was well suited to court room dialogue, which was a large part of this book.
Shipkiller is an action novel that tells the story of a man who, upon being run over by a giant tanker named "Leviathan," loses his wife and almost his life. This event sets him on a quest to sink the giant ship.
The hero's quest is leads him to link up with a woman who's character is largely there to reveal things about the hero and so is drawn in pretty 1-dimensional terms. The hero also links up with the Mossad, which I still don't completely understand as to why. This linkage brings him in conflict with entire countries and allows for some political intrigue that I felt was a little out of step with the rest of the story. I wish that the author had stayed closer to a modern version of Moby Dick and played on the idea that obsession consumes. Instead this is more of a James Bond story where the hero has a mission that brings him in peril and political intrigue (and in love with a woman).
I think that this was a pretty fun story and the first two chapters cannot be beat as examples of how to start an action novel. The narration was good but very slow. I wish that the narrator would have talked faster and paused less often.
When I look back on the Harry Potter books it seems obvious to me now that Rowling (Galbraith) would move into mystery writing. The Potter books were all, at their heart, mystery novels.
This 2nd installment of the Cormoran Strike mystery series is even better than the first (which I also ranked as 5stars). The recurring characters continue to develop and become more complex and the scenes/imagery are rich and easy to become immersed in. I found this book difficult to put down.
I think that Galbraith (Rowling) is a great writer. Her characters come to life and in that way she reminds me of Charles Dickens.
This is an historical account of money/econonmics in all of its shapes and forms. The book is arranged in chapters that discuss:
1. The rise of money in society, credit and debt and how hard currency was replaced with paper.
2. The rise of the bond market and the Rothschild family
3. The stock market and the bubbles that it has produced (e.g., Enron)
4. The start of insurance and the management of risk
5. Housing an mortgages
6. The effects of globalization (e.g., China's economic development)
I found this book enjoyable to listen too, but there were times when I wish it had gone into more depth with the explanation of certain economic topics. Still the scope was large enough to give a layman like myself a good survey of topics. I especially liked chapters 1, 3, and 4 but I felt that some of the parts in the (chap5) housing discussion were a little preachy about social inequalities. Also I found the discussion on globalization a little dated - this book was written in 2008.
The afterward of this book was also interesting but raced through the topic of behavior economics (the irrationality of economics due to human nature) way too fast for me.
I would recommend this book to those of you that have like popular economic books (e.g., freakonomics, predictably irrational) AND also like history. You must like listening to history books to enjoy this.
This book had two distinct parts.
The first part, which I found very interesting, was a historical account of the philosophical arguments about reality. I think that I had heard most of these at one time or the other, but this author did an excellent job summarizing and tying them together.
The second part of the book I found less interesting. It was mostly a scientific discussion of quantum mechanics and other theories.
I suppose that the author intended to show that in these details of science we are back to the same old philosophical arguments that we couldn't answer before. This was an interesting argument but all of the details of all the science (e.g., quantum entanglement) started to bore me.
If you were born after 1980, believe that computers can do everything, and worship Google with awe and reverence then this story may be for you. This novel grew from a story posted on a website.
An autobiography of Adam's life told in stages, each stage defined by a house he lived in. This book was funny, and at times even smart, but the extent and quantity of the gross-out gags had an overpoweringly negative effect.
Carolla narrated this book himself which was fine, and it was mostly really good and original in its approach. He didn't read the book but rather told the stories off-the-cuff in a stand-up comedy style. What I found somewhat annoying here was that he would reference an image in the book and then tell everyone to go buy the print book if they wanted to see it. Also he edited the stories from the book and even left out an entire chapter.
Overall, I wish that I could have learned more about the Carolla from this book. Why are his friendships so enduring? What has his journey from shoe-box apartments to million dollar mansions taught him? Something more than just a bunch stories about guys peeing on one another (or worse - yes, worse).
The Dog Stars was the best book I have read in a long time. A story of loss, rebirth, and growth set in a post apocalyptic world. The author made me feel it all. The loss was painful, the rebirth was confusing and scary, and the growth was sweet and heart warming. I admired the hero who was vulnerable yet strong and innocent yet wise. I was sad to say goodbye to this character at the end of the story.
All Seeing Eye was a slow to develop story with so much exposition that by the time any action started I hardly cared. The story was told in first person and clumsily tried to sound colloquial by using slang, wisecracks, and sarcasm. This had little effect. I never believed the main character, and I found him annoying (the narrator only made things worse). In my opinion, the world created in this story felt artificial and flimsy.
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