I like Block's Scudder series a lot. This is one of two exceptions. You might want to avoid this book, unless you have a hankering for dime-store Freud and moral condescension. And I usually like Sklar's reading. But here he is a bit over ripe.
This is a fascinating biography of an immensely important figure. But it is also an account of the beginnings of the world oil industry, taking us from the discovery, not of oil, but of how to get the stuff out of the ground, in NW Pennsylvania and the beginnings of the business of oil refining in Cleveland -- all the way to the split of the Oil Trust and the consequent (ironic) further enrichment of Rockefeller. Rockefeller was an incomparable organizing genius, and both his genius and his deviance are on full display here.
But much of this book has to do with his gigantic philanthropic endeavors -- and his family. This is a very important book.
This has its moments -- but it is a bit amateurish -- e.g., we have a sixty-year-old lawyer who has to be told all sorts of things he should know after watching two episodes of Law and Order.
Performance is good.
I like the PREY novels for several reasons. I like, for example, the companionable ways in which the police work together -- as distinct from the angst-ridden, loner-detective at odds with all fellow cops and especially his superiors. And this is one of my favorite PREY novels. The villains are more nearly recognizably human than are some of Sandford's villains.
This is a children's book -- Middle School. Brave and brilliant young Theodore Boone -- son of brilliant-lawyer parents -- solves the crime. But the best part is that it looks like he has the makings of a lawyer. A consumation devoutly to be wished. We just don't have enough lawyers.
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