The book is about one lawman's search for a very bad man. But the search is mixed with Indian lore and the limits of endurance on a snow covered mountain. It seems long and drawn out, even while it is making a lot of interesting points. There is a lot of discussion of The Inferno, which is not the sort of thing you find in most mysteries. Credit to the author for writing something very original, and trying to lay bare the human soul.
This is a book that simply follows a few people through the years. Some are known, like Oprah, but most are not. It works through the political changes and the Housing Bubble, the loss of good jobs and the rise of corporate power. There are parts I skipped, but it is easy to pick up somewhere down the line. Most of it is not very pleasant, but maybe if people would think this stuff through, we would make better decisions.
I didn't think this book would be all that funny, since he is a young guy and I knew little about him that sounded all that great. In fact, he can be very funny at times, or just leave you shaking your head. Nothing about this book is all that original, except the way he lays out. I think a lot of it is entertaining, and that's the most you can ask for.
Not sure why a successful writer goes for young readers, but this book seems to miss the mark anyway. I got sick of the rather whining young man who was basically doing things that were way too adult. And the book is billed as a series, so the ending just seemed to be a way to make you want to buy the next one. No chance. You can't have everything fall into place and make it all realistic. At the end all I can say was that the plot and story were ludicrous. The relationships between the kids was OK, but that's it.
At first I thought this book had some interesting insights. Then it became clear it was all just tedious pop psychology and analysis. The point of view, I guess of the author, is that she understands people and she'll try, best she can, to make us understand. There were all these angles to the Inspector in charge, but none of them were completely convincing. There was a miserable new woman, but this character really seemed annoying. There's lots of tension between the French and the English, Quebec versus The Rest, I guess, of Canada. I thought it would be interesting but, in the end, I didn't really care. The uplifting people in this book are women, rising above some baseline of bleakness. The kids seem to be troubled. The gay people seem to be thrown in, without much purpose. This is a land of many tensions, for sure. Every shred of humanity is analyzed to little pieces.
Not really worth the effort or price...
The bad guy is so violent, I skipped over a lot of the descriptions. But the reader made him sound like a 13 year old whose voice was changing. All the male characters were similarly afflicted. The plot was too cute. When do we tire of the 'all wrapped up in a pink ribbon style of plotting?' Ever?
The premise was interesting, though it probably could have been developed without the giga-psycho villain. The pop psychology spouted from a bottomless keg, and more often than not I was laughing at it, not with it. A few seconds of true love is worth more than life itself? Well, OK, if you say so...
The main character was surprising uninteresting.
You can say Polk was a successful president for grabbing California (and the rest of the West) from a weak and disorganized Mexico. He also sorted out the Tariff issue, and the banking structures, something that had weighed on the country for several decades. Of course, there was the slavery issue, and Polk didn't feel that merited much discussion. Later on, well, there was a price to be paid for that. I associate the reader, Michael Prichard, with the Spenser series. He does so well with Spenser, I kept wondering if it would be possible for him to do serious history. In fact, he rarely sounds like Spenser, which suggests he is a really great reader. Polk set out to do what he wanted to do, and it basically killed him. We know huge problems could not be resolved, but we know California is a jewel. There are not many heroic people in this book, truth be told, and the level of ego is off the scale at every corner.
This is a very solid series of mysteries. Even though this is close to the middle, the setting has barely budged from the 80's where it began. Which is fine, in a world of gadgets, because everything is simpler (and the book was written in '97). The books have a lot of little insights and little snippets of humor. Characters are described at length, and there is a general sense of gray (not truly dark) everywhere. This is probably one of the darker in the series, being about a woman (the deceased) who is a very successful prostitute. Basically, this is the meat of the series, that the people are complicated, and there are lots of corners to explore. Most of the books in the series have a lot to say about how hard it is to be young, and how tragic it often turns out to be. If you want a long series of books to read, the Grafton's are a good possibility.
There were a few people, like Ron Insana, who talked about the emerging problems, the excesses, in the 90's. He gave up, and so did most others. Everyone became a cheerleader and everything was 'fine' for a few years, despite the tech bubble collapse. But the 2008 collapse is proving difficult to fix, and there has been no recovery, to date.
This book pretty much explains the extent of the problem. It is deadly serious and seriously funny, thanks to the writing style and the over the top excess of everything described.
It's definitely worth the time and money and it's a book that works great as an audiobook.
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