You've heard of the "Great Books"? These are their evil opposites. From Machiavelli's The Prince to Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto to Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, these "influential" books have led to war, genocide, totalitarian oppression, family breakdown, and disastrous social experiments. And yet these authors' bad ideas are still popular and pervasive. Here with the antidote is Professor Benjamin Wiker.
The concept of this book was enticing. It sounded like an intellectual disection of some of the most toxic ideas ever introduced into human culture. I didn't get far before realizing it is a tract on the falsity of all moral systems that do not derive directly from religious belief. A toxic idea if ever there was one.
32 of 47 people found this review helpful
Julia Hamill has made a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massachusetts: a skull buried in the rocky soil � human, female, and, according to the trained eye of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, scarred with the unmistakable marks of murder.
Thrillers should thrill. The first quarter that I read is a dreary, maudlin tear-jerker. Dickens without the genius, but with dripping gobs of necrophilic imagery. Relies for impact on a gruel of melodrama and disgust.
Nicholai Hel, born in the ravages of World War I China to an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father, raised in the spiritual gardens of a Japanese Go Master, survives the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world's most artful lover and its most accomplished and highly paid assassin. Genius, mystic, master of language and culture, Hel's secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection: shibumi.
This book may be alright for what it is, but I couldn't get through 15 minutes of it, because it was not at all what I was after. It's a very campy, over-the-top takeoff on a spy thriller. The bad guys (that's everybody) are super-bad, and gifted with powers just this side of superhero implausibility. Some other reviews mentioned character development, but I couldn't see any chance of it from the way it opened.
If this is your bag, fine, but if you are looking for loosely reality-based entertainment, this is not for you.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful
Chillingly current and filled with more intelligence secrets than Tom Clancy, Digital Fortress transports readers deep within the most powerful intelligence organization on earth - the National Security Agency (NSA), an ultra-secret, multibillion-dollar agency, which (until now) less than 3 percent of Americans knew existed.
It would be unfair to expect plausibility from this kind of fiction, but the characters in this thing would disgrace a bad comic book. Main one is a genius NSA codebreaker who is "as beautiful as a swimsuit model," who couldn't be any help with a kid's crossword puzzle. She is S L O W.