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ZUrlocker

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Terrific police procedural at the end of the world

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-10-19

This is a compelling book. It's told from the first person view point of a newly promoted detective in small town Concord. He's investigating what looks like a suicide, but could be much more. All of this is set against a backdrop of an imminent apocalypse due to an impending massive meteor strike that is due to collide with earth in six months. This is a great police mystery novel with a big story.

Good Bosch, not a great narrator

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-04-19

Sure, Titus Welliver is a good actor in the TV version of Bosch. But he's a weak narrator. Completely lacking in emotion. It takes a while to get used to that. Still, the story is good, winding together two different cases into a tight, compelling, edgy crime meets LA politics novel. If you like Bosch, you'll like this.

Good story, a bit slow in parts

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-04-19

All Bosch stories are good and this one is also. Connelly winds two or maybe three different stories together. The timing seems a bit off on one of these stories that wraps up too quickly, and there are a couple of odd plot holes, but overall it works. This is also a story that winds in Bosch's half brother lawyer Micky Haller. The only drawback is Titus Welliver is pretty deadpan as a narrator. Really, it doesn't work. But after an hour, you get used to it.

Great introduction to the series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-29-19

This is an excellent mystery novel that introduces the Cork O'Connor character. You don't have to read them in order but it's a good one to start with. It's a solid story, with a fast pace. Excellent characters, lots of twists and surprises. It's set in Northern Minnesota in December and the author conveys a sense of the region and the people very effectively. I'd never heard of this author until a couple of years ago and I'm very much enjoying his writing.

Good Bosch

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-29-19

This is a good Harry Bosch story. Not his best but still intriguing and with a faster than average pace. It’s a bit shorter than some others but worthwhile. Quite a decent puzzle gets unraveled. However the narrator is very 1980s - sounds like an old school used car radio advert.

One of the best rock biogs

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-15-19

I'm not a huge Tom Petty fan. Sure, I'm familiar with his top 40 radio hits. You couldn't avoid them in the 80s and 90s. But this book by Warren Zanes is way beyond the usual. First of all Warren Zanes knows his stuff. His band, the Del Fuegos, opened for Tom Petty in the '80s. He's an unapologetic fan of Tom Petty, but he's also an extremely gifted and objective writer. Zanes explores the ups and downs of Petty's career with remarkable aplomb. He's also great at putting a broader societal context on the evolution of the music business. What emerges is the story of a band that managed to (more or less) stay together for 40 years under the songwriting and leadership of Tom Petty. This is a great book, told by someone who understands that world. Best of all, Zanes narrates the book himself.

Great rock and roll novel told as an oral history

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-11-19

The book had been on my list for a while, but when I heard an interview with the author Jenkins Reid on the highly-addictive Bestseller Experiment podcast, I bought the book immediately on Audible. The book works especially well in audio because each of the different characters is voiced by a different actor. It's a fantastic book which I highly recommend. 

The book is told entirely as an oral history charting the rise and fall of a fictional 1970s band Daisy Jones & The Six.  This is quite different from a traditional novel and the story reads like an extended Rolling Stone or MTV interview with a real band. The device works extremely well and pulls you into each of the characters, their foibles, their egos in a way that brings things to life. The story is being told many years after the fact, and the sometimes conflicting accounts are used to great effect in the story. You can still feel the raw emotions of how peoples lives are brought together including all of the joys, pains, hurt feelings and bruised egos. The characters are not always likable and the structure gives the book a bit of a meandering style, but it all comes together in a way that I can only describe as heartbreaking. Jenkins Reid has layered so much drama and emotion into the story that the climax is nothing short of magnificent. She captures the feeling of performance, songwriting, fame and addiction in a way that is truly memorable. 

Great tales of rock and roll excess in the 80s

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-01-19

Although I was not familiar with Guy Pratt, I certainly knew many of the bands he played with: Icehouse, Robert Palmer, Robbie Robertson, Pink Floyd to name a few.

This book’s genesis is from a series of life/stand up performances that Pratt did telling his stories of life as a rock and roll Road dog. That said, as a conventional autobiography it starts a bit slow as you learn about Pratt’s upbringing, first bass, first band etc. As Pratt's career takes off, the store is become quite funny. There were times when I was in stitches due to the materials as well as Pratt’s wonderfully dry English delivery. The stories about Pink Floyd are hilarious. Pratt also is very entertaining in his American and regional English accents

For bass heads or other musicians, the last chapter includes a full rundown of just about every bass, guitar, amp, and effects pedal that Pratt has owned. This is a great book and an awful lot of fun. But if you are bothered by stories of drug taking or drink, probably best to skip it.

Not the best Dark Adventure Radio show

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-02-19

I’ve listened to half a dozen of the Dark adventures radio year shows. They are very well done in an authentic ‘40s style with cast, sound effects, campy narration and even commercials. And so far I’ve loved them all. Though I wouldn’t consider myself a huge H P Lovecraft fan, these are very well done and anyone who likes old school adventure will enjoy them.
Unfortunately Brotherhood of the Beast is not up to the usual standards. The cast is too large, the story to rambling and it’s oddly less serious than the other shows. Perhaps it’s because this is not based directly on a Lovecraft story but rather on an RPG game. If you are familiar with the game, go for it. Otherwise I recommend sticking to the classic Dark Adventure Radio shows like Call of Cthulhu, At the Mountains of Madness, the Case of Charles Dexter Ward etc which are beyond excellent.

Early Elmore Leonard

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-19

It’s a good book, fairly short. Typical Elmore Leonard with lots of dialog and some unsavory but realistic characters. Not his best and arguably not that great. Interesting to see how he moves the story along through dialog.