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Nate

Jackson, MS, United States
  • 28
  • reviews
  • 259
  • helpful votes
  • 232
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Manson Madness

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

Reviewed: 05-23-18

An extremely enlightening exploration of the deeply disturbed psyche of Charlie Manson -- womanizer and singer/songwriter, who used to hang out with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys and recite Beatles lyrics -- who also in his spare time would systematically deprogram those susceptible, preaching a horrifying amalgam of Scientology-meets-Revelation-meets-backmasking in order to incite a race war from which only his followers would rise from the desert ashes. Very thoroughly researched and delivered (if a tad verbose), by a man who had a front row seat and a starring role at the horror show, Manson's prosecuting attorney.

“You can convince anybody of anything if you just push it at them all of the time. They may not believe it 100 percent, but they will still draw opinions from it, especially if they have no other information to draw their opinions from.”
― Charles Manson, Helter Skelter

No "And Then"!

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

Reviewed: 09-03-15

The beautiful prose could not for the life of it overcome its brutal repetitiveness and nonstop exposition. After a while, I just wanted to say "No AND THEN!!!" As much as the imagery and descriptions were vivid and well thought out, this story could have borrowed a page from the South Park school of storytelling (not at all that those clowns should be a touchstone for good writing, but...): every scene should have a "therefore" or a "but" to move the story along.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

MacGruber on Mars!

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

Reviewed: 04-04-15

This book is fun, exciting, optimistic, and amusing. It's no Great Gatsby, but highly entertaining. I wish I knew just 1/4 of what Mark Whatney knows about ANYTHING. The guy is a chemist/botanist/engineer/geologist/electrician/handyman/communications expert, and more. My English Professor said it best: "It's MacGruber on Mars!"

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Arts Must Be Quality

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

Reviewed: 01-10-15

I like that Franky doesn't just bash Christians' lack of quality in the arts, but really draws a line in the sand about quality in general. A few gems stuck with me, like his take on non-believers being called TO something. What is it? Is it sheep to call other sheep, or is it enjoyment in the life and creativity we are given? He sometimes goes a bit extreme with how much he downplays the importance of preaching and the church, but I like the concept of work and creativity being just as valid as missions and ministry.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Anybody want a peanut?

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

Reviewed: 01-10-15

Mr. Elwes is not the best writer -- and spends a little too much time humblebragging and singing the praises of his co-stars -- but I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look into this great novel/script/film, and actually introduced the movie to my kids this week. Such a classic.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

Great follow up to Go the F*#$ to Sleep!

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

Reviewed: 11-12-14

Love Cranston, and thought he was a great reader for this profanely fitting follow up to Go the F*#$ to Sleep. I have 2 kids, and this perfectly encapsulated the internal monologue that runs through our heads as parents.

P.S. My favorite reader of the first book is Werner Herzog.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Excellent Course, But Gaping Hole Without Bulgakov

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

Reviewed: 01-01-14

Leaving Bulgakov out of a Russian Lit Lineup is pretty much akin to leaving Iron Man out of an Avengers movie.

That aside, I loved this course. The only downside was the lack of coverage of Bulgakov, as a result of his being banned for so long in the Soviet Union (and virtually unknown in the west at the time the professor was working on his PhD). The author didn't so much as mention him.

This covers everyone from Pushkin to Solzhenitsyn, providing incredible historical context, perfectly pronounced Russian phrases and poems, and an in-depth walk through *almost* all the best Russian works.

I lived in Ukraine for 10 years, and this course still opened my eyes to a lot more about the Russian culture I was unaware of. It's brilliant, funny, educational, and insightful. Anyone vaguely interested in the history and/or literature of this part of the world should pick this up now. 36 amazing half-hour lectures for one credit is a steal!

27 of 30 people found this review helpful

Bridge Between Stream of Consciousness & PoMo Lit

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

Reviewed: 11-22-13

You can't write a book like this without JD Salinger. You also can't get the genius of George Saunders without this work. So as a bridge connecting Tenth of December to The Catcher in the Rye, I am very grateful for its existence. As for its own merit, it was honest and rambly and self-pitying and desperate and depressing and irritating -- with what ended up to be very little heart. Or at least it didn't translate into heart for me. Being disgruntled with life and the lemon-throwing machine it can be only transcends it if the characters can overcome and grow from how they handle the challenges.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

The Man without a Face audiobook cover art

Mr. Putin looks on with bored, icy blue eyes as:

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

Reviewed: 10-15-13

•He hunts without a shirt on.
•He takes over the TV station/media and exiles the majority stock holders in order to create his own news.
•The FSB plants bombs in apartment buildings and blames the Chechens (bags of hexagen marked as sugar).
•He hires 7 ambassador-cronies to oversee the various regions and control the voting process.
•He reverts to the former Soviet national song… slash fear-mongering totalitarian state.
•He jokes on Larry King Live about a nuclear submarine that sank during a drill with no rescue attempts, killing 113 Russian sailors.
•He cuddles with dolphins.
•300 hostages (mostly women and children) were killed by federal troops that stormed a school.
•129 hostages were killed post-rescue due to a gas attack by a SWAT team at a Moscow Theatre.
•The dismantling of democracy reaches completion.
•Innumerable Russian journalists, lawyers, and dissenters are imprisoned/exiled and/or killed.
•Polonium murders abound.
•He steals Kraft’s NFL Championship ring.
•And much, much more!

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

Dry. Incoherent. Hilarious.

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

Reviewed: 07-29-13

It's basically Deep Thoughts crammed into a flimsy plot. I love his stuff, but I could only take so much at a time due to dryness desensitization. Then I'd come back to it and it was hilarious again. His tone is hysterical, and I could definitely see re-listening to this in the future.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful