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Last Book You Read and Rate It (Part II)

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Old
09-02-2012, 07:16 PM
  #276
kihei
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Vulture Peak, by John Burdett: Royal Thai Police Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is quite a piece of work. He is employed by the powerful and corrupt Colonel Vikorn, and half the time Sonchai doesnít know whether he is supposed to solve crimes or whether he is just some pawn in the Colonelís dangerous but lucrative schemes. Though Sonchai is a practicing Buddhist and has farang blood in him as his father was a US Marine who served in Viet Nam, he is Thai to the core. Bangkok is his beat, and thanks to a checkered past, he knows the city all to well. He is no stranger to drugs and once upon a time did some pimping on the side for his mother's sex bar in Bangkok where he met his current partner. He is also intelligent, funny and a very good detective.

In this fifth book in the series, the Colonel, now mysteriously running for public office, commands his most trusted detective to shut down Thailandís black market in the sale of human organs. Sonchai, of course, is immediately suspicious of the Colonelís motives as Thailand doesnít actually have a black market for body parts. But something is going on, and Detective Jitpleecheep, thinking he should probably know better, plans to get to the bottom of it anyway. Burdettís plot is as fresh and entertaining as ever. After Holmes and Morse, I think this guy is my favourite detective.

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09-02-2012, 09:24 PM
  #277
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War and Peace, written by Leo Tolstoy: It took me two days short of a month, but I finally completed War and Peace, all 1600+ pages, the closest thing to a marathon that I know of in literature. The novel focuses on a few aristocratic Russian families in the time of the Napoleonic Wars during which Napoleon got as far as Moscow only to find in doing so that he had sowed the seeds for the destruction of his army and his empire. The characters--Pierre, Prince Andrew, Nicholas, Natasha and on and on--are very vividly drawn and the sweep of the novel is immense. There are dull stretches, especially in the beginning when the aristocracy is preparing for war with Napoleon and at the end in the final appendix when Tolstoy goes into his dry philosophy of history mode. But Tolstoy's grasp of the psychology of his characters, his way of showing their hopes and flaws, his convincing description of battles, all make for a narrative that is full of life and meaning. The novel can be a grueling experience but everyone should tackle it at least once. Certainly nothing else is quite like it.
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Made it through War and Peace. I'm not sure what I expected beforehand, but I wasn't particularly thrilled by the story. The philosophical rambling in the second epilogue was, in my eyes, a poor end to the work, as well. I also didn't like Tolstoy's imagining of the female characters. A disappointing 5.5/10.
I thought someone else had recently read this... a wholehearted internet 'agreed' to the bold.

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09-04-2012, 01:21 PM
  #278
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7/10

Pretty good but not one of King best

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09-04-2012, 01:56 PM
  #279
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Finally got around to reading 1984. Didn't really like the ending. The book was also boring at times. Also, the parallels people try to draw between our current world and the world of the book are highly exaggerant.

Was a good book. I wouldn't read it again.

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09-04-2012, 05:39 PM
  #280
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The Warded Man by Peter Brett



Called The Painted Man in the UK.

There was a good chunk to like about this book, and an equal sized portion to dislike.

--I liked the concept of the book. It's like the move The Village, except instead of old people dressed in costumes, the demons are very real. The only thing protecting you and your family from becoming the next meal for these demons (called Corelings, and come is standard variations of Wood, Rock, Fire, Water, Wind and Sand) are magical seals which, painted on any surface, will repel a demon, or produce some sort of various defensive effect.

--While the back cover extols the motley crew of survivors banding together to lead the humans out of the safety of the wards and face the menace head on, the bulk of the story focuses the journey. We learn how and why the characters develop into people with the desire to take no more. Around this concept is the Deliverer, who is told to rise from the dead and lead the humans against the demon armies. I actually liked the journey, and seeing the characters develop.

--Sadly, most of the characters were already developed to begin with, which nearly uproots this dynamic. Arlen is developed solely in the first 5 chapters, after which his character as the demon hunter constantly searching for ways to seek vengance is set. Leesha stays the same rebellious girl who wants to do the opposite of her mother, only to do a total back flip once she meets the Warded Man ("Oh Wardy. I've been forsaking sex for 17 years to spite my mother and not be "de-flowered" But now, TAKE ME!!!") for no explicable reason. Only Rojer seems to change, and his was such a small one at that and given his stature as a bland character to begin with, it isn't much. And unfortunately, that is the extent of character development in the novel. Otherwise, Dads are weak. Moms are *****es. Men are all pigs and women are all prudes. Few scant exceptions.

--Holy ****, there are some awkward moments dealing with sexuality, and this is coming from a sex crazed undergraduate. Some parts read like a script to a back alley porno rather than a horror-fantasy-survival adventure against the elements from Hell. On top of which, they were totally unnecessary and continually shoved in my face. Come to think it of, nothing about this novel was subtle.

He is a first time writer (for novels), and I am going to pick up the sequel as we speak. It wasn't a page turner for me, but at the same time I was never compelled to put it down. It was interesting in it's action, and while the characters were little more than cardboard cutouts, I still cared for them.

So if you can hold back a large sense of disbelief as three teenagers undertake a journey where their loved ones are killed by vicious monsters, their virtues tarnished and forgotten and themselves betrayed by their comrades at arms and come out of it unchanged, then yea, it's a good book.

P.S. Cut out the sex scenes, and this would make a great movie. And in fact, they are making it into a movie.


Last edited by Finlandia WOAT: 09-04-2012 at 05:58 PM.
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09-04-2012, 05:46 PM
  #281
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When I Left Home, by Buddy Guy: Guy's autobiography is ghost written but the voice sounds believable enough. The best part of the book covers his early years growing up and then the long train ride that he took from backwoods Louisiana to the blues in Chicago. He has some funny stories about the legendary blues players whom he found when he got to Chicago--Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, B B King, Junior Wells and so on. But the second half of the book feels rushed and the last twenty or thirty years are pretty superficial. He comes across a good and decent man, and, heaven knows, he sure can play the blues.

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09-04-2012, 05:49 PM
  #282
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Weyland looks how democratization in Brazil has had little effect on inequality and redistribution policies.

Very well done.

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09-04-2012, 07:22 PM
  #283
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I haven't been in this thread in a while/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkhorse1280 View Post
Supposedly Scorsese bought the movie rights to the book and has DeNiro, Pacino, and Pesci all attached to the project.

The tentative title is "The Irishman", but don't expect it to start production for another couple of years or so as Scorsese has other projects that he's committed to in the meantime.


Can't wait!!
I can't wait either! I really hope Marty makes this movie. All these guys are getting up there in age. What would make this movie EPIC is if Nicholson could be pursaded to repirse his role as Jimmy Hoffa.

I hope it's done the right way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Play4Miracles View Post
Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazzil. ****ing EPIC, 10 out of 10.





Rumor has it that decaprio is going to produce/star in this?! Should be a great action movie but oh God-- tiny little pretty boy Decaprio playing the role of Bearclaw?! HUGE miscast. They need a big rugged looking dude to play that role.

DeCaprio could pull it off. After watching him transform himself in the Departed i'm sold on his acting abilities.



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Originally Posted by KevyD View Post
Too Big To FailMakes me wonder why people like to read fiction when reality is so much more interesting.
I agree.

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Old
09-04-2012, 07:25 PM
  #284
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I'm reading KIlling Lincoln right now. So far it's excellent. I like how the event's of every day & hour are broken down chapter by chapter. It's a pretty good look in to Booth, how full of himself he is with himself & what a nut job he was. Today he would be classified as a sociopath.

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09-04-2012, 09:26 PM
  #285
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The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat
A collection of neuropsychological studies, ranging from a man who can't recognize faces, to a person who is 'blind' to their body (can't control themselves without looking and concentrating intensely), to people who have extreme memory loss/amnesia. The book is absolutely enthralling during the first half to two thirds, then trails off a bit at the end.




Stiff
A book that talks about the different ways that cadavers are used. If you plan on donating your body to science, this will let you know how you're corpse will be used. Most people probably think their organs will be harvested and put to good use saving lives. But for the most part that is not the case. You might end up as plastic surgery practice, crash test dummy experiments, decomposition analysis, etc.

Currently reading:


The World Without Us
A thought experiment that investigates what would happen to our world if we just disappeared. How would our cities last without our constant maintenance, how would nature reclaim what we had taken. Talks about the nature of the earth before we became what were are, and whether or not the earth would revert back to those times.

Only about one third of the way through, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it.
I need to check out the 1st two. I've seen someone else mention the first one and hey, I'm always interested in the dead and odd. Also, would like to know your whole review on the last book. Am quite a fan of the show on the History Channel which is basically the same idea.


Anyway, I just got done with:
Necropolis: London & Its Dead
Pretty nifty if you're into that sort of thing. Learned some interesting things about the practices of the dead, not just in England but other places as well. Some parts were kinda boring, like long winded quotes and such, but pretty good for a 200 page book I picked up for a couple of bucks

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09-04-2012, 09:50 PM
  #286
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I'm reading KIlling Lincoln right now. So far it's excellent. I like how the event's of every day & hour are broken down chapter by chapter. It's a pretty good look in to Booth, how full of himself he is with himself & what a nut job he was. Today he would be classified as a sociopath.
Loved Killing Lincoln.

Can't wait for Killing Kennedy.

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09-04-2012, 09:53 PM
  #287
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Crossroads of Twilight Book 10 of the Wheel of Time. Universally regarded as the worst Wheel of Time book. I'd give it a 6/10. The quality of the writing is still very good, but Jordan became way to over descriptive at times and didn't move the plot along enough. I was still entertained though.

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09-04-2012, 10:05 PM
  #288
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I need to check out the 1st two. I've seen someone else mention the first one and hey, I'm always interested in the dead and odd.
One of those someones would have been me, as I posted opinions about both The Man Who Mistook His Wife for A Hat and Cadaver. Both are fascinating and entertaining reads, but the Sachs work is really extraordinary. He has some other very intriguing books as well.

A novel that you might consider checking out is Being Dead (1999) by Jim Crace, about a middle-aged couple who are bludgeoned to death on a stretch of remote seacoast in Britain. The novel traces their decomposition at the same time that it examines the long chain of tiny decisions that led directly to their being in that particular spot at that particular time. Sounds morbid but it is actually a brilliant tour de force.

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09-05-2012, 12:40 AM
  #289
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Loved Killing Lincoln.

Can't wait for Killing Kennedy.
Me too! Out next month!

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09-05-2012, 03:31 AM
  #290
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One of those someones would have been me, as I posted opinions about both The Man Who Mistook His Wife for A Hat and Cadaver. Both are fascinating and entertaining reads, but the Sachs work is really extraordinary. He has some other very intriguing books as well.

A novel that you might consider checking out is Being Dead (1999) by Jim Crace, about a middle-aged couple who are bludgeoned to death on a stretch of remote seacoast in Britain. The novel traces their decomposition at the same time that it examines the long chain of tiny decisions that led directly to their being in that particular spot at that particular time. Sounds morbid but it is actually a brilliant tour de force.
Thanks, I added it to my list. I don't always pick up fiction, but it is more so cause I never know what I will like. And no worries about it being morbid, I mean I think every other book I've reviewed is about the plague. Even right now I just started The Bloody White Baron by James Palmer which is about a not so friendly kind of guy.

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09-07-2012, 04:36 PM
  #291
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Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh: I enjoyed the story, narrated by an English soldier named Charles Ryder who, on the eve of the second World War, is stationed on a property where he spent a lot of time in his college years; the property is owned by a wealthy English family he became very close to. The narration reflects on the years and relationships of Charles' past, as connected to the property.

A solid 7.5/10.

Next up is Samuel Beckett's trilogy of novels, Molloy, Malone Dies & The Unnamable.

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09-07-2012, 04:42 PM
  #292
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Star Wars: Republic Commando: True Colors - 10/10

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09-07-2012, 08:45 PM
  #293
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Just finished Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose." Considering all the hype I heard about this book before I read it, I'm a little disappointed. I thought the characters were shallow and uninteresting. The plot starts to crumble towards the end and the "twist" was completely unsatisfying. Eco likes to drift into these long theological and philosophical monologues that I felt didn't really serve much of a purpose.

Probably a 6/10.

Going to read "We, the Drowned" next.

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09-07-2012, 09:11 PM
  #294
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The Malazan Book of the Fallen:










It is difficult to rate a fantasy book that is supposed to be read as part of a massive series and so I held off rating it until I had wrapped up the journey. And journey it was.

With quite possibly the largest cast of characters ever featured in fantasy and some of the most amusing ones the series was a joy to read. Although the plot armor on many characters was quite clear and the sense of anyone could die at any moment fades as the series goes along you are heavily invested in the many players in this series. And they are what drives you to continually turn the pages of these behemothian books.

Reading through this series frustrated me in one way however, it just showed to highlight how ****ING slow George R. R. Martin is at writing when someone can go ahead and write 5 incredibly high quality, lengthy (6000 pages) in the time it takes him to write a fairly mediocre book in "A Dance With Dragons", but that's a story for another day.

This series is not for everyone however, and even the author highlights it himself in the foreword to the series. This isn't your standard fantasy "boy in a village, stumbles or is thrust into an impossible journey" type of ********. You are quite literally placed in the middle of a calamitous event and war, and death. History is rarely explained in detail, characters can drop off the map for chapters and even books on end. Little details that seemed innocuous 3 books ago comes back and bites you in the ass.

All in all, I'd say this series was for the most part fantastic and I couldn't recommend it enough to anyone who enjoys fantasy.

8.5/10
Favorite Novel in the Series: Toll the Hounds

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09-08-2012, 01:46 AM
  #295
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^

Great series, with one of my favourite literary characters in Tehol.

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09-08-2012, 01:54 AM
  #296
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The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach



7/10
It combines 3 novellas into 1 book. They were pretty good. Very funny in some parts very gruesome in others(in a good way). Being novellas the plots move very quickly. It was a nice break from the Malazan series, but I'm ready to jump back into it.

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09-08-2012, 07:52 AM
  #297
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Finally got around to reading 1984. Didn't really like the ending. The book was also boring at times. Also, the parallels people try to draw between our current world and the world of the book are highly exaggerant.

Was a good book. I wouldn't read it again.
I just watch the movie 1984, don't think I'll check out the book. It reminds me of a couple other overrated books, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 (those 2 I read). The actual stories themselves are just absurd, with nonsensical environments, so as to make some blown up point regarding some hypothetical, extreme exaggerated issue of society.

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09-09-2012, 09:03 PM
  #298
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Paper Moon, by Andrea Camilleri: Sicily's Inspector Montalban attempts to solve the murder of a man shot in the face with his pants down. He suspects two beautiful women, one the victim's sister, the other a former lover, but he also believes a powerful crime family may be involved. Montalban is a great character who loves the good things in life and has an appreciation for the absurd. As is the case here, the plots are always top notch with large doses of very funny, completely natural humour and clever sleuthing. This is the fourteenth installment in the series, and Camilleri is showing no signs whatsoever of losing his edge. Just a very well written, entertaining read.

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09-10-2012, 12:03 AM
  #299
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Mortality, written by Christopher Hitchens: Literally, Hitchens last public words, a series of brief "tours" in which he comments on dying of cancer, prayers said on his behalf (he savors the contradictions and wonders puckishly whether some of these prayers might not necessarily be said in support of his survival), his continued unflappable atheism, the horrors of his illness and the tortures it imposes, and finally a few scattered fragments that show a mind still questing for knowledge even as it begins to disconnect from the living. Until these final fragments, his tone is typically Hitchens: wry, intelligent, lucid, conversational, open, curious, opinionated. When true believers imply he should renounce the devil, Hitchens recalls Voltaire's response to a similar request: "This is no time to be making enemies."


Last edited by kihei: 09-10-2012 at 12:11 AM.
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09-11-2012, 09:51 PM
  #300
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I've read a ton of books as of late in my attempt to read 52 books from September 2012 - September 2013.

So I'll start off with the series of "The Girl with the dragon tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest"



A really great series all in all, if you're into this sort of thing. It's not a literary masterpiece of anything of that sort, but they're great for the noir genre of fiction.

It's too bad that Stieg Larsson died so young, as I heard he had a fourth book finished that will never come out, and had plans to write ten in all.

Most people are aware of the plot, so I'm not going to get into that, as it's just tiresome at this point.

The first and third books were my favorite in the series. My biggest complaint about the books is that they are filled with tedious, and largely unneeded details.

My ratings of these books are not based on literary quality, but overall storytelling.

The girl with the dragon tattoo - 7.8/10
The girl who played with fire - 7.3/10
The girl who kicked the hornet's nest - 7.6/10

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