39 results for 'book review'
I picked up this book thinking it was going to be a mystery novel, a light entertaining whodunit that I could mindlessly read on a relaxing summer afternoon. What I got instead was a heavy philosophical treatise on Christian existentialism which delved deep into the question of existence, of what it means to “be.”
Have you ever read a philosophy book? It’s not ideal for a relaxing summer afternoon, unless your idea of relaxing involves slogging through dense confusingly worded arguments for and against obscure metaphysical concepts that hurt your brain to think about, exasperatedly... (more)
What is the value of a book review today– can it be trusted? On the surface, it’s one person’s subjective (and sometimes biased) view on a text. Why read it unless that person’s tastes are similar to yours and unless the reviewer has no vested interest in the author’s financial fortune?
I realized that the reviews I was reading in newspapers and journals had gradually morphed into unsubtle sales messages for the books they were covering. I concluded therefore, that the serious impartial reviewer had gone the way of the dodo bird, replaced by the “mutual admiration society”—aka writers... (more)
I confess that I scoffed at the idea that the autobiography of a world-renowned twentieth-century Chilean poet could be very interesting. I was wrong. Neruda emerged from an obscure town in a disregarded corner of the planet to live a fascinating life that uplifted people all around the world. He tells his story masterfully, relating his own experiences and his perceptions of major world events with a poetic flair and a tinge of humor that delight and entertain the reader.
Pablo Neruda was the original Most Interesting Man in the World. Besides being a famous poet, he also... (more)
I’ve read this book twice, and had completely different reactions to it.
The first time, I hated it. It told the long bewildering history of a wild family. The plot was indecipherable: a series of impossible/supernatural events were treated as normal everyday occurrences, and none of them seemed to have any point. The narrative jumped around between time periods, which was confusing. Also confusing was the fact that all the characters (through several generations) shared the same handful of names. The book structure was aggravating: long run-on sentences and paragraphs that... (more)
Poetry sucks. With its flowery language and vague phrasings, you have to study and interpret it just to extract any kind of meaning from it. Then, invariably, some “literary expert” – like my high school English teacher – will tell you that your analysis is wrong, and condescendingly enlighten you as to the “true” meaning of the poem. Who needs that kind of aggravation? Outside of dirty limericks, I have no use for this entire literary genre. Poetry sucks.
As I was drunkenly spouting off this distaste for poetry one night, a friend of mine (a high school English teacher –... (more)
Upton Sinclair's The Jungle follows a family of Lithuanian immigrants in early 1900’s Chicago struggling for survival against the oppression of the “masters” – the rich Capitalists who conspire to increase their wealth and power at the expense of the common working man. The main character, a stout young man named Jurgis, experiences all form of injustice, injury, tragedy, and humiliation as he is overwhelmed by the rampant corruption inherent in American society. Slowly he begins to understand that the inner workings of business and industry, law enforcement and the courts, the press,... (more)
One sad rainy Wednesday during my lunch hour at the office I went to retrieve my leftover Kung Po Chicken from the refrigerator in the break room, only to find it had disappeared. I was pissed! A mystery colleague had broken my trust and stolen my Chinese food. Thoughts of swift decisive vengeance flashed through my head, but my calmer mind prevailed and I decided to let this minor trespass pass. I saw little benefit in raising hell over two dollars worth of old food. The sting of the stolen lunch and empty belly slowly faded, and I forgot about the incident. Then a few weeks... (more)
My life had always been spiritually empty. I was a godless infidel with no sense of anything greater than myself – and I liked it that way. A hedonistic heathen, I tried to fill my spiritual void with superfluous thrills: late nights in sketchy locales, bottomless bottles of booze, fast women with tight clothes and loose morals, knife fights with manic homeless dudes, and Russian roulette contests in the trunks of stolen cars hurtling down the highway piloted by half-blind elderly immigrants. My life was totally out of control, but I truly believed that I was happy. I realize now that I... (more)
Aidan Ephraim Martin was a man whose life took turns that no one could have ever predicted. The challenges he met after that fateful day in 1801 when he sat down for a drink in a public house after a hard day of fishing would have killed a lesser man. Being knocked unconscious and waking up as a captive seaman, miles out to sea, didn’t stop Aidan from living. Becoming a refugee at an isolated Spanish mission in northern California didn’t cause Aidan to lose heart. The all too brief interlude as a free seaman led to Aidan’s greatest test. He was grievously wounded, captured, and sold as a slave... (more)
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Gary Egan is a ventriloquist whose rising career in a New Jersey casino threatens to self-destruct when he is charged with robbing a number of celebrity guests of high-value possessions. He calls his old friend John Michaels, a retired magician with a penchant for solving crime, to be a character witness. Murder is added to the mix as this tale of misdirection, conspiracy, robbery and revenge gets moving, and protagonist Michaels and his clever crew are in the best position to bring the key players out onto the stage of justice to take their bows.
This reviewer will not speculate as... (more)
Tags: book review