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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 35

post #511 of 2319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

Didn't know you were a Wolves Fan. IMO they need to make some uniform changes. Good team, though.

I was thinking of that book too but gotta finish the junk food first. It's just the only way. Or going to a Step Withdrawal program from Reacher.
I lived in CA for a while in the noughties. My local team was GSW so, of course, I had to find somebody else to barrack for. The Wolves seem to have a history of fostering Australian players (Gaze and Heal) so I went for them. Good choice, coz they were winning everything then.
post #512 of 2319
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

I'll join the OT when it turns to Pekovic, Love, Rubio. Until then, let me assure you that I am busy reading. Now Roberto Bolano's masterpiece 2666. I am in transit on my way to Asia and the 900 pages should help me kill time on the long flight. Especially if assisted with champagne. biggrin.gif

I loved 2666. The Savage Detectives is on my list to get around to.
post #513 of 2319
62 Without Fail 2002 Lee Child This was one of the better Reachers so far. A plot to assassinate the VICE president. Collateral people get killed by the perpetrator team. Twists and turns everywhere. It ultimately turns out to be a personal vendetta. Which would have been my first question. Why the vice president instead of the president?

So- 38 to go for 100. I think the Reachers might put an asterisk on the season, but I don't really care. Gonna read what I like. smile.gif
post #514 of 2319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

Didn't know you were a Wolves Fan. IMO they need to make some uniform changes.

Next season looks promising with additions of AK47, Brandon Roy and other new interesting players. Visited Twin Cities so much for my business (in the past, not so these days) that I adopted Timberwolves as my NBA team. A frustrating experience indeed. smile.gif

How many Reacher novels are there? How is it going with AK (Karenina not Kirilenko)?
post #515 of 2319
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

Didn't know you were a Wolves Fan. IMO they need to make some uniform changes. Good team, though.

I was thinking of that book too but gotta finish the junk food first. It's just the only way. Or going to a Step Withdrawal program from Reacher.
I lived in CA for a while in the noughties. My local team was GSW so, of course, I had to find somebody else to barrack for. The Wolves seem to have a history of fostering Australian players (Gaze and Heal) so I went for them. Good choice, coz they were winning everything then.

Just realised, should have been talking about the Spurs, not the Wolves. Shows what I know.
post #516 of 2319
37. From the Mouth of the Whale, by Sjon (2011)

One thing I think Amazon does quite well is their recommendations function. I've picked up on a few authors new to me as a result, and enjoyed some books I otherwise would have missed.

Amazon recommended Sjon, presumably because of all the Scandinavian detective fiction I buy there. Sjon is a whole other thing entirely. From the Mouth of the Whale is a fabulist piece of magic realism, blended with elements of poetry and historical fiction.

Set in the early part of the 17th century, the book is the account of Jonas, an exiled heretic marooned on a tiny island off Iceland. Jonas is a renowned poet, self-taught scholar and layer of ghosts and demons. His successes have stirred resentments against him, resulting in him falling afoul of implacable enemies. In the midst of musings about natural history and religion, Jonas reveals his story and the tragedies that have befallen him.

This is not an easy read and took a while for me to get into. I'd only recommend it hesitantly, because you'd need to like the more arty style of literary fiction to enjoy it. That said, I've already bought another of his, and am keen to read it.

37(a). Sabotage, by Daniel Altman (2011).

Too short to include on the list. Altman seems to be a pretty credible commentator, but he really does not like Republicans, that's pretty clear. In this polemic he lays out an argument that the Republicans have been sobataging the recovery of the US economy through an implacable determination not to allow Obama the opportuniy to go ino the 2012 elections with a healthy economy for an electoral platform. Some of his argument, such as the folly of their brinkmanship over the debt ceiling, I agree with. Some other things, such as blaming them for suicide rates, seem excessive. As with all such pieces, your judgment is usually determined by your poltitical stance.

The conservative opposition here in Australia tends to copy GOP tactics and policies. They will almost certainly form government next year, so I'd have to say I find the precedents a bit disturbing.


Time for some escapist fluff, I reckon. :-)
post #517 of 2319
17 Reachers I think. I only have 5 left.

Slow on Anna K...Can't compete w/action. I'm thinking Smiley's ppl as a step down.

Hope MN sojourn wasn't in the winter.
post #518 of 2319
63. The Hard Way- Lee Child 2006
Reacher gets involved w/an outsourced paramilitary group a la Black Water. The director has a kidnapping and Reacher is invited in. Not that good. Only 7.3 on the newly designed Reacher scale.

64. Nothing to Lose Lee Child 2006
This one involves toxic waste, metal recycling, and tank uranium disposal in CO. 2 towns- the good guys- Hope. The bad guys-Despair. Trite, no? The plot which includes a semi TNT/UA bomb explosion is foiled and Reacher hitch hikes off into the sun set. Same 7.3

Even I am getting tired of them.
post #519 of 2319
65. 61 Hours 2010 Lee Child
Reacher gets dragged into a small town in South Dakota's affairs due to inclement weather.3 people are murdered, it turns out by the police chief. The bad guys are after a huge stash of 50 year old meth underground. The underlings attempt to kill their boss by filling up the lair with jet fuel and lighting it. Did Reacher survive? It doesn't say, but there are more Reacher books one would assume so.

Reacher Scale 9.5

Only 2 books to go.
post #520 of 2319
38. Pirates of the Levant, by Arturo Perez-Reverte (2011)

This is the 6th novel in the Captain Alatriste series. Alatriste is a grizzled veteran of the Spanish infantry during the early 17th century. He is a lethal swordsman, quick-tempered and unsociable. At the start of the series, he assumes guardianship of the child of a late comrade, Inigo. The series is narrated by Inigo as an old man.

In this novel Alatriste and Inigo are serving on a corsair galley raiding the shores of North Africa and the Mediterranean islands to seize booty from the Turks, often in concert with the Knights of Malta. They encounter some successes, but these are tempered with occasional disastrous outcomes. The novel climaxes with an epic sea battle when Alatriste's galley is cornered by a Turkish fleet.

This entry in the series moves the narrative on a bit as we see Inigo growing into a hot-headed young man, not averse to defying and insulting his mentor. Alatriste struggles to contain himself and swallow statements that he would kill anyone else for making. It's an interesting dynamic the author is developing here; it could take the series in an unexpected direction.

Alatriste is a D'Artagnan-like figure, although far more cynical and world-weary than the dashing and romantic Musketeers. He is an utter realist about the horror of war, but can see no other honourable occupation for himself. Perez-Reverte's background as a war correspondent allows him to convey very accurately the blood, sweat and tears that accompany the swashbuckling, both in the 17th century and, by extension, in our own time.
post #521 of 2319
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

38. Pirates of the Levant, by Arturo Perez-Reverte (2011)
This is the 6th novel in the Captain Alatriste series. Alatriste is a grizzled veteran of the Spanish infantry during the early 17th century. He is a lethal swordsman, quick-tempered and unsociable. At the start of the series, he assumes guardianship of the child of a late comrade, Inigo. The series is narrated by Inigo as an old man.
In this novel Alatriste and Inigo are serving on a corsair galley raiding the shores of North Africa and the Mediterranean islands to seize booty from the Turks, often in concert with the Knights of Malta. They encounter some successes, but these are tempered with occasional disastrous outcomes. The novel climaxes with an epic sea battle when Alatriste's galley is cornered by a Turkish fleet.
This entry in the series moves the narrative on a bit as we see Inigo growing into a hot-headed young man, not averse to defying and insulting his mentor. Alatriste struggles to contain himself and swallow statements that he would kill anyone else for making. It's an interesting dynamic the author is developing here; it could take the series in an unexpected direction.
Alatriste is a D'Artagnan-like figure, although far more cynical and world-weary than the dashing and romantic Musketeers. He is an utter realist about the horror of war, but can see no other honourable occupation for himself. Perez-Reverte's background as a war correspondent allows him to convey very accurately the blood, sweat and tears that accompany the swashbuckling, both in the 17th century and, by extension, in our own time.

I really liked The Club Dumas. Did you read it and, if so, how does it compare to the Captain Alatriste series?
post #522 of 2319
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post


I really liked The Club Dumas. Did you read it and, if so, how does it compare to the Captain Alatriste series?

I have read that one, but I don't remember it that well. I would say that, as a body, the Alatriste series is lighter fare than most of his earlier novels, with the emphasis more on adventure than mystery and plot twists.
post #523 of 2319
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

I have read that one, but I don't remember it that well. I would say that, as a body, the Alatriste series is lighter fare than most of his earlier novels, with the emphasis more on adventure than mystery and plot twists.

I thought The Club Dumas was a very good horror/mystery yarn. Later made into a Polanski movie featuring J Depp. Movie was less good in my view. I tried another Perez-Reverte called The Queen of the South. A much more recent novel about a Mexican woman who heads up a drug smuggling operation in the south of Spain. Couldn't finish it since I found it too simplistic. If he has written more in the vein of The Club Dumas, I would love to read those!
post #524 of 2319
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

I have read that one, but I don't remember it that well. I would say that, as a body, the Alatriste series is lighter fare than most of his earlier novels, with the emphasis more on adventure than mystery and plot twists.

I thought The Club Dumas was a very good horror/mystery yarn. Later made into a Polanski movie featuring J Depp. Movie was less good in my view. I tried another Perez-Reverte called The Queen of the South. A much more recent novel about a Mexican woman who heads up a drug smuggling operation in the south of Spain. Couldn't finish it since I found it too simplistic. If he has written more in the vein of The Club Dumas, I would love to read those!

I hated The Queen of the South. Formulaic rubbish, and a major disappointment. In his early days he did write a few books like Club Dumas. Try The Flanders Panel, The Seville Communion or The Fencing Master.

BTW, the Alatriste novels were filmed a few years ago as a massive Spanish epic starring Vigo Mortensen as the Captain. Worth seeking out.
post #525 of 2319
39. Speculation, by Edmund Jorgensen (2011)

Speculation is best described as a philosophical mystery novel.

Andrew is a professor of philosophy. Since his student days he has hung out with two dear friends: Buddy, a famous novelist who suddenly disappeared a couple of years ago, and Sothum who recently died of a brain tumour.

The wealthy Sothum leaves Andy a bequest in his will. He is given a choice between ten million dollars, and a mysterious envelope, the contents of which cannot be revealed. He is also given three boxes of Sothum's random papers to help him decide which to choose.

Much the chagrin of his wife, Andy wants to delay claiming the money and try and work out what is in the envelope. Sothum was renowned for his love of puzzles, and Andy is determined to figure out this last one. As he searches, he starts to suspect that the envelope contains a proof providing the answer to one of the great philosophical questions of all time. Is that worth ten million or not?

This is a pretty intellectual novel, but it is absorbing nonetheless. Given you can download it to your Kindle for $1, it's certainly worth the read.
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