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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 54

post #796 of 2322
31. Eye of the Storm 1992 Jack Higgins I guess I should have read this before the one above...

Dillon in his evil finest. Master of disguises. Plots the murder of Margaret Thatcher, and the entire War Cabinet under commission from the Iraquis. Both attempts fail. The PM's private army shoot and kill him in a chateau in France.

So they think. He had a kevlar vest. And off he sneaks until the book above.

Higgins is OK. IMO Griffin is the best, Lee Child, and Daniel Silva.

Now I will read more Elmore Leonard.
post #797 of 2322
Clockwise counting 21/50: Stieg Trenter - The Ferryman (1961)

Trenter is the original Swedish king of mystery novels. His stories feature photographer, amateur detective and gourmet/gourmand Harry Friberg and they give colorful portrayals of the city of Stockholm in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. 

In The Ferryman we are presented with a bizarre series of events where a young woman is knocked unconscious on a ferry ride, a former race car driver is killed in a car "accident", a mysterious blonde is washing blood traces off the tyres of a large American automobile while a Japanese tourist is taking notes. This is very entertaining stuff, especially if you know Stockholm and like fine dining, a steady stream of alcoholic beverages and adventure.
post #798 of 2322
Wish everyone here will have a great, prosperous and intellectually challenging Year of the Snake!
post #799 of 2322
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Wish everyone here will have a great, prosperous and intellectually challenging Year of the Snake!

Hopefully it will be better than the last one.
post #800 of 2322
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Wish everyone here will have a great, prosperous and intellectually challenging Year of the Snake!

The snake is long...

7 miles...

Ride the snake...

Lincoln Lawyer was a GREAT film. Rent it!
post #801 of 2322
32. Up In Honey's Room 2007 Elmore Leonard.

I have a new personal rule. When a book sucks, I won't write a summary.
post #802 of 2322
33. By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept Paulo Coelho 1996

From the worst to the best.

Two childhood lovers rekindle their past. The man has traveled the world and been in and out of the seminary and has the power to heal. The woman, is at university and afraid to take risks. How do their fates intertwine and what is the resolution?

Read the book and find out! If this one wasn't on the List, it sure should have been,

EASILY the best book I've read since we started doing this.
post #803 of 2322
Clockwise counting 22/50: Thomas Mallon - Watergate (2012)

I have read a lot about Watergate and I am fairly familiar with the bad guys Ehrlichman, Haldeman, Mitchell, Howard Hunt, Gordon Liddy and of course the President himself. Here is a so called historical novel, which takes its base in the factual events of the downfall of the Nixon presidency and then fills in a lot of blanks by making up a story in a way that resembles a script for a TV series. Mildly entertaining stuff for those interested in American politics. 
post #804 of 2322
4. In search of lost time - The Fugitive. Marcel Proust.
The chapters of this book are:
Grieving and forgetting,
Mademoiselle de Forcheville,
Sojourn in Venice,
New Aspect of Robert de Saint-Loup

Deals largely with how time leads to the oblivion of our memories and allows us to overcome grief. In a beautiful arc, important characters from earlier volumes reappear in the second half of "The Fugitive." An historic aside to an episode in the text: the dress depicted in "The patriarch of Grado exorcising a demoniac" reminds the narrator of the costumes in "The Legend of Joseph" (by Strauss and Kessler). A ballet which premiered only shortly before the first world war. Kessler's diaries are a wonderful historic document of the whole age and social milieu which is depicted so vividly in Proust.
post #805 of 2322
34. Cuba Libre 1998 Elmore Leonard

The story of Americans, Spaniards, and Cubans at the start of the Spanish American War. The Maine, the quick American victory. Spanish brutality on a military and penal basis. The complexity of the Cuban mind- trickery, patriotism, and often a measure of both.

So So. But worth giving Leonard another try after Honey's Room.

Slowing down now- Fantasy Baseball number crunching. I will NOT be trounced like last year.
post #806 of 2322
6. Umbrella, by Will Self (2012)

The final book from the 2012 Booker short list.

Almost every time I picked up this book to read it, I fell asleep. Now that may be a coincidence, but it's certainly not an endorsement.

Umbrella tells the story of Audrey Death, a munitions worker during the Great War, who contracts a brain disease and is confined to a lunatic asylum in a state of catatonia. The other key character is Dr Zack Busner, the psychotherapist who is treating her decades later.

The book is written as one continuous stream; there are no chapters and few paragraph breaks. Self frequently shifts his narrative to a different time, setting and protagonist in the middle of a sentence. I often found myself re-reading a page a couple of times to figure out what he was on about now. This is made worse by his repeatedly chucking in italicised words and phrases to no discernable purpose.

I suppose this is all supposed to represent the chaos going on inside Audrey's diseased mind but it is really irritating. The book is almost 400pp already; it doesn't need to be made any more verbose. Self's narrative is simply not interesting enough to put up with these mannerisms.

There is the germ of a good story here, but this Self-indulgent writing style has turned it into a snooze-fest - in my case literally.
post #807 of 2322
Question for the judges - do audiobooks count?
post #808 of 2322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

34. Cuba Libre 1998 Elmore Leonard

The story of Americans, Spaniards, and Cubans at the start of the Spanish American War. The Maine, the quick American victory. Spanish brutality on a military and penal basis. The complexity of the Cuban mind- trickery, patriotism, and often a measure of both.

So So. But worth giving Leonard another try after Honey's Room.

Slowing down now- Fantasy Baseball number crunching. I will NOT be trounced like last year.

Leonard's earlier 1970s and 1980s books are much much better.
post #809 of 2322
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Question for the judges - do audiobooks count?

Steve B is the judge. But I think they should count.

Doesn't it take an awfully long time to listen to a book?
post #810 of 2322
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Steve B is the judge. But I think they should count.

Doesn't it take an awfully long time to listen to a book?

Amazon says Coelho's The Alchemist runs to 4 hours, if that's any guide.

We should at least stipulate that it must be unabridged, I guess.
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