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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 56

post #826 of 1705
39. Covert Warriors 2011 W.E. B. Griffin

Castillo and his Merry Band of Outlaws deal with drug cartels in cahoots with (as always) the Russians. Who have infiltrated the White House, and are trying to make a crazy president even more so, in order to bring down the United States from within.

Pretty good read.
post #827 of 1705
I bought The Tin Drum off Amazon. Hopefully it's as good as it sounds.
post #828 of 1705
Clockwise counting 24/50: Stieg Trenter - The Sture Murder (1962)

Trenter's crime novels maintain an even and high standard. A respected publisher who has ventured into pornography obtained by  illegal means falls through the glass roof of Stockholm's largest and oldest bath / sauna / massage establishment and is found dead on the ground, apparently drowned before the inexplicable fall. Amateur detective Friberg tangles with young pretty women, consumes large quantities of Russian caviar and drinks copious amounts of alcohol straight through the story until its eventual surprise ending. Entertaining!
post #829 of 1705
Clockwise counting 25/50: Iris Murdoch - The Sea, The Sea (1978)

Murdoch's Booker Prize winner is a novel written in the form of a diary or autobiographical account. The diary writer is Charles Arrowby, a famous London theatre personality - director, actor and dictator. Arrowby has at the age of 60 decided to leave the world of theatre for good and to now live in seclusion in a house by the sea.

After a rather slow start, the novel gets thrilling after around 100 of its 500 plus pages. Arrowby's slow life of contemplation gets disturbed by a series of events and people from his past, one after the other intruding on his serenity. A long lost love interest becomes a dangerous obsession.

Murdoch writes about bizarre human relations, obsessive love, manipulative and selfish people. This is together with Mo Yan's stuff the best I have read this year. It is also one more to tick off from "the list".
post #830 of 1705
6. Fathers and Sons. Turgenev.

Paints a portrait of the political differences of two generations. While both are progressive, the old liberalism of the land owning class has been replaced with the nihilism of the younger generation. All the grand themes of the 19th century Russian novel are here, not only the politics of emancipation, but also ones relation to God and what it means to lead a moral life.
post #831 of 1705
Clockwise counting 26/50: Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo - The Man on the Balcony (1967)

Third part of the the Swedish police decalogue. It is the summer of 1967 and a series of brutal muggings are taking place in Stockholm inner city parks. Suddenly a small girl is found dead in a park where a mugging has just taken place. The girl is strangled and has been sexually molested. Inspector Martin Beck and his colleagues from the special homicide commission of the national police are tasked with tracking down the killer. Atmospheric police procedural, which is typical of its time. A very good read!
post #832 of 1705
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine

5. Wake in Fright

6. The River of Doubt

7. The Pearl

8. Crytonomicon

 

9. Shot in the Dark

 

This book was sensational. A story of a man who explores his family's history and backstory to expose why his brother became a famous killer. Heart Wrecnhingly honest, completely vunerable, excelent prose and engorssingly disturbing.

 

Remarkable that someone so sensitive survived through a family story that's made up of abuse, violence, drugs, alcohol, fighting, blackmailing, jail, disruption, distraction, and death.

 

Highly recommended.

post #833 of 1705
40. Empire and Honor 2012 W.E.B. Griffin

Book has nothing to do with any sort of empire.

It's part of the Honor Bound series, which mean it stars Cletus Frade, the dual citizen of the U.S. and Argentina. He's rich. He can fly any plane. Sounds an awful lot like Charlie Castillo, doesn't it?

A German submarine carrying uranium ore has secretly landed on a remote area of Argentina. Plan to sell to the Russians and use the money to rebuild the Third Reich.

Strained belief a bit at times, but still was a decent read.
post #834 of 1705
41. The Reader Bernhard Schlink 1995

LIST

A German youth has a short romance with an older woman that haunts him his entire life. She likes him to read to her.

The next time he sees her is as a defendant in a Nazi atrocity trial. She had been a Gestapo guard at two concentration camps. She liked being read to there as well.

She is given the worst sentence of all the defendants because she hasn't familiarized herself with the details of her case.

She can't. She's illiterate, and is willing to take a longer sentence to conceal that fact.

Liked it, better than Coetzee, but not as well as Coelho.
post #835 of 1705
Clockwise counting 27/50: Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo - The Laughing Policeman (1968)

The fourth instalment in the series of ten novels is possibly the best so far. Eight people are shot dead on a Stockholm night bus and one of them is an off duty senior police man from chief inspector Martin Beck's team. Very few clues are left on the crime scene, is this a madman's spree killing or does the shooting have a more traditional and logical motive? The book got the American "Edgar Award" for best mystery of the year. 
post #836 of 1705
Clockwise counting 28/50: Stieg Trenter - Play, Little Louise (1950)

Swedish mystery writer Trenter is in good form in this early classic.  A series of bizarre events and two murders, one of which is a peculiar decapitation, baffle the police and the amateur detective. Trenter's mysteries and the solving of the puzzles may not be as ingenious as Agatha Christie or John Dickson Carr but his writing is excellent, his characters always interesting and the Stockholm milieu of that bygone era very well described.
post #837 of 1705
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Clockwise counting 28/50: Stieg Trenter - Play, Little Louise (1950)

Swedish mystery writer Trenter is in good form in this early classic.  A series of bizarre events and two murders, one of which is a peculiar decapitation, baffle the police and the amateur detective. Trenter's mysteries and the solving of the puzzles may not be as ingenious as Agatha Christie or John Dickson Carr but his writing is excellent, his characters always interesting and the Stockholm milieu of that bygone era very well described.

These books sound good CW, but I can't find them for sale anywhere. Where are you getting them from?
post #838 of 1705
Sorry, I am reading them in Swedish and buying from second hand book stores ar extortionate pricing. The English titles I have picked from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stieg_Trenter) but I don't know if these books were ever translated. If not, this could be big business for the sober. Trenter is after all the king of Swedish crime fiction!
post #839 of 1705
42. Killshot- Elmore Leonard 1988


LIST


CW's right as usual,This is far and away the best Leonard book I've read.

A couple views an extortion attempt by two men. The bad guys want no witnesses and set about eliminating them, From there it's a cat and mouse game...Through witness protection and back home. One of the bad guys shoots his partner, then the wife of the couple shoots the other.

Taut, characters very well sketched out.

8 to go for 50/then 150 more for a new record.

17 on the list, 33 to go, but I'd like to get 70. I'm tired of only being 11% done.
post #840 of 1705
8. The World Until Yesterday, by Jared Diamond (2012)

Jared Diamond's latest book examines tribal societies around the world and compares them with Western societies in several key sociological areas such as child-rearing, dealing with danger, societal violence, etc.

The way Diamond tackles his thesis is largely to posit an assertion and then quote mostly anecdotal evidence from each of a half-dozen or so tribal societies that he has made the subjects of his research. He then moves onto his next point and repeats this exercise. This approach leads to a highly repetitive read that is padded out to more than 500 pages. A more judicious marshalling of his material should have allowed Diamond to make his case in about two-thirds of this volume. The padding is made worse because Diamond clearly runs out of steam, devoting his final chapter to a discourse on nutrition that wouldn't be out of place in a book on the low GI diet. His summing-up of what we can learn from his tribal examples is extraordinarily weak and in no way justifies reading 500 pages to learn it.
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