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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 175

post #2611 of 3274
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

How does this compare to his Erlendur books?

Up there with them, very good read Erlendur makes an appearance as the Detective. Well translated fast paced mind you no Ford Falcons make an appearance. Mrs GF is now reading it and she read all the Erlendur books
post #2612 of 3274
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post


Is this cheating? smile.gif

Anyway, it was you who put me onto this book originally, and I don’t regret it for a moment. A great read, one of my favourites from last year.

 

Maybe - I hope not!

 

Glad you enjoyed it, it really is a great work, I think.

post #2613 of 3274
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. A Tale for the Time Being
2. The Sun is God
3. The Keeper of Lost Causes
4. Lost and Found
5. Murder on the Eiffel Tower
6. How to be Both
7. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
8. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
9. Levels of Life
10. The Seventh Day
11. Fortunately the Milk
11b. The Sleeper and the Spindle
12. The Agile Project Management Handbook
13. Reykjavik Nights
14. The Siege
15. The Torch
16. Being Mortal
17. Hicksville
18. Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen
19. The Buried Giant
20. Another Time, Another Life
21. The Corpse Reader
22. Portrait of a Man
23. All the Birds, Singing
24. Out Stealing Horses
25. Last Winter We Parted
26. The Rabbit Back Literature Society
27. Rituals


28. Bitter Remedy
Bitter Remedy: An Alec Blume CaseBitter Remedy: An Alec Blume Case by Conor Fitzgerald

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Bitter Remedy is a pretty ordinary effort at Mediterranean noir, and not a patch on the likes of Camilleri or Izzo. Chief Inspector Alec Blume has the requisite laundry list of personal faults; he has separated from his wife and has a variety of illnesses and health issues that cause him to take lots of medicines. It is these health problems that lead Blume, at the outset of the novel, to travel to a rural villa for a herbal medicine course.

That has got to be alarm bell number one. What a totally silly pretext for locating the tough guy hero at a murder scene.

The reader is already aware of the predicament of Alina, a victim that Blume knows nothing of, but he suspects something is strange is going on, which is confirmed when he is approached by Alina’s friend, Nadia.

Blume has a deep animus towards local pimp Niki, driven probably by jealousy over the herbalist Silvana. This is another thing that doesn't ring true; Blume just seems to go totally ga-ga for little reason. Not really typical of your noirish hard-bitten detective.

This novel flirts with some serious issues such as organised crime and the sex trade, but squibs these in favour of silliness and corny outcomes. Blume lacks the depth as a character to save a lightweight and predictable plot. Read Inspector Montalbano instead.


View all my reviews
post #2614 of 3274
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. A Tale for the Time Being
2. The Sun is God
3. The Keeper of Lost Causes
4. Lost and Found
5. Murder on the Eiffel Tower
6. How to be Both
7. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
8. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
9. Levels of Life
10. The Seventh Day
11. Fortunately the Milk
11b. The Sleeper and the Spindle
12. The Agile Project Management Handbook
13. Reykjavik Nights
14. The Siege
15. The Torch
16. Being Mortal
17. Hicksville
18. Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen
19. The Buried Giant
20. Another Time, Another Life
21. The Corpse Reader
22. Portrait of a Man
23. All the Birds, Singing
24. Out Stealing Horses
25. Last Winter We Parted
26. The Rabbit Back Literature Society
27. Rituals
28. Bitter Remedy


29. The Ring and The Opposite of Death

The Ring: & The Opposite of DeathThe Ring: & The Opposite of Death by Roberto Saviano

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Saviano, the award-winning journalist who wrote Gomorra, turns his hand to short stories here, and does a very creditable job. The two stories in this brief collection both deal with the trapped youth of rural Southern Italy. In The Ring these young men become foot-soldiers in the wars between organised crime gangs. Saviano contrasts this in The Opposite of Death where they become foot-soldiers in the war in Afghanistan. Both stories end badly for the young men involved.

These stories are cold-eyed accounts of tragic lives by somebody well-used to reporting such events. They are both compelling and convincing tales. I only wish Saviano had written more of them.


View all my reviews
post #2615 of 3274
30. The Assassination Option W.E.B. Griffin 2014

The latest thriller in the Clandestine Operations series. Moved a little slow for my taste, but still a good read.
post #2616 of 3274
31. Tinkers Paul Harding 2009

George Washington Crosby begins to hallucinate 8 days before he dies. The book recounts his memories, and those of his father (a tinker [itinerant peddler] and clock repairman),and briefly those of his grandfather (a preacher).

It is a first time effort by the author, and won him the Pulitzer Prize. The language is lush- more so than almost anything I've read. The story itself moves slowly at first, and the descriptions of watch and clock repair are indescribably boring. But worth a read for the prose alone.
post #2617 of 3274
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

31. Tinkers Paul Harding 2009

I did like that one. There seemed to be a rash of automata/clockmaking books going around then: Hugo, The Chemistry of Tears, and quite a few others. Must have been in the zeitgeist.
post #2618 of 3274
25 Quarterly Essay 58 BLOOD YEAR Terror and the Islamic State by David Kilcullen timely analysis of ISIS by former Australian Army Officer with a PhD who provides a historical perspective and the outlines the hard road ahead to get rid of this vermin
post #2619 of 3274
Where did noob disappear to?, no one asked.....

A cross-post of sorts:

.

I thought I'd share the coolest thing I've discovered this year: an HDMI cable.

First, you cue up an appropriate movie soundtrack (The Avengers will do nicely, as will Kingsman, X-Men: First Class, or any other comic movie soundtrack), hit play:





Attach the HDMI cable from your computer to the biggest TV you can find, and WHAMM-O:

HUGE! HUGE! HUGE! X-MEN!!!!!







Warning: EXAMPLES OF HUGE READING EXPERIENCE (Click to show)






IMHO, the wow factor elevates even the shoddier work of the X-Cannon -- but when you scroll through your favorites, like the Joss Whedon run, it's pure pixel-y perfection.


icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif


I've slipped back into the habit of short stories as well, reading them very slowly, sometimes word by word.
post #2620 of 3274
List (Click to show)
1. A Wrong Turn at the Office on Unmade Lists

2. Acceptance

3. Shipbreaker

4. Winter's Bone

5. Dhmara Bums

6. Istanbul

7. On the Trail of Genghis Khan

8. Holy Bible

9. The Boat

10. Collected Stories

11. Lost and Found

12. Blind Willow, Sleeping woman

13. White Noise

14. Clariel

15. Off the Rails

16. Sabriel

17 Hitler's Daughter

18. Quack this Way

19. Grapes of Wrath

20. Every Man in this Village is a Liar

21. The Twelve Fingered Boy

22. Riders of the Purple Sage

23. The Sheltering Sky

24. How to Travel the World for Free

25. Deliverance

26. Trigger Warning

27. It's Complicated

28. Fight Club

29. Past the Shallows
30. Wonderboys
31. It's what I do
32. A Long Way Down
33. Men Who Stare at Goats
34. Boxer Beetle
35. This is How You Lose Her
36. No Sugar

 

36. No Sugar

 

This is a play, but I read it for work, so it counts. Anyway, this play follows a family (though focuses mainly on one male character: Joe) of Indigenous Australians as they struggle through the Depression in Australia. The story largely focuses on the near-constant racism and the seemingly conscious efforts of white Australians to hassle, attack and change the family's lives. At times an unpleasant read, it was interesting and provocative. A period of our history we'd rather forget that's, nonetheless, fairly present and significant.

post #2621 of 3274
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post

25 Quarterly Essay 58 BLOOD YEAR Terror and the Islamic State by David Kilcullen timely analysis of ISIS by former Australian Army Officer with a PhD who provides a historical perspective and the outlines the hard road ahead to get rid of this vermin

On my list as well.
post #2622 of 3274
32. Comstock Lode Louis L'Amour 1981

A mining man witnesses the murder of his mother as a youngster. He swears revenge and gets it over a 15 year period. In the process he gets the girl, who was also with him at the beginning, and evolves into an actress.

A fine, fine piece of literature. I liked it a lot.
post #2623 of 3274
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. A Tale for the Time Being
2. The Sun is God
3. The Keeper of Lost Causes
4. Lost and Found
5. Murder on the Eiffel Tower
6. How to be Both
7. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
8. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
9. Levels of Life
10. The Seventh Day
11. Fortunately the Milk
11b. The Sleeper and the Spindle
12. The Agile Project Management Handbook
13. Reykjavik Nights
14. The Siege
15. The Torch
16. Being Mortal
17. Hicksville
18. Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen
19. The Buried Giant
20. Another Time, Another Life
21. The Corpse Reader
22. Portrait of a Man
23. All the Birds, Singing
24. Out Stealing Horses
25. Last Winter We Parted
26. The Rabbit Back Literature Society
27. Rituals
28. Bitter Remedy
29. The Ring and The Opposite of Death


30. Old Gold

Old GoldOld Gold by Jay Stringer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Old Gold is the first of a series of thrillers sent in the Midlands near Birmingham. Eoin Miller is a part-Gypsy ex-cop who now works for a local drug lord Gav Mann, tracking down people and handing them over to Mann for punishment.

After one such transaction, Miller picks up a girl in a bar and takes her home. In the morning, he finds her dead in his bed. His Gypsy instincts kick in, and he chooses to bolt rather than call the police. As Miller tries to find out what is going on, he stumbles through a web of drug wars, police politics and a missing person that the cops have demanded he track down.

Miller is an original and interesting character and his narrative voice gives the novel a nice hard-boiled edge. The setting around Wolverhampton and Walsall feels authentic and Stringer gives us a pacy plot with some nice twists. There’s nothing breath-taking in this, but it’s a good entertaining read; reason enough to try the sequel.


View all my reviews
post #2624 of 3274
33. Jealousy Alain Robbe- Grillet 1957

THE LIST

A horrible, horrible book. Filled with repetitive minutiae and behaviors. It boggles my mind how some of this stuff winds up on Bonsal's list.
post #2625 of 3274

CD is catching up to me. Slow and steady might win the race.

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