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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 197

post #2941 of 3283
32. Blood Work Michael Connelly

Picked this one up because of an overlap with one of Connelly's other noir mysteries I'm reading.

Terry McCaleb, a retired FBI agent with a recently transplanted heart is asked to solve a crime by the donor's sister. Against his doctor's vehement objections, he helps her and they solve the crime. Their work together causes them to fall in love.

Great read, as I'm finding all of Connelly's books are.
post #2942 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

32. Blood Work Michael Connelly

Picked this one up because of an overlap with one of Connelly's other noir mysteries I'm reading.

Terry McCaleb, a retired FBI agent with a recently transplanted heart is asked to solve a crime by the donor's sister. Against his doctor's vehement objections, he helps her and they solve the crime. Their work together causes them to fall in love.

Great read, as I'm finding all of Connelly's books are.

This was turned into a film with Clint Eastwood in the lead, not bad from memory.
post #2943 of 3283
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
0. Asterix and the Missing Scroll
1. The Whisperer
2. The Vanished Ones
3. Quarterly Essay: Political Amnesia
4. From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant
5. The Lost Girls of Rome
6. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
7. Never Mind
8. The Vegetarian

9. Man on Fire
Man on FireMan on Fire by Stephen Kelman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Man on Fire is a fictionalised account of the feats of Indian record-breaker Bibhuti Nayak. Nayak has dedicated his life to setting Guinness Book of Records records for feats of strength, in order to inspire his fellow Indians.

John Lock is a middle-class Englishman who impulsively travels to India to work with BB Nayak in the hope that he can leave his old life behind and do something meaningful. The book tells of their deepening relationship, from both points of view, and the unswerving course they set towards a final, outrageous record attempt that has BB's family and friends aghast.

The relationship between Lock and BB is never that well-established; there seems to be no real reason for it to have come about, or for BB to accept this strange man into his household and his life's work. This lack of a solid start to their friendship undermines the story. Lock's Raj-like patronising of BB's family also sits oddly with his supposed dedication to BB's philosophy and work. Every time he referred to BB's son as "Jolly Boy", it made my teeth itch; such a stupid name for a character.

Beyond Lock and BB, most characters are pretty much pastiche; nothing you wouldn't find in a Bollywood movie, really. Lock and his travails are the focus of the novel. Kelman sets his protagonist up with a heart-breaking and life-changing dilemma, but the resolutions he gives him are pretty unchallenging and bland. As with Pigeon English, Kelman captures the local idiom perfectly; the chapters narrated by BB, as well as the other Indian characters' dialogue, all sound totally authentic.

For men, this book could be wincingly hard to read at times. There is only so much I can read about a man being kicked in the balls for a living before I start to cringe.

View all my reviews
post #2944 of 3283

Anyone here read "A History of Seven Killings" by Marlon James (this year's Man Booker winner) yet?

 

I'm half way through. Pretty r'asscloth good.

post #2945 of 3283
10 Beatlebone by Kevin Barry This was a disappointment in the reviews and interviews with the author it promised a lot but ultimately failed to deliver. I enjoy experimental fiction but this was too vague and a disjointed road novel populated by a odd collection of freaks and Irish Mystics. I don't think it really got the heart of the character of John Lennon or the real in and outs of the proposed journey he undertakes. Also as the novel orbits around the issues of blockage and primal scream I thought that was disappointing particularly in the way he is still dwelling on his relationship with his parents in 1978. I recently reread and listened to those Rolling Stone interviews where John and Yoko go on at length about Primal Therapy and the album which was influenced by that JL/Plastic Ono Band. Overall I think and feel that it was far too self indulgent on the part of the author, or maybe that is an inherent problem when one takes on such iconic cultural figures.
post #2946 of 3283
33. Darkness More Than Night- Michael Connelly

Involves both Terry McCaleb and Harry Bosch. An LA Sheriff Detective from Blood Work has Terry look at an unusual ritual killing because of his background with serial killers at the FBI. His conclusions lead him to Bosch as the primary suspect. Ultimately they work together to solve the case and bring the real killer to justice.
post #2947 of 3283
List (Click to show)
1. Hicksville
2. Slaughterhouse 5
3. Firefight
4. Snow Leopard
5. The Rehearsal
6. Lagoon
7. Solo Faces
8. Breath
9. The Internet is Not the Answer
10. A Sport and a Past Time
11. White Teeth
12. The Bell Jar
11. White Teeth
 
A story of two, then three, families in 80s/90s London. Touches largely on immigration and growing up. Some good moments, but a bit long for my tastes. The book was helped a lot by the introduction of new and re-invigorating characters just as the story was getting stale. Obviously a very competent first novel, but I still found parts of it (the Jehovah's Witness stuff) quite bland. Took a LONG time to read.
 
 
12. The Bell Jar
 
Well, what a book!
 
Obviously I don't think I can say anything new about this. Sylvia Plath's masterful rendition of what it's like to be depressed, suicidal and pressured. I think she manages to capture the pressure young women feel and the way men and women try to live vicariously through them. It's incredibly difficult to write an engaging book about someone disengaged and miserable - but Plath has done so quite well.
 
Found the self-harm scenes hard going.
post #2948 of 3283
34. Showdown at Yellow Butte- Louis L'Amour

Novel expanded from short story of the same name I read a while back. The good parts were basically the same. The rest seemed like filler. A land grab scheme foiled by the hero. Who gets the girl.

Above average but not great.
post #2949 of 3283
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
0. Asterix and the Missing Scroll
1. The Whisperer
2. The Vanished Ones
3. Quarterly Essay: Political Amnesia
4. From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant
5. The Lost Girls of Rome
6. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
7. Never Mind
8. The Vegetarian
9. Man on Fire

10. Comfort Zone
Comfort ZoneComfort Zone by Lindsay Tanner

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Jack van Duyn is a single, middle-aged white taxi driver working Melbourne's inner suburbs. One day he picks up an investment banker, Matt, who notices some Somali boys being beaten up. Jack and Matt go to the rescue, but get more than they bargained for before the fight is finally broken up.

Despite his casual racism, Jack is immediately smitten by the boys' mother, Fahria. He finds a book with Somali writing at the scene and decides to use it as a means of getting to know her better, despite feeling that starting a relationship with a young Somali woman is taking him outside his comfort zone. Meantime Matt starts to involve Jack in some less than savoury activities, and an ASIO agent hassles Jack about the book; very much outside his comfort zone.

The novel is essentially a caper story using the Somali book as a maguffin to propel the plot. There are very few if any surprise twists and turns as Tanner walks Jack through the increasingly uncomfortable consequences of his intervention in the fight.

The problem is that this plot is scarcely believable. Even the author's narration describes at as absurd, and it is. There are just way too many unlikely events happening to this inoffensive Aussie bloke, and far too many unlikely developments. As a Melbournian, I got a kick from reading a story set in streets and buildings that I'm familiar with, but I'm afraid that was not enough.

Before turning his hand to writing, Lindsay Tanner was a politician, a Federal Minister for Finance, and a man with decades of experience as a factional warrior. When such a man turns his hand to crime writing, I think we're entitled to anticipate something deeper, darker and more challenging than this routine vapidity. A great opportunity missed.


View all my reviews
post #2950 of 3283
11 The Concret Blond by Michael Connelly This is a dark disturbing noir of the highest order. It moves at pace as most books in the series do but also raises questions of ethics, justice and delves deep into the psyche of Harry Bosch.It is clever with the narrative as it lays a trail of clues and then spins it off in another direction. The final murder is one of the most gruesome literary events I've ever read more so as it taps into the victims pre and post death experience with gruesome awareness. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

12 The Burning Room by Michael Connelly Great procedural noir and narrative writing of the first order. Interesting take on motivation both from the detectives perspective and that of the perp. Solidly written a stand out series of American Mean Streets Noir. Harry Bosch a literary True Detective of the first order.

Both highly recommended.
post #2951 of 3283
35. City of Bones- Michael Connelly

A human bone is dug up by a dog in Laurel Canyon. Most of the rest of the skeleton is found close to where the original bone was found and Bosch must make an ID and a case from a 20 year old murder. After many wrong turns and one incorrect confession he solves the case. During the course of the book he falls in love with a rookie, and the book finishes with him being promoted back to the elite downtown detective's division.

There are a couple of big surprises in the book, but you'll have to read it to find out, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
post #2952 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

35. City of Bones- Michael Connelly

A human bone is dug up by a dog in Laurel Canyon. Most of the rest of the skeleton is found close to where the original bone was found and Bosch must make an ID and a case from a 20 year old murder. After many wrong turns and one incorrect confession he solves the case. During the course of the book he falls in love with a rookie, and the book finishes with him being promoted back to the elite downtown detective's division.

There are a couple of big surprises in the book, but you'll have to read it to find out, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Interesting as the Bosch series which screened last year incorporated elements from a couple of books, Echo Park and now i realise City of Bones, wonder what others are in there. And this morning noticed has that Amazon has the Bosch series plus a second. Typically not available in Australia.baldy[1].gif
post #2953 of 3283

Gave up on a book for the first time in a while: The Lawless Roads (Graham Greene).

 

Just couldn't focus on the page, I'd glaze over every single time. I just can't get into Greene's prose. Apart from The Quiet American nothing has ever sunk in enough for me to even know what's actually going on.

post #2954 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

Gave up on a book for the first time in a while: The Lawless Roads (Graham Greene).

Just couldn't focus on the page, I'd glaze over every single time. I just can't get into Greene's prose. Apart from The Quiet American nothing has ever sunk in enough for me to even know what's actually going on.

For me, the book I could never get into was The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Never got past p. 35; it bored me to tears. Surprising, given that I love the movie made from it (Lawrence of Arabia).
post #2955 of 3283
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

For me, the book I could never get into was The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Never got past p. 35; it bored me to tears. Surprising, given that I love the movie made from it (Lawrence of Arabia).

The Magus persisted with it even though the story was driving me around the twist with it affectations and carry on. Then gave up.

Tried to watch the movie once but walked out.
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