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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Bloody Marvelous!

Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row by Christopher Golden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Christopher Golden is my favorite author of all those who write novels for this series. His style and presentation are very engaging to me. I find it hard to put his books down. He gives The Buffyverse a much darker cast than the TV series or even the comics give it. His depiction of Spike and Dru make me wonder how I could have ever become attached to them. Very disturbing! Golden creates a memorable cast of characters among the big bads as well as potential slayers and The Watchers Council - including a young John Travers. If you like Buffy, you'll like this novel, but it's not canon, so if you're a stickler, you'll be put off by a major contradiction in this novel. Say no more!

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Freaky Is A Freaky Does

The Quantum Mystery (Kindle Single)The Quantum Mystery by John Gribbin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, it's John Gribbin and his reputation precedes him. I do truly appreciate this author's attention to historical accuracy. Every time I read one of his books, I pick up a significant amount of history that I was not aware of. Otherwise, this is a brief treatment of the wave-particle duality that lies at the heart of QM. He delves much deeper into the subject in a few of his other longer works, but this is great for those who want a quick and easy to reference treatment of this one particular issue. If you're unfamiliar with the issue, prepare to be freaked out.

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Saturday, July 06, 2019

Don't You Ban Me!

RageRage by Richard Bachman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, I can certainly understand why Steve-o-rino "banned" this book from his published works, but I am also an adamant anti-censoring advocate. Should impulsive, disturbed teens read it? No! But it is the responsibility of the impulsive, disturbed teen's guardian(s) to monitor media consumed by said teen. Too much responsibility? Either deal with the risks of raising children or don't have kids. It's called either responsible parenting or birth control. Practice one or the other. Personally, I think that Steve was probably an impulsive, disturbed person when he wrote this, but thankfully, he had an outlet called "writing." Come to think of it, it's kind of frightening to consider what kind of person he might have turned out to be had he not been able to write. Hmmmmm......

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Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Sounds Good To Me!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my second reading of the final Harry Potter novel. As with the others, this audible production featuring Jim Dale as the narrator was excellent. I hadn't noticed it the first time, but I had to laugh when Molly Weasley exclaims, "Thank God!" Why would a wizard thank a deity? Go figure.

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Entertaining

Fifth Profession, TheFifth Profession, The by David Morrell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a dramatic reading of the novel conducted by several excellent voice actors. The novel itself is an entertaining adventure story of two protectors or bodyguards. They've had their minds messed with and they use their skills to solve the mystery of why they were so messed with. It's fairly well written and has a well constructed plot. Not the best thing I've ever read in the genre, but it kept me entertained, and so the five-star rating. By the way, I got this an introductory freebie from Walmart's audiobook service.

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Wednesday, June 05, 2019

What Does Carrie White Eat?

CarrieCarrie by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a delightful read! This book is so cheerful and optimistic! Just kidding. For his first published novel, Stephen King gives us Carrie White - a girl with paranormal abilities - who gets bullied and gets revenge. She's got a cray cray mother (religion will do that to you). King laces the narrative with "documents" (letters, book excerpts, AP wire reports, court records) that recount what happened on the night of the prom, including attempts to explain Carrie White. I first read this about two years after it came out in paperback. I read The Shining first. I'm a fan of most of King's work. Some of it is gawd-awful, but this one is not so. A mighty fine read with memorable characters and masterfully done storytelling. Read it, because you have no free will.

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Sunday, May 19, 2019

An Amazing Listen!

The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke 1937-1999The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke 1937-1999 by Arthur C. Clarke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Arthur C. Clarke was prolific and talented author of science and science fiction, so to assemble this amazing cast of narrators to read his works was a stroke of genius and a very fitting tribute to his wonderous storytelling. If you're a fan of his works, this is a must listen.

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Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Just Be Nicer

A Face in the CrowdA Face in the Crowd by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very good quick read! I hate baseball, and I found this engaging. Actually, the baseball stuff is just wallpaper for the story. Don't read the synopsis if you haven't already. Just dive in. You'll catch on to what's happening pretty quickly. It's a great "what if..." story, even if baseball is peripherally involved. God, I hate baseball! So boring!

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Vengeance Is Mine!

Without Remorse (John Clark, #1)Without Remorse by Tom Clancy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the earliest set story told in The Ryanverse (novels set in the universe containing Jack Ryan). It is the origin story of one John "Clark" Kelly. A former Navy Seal, John rescues a befriends a young woman abused by criminals only to see her killed by the same. Thus begins what is one of my favorite vengeance novels. There's a lot more to the story, including a Russian Colonel working American soldiers in a Vietnam POW camp, a coast guard crew, the CIA and a wee bit of romance. It's a long book, but a quick read once you get started. Highly recommended.

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King's Two Cents

Guns (Kindle Single)Guns by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OK, Steve-o-rino, tell us how you really feel! Oh, goodness - it is such a contentious issue. What do we do about guns in this country? Stephen King has opinions on the matter, and while he is "just another author with an opinion," you might want to read what he has to say. I, for one, agree with him, but enough about me. Even if you're a card-carrying member of the NRA, it is intellectually honest to consider the opinions of those who disagree with you, and you might be interested to know how your opponents see you and your position. Of course, this isn't the only opinion anyone should read, but King lays out his with a unique style that is nakely honest, so it is at least entertaining to add his voice to the mix.

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He Is A Machine!

Terminator 3: Rise of the MachinesTerminator 3: Rise of the Machines by David Hagberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoy movie novelizations when they add perspective to a the story told in the movie. A good movie novelization always gives a bit more than what you get from watching the movie. David Hagberg doesn't pull that off in this novelization. He faithfully recreates in narrative what is seen and heard in the movie. As far as that goes, he does a good job. The writing is clear and engaging. Had the film never been made, this would have been an awesome book. However, given its replicative nature, I will call it "competent."

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Sunday, May 05, 2019

Teenage Wasteland

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As with the previous HP books, I very much enjoyed the Audible version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince . Jim Dale is very good. Harry is, in his true to teenage form, irritating and tiresome with his angst and immaturity, as are all people in true to teenage form. JKR is excellent at character building. No spoilers. If you've go this far in the series, you'll want to read are reading review in order to see if you should continue, then search no more. Pick up the book or put on those headphone and get after it! I command it!

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Monday, April 29, 2019

It's About Time!

The Time Illusion (Kindle Single)The Time Illusion by John Gribbin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, I found some experiments done on quantum systems that I'd never even heard about. Fascinating! I don't know that I'm convinced of Gribbin's view on time, but he certainly makes a compelling argument. I won't spoil it. I'll just say that if you're into the nature of time, read this with an open mind peppered with some skepticism.

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Narf!

Black Holes: The BBC Reith LecturesBlack Holes: The BBC Reith Lectures by Stephen Hawking
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

That Stephen Hawking - what do you do with him? He was such a funny guy. His wit is frequently as profound as his physics. This Kindle Single is an easy read and packs a lot of interesting information about black holes. Given that we've just got the first picture of one, the work is very relevant. I highly recommend it.

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Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Your Latin Sucks!

The ExorcistThe Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As beautiful as it is horrifying, this novel of the interweaving of the lives of a mother, daughter, priest and detective along with a struggle of reason against faith, frosted with a battle between good and evil, will make you turn pages until your wrist cramps.

I read this novel back in the eighties, and I thoroughly enjoyed the 40th anniversary edition. Back in those days, I was a Catholic struggling with my faith. I believed in such things as demonic possession. I've since then given up both faith belief in anything supernatural, but I still feel sympathy for Father Damien Karras and I am genuinely fond of the character. I still find the demon possessing Regan MacNeil terrifying.

William Peter Blatty has given us a beautifully written novel. If nothing else, read this so that you can enjoy, in context, the little note that Regan wrote to her mother for Mother's Day. It will change your life. That alone makes this novel a great work of literature.

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Sunday, April 07, 2019

Creeeeeeeeeeeeepy..... yo!

The Neighbor (The City, #0.5)The Neighbor by Dean Koontz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, that was just creepy. For me, true horror is watching helplessly while a child is terrorized by evil. Dean Koontz frequently uses that ammunition against me. That's why I enjoy his stuff - formulaic as it may be. He's good with bringing characters to life - formulaic as they may also be. What can I say? I just like his stories. OK, the guy is formulaic. You have to give him points for consistency though, right? it ain't literature. It's trash writing, but it's entertaining trash writing. That's what counts. Suffice it to say that I was .... entertained. Peace.

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Monday, April 01, 2019

Fantastic and Brilliant!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bloody marvelous the second time around as an audiobook! Jim Dale is a fantastic and brilliant narrator! I use those two adjectives, because they seem to be the only ones that the English actually know how to use.

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Why You Should Watch Angel