Mark A. (BigrTex) - Reviews

1 to 9 of 9
Hoot (Newbery Honor Book)
Hoot (Newbery Honor Book)
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 66
Review Date: 2/13/2006


It was a cute book, targetted towards younger readers -- easier to read, shorter, simpler, with kids being the main characters, but had most of the elements that you would expect from Hiaasen (no R-rated activities - including gross violence). I read it in less than a day, and enjoyed it.


The King of Torts
The King of Torts
Author: John Grisham
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 952
Review Date: 8/25/2005
Helpful Score: 2


Grisham can be hit or miss with me. This wasn't a difficult read, but it wasn't particularly fun either. I have a much better understanding for the US 'tort' system than I did before the book, and now agree that we need to do something to fix it, but I still have no idea what.
Back to the book. The biggest problem for me is that there were no likable characters. I never liked the protagonist. He's a young lawyer (like most of Grisham's protagonists), but he isn't particularly strong-willed or smart or super-ethical or any of the other things that make Grisham's protagonists likable. Instead he seems to be a stand-in for the prototypical dispised, money-grubbing lawyer.


Live Bait (Monkeewrench, Bk 2)
Live Bait (Monkeewrench, Bk 2)
Author: P. J. Tracy
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 134
Review Date: 8/31/2005


I enjoyed this book, really I did.

I realized as I was reading it how rare it is to have just one death in a book anymore. It's like salad... they have to charge you $7 for a salad so they can cover their overhead, but they feel guilty about giving you a little salad for $7 and lettuce is cheap so they serve you a platter with an entire head of lettuce. They have to charge you $7 for a book, so why only have one murder when you can have 4 or more... serial killers around every corner.

Their were elements of this book that I saw coming. I like the idea of the new Monkeewrench program. I look forward to reading Tracy's newest book, hoping that it expands on it.

It felt at times like Tracy's success with Monkeewrench sent the publisher to pounding on their door begging for a sequel that was rushed instead of allowing them time to come up with another unique work.

But ultimately, I like the characters, they feel real in their issues and interactions (Okay, some of them may be a little over the top [Grace's boots and guns]). And I like the way it is written.


Myth-Ion Improbable (Myth Adventures, Bk 11)
Myth-Ion Improbable (Myth Adventures, Bk 11)
Author: Robert Asprin
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 48
Review Date: 3/1/2006
Helpful Score: 1


This isn't one of the best of the Myth books, but it's been a long time since I read the rest.

It was what you would expect from a Myth book - light, fun, punny, mindless fantasy.


The Number of the Beast
The Number of the Beast
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 87
Review Date: 6/3/2005
Helpful Score: 2


One of my all-time favorite books by my favorite author. The first two sections are outstanding time-travelling, dimension-hopping Science Fiction. Sadly, the third section falls to Heinlein's efforts to tie all of his books into one story line.


Open Season (Joe Pickett, Bk 1)
Open Season (Joe Pickett, Bk 1)
Author: C. J. Box
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 158
Review Date: 6/8/2005
Helpful Score: 3


I was recommended this book by Amazon and read it from the library a couple of years ago. I've been looking for the sequel ever since (and just found out that there are now 5 books in the series. It's a great book, and I recommend it highly.

From booklist:
Every few years a first novel appears that immediately sets itself apart from the crowd. As readers, we feel that special shock of recognition that announces, "Here is something special." Taking dead aim with his first sentence ("When a high-powered rifle hits living flesh it makes a distinctive--pow-WHOP--sound that is unmistakable even at tremendous distance"), Wyoming first-novelist Box remains square on target throughout this superb debut. Joe Pickett, game warden of Twelve Sleep County in Wyoming, is just the kind of everyman hero we can't help but identify with: something of a plodder, even a bit of a bungler (he loses his gun to a poacher in the novel's opening scene), he is nevertheless the kind of man who responds to a crisis with courage and the ability to act decisively (just the way we like to think we would respond). And Joe faces a major-league crisis in his rookie year as game warden: when three elk hunters are killed under suspicious circumstances (one of them dies in the warden's backyard, apparently on his way to deliver something), Joe can't understand why his colleagues seem to want to sweep the case under the rug. When he looks under that rug, however, he finds a many-tentacled scam involving an oil pipeline and an endangered species. Soon Joe's career is in jeopardy and his family in mortal danger. The plot is constructed with airtight precision, generating remarkable suspense while drawing us completely into a vividly realized world. The Wyoming high country is a palpable presence here; its ruggedness plays a crucial role in the story, and its grandeur is continually set against the venality of most human concerns. The endangered-species theme, often a plot element is crime fiction, is explored with impressive complexity and no shortage of villains on all sides of the issue. And, best of all, the soft-spoken Joe Pickett is a Gary Cooper for our time: flawed, insecure, but a stand-up guy when it counts--the perfect mix of dream and reality.


Pop Goes The Weasel (Alex Cross, Bk 5)
Pop Goes The Weasel (Alex Cross, Bk 5)
Author: James Patterson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 678
Review Date: 9/17/2006


I don't like the fact that Patterson has killed off so many women in Alex Cross's life. He likely does it for the effect that it has on the readers (including me). In this book he introduces a new serial killer, and that is an enjoyable change. Instead of the super-genius serial killer, we have a random serial killer. I enjoyed it a lot, but not significantly more or less than the previous books in the series.


Savage Run (Joe Pickett, Bk 2)
Savage Run (Joe Pickett, Bk 2)
Author: C. J. Box
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 1/15/2006
Helpful Score: 1


I loved it. I wish more people knew about Box's fiction. I guess that the hunting/macho thing would turn off some readers, but I find it more engrossing than a lot of the occupations and side-stories that other detective books include.


Shrink Rap (Sunny Randall, Bk 3)
Shrink Rap (Sunny Randall, Bk 3)
Author: Robert B. Parker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 113
Review Date: 3/6/2007


I especially enjoyed this story. It had seemed to me that Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall were very similar in the early novels, but I think that Parker is starting to separate them at this point.

I enjoyed the psychological discussions of why she did what she did and why she is the way she is. It added another layer to the character.


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