Mark R. (strato-reader) - Reviews

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The 158-Pound Marriage
The 158-Pound Marriage
Author: John Irving
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 90
Review Date: 10/17/2005


More weird John, I'm sure.


American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
Review Date: 1/18/2006


Ammo for criticizing the Bush White House.


And a Hard Rain Fell: A GI's True Story of the War in Vietnam
And a Hard Rain Fell: A GI's True Story of the War in Vietnam
Author: John Ketwig
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 1/27/2012


An illuminating account, passionately written on Vietnam and war in general. Reading this has crystallized some of my half-formed thoughts on the horrors of not just war, but choosing to make war. Seems fresh material in light of our continuing to feel little reluctance to go to war.

Even accepting that Ketwig feels little interest in dazzling the reader with gruesome war scenes, there are stretches in the story that are too ruminating and wound-licking. It obviously didn't diminish my overall praise very much, but there will be readers that will react with, enough already. I'd recommend it to anyone who is serious about considering the costs of maintaining our status in the world through our military.


Angela's Ashes
Angela's Ashes
Author: Frank McCourt
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 481
Review Date: 10/19/2007
Helpful Score: 3


Maybe I'm just a heartless oaf, but all that sweet humanity that the book got so much credit for largely missed me. But nice writing and not your average memoir.


Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, Bk 1)
Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, Bk 1)
Author: Dan Brown
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 3674
Review Date: 8/26/2005


Not as finely tweaked as Da Vinci Code, but very engrossing with lots of heretical innuendo.


Another Roadside Attraction
Another Roadside Attraction
Author: Tom Robbins
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 121
Review Date: 2/18/2007


quirky in the Ken Kesey vein. fairly good writing, but not enough story for me.


The Big U
The Big U
Author: Neal Stephenson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 8/7/2005


Neal's first. Full of raw ability without the polish he aquired later on. Interesting look into how a strong writer started out.


The Blood Artists
The Blood Artists
Author: Chuck Hogan
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 10/19/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Chuck's great, but this was too much medical gore for me. I bailed after 40 pages. Looks like a good thriller if you enjoy bio-doom.


The Brethren
The Brethren
Author: John Grisham
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 1020
Review Date: 8/7/2005


Good fun. Not the regular Grisham. Plenty of suspense along with wicked humor. Great characters.


Consent to Kill (Mitch Rapp, Bk 6)
Consent to Kill (Mitch Rapp, Bk 6)
Author: Vince Flynn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 337
Review Date: 12/15/2006


Maybe my favorite, though Term Limits was a blast, too. Devastating developments. Loser politicians. And enemies you can almost like. Perfection in a thriller.


Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government--Saving Privacy in the Digital Age
Review Date: 8/7/2005


A top secret book hiding in plain sight. Told in very unsexy way, you get to see how the government tried to squash the cryptography that we now take for granted when we do a credit card transaction.


Devils in Exile: A Novel
Devils in Exile: A Novel
Author: Chuck Hogan
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 8/4/2014


After Prince of Thieves, could Chuck Hogan come up with another accurate exploration of harsh, manly relationships that's as compelling and satisfying to read? Well, he did with Devils in Exile. I had high hopes and Devils came through in a huge way. The best post war, ex-GI portrayal I've seen by an author and that was just stage setting for the rest of the book. He goes on to use that premise to weave a thrilling, believable chain of events. And all set so well in Boston that you could get around town without a map after reading the book. A book with no weaknesses.


Die Trying (Jack Reacher, Bk 2)
Die Trying (Jack Reacher, Bk 2)
Author: Lee Child
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 331
Review Date: 8/8/2006


Our man Jack comes through again. I think I detected a logic lapse that Lee missed. But I'm probably wrong.


Einstein's Dreams
Einstein's Dreams
Author: Alan Lightman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 95
Review Date: 3/28/2006
Helpful Score: 2


Thoughtful, but too slow for me. Gently written. Had an "art for art's sake" feel for me.


The Enemy (Jack Reacher, Bk 8)
The Enemy (Jack Reacher, Bk 8)
Author: Lee Child
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 476
Review Date: 11/30/2005


Good solid mystery. Gritty, military angle to it.


The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
Author: Don Miguel Ruiz
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 390
Review Date: 8/26/2005
Helpful Score: 1


A very readable and practical self-help book. (the only one I ever finished) A little book, but rather pithy.


Gone South
Gone South
Author: Robert McCammon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 103
Review Date: 8/26/2005


A book with good movement and suspense. Main character is a Vietnam vet who gets into a bizarre world of a siamese twins bounty hunter, Louisianans who don't claim America. A good, weird read.


Heat
Heat
Author: Stuart Woods
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 91
Review Date: 4/2/2007


A text-book page-turner. Incessant danger, brave, smart hero and bad guys who terrorize with impunity. Grittier than his Stone Barrington books.


I Smell Esther Williams (Vintage Contemporaries)
I Smell Esther Williams (Vintage Contemporaries)
Author: Mark Leyner
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 10/10/2005


Lyner is a guy who uses words to humor, shock, dazzle you. This is a little different from a writer who uses ideas to do those things. He's much crisper than Hunter Thompson or Faulkner, who strike me as words-before-idea guys. That said, this is a book for the rare reader who will enjoy word riffs.


Lie Down With Lions
Lie Down With Lions
Author: Ken Follett
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 82
Review Date: 8/7/2005
Helpful Score: 1


Solid Follett. Though fiction, it holds up well after reading historical accounts of the Russian/Afghan war.


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