Pat G. (scout1968) - , - Reviews

1 to 10 of 10
Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged
Author: Ayn Rand
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 128
Review Date: 2/26/2011
Helpful Score: 3


Magnificent read! Rand has woven an epic story with razor sharp insight into the human condition. Her character development and ability to tell a riveting tale is only surpassed by her intelligence. "Atlas Shrugged" is a fine novel, but is far more than this. Rand's philosophy of "Objectivism" is the glue holding this fascinating story together. Yes, she is didactic and, at times, is repetitive regarding her ideology via her protagonists as well as antagonists. Yet, she writes so well, that I found it an interesting education, as well a peek into the mind of a genius. I am not a proponent of "Objectivism", yet some of her beliefs make a great deal of sense in this age of entitlement. She clearly believed in, and expected humankind to exhibit the virtues of personal responsibility, hard work, courage, honesty, love and honor. Rand had little use for those who would cheat their way to high levels of power and corruption, as well as the cruelty and incompetence that accompanies them. In spite of some hard-nosed disgust at those she coined "looters" of society, Rand is deeply romantic. Her ability to unfold a beautiful love story is unparalleled. The love displayed in this novel is not sugar sweet, but rather, possesses an iron backbone. Her lovers are passionate, strong and devoted. While you may (as I) disagree with a number of her philosophical tenets, this novel is a 'must read'. Without a doubt, "Atlas Shrugged" deserves the title of "classic." If you do not fear a 1200 plus page tome, you will not be sorry to have read this monumental novel.


Beggars in Spain (Sleepless, Bk 1)
Beggars in Spain (Sleepless, Bk 1)
Author: Nancy Kress
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 50
Review Date: 7/19/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Present day genetic engineering has made it possible to tweak in utero babies so they will never need to sleep. In addition, they have greatly enhanced intelligence, creativity and physical prowess, not to mention having the edge of eight additional work hours per day. At first, only the very wealthy could afford this procedure and few waves were created. Soon, there were 20,000 of the 'sleepless' and growing. Envy and subsequent persecution grew until the gulf between these two types of humans was nearly complete. Animosity leads to drastic measures and horrific plans. Nancy Kress has created a believable scenario with realistic characters, often, deeply flawed and multi-layered. This novel is the first of a trilogy created by this master writer. It is highly recommended.


The Book of Names
The Book of Names
Author: Jill Gregory, Karen Tintori
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 7/21/2010
Helpful Score: 1


In ancient Jewish mystical thought, every generation possesses thirty-six righteous souls whose existence keep the universe from falling apart into chaos and destruction. In this page turner, Gregory & Tintori create a present-day scenario in which a powerful Gnostic organization has procured the names of these individuals and begins to systematically kill them off, with increasingly frightening results world wide. The protagonist meets a rabbi and through their interaction, the reader is given fascinating information about Jewish Kabbalistic thought as well as Gnosticism. This is a very fine, fast paced thriller that will keep you up way past your bedtime. Highly recommended.


The Left Hand of God
The Left Hand of God
Author: Paul Hoffman
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 7/19/2010
Helpful Score: 2


What a ride! Hoffman has created a distant dystopian world in which exists a horrific and murderous religious order. Young boys are continuously brought into this harsh and closed environment where the darkest forms of sadism are unrestrained. The story centers around a teen by the name of Thomas Cale, who, as a result of witnessing a very ugly event, manages to escape. He finds his way out of the realm of "The Redeemers" and into a city that is, initially so out of his completely restricted experience, that he is continuously astounded. Gradually, Thomas begins to get in touch with the humanity that has for so long, been viciously beaten out of him. The character development of Thomas is absolutely excellent. The author does a wonderful job of peeling back the long-buried layers of human feelings that this young man begins to experience. Other characters are also very well fleshed-out and interesting. There are myriad action scenes excellently described and quite thrilling. Having finished the book, I long for a sequel, or, even better, a trilogy. Very highly recommended.


Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 189
Review Date: 4/18/2010
Helpful Score: 7


This novel haunted me for weeks. It takes place in an alternate England in the late 1990's. The main protagonist is a 31 year old female who begins to narrate her growing up experiences in a boarding school and beyond. Ishiguro's style is melancholy, detached and quite lyrical. The horrific story unfolds gradually, while drawing in the reader with a gentle, yet inexorable force. I simply could not resist this compelling story. It is a very powerful book; one of the most moving reading experiences I have had in several years. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough; yet be warned; it may break your heart.


The Passage (Passage, Bk 1)
The Passage (Passage, Bk 1)
Author: Justin Cronin
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 163
Review Date: 7/18/2010
Helpful Score: 16


The world as we know it has gone horribly awry. The author has written a thoughtful, exciting and, very addictive book. This is not the typical vampire novel. The creatures are frightening and mindlessly ruthless. Cronin has created a very believable, albeit terrifying scenario and, while there is hope, it is a grim read. For fans of well-written thrillers, this book will be very satisfying. The characters are well developed and the action is excellent. This is a fine novel for fans of this particular genre, as well as for those eager for a very thrilling ride. Highly recommended.


The Postman
The Postman
Author: David Brin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 181
Review Date: 7/29/2010
Helpful Score: 2


Given our fragile economy, diminishing status/power in the world, a neglected infrastructure and corrupted political arena, it is not a big stretch to imagine the whole country (for whatever reason) collapsing into chaos and anarchy. This wonderful novel takes place over a decade after the collapse of America as we know it. The main character is a fellow who wanders among surviving communities, performing his own bastardized versions of Shakespeare and other dramatic renderings for food and lodging. He's not a saint, nor a monster...merely someone trying to survive in his own way. After a circumstance in which he snags a dead postman's uniform, he begins weaving a legend of a restored US government. He feels guilty, but clearly enjoys the excellent treatment he receives as the "representative" and Postmaster of this new USA. His myth very soon takes flight, and hope arises in the Oregon communities he visits. What follows is heart-rending. There is a vicious gang who roams the area; destroying, raping, murdering and subsequently turning the conquered communities into harsh serfdoms. Through the hope engendered by the main character, resistance to this dark band of murderers is strengthened. There are victories and heart breaking losses. The main protagonist is wonderfully multi-layered and the world he inhabits is frightfully real. The rest of the characters are nicely fleshed out as well. This is such a beautifully written novel. The reader becomes the silent observer, and, is thus pulled into the soul of the story. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.


Prince Caspian the chronicles of narnia (movie images inside)
Prince Caspian the chronicles of narnia (movie images inside)
Author: C. S. Lewis
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 12/12/2015


I love this series and was delighted to find it on PBS. I got it for a young friend of mine who was not able to afford a copy of it and has read the first of this wonderful series by C.S.Lewis. This is a charming and captivating series for all children and adults who have not lost the magic.


The Shack
The Shack
Author: William P. Young
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 3041
Review Date: 4/14/2010
Helpful Score: 2


It was difficult for me to nail down a star rating for this book, as it has very definite strengths as well as weaknesses. If one is looking for a literary read, pass this up. The writing, itself, is sophomoric and will, in all likelihood, frustrate you. However, this book provided something for me, which was infinitely more valuable. Young's inventive portrayal of the trinity from a relational point of view, confirmed that, indeed, if Christianity is anything, it is about relationships; horizontal as well as vertical. If one reads the book with this in mind, the author's lack of technical writing skills pales in significance given the beautiful and clever way he uses the characters to open up a new and very welcome understanding of God.


The Windup Girl
The Windup Girl
Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 26
Review Date: 7/18/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Bacigalaupi has created a grim, but believable world with interesting, yet, for the most part, unsympathetic characters and plenty of page turning action. It is an unfeeling and ugly environment, rife with dog-eat-dog interactions. Our present day lack of ecological responsibility and agricultural seed engineering make for a short reach into the dystopian world presented in this excellent novel. This is a very, very dark, but well-written book.


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