"Fun. A vicarious look at how a few students took some clever ideas and strategies for gaining an edge on the casinos and evolved it into a high roller lifestyle and enterprise.
The book focuses mainly on the dramatic events (big wins / losses, team turmoil, brushes with casino security) and doesn't go very deeply into the mathematical strategy the players used. I left thinking there had to be more to it than what was presented as the casinos seemed too oblivious to the brazenness of the students.
"The Harry Bosch formula seems to be:
- Start with a simple murder
- Layer in Harry's struggling (and often unrelated) personal relationships
- Throw in serious conflict between Harry and his police department superiors
- Complicate the murder threefold
- Tie it all together and package it up with a clever climax
"This book starts as a novel and turns into a soapbox. Very readable and entertaining, but there comes a point in this book where you get pulled out of the make believe story and back into reality. A very contrived climax was very disappointing after a page-turning build-up.
"This book starts with the sudden death of a couple and then alternates chapters moving backwards and forwards in time to show the chain of events that led to their death, and the final evolution of their bodies.
Primarily, it is a love story; it is not a drama or mystery. Poetic. Very biological (a lot of time is spent throughout the book on decomposition).
"My first Harry Bosch novel. Good detective story that starts small and slowly builds into a complex caper. I liked the book, but Harry hasn't won me over yet. I'll suspend judgment until I read Black Ice.
"Starts small and then slowly introduces the complications, complexities and angles. Then piece by piece it unravels those complexities and puts them together into a dramatic conclusion. A good, clever detective novel.
"Classic whodunit. 2 relatively short detective stories - sort of like Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle in that the plots center around the mystery, the clues, the cleverness and personality of the detectives.
This was my first Rex Stout. I think you may have to read a few of them to get accustomed to the peculiarities of the characters and really enjoy it.
"A tough read more suited to the intellectual than the casual reader. Taleb is far more academic (although he scorns academia) than the more entertaining and storytelling Malcolm Gladwell (Tipping Point)
There are certainly a few nuggets to be found throughout and the premise is memorable, but the diatribe against the Gaussian bell curve is brutally tedious and Taleb writes in a first person style that can come across as self-serving or patronizing.
"Connelly's books seem to follow a pattern: start simple and then layer on complications, twists, clues, and complexity. In Bloodwork, it starts as a spontaneous robbery homicide and evolves into an intricate pursuit of a serial killer.
"Thrilling but forced. A third of this book is suspenseful and chilling. A third of this book is somewhat tedious crime scene analysis. And a third of this book covers the strange relationship of a paraplegic and a cop.
"This book falls into that rare category of good literature combined with a good read.
Set in Germany during WWII, this novel is about an adopted girl (Liesel) growing up in a small town amid the poverty and propaganda of the war. While there are themes of war, survival, and Jewish compassion this book is really about the relationships Liesel forms with her friend, father, townsfolk, and Jewish protectee.
This book is narrated by a very compassionate Grim Reaper who keeps tabs on Liesel amid collecting the souls of the fallen. This adds a very unique element to the book without detracting from the seriousness of the novel.
"On its own, this book is a solid thriller. But when compared to the original trilogy written by Robert Ludlum, it begins to pale. The main character, Jason Bourne, just doesn't feel the same; he's less super human and more dependent on others.
"Connelly shifts from the police department to the courtroom in this follow-up to The Lincoln Lawyer featuring Mickey Haller with plenty of Harry Bosch moments thrown in. A lot of fun for those who have read many in the Connelly series and now get to see these two protagonists intersect. Strong plot but not as clever as The Lincoln Lawyer.
"Not all that. This book sets up as a "Good guy with lots of secrets on the run from the bad guys" and just fizzles. There's not much in the way of action, twists, or plot wrap-up. Way too much focus on Italy and learning the Italian language.
"A little disappointing. In the author's note, Bill Evans talks about New York City's vulnerability to a hurricane and how he had hoped to write a scientific book about the potential impact. He was instead encouraged to write a novel.
I was expecting a story about heroism, tragedy, survivors and recovery. Instead, this book is about a terrorist engaged in "weather manipulation" to create a storm while the CIA and a few meteorologists try to decipher and thwart it.
I think I would have liked the scientific study better.