Facebook
Skip to main content
PBS logo
 
 
Want fewer ads?

Gene W. (Roy45) - - Reviews

1 to 6 of 6
The Bastard of Istanbul
The Bastard of Istanbul
Author: Elif Shafak
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 6/13/2012


I had high hopes for this book -- the subject and history matter had so much to offer. I was very disappointed. The author chose what I call a sell-ploytation -- choosing a subject, an interesting title, and then totally sell out. The characters were unbelievable, totally unlikeable, and plot was plodding, the connection to the historical context was virtually nonexistent, and the final hook, what I believe was the author got into print, was unbelieveable. What a waste of a historical setting and a sell out to those who wanted a believable novel of what actually happened in the advertised history. I give this novel zero stars. I have no idea how it got into print.


Beach Music
Beach Music
Author: Pat Conroy
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 314
Review Date: 5/24/2013
Helpful Score: 1


I love the way Pat Conroy writes. This is not to be missed. I lived and breathed this book for 2 weeks. The story is great, how it is told is even greater. It unfolded like a beach umbrella. Read this book!


Fabulous Chicago (revised 1981)
Fabulous Chicago (revised 1981)
Author: Emmett Dedmon
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/8/2016


I lived in Chicago for 20 years and thought I knew the city. No Way. This is a fascinating book. It is not a "history" of Chicago, but rather a collection of the facets of its history that made it into the city it is today.

My only complaint was with geographical details. For example, a chapter on "the Levee" with all its decadence was great -- but nowhere does he identify where "the Levee" was. It is a location that has passed into Chicago lore, so nowhere in today's Chicago would anyone know where it existed.

If you are a Chicagoan or a wanna-be fan, you need to read this book.


The Fires of Spring
The Fires of Spring
Author: James A. Michener
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 1/30/2014


I have read almost all of James Michener's books and this is by far his worst. It is preachy and moralizing and on every other page, the characters have a "break through" in their understanding of life, but it has no effect or improvement on their impoverishd lives. It is a depressing novel and its hard to find a point in why it was written. Michener wrote it in 1949 and perhaps it is in a way his own coming of life as a novelist,but there is no feeling of having learned anything by reaching its long end, just a feeling that finally I am done with this book and its depressing characters.


The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
Author: Jeffrey Toobin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 41
Review Date: 7/3/2011
Helpful Score: 1


I couldn't put this book down. I loved it and I hated it. I'm not a lawyer and it is written by a lawyer, so probably 25% or more of the judicial stuff went over my head.
This book is a fantastic account of the progress of the Supreme Court since the 1960s or so. It chronicles the progress through the political and social storms and the effects they have had on judicial rulings. If you've lived through this period, you will recognize all these ups and downs and the effect they have had on the laws of this country.
Its also a great biography of the justices, told in bits and pieces as situations develop, the forces in their lives, their upbringings and experiences that made them decide cases as they did.
Its also a great insight into the inner workings of the court, most of which none of know anything about, the processes, the traditions, the lighter and darker elements, the interaction of the justices.
What dismayed me was the extent that politics rule inside the court. As a novice, I thought the law was the law, but alas. I now know why I absolutely despise some of our current justices, and admire others, based on my political beliefs. Its a real eye-opener as to how everyday life and politics shapes the law of the land.


Sin Killer (Berrybender Narrative, Bk 1)
Sin Killer (Berrybender Narrative, Bk 1)
Author: Larry McMurtry
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 79
Review Date: 7/5/2009


I read the 4 Berrybender books several years ago, and my initial evaluation was disappointment, as they were so silly and shallow compared to McMurtry's other novels. Its true that his characters are wonderful, but the events were so preposterous, I just couldn't understand why he would devote so many words to such an unbelievable story.

Now I think I've changed my mind. I've just read several novels of the Lewis & Clark Expedition of 1804-1806, and learned that over the next several decades, it became very popular to "recreate" the voyage. In fact, in the 1830-1840 period, a very wealthy Scotland Noble and his family did just that. Now I am wondering if these novels are some sort of a spoof on that very journey. I don't know why McMurtry may have found the idea ridiculous, but perhaps this is the basis of these novels.

If anyone has any info on this to confirm or deny, I'd appreciate hearing from you. Short of writing to McMurtry, it remains a mystery to me, as I haven't found any fact-based reviews of these books on the internet.


1 to 6 of 6
Want fewer ads?