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Robert C. (racprint) - Reviews

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Chicago Days Hoboken Nights
Chicago Days Hoboken Nights
Author: Daniel Manus Pinkwater
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/17/2007


Those familiar with Pinkwater's NPR commentaries will love this audio book. It's impossible to keep a smile off your face as you listen to true stories of Pinkwater's youth, told in his own voice. Listen in the car, but don't forget to keep your eye on the road.


Close Range : Wyoming Stories
Close Range : Wyoming Stories
Author: Annie Proulx
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 90
Review Date: 7/17/2007
Helpful Score: 1


This collection of short stories includes "Brokeback Mountain" from which the movie was made. This writing is about as sparse as it gets, resembling, no doubt, the vast plains about which Proulx writes so movingly.


The Complete Plays: The Ruffain on the Stair, Entertaining Mr. Sloan, the Good and Faithful Servant, Loot, the Erpingham Camp, Funeral Games, What the Butler Saw
Review Date: 6/5/2008


One of the funniest writers ever. Imagine what he could have done had he not died so young and so tragically.


Death Comes for the Archbishop
Death Comes for the Archbishop
Author: Cather
Book Type: Paperback
  ?
Review Date: 6/5/2008


I read this before visiting Santa Fe. It gives a vivid picture of life in the southlands before civilization took over. A moving protrait of a man who changed life in those parts for so many people.


DMZ, Vol 1: On the Ground
DMZ, Vol 1: On the Ground
Author: Brian Wood, Riccardo Burchielli, Illustrator
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 6/5/2008


The 3 book series is one of the best graphic novels I've read, and I've read a lot. This is painfully realistic stuff, and the future looks bleak. Prepare yourself to be taken to a world that will make you question reality.


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner)
Author: Philip K. Dick
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 165
Review Date: 6/5/2008
Helpful Score: 2


I had heard that Dick is considered by many to be the greatest Science Fiction author ever. This book might just confirm it. The movie Blade Runner was based on this book, although the resemblance is not all that great. I would say that both the movie and the book are masterpieces.


Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood
Author: Alexandra Fuller
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 259
Review Date: 9/12/2009


This came highly recommended, and I wish I could say I really liked it. I didn't. I couldn't get past about 75 pages. The story is quite interesting, but the jumping time frame is disorienting, and the florid prose really turned me off: way, way too many adjectives for my taste. If you are fascinated by recent African history, and can overlook my objections, you may enjoy this book.


Down and Out in Paris and London
Down and Out in Paris and London
Author: George Orwell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 38
Review Date: 8/3/2012


Orwell is best known for 1984 and Animal Farm. Everyone should read these 2 books. But my absolute favorite Orwell is his essays, and this book, Down and Out in Paris and London. I rarely read a book twice, but I made an exception in this case (afterall, the last time I read it was over 30 years ago). This is Orwell's first book, and you can see the mature Orwell peaking out. What I love is the exotic and quirky characters that populate the book. This is a travelogue of the underbelly of 2 great cities. Yes, you'll see 4 star hotels, but you'll see them from 4 floors below in the stink, filth, and heat of the kitchen, and the characters that work there. A great piece of reportage in the form of a fictional account.


Find Me (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged)
Find Me (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged)
Author: Rosie O'Donnell
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 7/17/2007
Helpful Score: 3


This is amazing stuff. I know many people don't like Rosie, but this reading will convince you that (1) she is crazy (she freely admits it, over and over), (2) she is generous to a fault, (3) she is brutally honest. You will be drawn in by her impassioned style and the plot, a true story, that is, as they say, stranger than fiction.


Girl with a Pearl Earring
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 1456
Review Date: 7/17/2007
Helpful Score: 7


I've decided that one of my life's goals is to see every Vermeer painting in person. So far I've only seen The Concert, at the Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, many years ago, before it was stolen in the largest, and still unsolved, art heist in history.
Girl with a Pearl Earring is a fictionalized account of the how this painting, called the Mona Liza of the North, came to be made. This is an erotic novel with NO overt eroticism. You can feel the unrequited passion between Vermeer and his beautiful servant girl, who reluctantly becomes the subject of the painting. The movie is good, the book is WAY better.


Review Date: 4/18/2012


Best of the trilogy. Full of humor, yes, but also more directly thought provoking than the previous 2 volumes.


The Ice Maiden (Britt Montero, Bk 8)
The Ice Maiden (Britt Montero, Bk 8)
Author: Edna Buchanan
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 6/5/2008


I never tire of Buchanan and Britt Montero. Buchanan injects humor into a genre that often takes itself too seriously. Start with early Montero so you grow to understand her character.


Interpreter of Maladies: Stories
Interpreter of Maladies: Stories
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
Book Type: School Library Binding
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 7/17/2007


This book pulls you into a world that, unless you were raised Indian, you cannot possibly have any idea about. It's a powerful lesson about another culture, that sheds light on our own. Each story is tightly written, not a single wasted word, and some are deeply moving. This is an astonishing accomplishment for such a young author.


Little Green Men
Little Green Men
Author: Christopher Buckley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 3/15/2012


Christopher Buckley is a hipper, waggier (is there such a word?)Carl Hiaasen. He is incapable of writing that is not witty, knowing, full of inside jokes, with tongue firmly in cheek. In fact, I'd call him cheeky.

Start with "Thank you for Smoking", then "No Way to Treat a First Lady", then anything else he's written.


A Long Way Down
A Long Way Down
Author: Nick Hornby
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 265
Review Date: 6/5/2008


Hornby is a brilliant, witty writer. I've now read 4 of his novels, and the prose consistently brings me LOL pleaure. Even if you have seen the movies, read the books. They are way better.


Madame Bovary
Madame Bovary
Author: Gustave Flaubert, Lowell Bair (Translator), Leo Bersani (Editor)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 84
Review Date: 6/5/2008
Helpful Score: 1


When I read that this was considered by many to be the greatest French novel ever (and particularly this translation), I simply had to read it. It does not disappoint. The prose flows over you like dark clouds. Emma is a dreamer, and her dreaming puts her in a vortex that inevitably brings her to a tragic end. A cautionary tale.


No Way to Treat a First Lady
No Way to Treat a First Lady
Author: Christopher Buckley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 55
Review Date: 6/5/2008


This writer is among the funniest around. If making fun of lawyers gives you pleasure, this is the book for you. Buckley also wrote Thank You For Smoking, which was made into a movie. I've now read 3 of his novels, and have been delighted with all 3.


One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, Bk 1)
One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, Bk 1)
Author: Janet Evanovich
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 270
Review Date: 6/5/2008


Evanovich turns the mystery/detective novel on its head. This is one very funny book. The grandmother alone is worth the price of admission. I've now read Two also, and I believe Evanovich is pretty consistently entertaining. This is light summer reading, and will have you laughing out loud.


Sea Change (Jesse Stone, Bk 5)
Sea Change (Jesse Stone, Bk 5)
Author: Robert B. Parker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 141
Review Date: 9/13/2007


Parker's new character, Jesse Stone, has brought new life to, IMHO, a sagging author. Personally, I think Parker has been sick to death of Spencer for, oh, the last 15 or so Spencer novels. That doesn't mean I don't read every one of them, it's just that they get so darn repetitive. Anyway, Stone gives Parker new life, and it seems he is excited to be writing about a new character. Parker's wit is there as always, which is what makes Parker so much fun to read. Stone offers the opportunity for different plot lines, and the ancillary characters are delightful. I recommend you read the Stone series from the beginning, Night Passage. It all makes more sense that way.


Shadows (Craig Burch, Bk 2)
Shadows (Craig Burch, Bk 2)
Author: Edna Buchanan
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 40
Review Date: 6/5/2008


Buchanan is a consistently entertaining writer. I thought she couldn't outdo her Britt Montero character, but I find I like her Cold Case books even better. A must read for people who like light summer mysteries.


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