A truly wonderful book with an epic story spanning multiple generations and centuries. It's a completely original work of fiction, full of wry humor with a dash of realistic tragedy. A book I would definitely recommend to anyone.
If you're a Mormon looking for information about your own religion, then this is the book for you. If you are a non-Mormon and looking for factual information about the history and beliefs of the Latter Day Saints, then this is NOT the book for you. Written by a practicing Mormon, this book is nothing but LDS-sanctioned propaganda. Don't bother wasting your time.
A completely miserable little book and terribly disappointing. 307 pages of blah-blah-blah with a convoluted plot mired in thousands of totally unnecessary words. Halfway through the book, I realized that I didn't give a damn about any of the characters - all of them are so completely unlikeable. The story plods on like a pile of mud in February. I don't understand why this book received rave reviews when it was released.
For a book that's supposed to be about Great White sharks, there aren't a lot of Great White sharks in it. Although it's well-written, it was disappointing. Too much moaning and complaining about living conditions; too much about marine birds; too much about boat operations and weather conditions; far too little about sharks.
This book received excellent reviews, so I was excited to read it. Unfortunately, it was disappointing. While the theory sounds interesting (a detective mystery told from the POV of the detective's dog), it didn't work for me as a reader. The blurb calls Chet (the dog) "wise & lovable" -- lovable, yes (maybe), but wise? No. It was like reading a mystery from the POV of a 6 year old with severe ADHD. I'll give the rest of the series a miss, thanks. Steven Tyler's drug-addled, stream-of-consciousness-rambling memoir was more fun to read than this book.
This is a book that will haunt your waking thoughts and night-time dreams while you're reading it, and stay with you long after you've finished the final page. The true-life tragic and heart-breaking story of a mother's desperate struggle to save her children in the midst of a brutal civil war, sacrificing her own life in the process. Nicholas Gage has written the ultimate testimonial to a mother's love... ensuring that Eleni will live forever in the memories of his readers.
Ridiculously AWFUL book. I only read the first four chapters and had to stop. I'm a Christian, but this book is so off-the-charts ridiculous that words are hard to find to describe it.
In just the first four chapters, the author has numerous "visions" and one-on-one discussions with God and Christ, not to mention the constant "miracles" he describes in flowery language, all punctuated with ever-present exclamation points. It's like reading the transcript of a bad Southern-style tent revival. He manages to run several miles in the blink of an eye. He leaps over high walls. He becomes invisible to government authorities. His father is completely cured of cancer after one evening of prayer (and yet, mysteriously dies two years later... of what, the author doesn't say, oddly enough).
Books like this are why non-Christians and regular Christians think evangelicals are insane. Maybe this is someone's cup of tea, but it certainly isn't mine.
"I See You Everywhere" is the story of two sisters, told in pieces over a span of about 20 years, from each sister's point of view in turn. Unfortunately, the story is disjointed and confusing. At the start of each chapter, the narrator is not identified, and it often takes several pages to figure out which sister is telling the story. Although it's an interesting way to write, it's very distracting for the reader. Additionally, the jumps in years (sometimes extreme) between chapters left me disoriented and scanning back to re-read parts of the previous chapter, attempting to pick up lost threads. The plot, and its ultimate finale, is deeply depressing without much to redeem it. I can't really recommend this one.
This book was just "OK". If you're a WWII history buff, then you might like it. It's a basically-uneventful account of the US Ambassador and his family's time in Germany in the years leading up to WWII. I found it a bit boring. Lots of facts and info I really wasn't interested in knowing in the first place. The subtitle, "Love, Terror, etc." is misleading. The only "love" involves the Ambassador's daughter, who, it appears, screwed anything that held still long enough. The "terror" was mostly on the part of the Germans... not the Ambassador or his family, who were generally unmolested the entire time they were there.
So disappointing. As a huge fan of Marsha Mason's, I was really looking forward to reading this book and learning about her life on stage and behind the scenes of her movies, as well as her marriage to Neil Simon. What I got, instead, was a manic-depressive, stream-of-consciousness book full of conversations between herself and her (seriously) "other" selves. It was like reading "Sybil," the non-fiction account of the young woman with schizophrenia. After reading less than two chapters, I was so tired of hearing Marsha's "other" selves chiming in constantly; I wanted her to tell herself to shut up! So frustrating. Definitely one of the worst celebrity memoirs I have ever read.
What a completely disappointing end to the "Earth's Children" series. This book consists of 757 pages of never-ending recaps of the previous five novels (what did the author think we hadnt read them all before tackling this enormous doorstop of a book?) and endless (and utterly annoying) repetitions of the "Mother's Song" thrown into every available space and situation. The only redeeming quality of this story is the (THANK YOU) lack of nauseatingly graphic prehistoric sex which was all-pervasive in books 2, 3, 4 and 5. There is no plot whatsoever (if you don't count the obvious "Oh no, Ayla and Jondalar have a misunderstanding and aren't speaking to each other... again" device that Auel used, soap-opera fashion, in books 3 and 5). Seriously, author Jean M. Auel just phoned this one in. Maybe thats too generous its more like she texted it while driving. Thank you, Ms. Auel, for slapping your devoted fans in the face with a dripping, rotting mackerel of a series-ender. Shame on you for wasting our time.
A truly brilliant and remarkable book. I read most books in 2-4 days, tops. But this book took me more than a week to finish, because I kept having to take breaks - literally. The writing is vivid, descriptive and engrossing; parts of the tale will bring you to tears; the story is vast and epic in nature. Mendelsohn embarks on a years-long search for his Great Uncle's family, which disappeared from their tiny Ukraine village during World War II and were killed (although no one knew exactly how, or when) during the Holocaust. Mendelsohn's journey takes him across the Atlantic and through most of northern and eastern Europe, Australia and Israel. He recounts the memories of many Jewish families who were trapped in Ukraine and Poland during the Holocaust, and some who managed to flee with their lives. The story of what actually happened to these six individuals - Mendelsohn's great-uncle, great-aunt, and their four daughters, will stay with you for a long time after you finally reach the end of the book. Six of six million... but a story richly, and heartbreakingly, told so that the rest of us will never forget.
Author Jim Fergus prefaces this novel with a note about a prominent Northern Cheyenne chief requesting 1000 white women in exchange for horses, at an 1854 peace conference. The request was denied, but this book imagines what might have happened if the request had been granted. The novel is written from the perspective of a fictional personal journal kept by one of the white women.
Right up front, I have to say that this is, perhaps, one of the WORST books I've ever read from cover to cover. If you're going to write about Native American tribes, it helps to do some research... this book uses outrageous caricatures in place of true representation. Fergus has his Cheyenne warriors replying "hou" to everything; he has his heroine repeatedly refer to Native Americans as "savages," even after she has supposedly been living with them for some time; and the dialogue is, quite frankly, the most abysmal trash I've had the misfortune to suffer through for a very long time.
Speaking of dialogue in particular, I have several beefs with Jim Fergus and his ham-handed attempt at writing REAL people:
1. In real conversation, real participants do not address each other by name in every sentence. In Jim Fergus's world, they do. Example - "Marge, please hand me that kettle." "Here you are, Joan." "Thank you, Marge. How is your toast, Marge?" "Oh, Joan, it's very tasty, thank you." "I'm so pleased, Marge, that you like it." This book is filled, from start to finish, with this amateur dribble. These are not real people talking.
2. Was it truly necessary to italicize every word spoken with a cartoon accent by the characters? Fergus has thrown in numerous cartoon characters who speak with outlandish caricature accents (ie. Fluttering Racist Southern Belle, Feisty Irish Twin Wenches, Sturdy Swiss Bosomy Farmgal, Sleazy French Half-Breed, just to name a few) and then proceeds to have them use horrible pronunciations of English dialogue printed in constant italics, as if we, the readers, were too stupid to notice that these folks don't speak plainly. And, furthermore, we are supposed to buy into the premise that all of this was written in a personal journal? Oh come on, Fergus. It's all too much eye-rolling.
3. The constant interjections of "Good God!!!" and "Hah!!" from the narrator. No one writes, or speaks, like that.
4. The narrator, writing in her journal, frequently states that she is desperately scrambling for a moment to write of current events as all manner of drama is raining down on her head, and yet she then proceeds to write 4-5 pages of intricately detailed dialogue between various characters, and flowery, stilted descriptions of various inane and inconsequential things. If the narrator truly only had a moment to scribble down a quick entry, she wouldn't have babbled on and on like a preteen at a slumber party. It's all just completely ridiculous.
5. Constant repetition. Constant, never ending, monotonous repetition. Yes, Mr. Fergus, you've established that the narrator dreams of some day rejoining her children in Chicago. We get it. You don't need to keep bashing us over the head with it.
6. Rampant over-use of quotation marks. I suggest that Jim Fergus's editor remove the quotation mark key from Mr. Fergus's keyboard (and disable his italics, while he's at it). Because he "thinks" that by "using" quotation marks, that he is being "clever" with his "writing," when, in fact, he is only being "annoying" as "hell" and making absolutely no "sense" at all.
Ach, I could go on and on all day about how bloody awful this book is. I haven't even scratched the surface.
This is the third Sarah Vowell book I've read, and this will be the last. Her books (including this one) are boring and uninspiring and, quite frankly, not funny. All three books of hers that I've read have been disappointing, so I'm through. Sorry, Sarah. I gave it a shot and it just didn't work out.
One of the most disappointing books I have ever read. I love Eddings' series "The Belgariad" and "The Mallorean," so I was excited to read something of his that wasn't fantasy. Wow, was I let down.
The dialogue alone is enough to nauseate. I've never seen so many cliches in one novel; the characters are silly, sad and unbelievable; the science is way off (dental records can establish difference between identical twins, Mr. Eddings); and the dialogue, the dialogue, the dialogue... you need a vat of Extra-Strength Pepto Bismol to keep from spewing vomit all over the pages of this book... the dialogue is SO BAD. "Sack rat"??? Who the heck says that? "Dockie-poo"??? The list is endless. Every paragraph contains a cliche or a term that's so outrageously awful that you want to rip the book in half, set it on fire and drown it in a vat of acid.
Only read this book if you want to torture yourself. Better yet, send it as a gift to people you hate.
I was so excited to read this book after hearing all of the spectacular reviews. However, I found myself incredibly disappointed. The plot is muddy and plodding, the writing is far from interesting, and the characters are so boring that, by the time I was halfway through this book, I couldn't have possibly cared less whether any of them lived to the end or what they did on the way there. I honestly do not understand the hype over this book at all. I've read hundreds of books that were far more interesting, engaging and memorable. This was a huge, huge disappointment. Hours of my life I will never get back....
I have mixed feelings about this book. There were parts of it that I really enjoyed, and parts of it that I really disliked. I found myself skimming a lot (something I don't usually do). I think it was the wordiness; the author tended to use 50 words to describe something where 15-20 could easily have sufficed. I liked the different points of view in the storytelling, for the most part, but would have enjoyed "Dr. Goodsir's" part of the narrative much more had the author not written it in diary-style with all of the bizarre capitalizations. Additionally, the "Terror" beast, along with its origins and actions, is never fully or adequately explained (to my personal satisfaction). Overall, this is a decently good read, but rough in many spots.