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Unread Apr 9th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Moth Smoke - 8/10: A fast read about a Pakistani banker who gets laid off and whose life quickly starts going downhill, and eventually ends up in jail for a crime he may or may not have committed. While I won't spoil any of the other things that happens to him, it's both quite entertaining and gives an all to real look into why Pakistan is as dangerous as it is today.
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Unread Apr 10th, 2011, 01:39 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonHawk View Post
How can you be surprised by the quality of Agatha Christie's writing when she is literally the best crime writer of the 20th century and arguably of all time. I bought the entire Poirot collection last year, just need to catch up on Miss Marple. But if you loved Poirot you will love Nero Wolfe stories I mentioned earlier.
I just happen to find a lot of the more talked about authors to be overhyped. So yeah, it left me surprised. I was starting to hear French accents while reading, that's how in depth my mind got into it. Poirot was a rather enjoyable character and I have heard a bit about Miss Marple.

It's rather nice to see the book peeps coming out of the woodwork here. Enjoyed reading the reviews.

I figure I'll start reading my next book sometime tomorrow or the next day.
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Unread May 10th, 2011, 01:41 AM   #83 (permalink)
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great, please keep posting.
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Unread May 10th, 2011, 01:04 PM   #84 (permalink)
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What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! by Agatha Christie

7.5/10

Another murder mystery book, murders actually, since there are multiple. This time I was reading a Miss Marple story. She's a decent character, but I prefer Poirot a bit more. I think the writing was done well, most of the time. There were a few times where I reread a little section because the lines didn't quite make sense to me. The storyline itself has a decent plot to it. However, it is rather centralized on a specific location where it takes place for a very large portion of the book. This caused a lack of imagination of imagery in the mind. Overall, the variety of characters came across quite well, with everyone having different personalities and it was coming across through the writing. Not a long book by any means, the hardcover version I read was just under 200 pages.
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Unread Aug 11th, 2011, 01:21 AM   #85 (permalink)
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George Soros - The Soros Lectures: At the Central European University

great read, loved it.
presented me with a different insight/angle into some of (not only) today's workings.
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Unread Aug 21st, 2011, 03:44 AM   #86 (permalink)
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Death In The Air by Agatha Christie

5/10

Maybe I was feeling like I was reading it just to finish the 3 books in 1 hardcover package, and that could have influenced the rating. The idea is alright and all, but it limits itself. I could probably tell you the entire plot within three sentences. Poirot was the main character of the book and it is yet another murder mystery.

Dracula The Un-Dead

9.9/10

It is the official sequel to the original Dracula, and I enjoyed every minute I spent reading it. I had to fight myself not to plow through it, it was very gripping. Not for children whatsoever, despite the fact that I read the original when I was in Grade 2. There are some topics that just aren't suitable. I enjoyed how the characters all had a lot of depth and that I could very easily visualize all of the disturbing details and all of the settings. Dracula got taken into a direction that I did not expect, and I learned about an evil figure in real history that was a part of the book. Look up Elizabeth Bathory if you dare. I am quite glad I bought it, and I have it in hardcover.

So you may wonder what keeps it from becoming a 10? Well, when it is the book that it is, you shouldn't be describing a scene one way and having the facts get screwed up right after within the same scene. Swords were switched in the middle of a battle, and suddenly it never happened, with no reason for the change to occur, and they were still using their own weapons. That is how part of the scene plays out. I have to drop the little notch since it made no sense and seems like a fail.
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Unread Jan 4th, 2012, 04:54 PM   #87 (permalink)
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A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

2.5/10

Slow, slow and slow some more. Did I mention slow? *Yawn* But lets see if I can think of anything that stood out. Mass murder during a revolution. An insane revolutionary woman with a grudge. A golden haired doll. Most of the book made sense, though some made no sense at all. How can we make it more boring than just slow? Court. How much more boring? Flashback through a letter. Yeah, blah. But, the use of the guillotine as a weapon of mass murder is what kept this book from being the most boring book I ever read. There is a morbid sort of truth to that. I never want to read it again.
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Unread Jan 5th, 2012, 05:16 AM   #88 (permalink)
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Death in The Air/Clouds was probably my least favorite Poirot book, but I am intrigued by this Dracula The Undead.
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Unread Jan 5th, 2012, 06:18 AM   #89 (permalink)
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Ive recently just read a game of thrones and a clash of kings ill give both about an 8/10.
onto the next book!
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Unread Jan 5th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #90 (permalink)
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I am heading in a detective direction again. I went looking around for books in the house and came across 4 Miss Marple novels, 3 Poirot novels, 3 Nero Wolfe novels, and another Sherlock Homes novel. Though I am hoping to get the newest addition to Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan storyline called Locked On, which came out back in December.

I have actually decided to go with Nero Wolfe first, to see what HH was talking about.
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Unread Jan 5th, 2012, 08:29 PM   #91 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firebug View Post
I am heading in a detective direction again. I went looking around for books in the house and came across 4 Miss Marple novels, 3 Poirot novels, 3 Nero Wolfe novels, and another Sherlock Homes novel. Though I am hoping to get the newest addition to Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan storyline called Locked On, which came out back in December.

I have actually decided to go with Nero Wolfe first, to see what HH was talking about.
As long as its not WW2 related. Those will be harder to get into to, unless you are familiar with Nero Wolfe already.
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Unread Jan 23rd, 2012, 06:38 PM   #92 (permalink)
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Too Many Clients by Rex Stout

7.5/10

A pretty decent introduction for a reader to the characters of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. I found myself to really be a combination of both characters, and it is like they split me in two. That goes for the good points and the bad points they have. That helped me relate. Keeping in mind the time frame of the story, it was interesting to adjust my thoughts to what investigative tools they had and didn't have. Quite easy to keep up with the flow, it doesn't rattle on when it comes to uselessness, and the narration even hints at that. Still, it was easy for me to guess who the bad person was of the story, and could have involved a bit more crime. Worth a read, but not the best one that I read.

Might As Well Be Dead by Rex Stout

9/10

Same character storyline, and it built more depth in them for me to learn about them. It was not easy to pick out who the bad person was. There is plenty of crime in this one, it ramps up. One of the extra detective characters is even killed off. Plenty of twists and turns throughout the story, and not many stories I have come across has tried the angle of a convicted murder trying to be proven innocent, and figuring out what occurred to reach that point without going into a true prelude. This one managed it. I had to pace myself as I was reading it. This was the best one of the three I read.

The Final Deduction by Rex Stout

8/10

Any book that makes me vocalize profanity towards a character has something good going for it, and this one caused me to do so. To quote Nero Wolfe himself: "Amazing that a creature so obtuse could live so long without meeting disaster." This book had me re-arranging my decision of who the villain was quite frequently, I was constantly between one of four. There was more than one, and they turn against each other and the whole situation implodes. The worst of them is easy to catch, like the first books bad guy was. I'm not sure why I rate it less than the second book, but I guess it just wasn't the best one to me out of the three. I'll also add that I enjoyed how the extra detectives are used in the books.

Three Aces - A Nero Wolfe Omnibus by Rex Stout

I'll give it 8.5/10 for the combo of all 3 books, they were definitely a good read and worked quite well as an introduction for someone who has never read Nero Wolfe novels before. Thanks for the suggestion, HH.
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Unread Feb 25th, 2012, 08:55 PM   #93 (permalink)
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Crime and Punishment 9/10

It's a long one, but a really great book that poses many interesting philosophical question pertaining to the meaning of life, one's moral code and the theory of the Napoleonic complex. It's about a man who convinces himself to murder an old pawn broker to see if he is above the law, a "superman" if you will. His guilt soon overtakes him emotionally and he becomes a wreck while still avoiding the police. It's really a page turner if you find it to be interesting. The only reason I don't give it a 10 is because of a somewhat cop-out ending that could have been better. But that's just me, I'm sure many will love the ending.
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Unread Feb 26th, 2012, 02:44 PM   #94 (permalink)
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The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

8/10

The start of my Miss Marple kick this year, and the second one with her that I have read overall. The setting was fairly basic and limited, which kept the scope of the story down. However, the detail and the twists and the plot itself were quite well done. I was originally going to rate it a 7, but bumped it up a little because it was really a good enough book to deserve it. It's worth noting that it is the first full length novel that includes the character of Miss Marple.

Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie

9.5/10

Nearly a perfect book, it was one of the original books written about Miss Marple, but wasn't released until a few decades later. There was quite a fair amount more when it came to the setting, and I was kept guessing at who did what, and often got "huh... what...?" moments while I was reading... which made me read more. I kept flipping page after page rather quickly, enjoying the ride. To be honest, I'm not sure what keeps me from giving it a 10. Side note: I read both this novel and the previous one as a 2-in-1 hardcover book.

The Mirror Crack'd by Agatha Christie

5/10

This was the first novel of a 4-in-1 hardcover book called Miss Marple Meets Murder. It held my attention the least out of all of the Miss Marple novels that I have come across so far. That's not to say it is bad, it just didn't do it for me personally. Take a murder/mystery type of plot, add in some celebrity topics, and get a novel.

A Pocket Full Of Rye by Agatha Christie

7/10

Another rather decent murder story, largely focused around a household, with the usage of a poem as the direction of the plans. I remember it seeming a bit odd that it took so long for the character of Miss Marple to get involved. Once again, I was kept guessing. This was actually one of my top 4 favourite Miss Marple novels, so I would suggest giving it a read.

At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie

10/10

So many characters and locations and subplots, the story evolves from something as small as a missing person to another topic to another topic and on and on. They are all intertwined and by the ending of the novel, the whole thing is much bigger than would be thought at first. I realized that this was by far my favourite Miss Marple story when I finished it, and the next one I read didn't knock it out of its place. Looking back on it though, it did take quite sometime for any actual murder to occur.

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

6/10

One of my 3 least favourites out of the 7 Miss Marple books I have read by now. Not that it was really that bad at all, just rather limited. The location was rather narrow, and a plot heavily based around anonymous letters doesn't quite get me stirred up. On the other hand, the quality of the writing and storytelling was still intact. I had one person out of the selection picked out, and I had it wrong. There are 2 murders in this one, to balance out the what I considered the weakness of the plot, those letters which were just too heavily focused on.
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Unread Feb 26th, 2012, 03:57 PM   #95 (permalink)
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Any Human Heart - William Boyd

Whether this book "speaks" to you may well depend on your age and/or your experiences in life to date - one of the book’s themes is that each person changes so much over the course of a life that they might as well be different people.

Two quotes from the book:

Every human being is a collection of selves.

That's all your life amounts to in the end: the aggregate of all the good luck and the bad luck you experience.
Everything is explained by that simple formula.
Tot it up – look at the respective piles.
There's nothing you can do about it: nobody shares it out, allocates it to this one or that, it just happens.
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Unread Apr 12th, 2012, 05:01 AM   #96 (permalink)
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^ The author of the book I praise in the above post is William Boyd. To those who have not heard of him or read any of his books, this may be of interest, and perhaps encourage some interest in his skills:

Booker-nominated author William Boyd is taking on the mission to write a new James Bond novel.

The as-yet-untitled book will appear in 2013, the 60th anniversary of the super-spy's first literary outing, in Ian Fleming's Casino Royale.

Boyd has revealed that his story will mark a return to "classic Bond" and will be set in the late 1960s.

He is the third author in recent years to be invited by the Ian Fleming estate to write an official Bond novel.

From here:


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17677611
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Unread Jul 26th, 2012, 07:43 AM   #97 (permalink)
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Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Having read every previous novel in the Discworld series, I had been giving this one a pass for years. Mainly because I had no interest in soccer. At all. Fortunately, it wasn't exclusively about soccer (just about 50% of it was), and the gags were funnier than they had been in previous novels. Overall, I didn't care much for Mr. Nutt which took me away from the book, making it one of the weaker Discworld stories which doesn't mean I didn't have fun reading it.

6/10
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Unread Oct 25th, 2012, 09:12 AM   #98 (permalink)
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Summertime ... J. M. Coetzee

The third in a Trilogy, written by Coetzee who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003.

There is a line from Scotland's National Poet, Robert Burns, which reads " O would some power the giftie gie us to see oor'sels as ithers see us."

Imagine you chose 5 people, out of all those you have known in your life, 5 people who were important to you as part of your life, maybe from childhood, teenage years, married life, divorced life ... whatever, and you interviewed them about yourself, how they saw you, understood you, the good points and the negative ones ... would what they say alter your own conception of who you are, who you were ... as your life is seen - through their eyes.

That, in a way - but in my words - is what this book addresses.
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Unread May 12th, 2013, 09:14 AM   #99 (permalink)
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9/10 Wolves Eat Dogs
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Unread May 12th, 2013, 09:19 PM   #100 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTTI View Post
Summertime ... J. M. Coetzee

The third in a Trilogy, written by Coetzee who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003.

There is a line from Scotland's National Poet, Robert Burns, which reads " O would some power the giftie gie us to see oor'sels as ithers see us."

Imagine you chose 5 people, out of all those you have known in your life, 5 people who were important to you as part of your life, maybe from childhood, teenage years, married life, divorced life ... whatever, and you interviewed them about yourself, how they saw you, understood you, the good points and the negative ones ... would what they say alter your own conception of who you are, who you were ... as your life is seen - through their eyes.

That, in a way - but in my words - is what this book addresses.
You just made me want to read this book.............
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