Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Book Review - More Recent Reads

It seems like I'm missing a few titles that I've read recently here, but I can't think of what....

The Freakshow
by Bryan Smith
2007, 324 pages

The Freakshow seemed like a book that the idea for it was developed over a long drunken night while the author tried to think of the best way to cram as much unneeded violence and nasty events into a book as possible. When I read the back of the book, the idea had promise, an old school freakshow rolls into town, full of creepy people and mysterious secrets, and soon, the townsfolk start disappearing. Unfortunately, the book never really even follows that description, quickly eliminating most of the denzins, creating a bizaare and sort of silly backstory for the freaks and eventually dissolves into violence and gore as a substitute for story. That said, Bryan Smith is a good writer with an eye for detail, and it was a pretty good, mindless horror book.

Higher Authority
by Stephen White
1994, 420 pages

Higher Authority was an interesting read. It tells the story of a lawyer and her sister who are attempting to sue a Mormon political figure for sexual harassment. A female political figure. Needless to say, it does not go over well with certain people in the church, and soon, a larger conspiracy is uncovered. Stephen White writes an interesting novel that, while obviously biased against Mormons, manages to give a lot of interesting facts about the religeon and the state of Utah that makes for a very unique backdrop. I found the characters little personal flaws grating rather than humanizing, however. They spent more time bickering and exchanging nasty looks than working the case.


The Bancroft Strategy
by Robert Ludlum
2007, 736 pages

Somehow, I'd never read a Robert Ludlum novel, despite loving the Bourne series of movies. To give much of the plot of this story would be to give away some of the lightning fast twists and turns that the author throws at you with every page turn, but essentially, its an international thriller with spies, secret societies and plans to overthrow the earth. Nothing that will change your life, but a good, brainless thriller.


Series of Unfortunate Events Book 3 - The Wide Window
by Lemony Snickett
2000, 224 pages

I liked the Wide Window about as well as the previous novels in the series thus far, which is both good and bad. Again, it seems like very little happens in the story, the people around the twins seem just a little too dense and Snicketts method of explaining large words, while clever, gets old after too many, and you start wishing he would just write the words, and leave the reader to explore what the meaning is behind them. Still a fun kids book though, and written with a great light sense of humor. I don;t own book four, so I'll have to track it down at the library...

Bullet Blues
by Bob Burton
2004, 302 pages

Bounty hunters are cool! At least, they are according to Bob Burton, who should know, since he is one. Bullet Blues tells the story of Dev Shannon, who is simultaneously searching for a missing boat, lady, dog and his own would-be assassin. He deals with hot ladies, albino crime lords, jamaican cops, shady clients and a curmudgeonly old dad. What more could you ask for?


Manhattan Is My Beat
by Jeffery Deaver
1988, 294 pages

I like most of Jeffery Deaver's books, and when I noticed this one, one of his older novels, I was curious to see how he has changed. Turns out, he still had a talent for creating unique characters and situations, but his older books like Manhattan is my Beat, in which a bohemian punk type girl tries to find the missing loot from a decades old crime, lack some of the dialogue and tight plotting that his later books have, the "Boyfriend" especially seemed kind of grating and stupid to me. Still enjoyable though, and I dig the plot


Sherry said...

Nice list! I'll have to see if I can track any of them down when I visit state-side again.
I actually read the first two in the Series of Unfortunate Events series. They were interesting - definitely a good way to escape for a few hours (or days...what can I saw, I'm as slow as a snail when it comes to reading). I can see how some aspects, like the explaining, could get annoying, but I think I'm going to pick them up again when I can...and start with #3 because of this post.

Kristopher and Crew said...

I'm reading #4 right now, and I think it's interesting to read the series if only to watch "Snickett's" writing style evolve slightly as it goes, in a book series that's quick enough to blow through. I'm curious to see if I'm impressed or annoyed with his methods for keeping Olaf in the picture for 13 books.