29 December 2009

78. The Girls He Adored

The Girls He Adored - Jonathan Nasaw

This is a thriller. A very bad guy, a very capable psychiatrist, a very outside the box FBI agent. Mix it all together with some serous child abuse, sexual abuse, and a secluded area in which to hide in the mountains of Oregon. You get a very predictable, though still enjoyable jaunt through the exploits of a serial rapist/murderer with multiple personalities. There is the obligatory eventual victory of the good guys after they take their lumps from the bad guy.

At least this bad guy was believable in this book. I have read a few where the bad guy just never seemed to be real.

The book is nothing special. None of the characters are especially notable, though they were well portrayed. The story line was predictable. The little clues left around as to what would happen (there are always clues) were a bit too obvious for me.

If you are a strawberry blond, watch out for this dude.

23 December 2009

77. Good Omens

Good Omens - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

This book was quite funny. Let's see, the Antichrist is accidentally switched at birth and is raised without demonic influence. When the time comes for the Apocalypse it does not go anywhere near what was planned.

The characters were hilarious. Stuff like the four horsemen being bikers. The disappearance of the entire core of a nuclear power plant, yet the power production continues. Atlantis rises from the sea. The "prophesies" foretold by a witch in the 1600's keep coming true, but the predictions are difficult to understand until after the fact. An angel and a demon have spent 6000 years helping people and causing disruption and become pivotal to the whole end times scenario because they find they actually like people.

It is funny. It is unlike anything else I have read so far. I really enjoyed reading it and recommend it when you have a desire for something different and funny.

19 December 2009

76. Scrap

Scrap - Lauren Stephenson
This is a novella written by a student at Wofford College. Every two years the creative writing department of the college offers this class where the students write a novel or play or poetry or something creative. Lauren Stephenson was the winner of the 2006 Benjamin Wofford Prize in Fiction for this book. The winner gets their winning book published. The copy I have is one of the 2,000 copies the college published for winning the award.
I really enjoyed the writing. It is not technically difficult or overly ambitious. I didn't expect it to be outstanding writing. I figured it is a college student learning to write fiction, so how good could it really be? I don't think it was on a level with Steinbeck, Faulkner or Vonnegut, but who would think it should be anywhere close? For a college student this was outstanding.
It is a science fiction book about a guy who works as a tester for a huge pharmaceutical company. He discovers there are behind the scenes things happening that cause him to run away and for the company to hunt for him. His exploits are very interesting and the story flows very well.
The characters are interesting. Especially Vee (the protagonist), Emmy (his best friend), Abrienda (the doctor), and the the "scrappers".
I doubt you will find this book in a store or anything, but if you do see it somewhere, grab it and read it. It was a lot of fun and is worth checking out. I hope to see more from Lauren Stephenson some time in the future. Who knows if she will be a writer or not, but she has a pretty good start with this book.

14 December 2009

75. Make Room! Make Room!

Make Room! Make Room! - Harry Harrison

This is another of those movies I remembered from back in the 70's. The film was actually called Soylent Green. This one was a Charlton Heston movie. The only thing I recall really was the scene where he was yelling "Soylent Green is people!".

I found that this book was quite good. The film I remembered is VERY loosely based on this book. It comes down to being a science fiction (dystopian) story in an seriously overpopulated New York City and the problems that creates, along with some characters that have the same names. The story is not the same. The dramatic scene at the end of the movie is nowhere to be found in the book. It is a very different story altogether.

This is one of the few times I will say this, but I loved the movie...and I loved the book.

They were so different that it is pretty easy to separate them and call them two different stories.