logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Art-Wolfe
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-12-12 16:52
Rolltreppe abwärts von der Park Avenue in die Bronx
Fegefeuer Der Eitelkeiten. Roman (Taschenbuch) - Tom Wolfe

Dieser Tom Wolfe kann wirklich gut erzählen und ich bin froh, dass ich mit einem Goodreads Lesefreund dieses Buchprojekt letztendlich in Angriff genommen habe. Das ist der dritte Roman des Schriftstellers und so begeistert war ich noch nie.

 

Im Prinzip ist dem Autor ein grandioses Sittenbild des New York der späten 80er Jahre gelungen - was er auch genau so geplant hat. Dieses umfasst die ganze Stadt, die Menschen, die darin wohnen, arbeiten und vegetieren von der Upperclass bis zum Lurch der tiefsten Gesellschaftschichten der Bronx und das erweiterte Verwaltungspersonal der checks and balances am Rande wie Legislative, Exekutive, Presse und Politik inklusive natürlich der Geschichten, die in diesem realen New York passieren.

 

Von der Konstruktion des Plots hat sich Wolfe aber eine innovative großartige aber ungewöhnliche Entwicklung einfallen lassen. So wie viele Schwarze auf Grund der Umstände, zur falschen Zeit am falschen Ort zu sein, zwangsläufig in vielen Vierteln quasi ohne ihr zutun in die Bredoullie kommen und vom System zermalmt werden, erwischt es diesmal einen weißen WASP Wall-Street-Heini, der komplett unschuldig zum Handkuss kommt.

 

Sherman McCoy, erfolgreicher Wertpapierhänder, Sproß einer angesehenen Familie, mutiert in Wolfes Setting zu einem Hiob der Wallstreet, dessen einziger Fehler es ist, als WASP seine Frau mit der falschen Geliebten zu bescheißen und zur falschen Zeit am falschen Ort zu sein. Na so alles, was viele US-Schwarze eigentlich täglich erleben. Bei einem erfolglosen Raubüberfallsversuch überfährt die Geliebte McCoys in Panik auf der Flucht einen der beiden Täter (wahrscheinlich auch einen eher unschuldigen Mitläufer, der zufällig in der Gegend herumstand).

 

Was dann folgt ist ein atemberaubendes Spiel, in dem jeder lügt und betrügt, dass sich die Balken biegen und jeder sein Süppchen aus politischem Kleingeld, Karriere- bzw. Geldgeilheit und Vertuschung kocht: Staatsanwalt, Presse, Polizei, der schwarze Reverend, die eigentliche Täterin, das überlebende vermeintliche Opfer (eigentlich der Räuber), neu eingesetzte Richter, die Grand Jury, sein Arbeitgeber, Immobilienmakler... . Sogar sein eigener recht bemühte Anwalt und seine Familie tricksen ihn auf gewisse Weise letztendlich aus als das Geld nicht mehr fließt. Auf der Strecke bleibt unser "Underdog", Sherman von seiner Ausgangsposition her privilegiert, der als Sündenbock für alle herhalten muss und wie mit einer Rolltreppe abwärts immer tiefer in den Sumpf unverschuldeter Kalamitäten fährt.

 

Sherman kann einem richtig leid tun und ehrlich gesagt tut er mir das als Person auch, als politisches Statement ist er aber grandios plaziert, denn endlich dreht mal ein Autor fiktional den Spieß um und denkt die Diskriminierung in einem grandiosen "Was wäre Wenn Spiel" mal spiegelverkehrt von der anderen Seite.

 

Was noch zu erwähnen ist sind die derart pointierten bis zur Bösartigkeit getriebenen Skizzierungen der zahlreichen handelnden Personen, die in Summe sowohl ein Sittenbild der Upperclass, der Wall Street und Finanzwirtschaft, des Gerichtssystems, der Politik, und der Bronx, der Religion, des Wohlfahrtssystems und natürlich der Presse ergeben. Also den Makrokosmos New York City als Moloch fand ich äußerst gut getroffen.

 

Natürlich schreibt Wolfe episch breit, wie viele Amerikaner, aber durch die treffenden Figuren und Milieubeschreibungen habe ich mich keine Sekunde gelangweilt. Gewürzt wird das ganze dann noch mit tiefschwarzem grotesken Humor, der sich in völlig absurden Szenen entlädt.

Da ist zum Beispiel der Auftakt mit dem Dackel, der als Gassi-Geh-Alibi zum Anruf bei der Gliebten herhalten muss und ums verrecken bei dem Regen nicht hinausgehen will. Also wird der Hund dramatisch über die Fliesen durch die Lobby gezerrt (Die Filmszene mit Tom Hanks ist köstlich).

Oder die groteske Schuhputz-Szene als Göttin Karma plötzlich zurückschlägt:
"Sherman genoss es wie der Lappen gegen seine Mittelfußknochen drückte [...] dieser große, stämmige braune Mann zu seinen Füßen der ihm die Schuhe polierte, blind für die Hebel, mit denen Sherman eine andere Nation, einen anderen Erdteil bewegen konnte, alleine indem er ein paar Worte via Satellit in die Gegend schleuderte."
Im Anschluss an diesen Gedanken als Sherman sich wie Gott fühlt, blickt er zu Boden und findet sein Konterfei als Beschuldigter in der täglichen Lokalzeitung, die dieser in Shermans Augen unbedeutende Schuhputzer neben seiner Arbeit liest.

Die Sterbeszene im Restaurant schlägt sowieso alles - aber jetzt bin ich still, die müsst Ihr selber lesen, denn ich will nicht zu viel spoilern.

 

Fazit: Das pure Lese-Vergnügen. Diese Mischung aus Gier, Macht, Politik, Vertuschung, Lüge, Geldgeilheit, Puritantertum, Snobismus, Geilheit und Testosteron gepaart mit Humor.

 

P.S.: Tja eigentlich eignet sich das Buch auch für meine Book2moviechallenge 2019 in der Kategorie Hollywood Blockbuster. Mal schaun, ob ich den Film auswähle

Like Reblog Comment
review 2018-11-26 09:36
“Do you know of the key to the universe?”
The Shadow of the Torturer - Gene Wolfe

Very dark chocolate. Blatantly part one of a quadrilogy (my copy is the SF Masterworks imprint which bundles ‘Shadow’ with ‘The Claw Of The Conciliator’) what we have here is low on action, high on characterisation, a through-the-roof central idea and much subtlety, particularly of prose. Probably a candidate for a re-read at some stage. I’m not yet running into the street shouting about its status as a genre-defining masterpiece – I need to progress on and chew it over a bit more – but, hey, Alastair Reynolds provides the intro so consider me on-board.

Dictionary Corner: Eschatology, n. The part of theology concerned with death, judgement, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind. Awareness of Wolfe’s Catholicism puts a lot of ‘Shadow’ in context and gives it real heft. Daytime in this world is blood red thanks to the meagre light of the dying sun bleeding into everything, lending a terrible “end of days” feel to proceedings while – hello, ‘Star Wars’ fans – the ruins of a previous space-faring civilisation are all around. This is the delicious central premise (after Jack Vance) of the ‘Book Of The New Sun’ sequence: the events are all taking place after every other science fiction novel. Man has been and done the whole interstellar exploration thing and very believably he’s stuffed it up. Like Rome and the British empire it has all collapsed and contracted back down to this singularity, this dying Earth and the ruins are everywhere. So in amongst all the cod-medievalism we have fliers, genetically engineered creatures, apes with dog heads, rats that can talk, “animal species resulting from biogenetic manipulation”, “extrasolar breeding stock”, bamboo huts that appear to hold 3D snapshots of the past, a woman who can see the past, present and future…. Wolfe isn’t implying any of this, it is wholly explicit and the secret sauce of the novel is wondering what on (or off) Earth happened. If ever humanity needed the ability to decamp elsewhere it’s when the Sun is dying. Now is not the time to have bollocksed up your intergalactic empire and lost the ability to travel faster than light. Humanity is in deep trouble.

With all that merriness as background, we have Severian the trainee torturer; a job title that is an immediate barrier to entry, cleanly separating him both from our initial sympathies and from the rest of humanity. However, it’s complicated. Young Severian is a kindly soul, inclined to compassion (Dorcas specifically mentions his kindness), helping the rebel Vodalus, then tending to the put-upon pooch Triskele (a swift short-cut back into the sympathies of the reader) and then to his beloved prisoner Thecla (Wolfe is great on names). Then again Severian isn’t above half-strangling another apprentice or coldly fulfilling his role as executioner. We never actually see Severian a-torturin’ in ‘Shadow’ but he can be cold as well as kind. As narrator of his passage from star apprentice to reviled outcast he throws forward a lot (notably to his position as Autarch, going to be interesting to see how that comes about), cites events he previously omitted and has characters referencing moments he skipped over (Dorcas states he was very sick after executing Agilus). He also abruptly severs the narrative at the end of ‘Shadow’ and warns us “It is no easy road” ahead. We leave him passing through a gigantic wall of black metal in the company of mysterious actor Dr Talos (Christoph Waltz), the giant Baldanders (Bernard Bresslaw), the voluptous actress Jolenta, Severian’s own new love Dorcas and Hethor, the requisite holy fool babbling cosmic gobbledegook. In Severian’s items list is his executioner’s sword Terminus Est and ‘the Claw of the Conciliator’, a cosmic gem that provides the title for novel two and much mystery.

‘The Expanse’ this is not. It takes a certain amount of work at the outset but it’s worth it for the way it takes up residence in your thoughts; I put the novel aside for a while then returned after finding I was mulling it over. If you don’t start getting goose bumps when the mysterious Father Inire starts talking of the lost secrets of faster than light travel then it’s probably not your bag. I feel ‘The Shadow Of The Torturer’ is one of those works of prose art that is wholly in and of itself. You have to approach it aware it’s not going to make many friendly concessions to you. It just is, and entirely successfully so. It’s an operatic cosmic vision set against the misery of human existence. “If you're killed this evening, I'll feel badly for a fortnight.”

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-10-25 15:55
Thoughts: Desperate Girls
Desperate Girls - Laura Griffin

Desperate Girls

by Laura Griffin
Book 1 of Wolfe Security

 

 

Defense attorney Brynn Holloran is right at home among cops, criminals, and tough-as-nails prosecutors.  With her sharp wit and pointed words, she has a tendency to intimidate, and she likes it that way.  She’s a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom, but in her personal life, she’s a mess.

When a vicious murderer she once helped prosecute resurfaces and starts a killing spree to wipeout those who put him behind bars, one thing becomes clear: Brynn needs to run for her life.

When the police come up empty-handed, Brynn turns to a private security firm for protection.  But when she defies advice and gets involved in the investigation, even the former Secret Service agent assigned to protect her may not be able to keep her safe.  With every new clue she discovers, Brynn is pulled back into the vortex of a disturbing case from her past.

As the clock ticks down on a manhunt, Brynn’s desperate search for the truth unearths long-buried secrets and reignites a killer’s fury.



Nothing like a romantic suspense by Laura Griffin to really get you into a book.  I started out reading this book in the wee hours of the night, thinking I'd just start with the first couple chapters, go to sleep and then continue the next day.  The next thing I knew, I was 70% into the book and wanting to keep going.

That has to count for something, in my opinion.

It's not like this crime thriller was any different than Griffin's usual, gritty, fast-paced Tracers novels, but it certainly kept me riveted.

I like the story itself and I like the premise of this series.  There's a lot of potential, and as Laura Griffin is wont to do, she also introduces key players who will definitely be showing up as the main characters in future books.  She gives them enough background and personality for you to be interested--so that you look forward to the next book.  So aside from our main couple, Brynn and Erik, you get a slight taste of others like police detective Lindsay Leary, or even some of the other Wolfe Sec members: Jeremy, Trent, Hayes, Skyler...

Yeah, I'm definitely looking forward to the next book already.

As for our main couple...  I liked them.  They made a pretty good team, and aside from their fun banters, I loved seeing Brynn in action as a defense attorney.  I also have a thing for bodyguard plots as well, and especially love when the person being protected comes to the realization that she needs to take this seriously.  Because, at first, I was thinking that I'd end up being frustrated with Brynn and her resistance to having a bodyguard--a team of bodyguards, even--and was being difficult on principle.  I was worried that this was going to be ongoing, and when she did a few stupid things that could have caused more trouble for her security team than should have been necessary, I got frustrated with her.

But I really appreciated that things started to change, and she realizes the urgency of the situation early enough to start working with her security detail rather than being a stubborn TSTL.  That doesn't mean that she didn't still do a few stupid things to compromise her safety, but I'm not sure it was totally intentional on her part.

That was definitely a nice change of pace from other bodyguard plot devices where your heroine is usually stubborn to the point where she starts putting other people's lives in danger.

The security/bodyguard aspect of the story could have been cleaned up a little bit, truth be told.  I feel like there were more times when both Brynn and Ross were left more vulnerable than was appropriate, for two people being under security protection from a top security firm.  I feel like we probably should have spent more time on the security aspects of the book than Brynn's current, ongoing trial--though I also sort of enjoyed the trial, at the same time.

Erik didn't really stand out much, if I want to be honest.  He was a great character... but that was pretty much it.  I'm not sure what more I would have wanted.  He and Brynn had excellent companionship and chemistry... but I have little to say about him.  We didn't spend enough time delving into his personality or even character background for him to have mattered much to me, so that's kind of a shame.

Meanwhile, the main crime thriller conflict was just constant and non-stop.  It was fast-paced, it was intriguing, and the twist nearing the end was a nice one, even if not what I'd been expecting.  I was expecting some sort of twist, but I like the direction it ended up going... as vague as that sounds... but I don't want to give too much away.

Overall, this was an extremely entertaining read that made me remember why I always auto-buy Laura Griffin books.


***

 

 

Halloween Bingo 2018
(mystery, suspense, horror, or supernatural that was published after 10/31/17)


Other Possible Squares:  Genre: Suspense; Romantic Suspense; Terrifying Women; Murder Most Foul

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/10/thoughts-desperate-girls.html
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
url 2018-09-27 22:15
The 10 Best Completed SF and Fantasy Series According to. ...
The Runelords - David Farland
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré
Mistborn: The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson
The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Heroes Die - Matthew Stover
The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story - Stephen R. Donaldson
The Shadow of the Torturer - Gene Wolfe
Chronicles of the Black Company - Glen Cook
The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan
Source: www.tor.com/2018/09/25/the-10-best-completed-sf-and-fantasy-series-according-to-me
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-03-26 21:15
Wonderful wonderful storytelling
Girl On Fire: (DC Max Wolfe) - Tony Parsons

Many moons ago I read Man and Boy by Tony Parsons and was pleasantly surprised by this warm and delightful story of family relationships and a father faced with the responsibility of being the sole parent for his small son. I was aware that he had written a detective series, for some years I avoided but often wondered how it could be possible to produce such emotive writing in a totally different genre. Girl on Fire has been an amazing read combining all Parson's warmth from his earlier books with a gritty fast paced detective story engaging and shocking in equal measures.

 

"I woke up and found the world was gone" These are the opening "explosive" thoughts of DC Max Wolfe as he recovers and surveys the aftermath of a terrorist attack at a local shopping centre. Wolfe is a member of a specialist firearms unit of the Metropolitan police. Following the explosion he and his team are tasked with finding the individuals responsible, made all the more urgent when it becomes clear that an unknown number of Croatian hand grenades have..."found their way across from the Balkans to our streets"....They have been traced to two brothers Asad and Adnan Khan who also appear to be linked in some way to the shopping centre explosion. The race is on to expose the terrorist cell before more death and destruction "bloodies" the streets of London.

 

This is an astounding, intelligent, up to the minute, thriller that not only addresses terrorism on the capital's streets but also the affects such acts of hatred has on both the individuals and families involved. What happens when different cultures and beliefs collide? When social media can be used to brainwash the bad and the vulnerable? And when angry young men and women are prepared to kill for what they feel is a righteous and just cause....But this story is much more than that. The warmth, the love and values that graced the earlier books of Tony Parsons is still present and adds an extra layer of brilliance to some of the best emotive prose I have read in a very long time. There is Scout, Max Wolfe' cherished daughter, living with him but now the subject of a court battle between Wolfe and his ex "model" wife Anne. There is the harsh reality that life in a dangerous frontline policing job means friends and colleagues may be present one day and sadly gone tomorrow. There is the unquestionable love that exists between man and (his) dog (Stan)..."I lie belly-up in the sunshine, happier than you will ever be. Today I sniffed many dot butts-I celebrate by kissing your face"....There is the complex often hypocritical belief in religious teachings and the affects and fallouts that all in society must bear witness to.

 

There is an explosive start to Girl on Fire and an equally harrowing "I never expected that" conclusion. Tony Parsons has accomplished what I never thought possible by creating something new and deeply heartfelt in crime fiction. In DI Max Wolfe we have a vulnerable antihero and a story that brilliantly moulds all the jagged edges of this sorry tale together. We as readers understand and appreciate Wolfe's weaknesses. The story is real, the action is real, the people the emotions, the daily turmoil, the highs and lows of modern living are all so real and on these pages..wonderful stuff...wonderful writing.

Many thanks to the publishers Random House UK, Cornerstone Century and netgalley for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written. Highly highly Recommended.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?