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review 2017-04-23 15:24
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI - David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon is the true story of the slaughter of dozens of Osage Indians and how MANY people got away with it. It's SO over the top that if this were a fiction story I would say the author had overwritten it and that it wasn't realistic. David Grann has come at this story from two angles.

 

The Osage tribe reigned over much of the mid-west back in the day. By the time of this book, roughly the early 1920's, they were mostly moved onto what was thought to be worthless land in Oklahoma. Then oil was discovered there and their lives changed forever. The first angle was how the Osage were changed by the sudden influx of millions of dollars and how the white man viewed that; how they were jealous over that, and what they did about that.

 

The second angle comes from the law enforcement side of the story, and specifically the building up of the FBI. At the time the first murders occurred the FBI wasn't the FBI yet. By the time the investigation was in full swing, (keeping in mind that the Osage tribe had to basically beg and pay through the nose to get anyone to investigate or do anything at all about these murders), the FBI was officially called that and Mr. Hoover was in charge.

 

There is a third portion of the book, not exactly another angle, but a portion so unbelievable yet proven,(to my mind at least), to be true that it actually brought tears to my eyes. I can't get into more detail but trust me on this: it was horrifying. It was shameful. It was a wrong that's never been righted and I don't believe it ever can be.

 

Bravo to Mr. Grann for his extensive research on this case. A case that, until now, I had never heard of. That is an injustice. I believe Mr. Grann has done his damnedest to bring to light the wrongs that were committed here, and that alone is the only justice that the Osage can hope for at this late date.

 

I think we owe it to the Osage to read this book, and as such, I highly recommend it.

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Random House/Doubleday for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-03-10 15:27
Wallflower by Chad Lutzke
Wallflower - Chad Lutzke

Wallflower is a novella rich in character development. Unfortunately, the main character develops in a way that does little to improve his life, and the reader is along for the ride.

 

I'm not going to get into the plot, because this isn't a book report and because I don't want to be a spoiler. I will say that this story rang true to me and I think it would to anyone that has ever known a person with an addiction-be it drugs, alcohol, gambling or anything else.

 

The whole "I'm not addicted", or the "I'm too strong to let any drug take over my life" arguments are what I've heard and even said myself at times. But it wasn't true. I knew it, and everyone around me knew it. My addiction was only to nicotine, (I'm saying only to a drug that kills almost 500,000 people per year in the U.S. alone), but it was a powerful addiction just the same. By the time I admitted that it was an addiction, it was too late, and I was hooked for another 25 years before I finally quit for good.

 

How does a person get to that point? What could be done to prevent it from happening, if anything? These are all valid questions surrounding addiction. Wallflower doesn't answer any of these questions, but it does tell the story of one man and tells it poignantly, with feeling and truth.

 

Highly recommended! You can get your copy here: Wallflower

 

*I was provided a free e-copy of this book by the author, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2017-02-10 23:13
The Fireman by Joe Hill, narrated by Kate Mulgrew
The Fireman: A Novel - HarperAudio,Joe Hill,Kate Mulgrew

 

Kate Mulgrew's narration raised  my rating ,(click to see my original review), of this book, just as it raised my rating of NOS4A2. The Fireman is so good to start with, but with her heartfelt voicing, the ball is knocked out of the park. 

 

Highly recommended on audio!

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review 2017-01-13 12:45
Ubo by Steve Rasnic Tem
Ubo - Steve Rasnic Tem

 

Ubo is difficult to talk about without sounding insane. There are so many thought provoking questions here, all locked up with roaches holding the keys. I know, I know...insane.

 

I have to touch on the basic outline here to make any sense at all of this review. Daniel goes from sitting in an airport contemplating walking away from it all, (including his wife and their sickly son), to living out scenarios of the most violent events in the history of the world, with only a vague, surreal, memory of wings and a moon separating the two.

 

When I say living out violent scenarios, I mean from inside the very heads of those doling out said violence. Jack the Ripper. Jim Jones. Charles Whitman. Here you are, witnessing these crimes as if it were you perpetrating them, while at the same time finding your conscience and your stomach recoiling. What possible good could come out of that? If there IS something good, can it be discovered and/or implemented before humanity destroys itself? You'll have to read this to find out.

 

I requested this ARC from NetGalley/Solaris because I have been a huge fan of Mr. Tem's short stories over the years. I remember his name always showing up in horror anthologies and knew I could depend on him to give me a good thrill. This book, however, is more of a science fiction novel with horrific elements-but all of his intense, strong writing? It's still here.

 

There's so much more I want to say, but...spoilers. Many things are going on in the background that beg for your attention, important things. Commentary about humanity really, where it is going and where it has been. Much of it is unpleasant. Somehow though, I found hope at the end. Is that because I couldn't face the stark reality, (not that far off from our current reality, by the way), or because I truly do think there's hope? I'm not sure. This is one of those times where I wish the author was my friend and I could just call him up and ask him. Since that's not happening, I'll settle for hearing what YOU think.

 

Highly recommended for those readers that enjoy turning over the reigns to a trusted author and believing that they will bring it all home. Go ahead and discover if there's even any home left. Read Ubo.

 

Ubo is available February 9th. You can pre-order your copy here: Ubo

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Solaris for the e-Arc of Ubo in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2016-11-09 22:05
Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff by Pappy Pariah, narrated by Sean Penn, Francis McDormand & Others
Free: Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff - Leila George,Pappy Pariah,Audible Studios,Ari Fliakos,Sean Penn,Frances McDormand

 

There's satire and humor here and this audio book is timely. The political landscape is current and even Bob Dylan's recent award of the Nobel Prize in Literature is here.

 

I think I understand what this piece tried to do, however I'm not sure it succeeded. At times very funny, (Francis McDormand I'm looking at you), and other times flat out WTF confusing, (Welcome to Nightvale anyone?), I'm trying to figure out if I should listen to this again. Sometimes authors, (Pappy Pariah, are you Sean Penn?), get too witty for their own, (or my own) good.

 

To give Bob Honey the benefit of the doubt: it probably didn't help that I listened to this audio on election day and the day after what I consider to be a stunning outcome. Perhaps in a less charged atmosphere I would have taken away more than I what I did. Then again, perhaps not.

 

I decided. I'm not listening again.

 

It's free at Audible if you want to give it a try.

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