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review 2017-02-20 17:09
Der Wissenschaftler und die Liebe
Das Rosie-Projekt - Graeme Simsion

Der Erfolg dieses Buches ist völlig nachvollziehbar auch ich konnte es nicht mehr weglegen und las es in einem Rutsch durch. Als leichte romantische Komödie konzipiert, die tatsächlich ganz ohne Schmalz und Schmachten auskommt, trifft sie voll ins Schwarze und hat auch mein romantikresistentes Herz im Sturm erobert. Vor allem auch deshalb, weil sich der Roman dem Thema Liebe recht innovativ auf wissenschaftlicher, genetischer Basis nähert, was zu teilweise wundervollen köstlichen Verwicklungen führt.

 

Professor Don Tillmann, ein Genetiker mit leichtem Aspergersyndrom (was ihm bis zum Ende der Geschichte nicht wirklich bewusst ist - bei Eigendiagnosen versagt das Wissenschaftlerhirn mit an Sicherheit grenzender Wahrscheinlichkeit - da gibt es im Buch noch viele andere Beispiele) hat eine ganz spezifische methodische Vorgehensweise entwickelt, sein bisheriges Leben ohne Partnerin zu beenden und die zu ihm passende perfekte Ehefrau durch einen gefinkelten Fragebogen zu finden. Alleine der Fragebogenpretest des Nerds mit seinen Freunden ist derartig witzig und läßt mein empirisches Herz ob der wissenschaftlichen Korrektheit höher schlagen. Um die Komik der Geschichte zu verstärken, kommt ihm Rosie zwischen seine strukturierten Pläne, die diametral entgegengesetzt zu seiner Definition der perfekten Frau ist und die völliges Chaos in seinem Leben anrichtet. Für Rosie und ihr Anliegen, ihren biologischen Vater zu finden, wirft er auch seine ethischen Grundsätze, sich immer an alle Regeln zu halten, komplett über Bord, hackt sich in Computersysteme, beschafft Genproben ohne Einwilligung des Probanden, stiehlt Toilettartikel etc. Letztendlich will er für sie sogar komplett sein Verhalten ändern. Am Ende der Geschichte könnte man zwar sagen, dass die Liebe alles überwindet - eine Zweittheorie, mit der das Buch durchaus liebäugelt, könnte aber auch die biologisch-genetisch determinierte Anziehung von Gegensätzen sein: "Wer braucht schon einen Papagei als Partner".

 

Die Figuren sind wundervoll entwickelt und jeder Prototyp läuft massenhaft auf den Gängen der Universitätsinstitute herum, wer hier platte Klischees vermutet, der sollte sich mal auf den unzähligen TNF's (Technisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultäten) der Unis herumtreiben. Der meist nicht sehr gepflegte Nerd mit Kontrollzwang entweder anerzogen oder eben durch eine Krankheit determiniert und scheußlicher Kleidungswahl. Ich sagte mal zu einem Studenten mit dottergelber Strickjacke, Pepitahose und oranger Satinkrawatte (bitte das war nicht in den 80ern sondern in den 90ern) "Gell Du studierst technische Mathematik". Er schaute mich fragend an und antwortete dass ich fast richtig läge. Er studierte technische Physik. Als Grenzgängerin zwischen den Fakultäten ich studierte BWL und Informatik habe ich oft ganz bewusst diese Verhaltenscodes missachtet und ging in Birkenstockschlapfen und Strickpullover in Marketingvorlesungen und mit maßgeschneidertem orangen Mini-Kostüm in die Informatikveranstaltungen. Das hat damals schon massive Irritationen verursacht und tut es noch heute, wenn ich auf einer TU gut angezogen unterrichte. Auch der promiskuitive Professor, der am liebsten Kolleginnen und Studentinnen an die Wäsche geht, kommt natürlich vor. Dieser Typus ist auch nicht gerade selten, aber darüber schweige ich nun sehr dezent :D.

 

Die Sprache ist einfach, sollte aber ohnehin für so ein leichtes Buch nicht zu komplex ausfallen.

 

Fazit: Wundervolle leichte aber nicht seichte Unterhaltung, die hält, was der Klappentext verspricht: viel Humor, ein bisschen Romantik ohne schmalztriefende und lüsterne Gefühlsduseleien, wissenschaftliche Korrektheit und sogar eine Botschaft.

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review 2017-02-19 15:14
Rusty Puppy by Joe Lansdale
Rusty Puppy - Joe R. Lansdale

Rusty Puppy is the latest entry in the Hap and Leonard series by Joe Lansdale.

 

The pair are hired by the lady across the street to help find her son's murderer. The local cops are not only unhelpful, they are suspected of being involved. As always, the pair are happy to help and find themselves involved with corrupt lawmen, scuzzy lawyers and a foul-mouthed, 400 year old midget vampire. (You'll see.)

 

I believe the main draw for these books is the back and forth between Hap and Leonard and this book is no exception. I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit and with everything going on in the world today, I welcomed the respite.

 

There's also a killer fight scene towards the end of the book that loyal readers won't want to miss.

 

Hap and Leonard lovers should enjoy this volume of the series just as much as the rest of them, if not just a smidge more. Highly recommended, especially to fans of the series!

 

Available on February 21, 2017, here: Rusty Puppy (Hap and Leonard)  

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*Thanks to Mulholland Books and NetGalley for the digital ARC of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2017-02-15 07:44
The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crimes, #1)
The Big Over Easy - Jasper Fforde

This book...  I have so many random thoughts about this book.  In no particular order:

 

1.  Easily the most highly quotable book I've ever read.  Including books of quotes.  
One of my favourites:

 

Mr. Pewter led them through to a library filled with thousands of antiquarian books.

'Impressive, eh?'

'Very,' said Jack.  'How did you amass all these?'

'Well,' said Pewter, 'you know the person who always borrows books and never gives them back?'

'Yes–?'

'I'm that person.'

 

Don't know why, but that cracked me up.

 

2.  I'm pretty sure Fforde had no intention of writing a satire (based on what I've found on the interwebs) about the sensationalism of the free press, but this is definitely a case of current events shaping a reader's interpretation of the text.  I had a really hard time reading this and not drawing parallels.

 

3.  I'm equally sure he definitely meant to write a satirised murder mystery and this was easily the closest I've ever read to my blog's namesake movie, Murder By Death, which in my totally biased opinion is the acme of mystery satire.  Which brings me to another quote:

 

Dog Walker's Face Body-Finding Ban

 

Anyone who finds a corpse while walking their dog may be fined if proposed legislation is made law, it was disclosed yesterday.  The new measures, part of the Criminal Narrative Improvement Bill, have been drafted to avoid investigations looking clichéd...

 

Now this is legislation I can get behind.

 

4.  I wish I'd picked this book up directly after reading The Well of Lost Plots.  It makes no difference to someone new to Fforde's books, but I think those that have read TN would feel a stronger connection to the characters here when The Well... was still fresh in the memory.

 

5.  Prometheus has an incredible monologue on pages 271-273.  A popular fiction novel that can weave serious philosophy into its narrative always earns huge bonus points with me.

 

6.  Oh, yeah - good mystery plot too!

 

Off to order the second one...

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review 2017-02-14 23:08
Food: A Love Story
Food: A Love Story - Jim Gaffigan

This was my first exposure to the comedy of Jim Gaffigan.  I went with audio because I figured it would come the closest to seeing him live; he's the narrator, so you experience this book presumably the way it was intended to be delivered.

 

It was good.  At no point did I ever want to fast forward, or yell at him through my car speakers.  I found almost all of it amusing, and there were some great one liners, but other than one out-loud chuckle, most of the humour remained at the amusing level.

 

If asked about my favourite bit, I'd definitely say it's the part where he talks about McDonalds, and how everybody has their own McDonalds, whether it's Star Magazine, or the hidden stash of chocolate, or the Ben and Jerry's in the freezer, we all have a McDonalds equivalent.  This had me talking back to my dashboard: "Yeah, that's right, I never thought of it like that - we do all have our own McDonalds!".  

 

The narration was... ok.  I don't think anyone could have done it better - but there was, especially at the beginning, a bit of stiffness; a sense that he hadn't seen the material for some time before he started recording the narration.  Sometimes, he really got into it and then the narration was great; the listener got a good idea of how great he'd be in a live show.

 

I'm glad I listened to it; it was entertaining.  If Gaffigan were ever to make it this far on tour, I definitely pony up the money to see him live.

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review 2017-02-14 18:29
Science bros, Batman buns, and pirate love
Hark! A Vagrant - Kate Beaton

I had heard a lot of good things about Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant and since the premise of it (historical parody + comics) sounded intriguing I naturally thought it would be a winner for me. Well, I can't in all honesty say that it was a winner in my books. There were certainly some comics that I thought were really funny but I feel like those few didn't override my overall reaction of "wow this wasn't as good as I had hoped". I think this is largely due to my sense of humor. I know many people who would probably fall out of their chairs laughing at this (and many others who would totally give up within the first couple of pages). Essentially Kate has selected different little themes (based on historical figures, events, etc) and written short comics to accompany them. Sometimes she writes a little explanatory paragraph at the bottom but this isn't always the case. There is something very "Tumblresque" about her work which might be the biggest draw for you...or it might make you very wary.  I always feel strange giving a "negative" review especially when it's more a question of my taste and not really anything to do with the writing itself. However, this is my blog and I can only review books based on my own tastes (as well as basic stuff like grammar, setup, and so on). For me, this was a 3/10 and I'm not likely to search out any of Beaton's work in the future.

 

I think it's Poe's face in that last panel that does it for me.

 

Should I have put a warning on this?

 

The 'nemesis' series was a hoot. 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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