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Search tags: Other-Fiction
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text 2017-07-25 13:23
The Realm of Last Chances: 96/288 pg
The Realm of Last Chances - Steve Yarbrough

Nope, still no empathy. But have to credit the author with really vivid character creation, even the most minor of them. Although I think as each character is introduced, we are learning more about whichever of the three main characters that is interacting with them. They sure are a judgmental bunch of assholes.  

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text 2017-07-24 19:01
The Realm of Last Chances: 82/288pg
The Realm of Last Chances - Steve Yarbrough

So this guy is

an embezzler who asked his elderly mother to borrow the money to pay back his employer, is a snob about books & music (a girl who "never read anything serious" and listened to Cyndi Lauper is only interesting because she's beautiful) and thinks of dogs only as "props".

(spoiler show)

I hope I'm not expected to find him either likable or sympathetic, but he's clearly one of the story's protagonists. I believe I'll be cheering for him to experience more misery and loss, regardless. 

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text 2017-07-22 18:29
The Realm of Last Chances: 27/288pg
The Realm of Last Chances - Steve Yarbrough

Lately, he felt insubstantial, weightless, as if he were merely the idea of a person rather than the real thing. People weren't just a past or a present or a set of extinguished expectations. They had to have a future, too, and for himself he failed to see one. He felt as if he could readily be brushed off, as if right now, should he choose to, Nowicki could swat him aside as if he were no more momentous than a fly or a gnat. 

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review 2017-07-07 03:05
Good Kings Bad Kings ★★★☆☆
Good Kings Bad Kings - Susan Nussbaum

Proponents of privatizing public services argue that, by managing operations like a private business, these services can be provided much more efficiently. So what is the natural outcome when residential/custodial care is outsourced to a corporation whose board demands a healthy profit, and profits are driven by keeping as many beds filled for as little cost as possible? The goal is certainly not to try to support families with disabled children, to keep them at home instead of in residential care. It’s not to prepare those children for living as independently as possible when they reach adulthood, becoming contributing members of society. Oh, and if that same company holds government contracts for residential psychiatric care? Perhaps there’s a profit motive for assigning psychiatric diagnoses to children with behavioral problems?

 

This was an interesting book with some interesting things to say. But it is grim reading, and I was outraged at the way the author chose to end it. I don’t expect or even want happy endings, especially in a book so determined to strive for realism. But there is no sense of resolution, no looking forward, no… anything. It just stops, like the author got tired of writing or the publisher refused to print more than 465 pages.  

 

Audiobook, purchased via Audible. The performances by a cast of readers were the best part of this book. They breathed life into the characters as each told his or her own story. This is one good exception to my dislike for first person present tense. The writing style, in this case, fit the story being told perfectly.

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review 2017-07-01 23:00
The Husband’s Secret ★★★★☆
The Husband's Secret - Liane Moriarty,Caroline Lee

Sometimes I get impatient with the kind of novel where you have to follow what seems like a bazillion characters and their disparate storylines, until those stories finally come together at the end. This one, however, kept me engaged from the beginning, because each storyline was populated with realistically interesting and flawed characters, and I was genuinely curious to discover how their stories would all resolve. Admittedly, it did seem to rely on a lot of convenient coincidences, but most novels do.

 

This was a story of relationships, choices, and the consequences of allowing pride, unconscious prejudice, and assumptions to drive decisions. I enjoyed it very much.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. Caroline Lee does her usual outstanding job of giving voice to a cast of characters.

 

 

Previous Updates:

6/25/17 – 4%

 

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