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text 2017-05-21 10:27
21st May 2017
The Rape of the Lock - Alexander Pope

Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.

 

Alexander Pope

 

Satire was the fashion of the day for Alexander Pope (born May 21, 1688) and friends like Jonathan Swift and John Gay. Pope enjoyed mocking high-society quarrels and bad taste among the aristocracy. He did, however, also pen an earnest translation of the Iliad.

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review 2017-05-05 02:36
Where the Monsters Live: A Tale of Revenge by Duncan Ralston
Where the Monsters Live - Duncan Ralston

How far would you go for revenge?

Synopsis:

When a six-year-old girl is abused and left for dead by a pedophile known only as the “Rabbit Man” due to the claw marks left on her body, police follow every lead but reach only dead ends.

Hungry for justice, her grieving father abandons wife and child on a harrowing journey deep undercover into Miami’s sex offender colony under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. His purpose is simple: to find the “Rabbit Man” among them, and put him in the ground.

Months later, with no one to trust and the pedophiles he lives among growing suspicious of his actions, he learns nothing is simple where the monsters live.

 

Hoppy Easter! Come see what I put in your basket...

WHERE THE MONSTERS LIVE is NOT an extreme horror story, but I still want you to have a little ‘heads up’ before you start reading.

The story is not super graphic in an icky way, but it's emotionally graphic. WTML will sucker punch you right in the feels. It's a disturbing story, and the 'uncomfort' level rises drastically if you have a child of your own.
I didn’t notice just HOW 'emotionally graphic' it was until The Dark Defender woke up to ask me what was wrong, and I had tears streaming down my cheeks.

 

At one point I thought I knew exactly how this story was going to end (we’ll talk about that once you finish reading). That wouldn’t have made it a suck story – but I am happy that WTML didn’t go for the ‘ironic twist’, and I’m very satisfied with how it’s wrapped up – there could be a little wiggle room JIC case the story isn’t done with us yet.

 

Full review posted HERE - come join in on the discussion of WTML!

Source: wp.me/p37DRX-1Dy
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-01 19:24
Deliverance, by James Dickey
Deliverance (Modern Library 100 Best Novels) - James Dickey

The film version of Deliverance is known for "that scene," the one where Bobby, one of four city men traversing a wild river in Georgia, is raped by a "hillbilly." The scene is a bit different in the book--there's no "Squeal like a pig!" moment--but essentially the same. Before I even saw the film, I knew about that scene. Men as victims of rape (outside of prison as a context) in stories shock us; women as victims are so common, often serving as the impetus for a male protagonist to seek revenge, or to "develop" a female character, that it's rare for their victimization to become the talking point of a film or book, unless the scene is especially brutal (e.g. Irreversible) or unique (e.g. that turkey baster in Don't Breathe).

 

I mention this because I came to Deliverance as a reader who is now rarely interested in books with white masculinity as their subject. Its spot on the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century likely put it on my radar, and when I read a sample I was dazzled by its language. Dickey's prose is the best thing about the novel, for a reader like me. He has a way of describing moments of consciousness or states of being that is unlike anything else I've read. It carried me through the story, even as the book became what I feared it might. In essence, it's about using and relying on one's physical and mental resources as a man to make it through a dire situation.

 

The leader of this river expedition is Lewis, the most capable and masculine "man's man" of the foursome. He's what we would today call a survivalist; he has faith in himself and his body, first and foremost, and wants to be prepared for anything. There's Drew, the sensible, amateur musician, and Bobby, the smartass who's the least helpful on the river. The protagonist and narrator is Ed, Lewis's best friend. Ed is mildly dissatisfied with his work (in advertising) and goes back and forth about wanting to take part in the river trip. When Lewis is badly injured and another member of their party killed by the surviving local man who participated in the rape (Lewis killed the other), it's up to Ed to get them out of there alive. He does, though injured and obliged to murder (or kill in self-defense, depending on your perspective). The three survivors lie about what happened, concerned they won't be believed by local law enforcement. This experience will clearly haunt them always.

 

What troubles me is the way Bobby is characterized, especially after the rape. When reading, especially a violent and potentially offensive book like this, I try to separate characters' actions and attitudes from the author's. Immediately after the rapist is killed by Lewis, Ed thinks to himself that he doesn't want to touch or be around Bobby. This is a moment where you can distinguish between character and author. But Bobby is elsewhere characterized as weak by the author; his ineptitude makes him a hazard to his friends more than a help as they traverse the river and try to escape the situation. Bobby is, in effect, the least masculine and feminized. Drew had his sense of morality going for him; what does Bobby have except (useless) humor?

 

The few women in the book are wives or objects of a desirous male gaze. Ed has sex with his wife the morning he leaves for the trip, and when he returns, thinks he hasn't appreciated her enough. Drew's widow is angry and predictably points out how useless a death he suffered, adventuring on a river. Throughout the story, Ed thinks of the model who posed topless (back to the camera) and held her breast in a roomful of men, a gold tint in one eye. The women seem there to help define the men's masculinity.

 

Deliverance is tightly constructed, the type of book with symbolism to pore through, ready for a book group or class discussion. I've mentioned its stellar language and also gasped at several points. I can certainly understand its presence on the Modern Library's list, even as I struggle with some elements.

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review 2017-04-19 01:11
I saw that one coming
Echoes in Death - J.D. Robb

Well, it played much like I expected. It's a pretty piece of hipocresy, or character-centered morality; but then Eve's un-compromising posture has been shifting as she becomes a more rounded human being instead of sorely a cop, so I don't quite get where the reader's rage is coming from.

 

It's no great height in this long-runner, but it's not dreadful either. And if anything, I would have expected haters of this one to give up volumes ago

 

around the time the whole Homeland bit came to light and she got Roarke to erase those files, I reckon.

(spoiler show)

 

Wait, I'm editing because I saw some valid poits raised: flateness of lines; missed sassy, capable Peabody, got some secretary sim instead; too much going about the redecoration (about the only comment on that that served any purpose was some off-handed line about how the study now felt integrated to the style of the house intead of separate); and too much damned rape and/or child abuse going in this saga lately. Eve says at some point that she misses greed or rage classic, and I think we do too...

 

So yeah. I still stand by and say it wasn't horrid, but it is getting a bit flat.

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review 2017-04-18 22:54
Review: Stolen by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins Sexy Space Odyssey #2) by Nina Croft
Stolen by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins’ Sexy Space Odyssey) - Nina Croft

Ruby finds herself back where it all started. Her mission may be back on track but now she may be in more danger than ever before.

Here we get to see more of the other creatures Ruby and her friends have to deal with and the villains they have to defeat. There were a few twists along the way that kept the story interesting and a pretty awesome, action-packed, nail-biting ending, which was another cliffhanger.

We also got to see Killian in a more redeeming light, which was good of course. Unfortunately Ruby continued to act like a child in a chocolate factory regardless of everything of what was happening to her. I mean, I get that there are certain things that get some people off, and hey! More power to them for enjoying what they like when it comes to sex. However, I wished she started acting more like a hero and less like a lioness in heat. All in all a good continuation to the story and I’ll definitely read the final book.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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