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text 2017-08-19 02:04
The Reading Quest
The Underground Railroad: A Novel - Colson Whitehead
In Other Lands - Sarah Rees Brennan,Carolyn Nowak
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
Nature Abhors a Vacuum (The Aielund Saga) - Stephen L. Nowland

I totally missed the official signup for this, but I'm going to go ahead and do it anyway.


The Reading Quest


I found it on Habitica, actually (apparently I am weak and will do anything for XP, including actual adulting), and it seemed very neat. Currently I am three and a half books in, working on the Rogue path, and quite enjoying the fact that I am working off a vague plan for my reading. We will see how long that lasts, since I am weak and easily distracted by random books, but the quest for experience points may keep me on my chosen path.


I'm going to need to do some major cleaning around here, since I may have gotten distracted from Booklikes for a bit.


Has anyone else seen this? Anyone manage to sign up in a timely manner and thus be eligible for prizes? Anyone else just going to do it anyway?

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review 2017-04-19 00:00
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut I'm not sure how Vonnegut pulled this off. It was all over the fucking place. And it all worked. The whole time I was reading it, I had the feeling that I was reading something extraordinary. And I was.
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review 2017-04-01 23:40
Confusing Book
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut

2 1/2 stars.


Kurt Vonnegut is undoubtedly a good writer. The trouble is, that I enjoyed the introduction where he was describing his own experiences much more than the bulk of the book where he told us Billy Pilgrim's story. Kurt himself is a more interesting person than Billy. Or maybe I just didn't like the fact that we had to decide whether Billy was crazy or really was kidnapped by Tralfamadorians. Typically, in a book where we're left to decide if something is imagined or real I will imagine that it's real, but I just couldn't this time. The Tralfamadorians are too bizarre and their concept of time is too unbelievable. I didn't like the descriptions of Billy's time on Tralfamadore, or the fact that in an earlier part of the book we were told that 'Billy was cheating on his wife for the first and only time,' but if Tralfamadore was real, than he cheated on his wife multiple times with the movie star who the Tralfamadorians had also kidnapped. Kilgore Trout's ideas about re-writing the Gospels say to me that he (so possibly Vonnegut) didn't truly understand who Jesus is and what he did. Though the rewrite came with the question "why are so many Christians so Cruel?" so I suppose that it may be that it isn't intended to be taken seriously, but simply ask the question, "if this was the way the Gospels were written, would less Christians commit evil acts?" I doubt it. If a Christian is willing to commit atrocities with the Bible the way it is, why the heck would the care if Jesus hadn't been the Son of God until after His death?


There was too much sex in this book for my liking. The members of the Beaumont township in Footloose may have been wrong for judging this book only from of its' name, but they likely would have decided to burn it even if they had read it.


Oddly enough, I had never heard of the bombing of Dresden. I knew that Berlin and some other German cities had been bombed toward the end of the war, and I focused on WWII in my final year of high school, but if the bombing of Dresden was mentioned in any of the books I read or any of the documentaries I watched, they must have skimmed over the horror of it, or made the claim that it had to happen. I don't know if there were places in Dresden that were helping the German war effort. I don't know if there were places whose destruction helped the Allies, but I believe that the firebombing of Dresden without consideration for the refugees and other innocent civilians, or even the slightest attempt to avoid residential areas was wrong.


I was surprised that Billy Pilgrim was based of a real person, Edward Crone, who the author named in his interview at the end of the audiobook version I listened to. Even though the man gave up, didn't eat and died, his family was likely still alive and even though the majority of Billy's actions were not dishonorable, his bizarre belief that he had been kidnapped by aliens might bother the family of the very real Edward Crone.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. The writing was excellent, but there was a great deal of profanity, and I couldn't quite follow the story of Billy Pilgrim, who I had difficulty caring about as his narration jumped all over the place. I've seen Christian criticism of the book for the profanity and for the rewritten fake Gospel, but I hadn't seen that at the time I picked it up. I really don't know how I feel about this book.

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review 2016-08-24 04:05
Slaughterhouse 90210 - Maris Kreizman

So I went into this book without realizing that it started out as a blog. But after figuring that out, I still don't really understand the point of making a book out of it. The format itself was a bit annoying, because you flip back and forth from the picture/quote page to the background/connection page in the back, which made actually reading the book kind of a pain.


Also, while the quotes fit the context of the media reference, some of the connections seemed pretty shallow and there wasn't really any analysis included. It was a good starting point to get people thinking, but I think you'd have to be pretty obtuse to not think about some of these things in the first place. Taylor Swift is paired with, "Above all, she was the girl who 'feels' things." Enough jokes have already been made about that on the Internet, I don't think this one really added anything to the discussion.


So while it was a unique idea, I think the execution was a little dull. If you subscribe to Thomas C. Foster's idea that "there's only one story", these connections are really not that big of a leap. Teenagers from Pretty in Pink (1986) and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) feel the same? What are the odds?

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review 2015-12-20 16:25
Slaughterhouse: The Retreat 2 review
The Retreat #2: Slaughterhouse - Stephen Knight,Craig DiLouie,Joe McKinney

The follow-up to Pandemic sees Stephen Knight take the major reigns from Craig DiLouie and have to guide the reader through the often difficult second-book in a series.

Straight off, the best part of Slaughterhouse is how authentic it feels. Not the infected people who laugh like hyenas while they're trying to pull your larynx out through your ass, but rather the way in which the military characters in this book speak and behave screams believable. Not that I've ever been in the army, so I cannot accurately say, but compared to other books of this apocalyptic type, this one seems to be aiming to get it right.

Of course, that also works against Slaughterhouse insofar as making it a chore to read through the repetitive, technical nature of much of what is being described. But worse than that, is the way in which none of the characters - other than the single female POV character, Rawlings - seem to have any real depth to them. Instead they just felt like variations on military cliche. And as such, I cared barely at all when some of them died.

It's a shame, but this one just did not do it for me. I'm clearly in the minority looking at the other glowing reviews of Slaughterhouse online; which is a good thing because the third in the series is about to drop and I wish the authors every success with it.

I just won't be a part of it, because, sad to say, I'm going AWOL from this series.

2 Homicidal Maniacs Flying an Assault Helicopter for Slaughterhouse.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1422400710
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