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review 2017-09-09 00:30
Carter & Lovecraft by Jonathan L. Howard
Carter & Lovecraft - Jonathan L. Howard

 

Carter & Lovecraft is an imaginative novel based on characters that are the descendants of H.P. Lovecraft, (real author), and Randolph Carter, (a fictional character created by Lovecraft.)  I liked it!

 

I read this as a buddy read and this story makes for a lot of fun discussion. There were some intriguing character deaths that kept the reader engaged and there were also quite a few mysteries to puzzle out. 

 

My one complaint is the cliffhanger ending-I hate that! Plus, not only did it leave the plot of this story unresolved, it also opened up all kinds of new questions and now, of course, I need to read the next book! 

 

Overall, this novel was fun and you don't have to be a walking encyclopedia of Lovecraft knowledge to understand or enjoy the story. However, I think a rudimentary knowledge of the man himself might not hurt. Recommended to fans of horror and of Lovecraft!

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review 2017-08-22 18:40
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
The Talented Mr. Ripley - Patricia Highsmith

 

**Please note that this review is LOADED with spoilers! If you plan to read this book in the future, you should! But you should NOT continue to read this review.**

 

To Tom Ripley, being bored, being around dull people and having nothing to do are among the WORST things in existence. Of course, he never has to be bored again after brutally murdering his friend and assuming his identity.

 

Tom is recruited by Mr. Greenleaf, (the father of Tom's acquaintance, Dickie), to bring his son home from Italy. Tom is even given a hefty sum with which to support himself in Italy while working his come-home-magic on his friend. Unfortunately, Ripley has no luck persuading Dickie to do anything, other than to get stumbling drunk nearly every minute of the day. Then, shortly after an awkward scene where Tom is caught trying on Dickie's clothes, Tom decides to whack Dickie and that's where this story really begins.

 

I'd seen the movie with Matt Damon a long time ago, but I've always been fascinated with the character of Tom Ripley and wanted to read the book for myself. In the 50's, stories from the viewpoint of the murderer were rare, not like today. I think it was also rare, (feel free to correct me), to have the antagonist be likable at times. I mean, there you are, in Ripley's mind- rolling along thinking about your afternoon cocktails and that evening's parties and then BAM! He's whacking someone across the head with an oar. And then whacking them again. And then across their neck. And then stabbing them with it as if it were a sharp instrument. He's wheezing and out of breath and he's still going. And there's the reader, a bit stunned, wondering how we got to this point and where did everything go wrong? This right here is what I liked best about the story.

 

Now we have Criminal Minds and FBI profilers that write books about serial killers, sociopaths and the like. In the 50's when this book was written, that was not the case. I think Patricia Highsmith had the thought processes of Ripley down pat. Nothing is ever his fault. He is just so clever and everyone else so dull and stupid. The depravity of his thoughts are presented so matter-of-fact-ly that they could almost pass for normal. His ability to read the emotions and thoughts of others and anticipate what they'll do and how they'll react in certain situations is astonishing. It's almost like Ripley was not a person at all, but instead just a collection of facial expressions and witty banter wrapped around an all encompassing greed. He was a mimic of a person. He had nothing within himself-all that he was came from outside.

 

"He loved possessions, not masses of them, but a select few that he did not part with. They gave a man self-respect. Not ostentation but quality, and the love that cherished the quality. Possessions reminded him that he existed, and made him enjoy his existence. It was as simple as that. And wasn't that worth something? He existed."

 

He was so good at his machinations that he, himself believed them. He would imagine scenes in his head over and over again-so they would become real. To him, real in his head equated to real in reality. He believed so totally and utterly that it was easy for him to make others believe too. To me, this is where the strength of this book lies-the creation of Tom Ripley. He is such a fascinating character that I can see myself reading this again in the future.

 

This story really wouldn't work in today's world, with all of our phones and cameras and facial recognition software: in that regard The Talented Mr. Ripley is dated. However, as far as the creation of a believable sociopath, Tom Ripley would be right at home in an episode of Criminal Minds-and he would give the investigators a good run for their money.

 

Highly recommended!

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review 2017-08-22 02:11
Mr Ripley!
The Talented Mr. Ripley - Patricia Highsmith

 I need a massage from all that tension Mr. Ripley caused in my neck!

 

More tomorrow because it's Preacher time. 

 

 

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text 2017-08-19 23:52
Ripley Read 40% in!

The Talented Mr. Ripley - Patricia Highsmith    

So far,,,there's a lot of this:

 

 

 

And I mean really-a LOT. I like myself a good cocktail now and again, but these guys start drinking when they brush their teeth in the morning. 

 

So, everyone's drunk half the time, having a good beach romp in Italy and then all of the sudden, someone's feelings get hurt and

 

 

 

someone gets pissed and starts losing their shit. 

 

 

And, before you know it ...IT'S On!

 

I especially liked this passage from the 30% mark when

 

Dickie tells Tom he's not gay and turns cold towards him. Tom thinks:

 

 

 

"It was as if Dickie had been suddenly snatched away from him. They were not friends. They didn't know each other. It struck Tom like a horrible truth, true for all time, true for the people he had known in the past and for those he would know in the future: each had stood and would stand before him, and he would know time and time again that he would never know them, and the worst was there would be the illusion, for a time, that he did know them, and that he and they were completely in harmony and alike."

 

This is why I'm not an author-because I'd just say: "He's effed up in the head."

 

(spoiler show)

 

 

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review 2017-07-08 16:34
Review: Kindred by Octavia Butler
Kindred - Octavia E. Butler

 

 

As part of the TBR Canine Jar Challenge, Kindred was chosen by Enya

Kindred is her third pick from the jar this year,

her previous picks being The Exorcist and Middlesex

 

 

 

I went into this expecting it to blow my socks off as I've seen many people raving about it, but that's not what happened. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, it was engaging, the plot was great, and I flew through it in no time, but it wasn't what I was expecting.

 

The writing was simplistic and easily readable. It didn't require much concentration or dedication to get through and I wasn't expecting that. I don't know if I am disappointed because my expectations were too high, or because the author approached the important topics of race relations and slavery using such simplistic language and writing style.

 

I went into it with something more complex in mind, a deeper hard to read story and message, but I feel it was overly simplified and somewhat dumbed down in order to entertain or make it a lighter read. I highly doubt it was used as a plot device for entertainment purposes, but at times it felt that way. Perhaps it's a victim of its time, had it been written more recently this wouldn't have been the case as today's readers are more open to the truth of the brutality and realism of slavery.

 

The above makes it sound like I didn't enjoy it, I did and I'm keen to read more by Octavia Butler, but I'm left with questions. The time travel just happens, there's no explanation given for Dana being pulled back in time. How was Rufus able to pull Dana back to his time? What effect did her interactions with her past relatives have on her present timeline, family, and bloodline?

 

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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