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review 2018-05-03 19:42
1984 by George Orwell
Nineteen Eighty-Four - Simon Prebble,George Orwell

This book is quite terrifying. I think most everyone but me has read it or was forced to read it in high school. I was a delinquent student and missed out on this book somehow and decided to read it now. Don’t ask me why. It is perhaps a very bad time to decide to read this book about a world where Big Brother is watching your every move, history is being re-written on the daily and replaced with lies and where most everyone is just another cog in the wheel and basically a Sheeple obliviously going along with things.

 

Anyway, this book was pretty chilling and very readable except for the long winded section where the “hero” is reading the journal/book provided to him about the way of the world. I think that could’ve been tightened up as it repeated much of what the reader already knew but if you need to know all the details you’ll love this part. I wasn’t a fan of the “Newspeak” section at the end where it explains in great detail how language is being slaughtered to control the masses. I also didn’t like the “hero” but I don’t think I was supposed to. In this world no one can be trusted and he is a rather weak and loathsome creature. He’s married, hasn’t a clue where his wife ended up and doesn’t really seem to care, he cheats and he sees a young woman and fears her because she is part of the Thought Police but secretly he wants to hurt and rape her. Ugh, what a loathsome creature. Did I say that already? Despite his distasteful personality and all of my complaints, I think you should read this if you haven’t already because it tackles the absolute absurdity of allowing government complete control over every aspect of your life.

 

The audiobook version I listened to as narrated by Simon Prebble who does an excellent job.

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review 2017-03-22 17:19
Death Before Decaf by Caroline Fardig
Death Before Decaf: A Java Jive Mystery - Caroline Fardig

This was a cute listen on audio and kept me distracted during my mind-numbing drive to and from work. It reminded me a wee bit of the earlier Stephanie Plum novels but without the complete OTT zaniness.

 

Juliette recently had to push the reset button on her life after her ex broke her heart and devastated her financially, forcing her to close her café. She’s accepted a management position at the café where she worked during her college years. It’s owned by her old friend and long-time crush, Pete, who recently inherited the business and isn’t interested in keeping his wayward employees in line.

 

Juliette comes in and immediately lets her “Red-Headed She Devil” persona take over. Her new employees are not impressed, nor very threatened by her screaming and carrying on over their slackerly ways and keep doing whatever they please. She yells at one guy twice (and he totally deserves it), in front of tons of witnesses, and when she later finds him dead in a dumpster she is horrified to learn that she is a person of interest in the investigation. Sheesh, I am soooo glad I am not a manager of insolent café employees!

 

 

Anyway, the ineptitude of the local investigation team urges Juliette to do some sleuthing. This leads her into all sorts of trouble. She’s the type to jump first and never really think about it later. She’s feisty, hot-tempered and impulsive. That last quality gets her into many dangerous situations. Lucky for her, she has two sexy men who come to her rescue when things get out of control. Yep, it’s the dreaded love triangle which is better than the dreaded love-eye , I guess, but we won’t talk about that . . . This bugged me but not enough to ruin the book.

 

It’s an entertaining little mystery, nothing too taxing on the brain and has a nice dash of sarcasm and sexy.

 

Narration Notes: The version I read was narrated by Callie Beaulieu. She does a good job with the characters and you always know who is speaking but she does a dreadful Italian accent. The kind of Italian accent you might hear in a Super Mario game. I don’t know if this was on-purpose to get some laughs or if it was simply dreadful. Either way, I laughed. Fortunately, the Italian student is only a minor walk-on character.

 

*I was sent a copy of this book from Tantor Media. Thanks Tantor, hope you don’t regret it!

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review 2016-02-15 00:00
A Fine Dark Line by Joe R. Lansdale
A Fine Dark Line - Joe R. Lansdale

GR Cleanup Project Read in 2010

 

This Lansdale novel, unlike the other Lansdale novels I’ve read, is told from the point of view of a thirteen year old boy named Stanley. It’s not filled with the off-the-rails cursing and crazy gore that I expect when reading a work from this guy but it still kept my attention. Set in a small town in Texas in 1958, it makes sense that Stanley’s “voice” is still quite innocent. I don’t think you could get away with that sort of innocence today, what with the internet and MTV and their marathon showings of pregnant teens and spoiled skater bois and all but it works here.

Stanley’s parents recently purchased the local drive-in and having made only one friend, Stan’s a bit of a lonely kid. He has an older sister but all they do is bicker. One summer day he and his trusty dog Nub unearth a box filled with love letters written long ago. This gets his curiosity going and he does some snooping, along with the ancient often drunken projectionist, and learns that a house use to stand where he found the box and that a young girl died inside when it burned to the ground. He then discovers another young girl was tragically murdered on the same night. Certain the two events are tied together; he spends his summer determined to find out the truth, befriending some colorful characters along the way, and disturbing things better off left alone.

I’m a sucker for coming of age tales and this is a damn good one. It drags a little here and there but the characters kept me coming back for more. I’ll never claim to be some big mystery wiz and though I guessed one important aspect of the mystery the rest of it kept me guessing. The characters are interesting and realistic (always most important to me) and the tale is scary, funny, heartwarming and compelling with a very well done sense of place. The twists, turns and chills come in the most unexpected places. Reading this I felt like I was tagging along with Stan, Nub and Buster during a long lazy summer. It’s good classic stuff from Mr. Lansdale hisownself.

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review 2015-07-01 18:29
Come the Chupacabra by Ffion Rhys
Come the Chupacabra - Ffion Rhys

Sorry new followers but this is what you sometimes see when you follow me :0

 

A chupacabra freebie over at Amazon US. You know you want it.

What's not to want? A VW packed with silly, sexy grad students decides to trek out to see "The Ruins" and find the mysterious Chupacabra (that, my dears, is never a good idea but they do it anyway). Instead of deadly man-eating vines, they do indeed find the Chupacabra. And they're super friendly. Alls they want is a wee bit of good lovin'.

This wasn't too bad for what it was (an orgy with many Chupacabra's). 

If I remember correctly only one dumb couple die and it's not the Chupa's fault.

(spoiler show)

The writing wasn't horrific, it was just a sex-fest with furry beasts and humans. Girl/girl, guy/guy, girl/guy/chupa, guy/guy/Chupa. You know, the normal stuff and any other variation you can imagine. You'll either like it or you won't read it.

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review 2015-05-08 18:39
Got Your Goat by Edward Lorn
Got Your Goat - Edward Lorn

Thanks Magdalena for giving me the heads up to this freebie short story which I, in my typical idiocy, decided to read while on a lunch break.



This is a gruesome little tale of revenge and goats and goat balls. Read at your own peril. It's here . You're welcome.

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