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Search tags: my-dick-in-a-box
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review 2018-01-22 14:36
Book Better Than Movie
The Morning Show Murders - Al Roker,Dick Lochte

My family and I love the Hallmark Channel (January to October 15th, after the 15th you start seeing non-stop Christmas). We love the mystery movies that they put on and the mystery shows. So after Christmas, the commercials started talking about Al Roker's mysteries. I had seen them but had not read them. So with the movie coming, I decided I needed to "read" this book, but I have been unable to find it in Kindle format, so I borrowed it as an audio. 

Billy Blessing (male) is a chef with a popular NYC restaurant and host of morning news segments and a cooking program. One night the restaurant is visited by the local corrupt DA who demands that he be given a private room for his entourage. Billy's manager, Cassandra - a strong woman who doesn't take anything from anyone, refuses to move people to please this man. The next night, the restaurant is closed down by the police because one of Billy's coworkers, Rudy - a man who has a black book of women and cheats on all of them, is found dead in his apartment and they believe that Billy committed the crime. Because Billy is the main suspect and the police and DA are causing him problems in his business, he feels the need to find out who really killed Rudy. As he searches for the real killer, he comes across another killer, a serial killer called Felix. Because he is now being threatened, he is given a security detail and still works to find the true Felix. 

There were moments that the story felt like "The Gourmet Detective" by Peter King. At other times you could clearly see the author's beliefs. He dedicates the books to his family and says they think he hasn't got a clue. 

Overall, the book was pretty good, but the movie was okay but definitely different from the book. Billie (female), Cassandra (aunt) and Ian the detective helps while in the book, the detective was adversarial and crooked as well.

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text 2018-01-09 10:53
Six Favorites of 2017
Soldier of the Mist - Gene Wolfe
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Liu, Ken (March 8, 2016) Hardcover - Ken Liu
700 Sundays - Billy Crystal
The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead
The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies - John Langan
Whip Hand - Dick Francis

These are the six best books I read (for the first time) last year.

 

Soldier of the Mist - Gene Wolfe  Soldier of the Mist - Gene Wolfe  

 

Combine the Greek pantheon with an amnesiac soldier trying to discover himself and you get one of my new favorite fantasy novels. Wolfe has a reputation for both beautiful prose and unreliable narrators; these are on full display here. This was the first novel I've read by Wolfe; it will not be the last.

 

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Liu, Ken (March 8, 2016) Hardcover - Ken Liu  The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Liu, Ken (March 8, 2016) Hardcover - Ken Liu  

 

A brilliant collection of short stories, some magic realism, most SF. Tears through quite a few subgenres, including alternate history and cyberpunk. Themes of alienation, parenthood, and racism repeat throughout.

 

700 Sundays - Billy Crystal  700 Sundays - Billy Crystal  

 

A beautiful, and hilarious, remembrance about the author's parents, especially his father. There are a few painful moments, but also a lot of laughs.

 

The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead  The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead  

 

The first Pulitzer-winning novel I've read, this is a fantastic piece of magical realism / speculative fiction, with an emphasis on racial prejudice. This book imagines the Underground Railroad as a literal train route, and we follow an escaped slave on the various legs of her trip. Through various means, Whitehead examines many historical crimes against Black Americans, including several that took place well after slavery. How the author does this should be discovered through the reading; this book is magic.

 

The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies - John Langan  The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies - John Langan  

 

One of the best horror collections I've read in years. Many of these stories are post-modern in their approach to horror, using the genre's themes and tropes (as well as formal experimentation) to examine it. Good stuff.

 

Whip Hand - Dick Francis  Whip Hand - Dick Francis  

 

A great suspense/mystery novel that centers around horse-racing. It also deals with grief, confidence, and despair. Loved it.

 

I would highly recommend these books to anyone; they're all amazing.

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url 2018-01-07 00:07
Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams Isn't a TV Show, It's a 'Series of 10 Movies'
Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams - Philip K. Dick

Amazon production previewed in UK; coming to U.S. in 2018 (January 12?).

 

Anyone seen it yet?

Source: io9.gizmodo.com/philip-k-dicks-electric-dreams-isnt-a-tv-show-its-a-s-1819219135
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review 2017-12-10 05:52
Who am I? : "A Scanner Darkly" by Philip K. Dick
A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick

I'm a big Pynchon fan, too, so don't get me wrong here, but it seems to me like the main difference between Dick's writing style and Pynchon's--or at least, the difference that mostly accounts for Dick being treated as a "pulp" author with some interesting ideas whereas Pynchon is considered a major "literary" figure--is simply that Dick tends to write in crisp, straightforward sentences that just directly say what he means to say, whereas Pynchon's writing is (in)famously dense with allusion and rambling esoteric figurative expressions to the point where it can be an intellectual exercise in its own right just trying to figure out what the hell Pynchon is trying to say.

 

All of which makes major Dick novels like “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” or “Radio Free Albemuth” sort of resemble, IMHO, what “Gravity's Rainbow” might have looked like if Pynchon had been working with editors who expected him to actually keep tight deadlines.

 

I think Dick was really gifted as a wry satirist, too, and this is something I think he's often under-appreciated for. Probably my favourite single episode in all of Dick's stories I've ever read--and I was quite overjoyed to see this faithfully recreated in the film adaptation--is still the "suicide" sequence from “A Scanner Darkly”. In short, I don't think Dick was ever bad at writing--he just doesn't seem to have had any real interest in the kind of writing that people like James Joyce or William Burroughs (or Pynchon, for whom to my mind it seems that both Joyce and Burroughs were major stylistic influences) were famous for.

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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review 2017-12-04 19:40
Beckettian SF: "The Man in the High Castle" by Philip K. Dick
The Man in the High Castle - Philip K. Dick

“The Man in the High Castle” is my second favourite PKD novel, after “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. I read both novels in the same year, back in the day, along with “Ubik”, “VALIS” and “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch”, and most of PKD's short fiction. Without doubt the most mind-bending year of reading I've ever had, and the one that hooked me on SF more than any other. The thing I love about his stories more than anything else is their mastery of chaos and illogicality. Reality in a PKD story is held together by the desperate hopes of his characters, and its always falling apart beneath their feet. Love it!

 

As for PKD's prose not keeping up with his ideas and co... I agree... and also agree it's often part of the fun. Although here, as noted, I found his writing mainly quite elegant.

 

I've been hunting around for speculation as to why PKD called Hawthorne Abendsen's book “The Grasshopper Lies Heavy”. Dick says in the book that the title is a quote from The Bible, but if so it is not in a common translation. You can find some speculation elsewhere; being speculative about a Dick novel means we'll be wandering into some fairly strange territory... I've also asked the question on my own blog, so there may be enlightening comments there.

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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