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review 2016-11-28 19:26
Awful book about some guy's story told through reviews.
Hotels of North America - Rick Moody

The concept of someone's life told through Yelp-like reviews intrigued me. When you think about it, sometimes reviews of something: restaurants, books, movies, etc. can tell the reader a lot about the reviewer's lives. So when the reviewer at the heart of Moody's book disappears, it sounded like an interesting idea to follow.

 

That said, it did not really work. Trying to tell a book through a bunch of reviews can be difficult. I read another book that was just a collection of reviews (if you remember the story of the woman who reviewed the first Olive Garden to come to her area and how that review went viral you'd know she got a book deal out of it) and did not tell a specific story. But those reviews eventually revealed the woman's life and how she used to bring friends, family, her husband (who passed away so other people began to appear in her reviews more) but that worked for what it was trying to do (it was just a collection of reviews).

 

This, however, does not. The book wasn't particularly readable as Morse does not come across as particularly interesting. The author tries where Morse and his paramour K. try to escape a hotel by claiming he's seriously ill (they are presented with a bill as they try to leave). But the story wasn't funny or charming and that set the tone for the rest of the book.

 

Based on other reviews it seems like the author had a seed of an idea but either tried to skate on his reputation or was perhaps rushed into it by the publisher. I'd skip this.

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review 2016-11-15 22:10
Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology - Rebecca Paley,Leah Remini

I should shelf this book in the horror section... I don't understand how in the world this cult still exists, it is crazy. Why would people go into this willingly? It is totally wacko, and their representatives are even more wackos. That Tom Cruise is some case. Should be in a mental institution. He is lucky he is charismatic. But damn, I will never see him with the same eyes again. Not that I liked him before, I have always sensed some weird vibes from him, but then, he is charming. Seems like behind that charming smile hides a monster-kid, ugh.

The whole concept of Scientology is scary and crazy; are we living in the past? How can people still be on this when they are forced to pay thousands of $$, be humiliated (like, being forced to clean public bathrooms with a toothbrush, or being punched repeatedly??) and controlled by other people? Who the hell are these "representatives" to demand money and personal secrets and then, silence? And the rest all keep quiet and pay and, if demanded to, are willing to erase a loving one (a friend, a family member) as he/she has never existed, only because said person is a SP ("Suppressive Person", or someone who is against the "church") or else. What. This is freakishly scary. And nuts.

It is a very interesting book (I was not familiar with Leah Remini before this, but I liked her personality, straightforward and blunt). There are hundreds of acronyms and special names given by this cult; it was a bit overwhelming and sometimes confusing. I have millions of questions currently, so now I am spending my time googling about Shelly Miscavige, and David Miscavige and Crazy Psycho Tom Cruise and the likes.

Recommended. It is informative, in regards to celebrities and Scientology (juicy stuffs) and it is very short (the last 30 pages or so are just photos). Now I am going to dig more into Scientology cult story if I can.

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