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review 2017-12-13 19:47
The Brutal Telling
The Brutal Telling - Louise Penny

The Brutal Telling takes us back to Three Pines to investigate the murder of a hermit. I continue to be on the fence for this series, but I like the narrator and I've become accustomed to his style, so I do enjoy listening to the books. 


The characters continue to become intriguing and I look forward to finding out what each new book brings. I liked this book marginally better than the others in the series as it took a  bit of a twist and didn't have the 'instant confession' at the end that the other books have had. 


The murder and events surrounding are just as unbelievable to me in this book as they have been in the others. It's hard to look past that when it's been that way in every book. Clever? Yes - but I'm ready for a dose of reality. I'm almost getting the impression the author thinks she has to create these elaborate murders to keep the readers guessing. But I'd argue there has to be a better way. Once in a while, the strange/unbelievable circumstances can be intriguing, but I think the old adage of 'too much of a good thing..." applies to this series. But I will keep listening -- for now.

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review 2017-10-27 18:32
The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #5) - Louise Penny

This one was fantastic. This book shakes things up in Three Pines when one of the characters we know and love (Olivier) is looking like a likely suspect in the murder of a hermit. Readers are given insights into Olivier and it was like finding out someone you have been hanging out with for a long time is a hired assassin. This book was definitely about how little white lies eventually become monstrous things you eventually cannot bear to be revealed. I also got a kick out of the fact that we don't really get the resolution to a lot of things revealed in this book, until book #6.


"The Brutal Telling" is a very long winding book that kept me reading with nerves the whole time. Chief Inspector Gamache is called in when a dead body is found at Olivier's bistro. Readers know that Oilivier is hiding something and it takes Gamache very little work to find out what Olivier is hiding. And it's some doozies. 


Gamache and his team are great and we get introduced to a new character, Paul Morin, that Gamache takes onto his misfit homicide team. Can I also say, that Jean-Guy (Armand's second in command) constant jealously of anyone new that can take Gamache's attention away from him is getting repetitive? Cause it is. He goes through jealous bouts about not knowing all that Gamache is thinking at every second of the day. 


The Three Pines residents are stirred up about revelations dealing with Olivier and the new residents who have taken over the Hadley home. The new characters, Marc and Dominique Gilbert plan on taken the home and turning it into a luxury spa. Due to the fact the spa may end up taking customers away from Olivier and Gaby's place the new neighbors have a lot of friction with each other.

We also have Clara make what looks like a fatal mistake with regards to her art career. Can I also say that her husband is terrible? Peter's jealously and attempts to ruin Clara (without her knowledge) are just off-putting. I hope she wakes up to what he is doing to her. I think Mryna (her best friend) gets it though. 

We get a lot of Ruth in this one and I actually enjoyed her. It just took 5 books. Ruth and her pet duck Rosa cracked me up.


The writing was top-notch. Even though I gave this 5 stars, I will say the flow was off here and there. There is a lot going on in this one. And honestly, based on what happens in book #5 I should have gone back and lowered a star on this one, but I am just going to keep my complaints about the series to date to my book #5 review. 


The setting of Three Pines seems more sinister in this one. Once we find out what Olivier has been up to and the new residents, along with the hermit's secrets, it feels like you don't know this place after 5 books. 


The ending felt anti-climatic to me and now I know why after reading the next book. Things felt unfinished in this one. 

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text 2017-08-04 00:58
The Brutal Telling - Louise Penny

I seriously did not see that coming.


God, I hope the library has the next installment available.

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review 2017-07-17 20:05
Turing's Imitation Game
Turing's Imitation Game: Conversations with the Unknown - Kevin Warwick,Huma Shah

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

That was an informative, albeit also controversial, read about Turing’s ‘Imitation Game’, focused on the game itself rather than on the man (who I like reading about in general, but here I was definitely more interested in his famous ‘test’, since I keep hearing about it, but never in much detail). It sheds light on Turing’s aim when devising the test, as well as on what he predicted, and that may or may not happen sooner than expected.

Several sections in the book are devoted to examples of studies and events during which the test took place, pitching human judges against both machines and other human beings, without the former knowing what or who the latter was. Actual, textual examples allow the reader to try and make their own judgment—and determining where the machines are is not so easy as it seems. I was accurate in my guesses except but once, I think, however I can see where judges were ‘fooled’, and why. At other times, I was surprised at the outcome, for instance quite a few human participants made ‘boring’ answers to conversations, which in turn prompted judges to believe they were talking to a machine—and conversely, some AIs were clearly programmed with a variety of lively potential responses. Eugene Goostman, especially, with its persona of a 13-year old Ukrainian boy whose English is only second language, has good potential (in that you can tell some of its/his answers are stilted, but not more than if it/he was an actual learner of ESOL).

The test as a whole posits several interesting questions and conundrums. Namely, the fact that it’s based on language, and that one may wonder whether being able to converse means one is gifted with ‘thought’. Another one is whether the test as it exists can really be used as a marker: aren’t the various chatbots/AIs out there simply well-programmed, but in no way indicative of whether they’ll be able to go further than that?

Also, I’m not sure I can agree with the 2014 ‘the Turing test has been passed’ result, as it seems to me the percentage is too low to warrant such a qualifier (if 90% of judges were fooled in believing they were conversing with a human, now that’d be something else... or am I aiming too high?), and it’s too early anyway for the current AIs to have been developed far enough (as fascinating as some of their conversations were, they still looked much more like complex chatbots than anything else—at least, to me).

Conclusion: 3.5 stars. I did learn quite a few things no matter what.

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review 2017-04-11 02:32
I Tried, I Really Really Tried
No Easy Target - Iris Johansen


This author has been recommended to me by many people over the years. When I read the blurb for this book I was excited to finally get to her work. A pet whisper who helps take down a killer/drug dealer. I'm a sucker for paranormal stories, add animals and I'm a happy reader. I was not a happy reader while reading this. I'm warning you I was feeling a bit rant-ish after finishing it.

What went wrong for me: Never ending telling and retelling, over explained everything down to the smallest little detail, repetitive explanations, cold mechanical sex, weird methodical dialog, silly goading, too many dialogs, one dimensional characters, conversations that I could not figure out who was speaking, the conversations with the animals were odd and didn't feel emotional like they were told to be. Yes, told, the book spent a lot of time telling me how it was to be felt. They talked/inner dialog/explained so much I just wanted them to shut up so I could read the story. The romance, sigh, what romance ? It was ridiculous, heated glares, glances, and "let's have sex" after you kidnapped me and plan on using me in a way that could get me tortured and killed. It was step A, step B, step C, done. Really, is that supposed to work ? The suspense, was so cheesy, the big bad guys so hollywood derived, I never felt it. The ending was, nothing, it went to nothing.

What did I like about the story ? When she rescued Juno, that was a good moment. Till the dog started talking, ugg ruined moment that lasts and lasts. I hope that I never get to talk with animals if they keep repeating themselves like Juno. My dog is looking at me now and I'm so grateful I can't hear a word, sorry pup.

Stubborn to the end I finished this book even when I knew at 10% in it wasn't working for me. I will not be reading more from this author her style does not work for me. 



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