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review 2017-01-29 05:13
The 1st Detective Story

Murders in the Rue Morgue & Other Stories (Library Edition)Murders in the Rue Morgue & Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I checked this audiobook out to celebrate the October Spooky mood. I have been an admirer of Poe since I was a grade school student, and what I've read by him, I've loved. I have been meaning to read more by him, but haven't taken the time. Audiobooks are such a good way to maximize my time because I can listen and do other things, so I grabbed this one. In all honesty, it wasn't very scary or even eerie (with the exception of "The Raven. " I am glad that I did listen to it though. I had never read any of these stories. I could have done without a couple of them, but overall, it was enjoyable, and this four hour audiobook format was a good way to keep me company as I did other things. The narrator's voice was a bit irritating, with a nasally tone that wasn't my favorite. He was good with accents and voices though.

Here are my thoughts on the stories:

"Murders in the Rue Morgue" --I love a good detective story, and this is the first detective story, and that is to be celebrated. I saw a lot of Sherlock Holmes in C. Auguste Dupin and Watson in his anonymous friend. It was a great mystery with a crazy resolution. I never would have guessed. My only issue with it is that it's basically telling and not showing. Dupin seems very pompous in his way of analyzing people, and he seems very self-important. He shows the observant trait of a good detective, which Poe terms ratiocination. I loved the twist on how each witness thought the guttural speaker was a foreigner, but from a place that had never been. In light of the resolution, that was a very nice touch. I give this four stars because it's impressive as the first detective story. I think all the detective fiction readers and writers owe Mr. Poe a great debt.

"The Purloined Letter" --I didn't find this one as impressive as the first. It seemed very simplistic, and there was no real tension. I do give Dupin props for his handy solving of a mystery that had the police stumped, but he's so obnoxiously arrogant about it. Sherlock with some aristocratic French attitude thrown in. 3 stars.

"The Thousand and Second Tale of Scheherazade" --I didn't care much for this, sadly. I love Scheherazade and the Arabian Nights stories, and I don't think this added anything to the mystique of the stories. I felt like it was full of weirdness, way too random, with bizarre diversions in the storytelling, but at the same time, really quite boring. Besides, it ruined the best aspect about the stories, so that was a downer for me. Probably my least favorite story by Poe. 2 stars.

"A Descent into the Maelstrom" --This felt more like a Jack London story than a Poe story. It's good to see that he does venture into straight adventure, no pun intended. I felt it was an average read. It didn't have much of an impact on me, but I didn't dislike it like the previous novel. 2.5 stars.

"The Raven"-- A classic by this author. I love poetry, especially eerie poetry. I admit I don't like overly long poems, so this was a nice length. Long enough to get a reader involved, with a beautiful rhythm to it. Listening to this was a lot of fun. I think I would need to read it, to delve more meaning out of it. It's a bit oblique, in my opinion. 3.5 stars

"Masque of the Red Death" --I really appreciated listening to this. I have seen the movie with Vincent Price and thought it was very clever. It's interesting how they managed to get a full-length movie out of this, since it was very short. I think the tone was nicely Gothic and sinister, and it has an impactful statement about the concept of believing that being wealthy and high status makes one exempt from all ills. And there is something very repugnant about indulging debauchery and hedonism when people are suffering around you. Death finds everyone of us. 4 stars.

Conclusion: Four hours of my life that I can't say I regret. It helped that I was finishing a project for school at the time, so it kept me busy. I would say that one's life is not added to much by "Scheherazade" and "A Descent into the Maelstrom", but I recommend the other stories.




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review 2017-01-05 23:44
Stalking the Zombie (John Justin Mallory #3)
Stalking the Zombie - Mike Resnick

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Stalking the Zombie
Series: John Justin Mallory #3
Author: Mike Resnikc
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 222
Format: Kindle digital scan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

A collection of short stories about John Justin Mallory, a private investigator who has been transported to an other worldly version of Manhattan.

 

Solving mysteries with an old fat lady who hunted monstrous creatures in the deepest jungles and taking care of a spoiled cat girl, Mallory also has to put up with the East Coasts most powerful demon. Who never tells a lie. Odd that.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This was ok. While it is the 3rd book in the series [something I didn’t realize when I started reading this], being a collection of short stories it fills in everything you need to know to feel right at home. Certain aspects were extremely repetitive, which once again, is because of it being short stories that were written at widely varying times and for widely varying publications. I found I could skip about 3 paragraphs per story once I’d read the first story.

 

Mallory was supposed to be a hard bitten PI but he came across a gambling addict who relied too much on his own perceived smarts instead of working hard. One short story was ok but more than that and it just wasn’t fun any more. Too bad, because Resnick has a pretty good track record with me.

 

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review 2016-10-27 02:53
Beyond the Aquila Rift: The Best of Alastair Reynolds
Beyond the Aquila Rift: The Best of Alastair Reynolds - Alastair Reynolds,William Schafer,Jonathan Strahan

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by  Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.

Title: Beyond the Aquila Rift

Series: -----

Author: Alastair Reynolds

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 784

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

A range of short stories showcasing Reynold's universe. Ranging from the Near Future to a Million Years in the Future, from Horror to Post-Humanity, from the personal to the galactic, this collection has something for just about any SF fan.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I read this collection, thanks to Antao's Review about a month ago. Book recommendations like this are why I can never go back to solitary book reading. I wouldn't have picked this up on my own [not being a huge fan of hard sf and this "looked" like hard sf] but I am glad I read it. It was thoroughly entertaining and being a bunch of short stories it fit into my lunch breaks perfectly.

 

When it comes to short story collections I don't usually keep notes on each story. I tend to simply eat them in a gulp and rate the overall meal. However, at the end of this book was a collection of notes by Reynolds about how each story came to be. With that handy little reminder I was able to pick out a story or two that stood out above the others.

 

My pick of the litter is Diamond Dogs. A group of people must answer puzzles in a successive row of rooms. If they answer wrong, there is a punishment. At the top of the structure is an advanced computer left by aliens now extinct. One man wants that computer for himself and he is willing to use anyone to get his desire.  There is a nod to Budry's book Rogue Moon and the movie Cube. If you've partaken of either of those, you'll know pretty much how this goes.

 

I shall digress here.

 

The reason that Cube stands out in my memory was because it was the first movie that I saw, graphically, the wanton hatred and execrable violence and filth that was on a lot of peoples minds. I remember feeling sick after watching Cube and realizing that there were not only people who thought these things up, but who sought after them. I'm a bit more jaded now, but even still, I have a graphic violence tag just to remind me that certain levels of violence are not ok to get used to in my reading.

 

/end digression.

 

Not that this story was graphically violent, mind you, but it referenced Cube and thus one memory led me to remember this one.

 

So there you have it. Go forth and read, if the fancy takes you.

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review 2016-09-28 00:21
Obsidian Worlds
Obsidian Worlds: 11 Mind-Bending Sci-Fi Shorts - Jason Werbeloff

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by  Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.

Title: Obsidian Worlds

Series: ------

Author: Jason Werbeloff

Rating: 1 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 247

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

11 short stories showcasing the writing talents of Jason Werbeloff.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Filth. Pure and simple. I felt like I had spent the time reading immersed directly in raw sewage from the author's mind.

 

Moral and Sexual perversions. Hatred, cruelty and loathing, against self and others. Whenever a character wasn't completely and deliberately unlikable, they were crass and vulgar to the extreme. And this was not crap writing. Werbeloff does a good job showing his writing chops. Sadly, he wastes it with subject material so vile. The only thing missing was child abuse.

 

I can only highly recommend skipping this and I know I sure won't be checking out any other writings by this guy.

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review 2016-08-20 22:19
Myth-Told Tales (Myth Adventures #13)
Myth-Told Tales - Robert Lynn Asprin,Jody Lynn Nye

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.anobii.com by  Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.

Title: Myth-Told Tales

Series: Myth Adventures

Author: Robert Asprin & Jody Nye

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 254

Format: Kindle digital scan

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

Several short stories featuring various members of the Myth Inc. Gang. Most of them seem to be "Bridge" stories for Skeeve having left and what Myth Inc. will be like once the series starts up again.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I enjoyed this more than the previous Myth Adventures book, but I'm not upping my rating because this really was just So-so.

 

It is pretty obvious that Nye is the driving force behind this series taking off again so we'll see how her humor blends with Asprin's. I didn't notice any problems with the stories where I was thinking "Hmmm, THAT doesn't sound like Asprin" which does bode well for the rest of this.

 

Light and humorous, not laugh out loud funny.

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