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review 2018-03-29 15:20
Classic Koontz
Twilight Eyes - Dean Koontz

This was pretty weird and kept me guessing for a long time. Was the protagonist really able to sense shape shifting goblins or was he psychotic and killing people because of a hallucination?

 

It is set mostly in a carnival and the author seems to have done some research into carny slang and lifestyle, but occasionally slips up and has things like elephants that you would only see in a circus. The side show seems a little elaborate for a carnival too but I just suspended my disbelief and read further.

 

I'm glad I did. There are some high action moments and toward the end the tensions get high. I can see why this is one of Koontz's most popular stories. There are plenty of surprises in the twists and turns of plot and I honestly couldn't predict exactly how it would end or whether any of the leading characters would make it through.

 

Definitely recommended.

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text 2018-03-12 19:10
quote
Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy - Christopher L. Hayes

"All the smart people fucked up, and no one seems willing to take responsibility."

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text 2018-03-10 22:58
Reading progress update: I've read 17 out of 304 pages.
Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy - Christopher L. Hayes

 

 

I know far too many people who fit that last sentence.

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text 2018-03-10 21:35
Reading progress update: I've read 10 out of 304 pages.
Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy - Christopher L. Hayes

My tendonitis is better, but now I think I'm coming down with a cold.

 

The list of non-fiction books I really want to read is horrendously long, and of course it grows each time I peruse the digital offerings from my public library.  Life being what it is, I often get a good start on these books but then never finish them.  Even though I should be out in the studio working on something or other for the next art show, I'm giving in to the vague cold symptoms with an afternoon on the couch, the laptop, and the library's free downloads.

 

I started with Chris Hayes's book for a variety of reasons, most important being that it's from the BT era (before trump) and I wanted to get some perspective.  Right away, things started jumping out at me:

 

 

That was in 2012 or so.  Less than a decade later, here we are.

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review 2018-02-25 19:06
Twilight of Empire: The Tragedy at Mayer... Twilight of Empire: The Tragedy at Mayerling and the End of the Habsburgs - Greg King,Penny Wilson

The world loves a good Romeo and Juliet story because the average person tends to forget that Romeo was in love with Rosalind and Juliet was all of 13. Odds are, if they had married, Romeo would have had a mistress and Juliet would have died in childbirth. 
Shakespeare has much blame to bear considering our fascination with star crossed lovers.


This fasciation extends to the Incident at Mayerling, though the name might not be familiar to you. If you have flipped through a catalog from PBS, Acorn or BBC America, you might have seen the ad for a mini-series about Sissi, Empress Elizabeth, or the movie about her son and his lover. That’s the incident at Mayerling. The crown prince of the Habsburg empire killed himself and his lover. 


Unless you want to believe those conspiracy rumors and what not.
The real story isn’t quite film mini-series, and Greg King certainly does not describe Rudolf the Crown Prince, and Mary Vetsera, his lover, as star crossed lovers. She was 16, and King described as a bit spoiled. Rudolf was 30, married with a daughter, and he had transmitted an STD to his wife, Stephane, making her sterile.

 


You feel really sorry for Stephane.


You really don’t feel all that sorry for the Hapsburg, and you feel sorry for Mary in a “she was spoiled but young” type of way.


King shreds the romance from the story and quite righty, places it historical context. He also examines the conflicting stories and rumors as well as describing Vienna as the suicide capital of Europe. Apparently, romanticizing suicide goes way back. King treats all his subjects as fairly as possible. 

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