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Thread: May - How Many...?

  1. #1
    Member Part-timer JasonUK's Avatar
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    May - How Many...?

    A really poor month for me. I managed my usual 4 books but I would only recommend one of them to others.

    Bari Wood - The Tribe (3/10) A sub-par novel from the 80s horror boom that's been given credence by Centipede Press releasing it as a signed limited edition. Endless details of Jewish culture and prejudice, and completely lacking in suspense or dread.

    Jim Thompson - Pop.1280 (7/10) Thompson is hit or miss for me but this is one of his better books. A slowly revealed psychopath at its heart and plenty of sordid goings-on make for a great read.

    Thomas Harris - Cari Mora (4/10) Supposedly a newly written book but reads like a bland 70s crime caper from the likes of John D Macdonald. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out this was actually a trunk novel from early in Harris's career tarted up with some modern references. Hugely disappointing.

    Matt Haig - How to Stop Time (1/10) An almost plotless meander through the life of a 400 year old man. Historical figures like Shakespeare and F Scott Fitzgerald are randomly thrown in without purpose and then forgotten. Completely pointless.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session
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    I finally get to post something in one of these threads! My reading output this year has SUCKED. This is only my second or third book finished. I'm hoping for a big pick-up in pace as I dreadfully miss reading.

    BLOOD OF ANGELS by Michael Marshall (Smith): The concluding chapter to The Straw Man trilogy and as with everything I've read by Mr. MMS I thoroughly enjoyed myself. There isn't a clear-cut conclusion but the characters are great, the writing is sharp, precise and immensely readable. I'm hoping that CD will produce the this and the previous volume to match their edition of THE STRAW MEN. I need lettered editions, please! (8/10)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hearing Voices
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    Jason, sorry to hear you didnít like Haigís novel, as I really enjoyed it. Itís not his best work, but I thought it was a solidly entertaining book. Then again, Iím kind of a sucker for that type/theme of book, so I may not be the most objective reader.

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    I managed 15 in May:

    Infinity Wars
    (1) A hideously bad reminder of why I buy so few modern comics.
    Archie 1000 Page Comics Treasury (9) Hey, I'm man enough to read the occasional Archie comic. They remind me of kinder, gentler times....
    Archie Giant Comics Medley (9)
    The Punisher Epic Collection, Volume 7: Capital Punishment (6) A better than expected collection of 1990s Punisher stories.
    Gene Colan’s Tomb of Dracula Artist’s Edition (9) MAN, could Gene Colan draw. One of the titans of the comic-book industry.
    My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie (8)
    Night Force by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan: The Complete Collection (4) I read most of this as a kid, didn't like it. Bought the whole run and read it again in my twenties, didn't like it. Pushing fifty....still didn't like it. Will I be foolish enough to buy this again in twenty years.....stay tuned!
    X-Men: Season One (8)
    Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk (9)
    The Best People: Trump’s Cabinet and the Siege on Washington (7)
    Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comics Series (7)
    Aliens: The Original Comics Series- Nightmare Asylum and Earth War (7)
    The Unofficial Web of Spider-Man Games: The Amazing and the (Not So) Spectacular (2)
    Dork (8)
    We Sold Our Souls (9)

    I've really been slacking on reviews, but I did squeak one out for WE SOLD OUR SOULS. It's on my blog, for any interested parties.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    14 books completed in May.

    Pet Sematary by Stephen King:
    This was an Audible re-read and it has probably 30 years since I last read this story. I remember enjoying the story when originally read but was surprised at the depth of the characters upon re-read. Pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the story.
    4 Stars

    The Eighth Sister (Charles Jenkins #1) by Robert Dugoni:
    I have really wanted to read more from Dugoni since I read The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hill last year. Most of his work simply does not sound interesting to me. His new novel sounded like an old school US/Soviet spy novel set in current times. This story is nothing like Sam Hell and does not pack the emotional punch. However, it is a well written tale that I thoroughly enjoyed. 2/3 traditional spy novel and 1/3 legal thriller. Dugoni is simply a very good story teller. I am looking forward to more!
    4 Stars

    More Bedtime Stories for Cynics by Various Authors:
    This is an Audible Original that contains several bedtime stories for adults. Each story has a different narrator but each is introduced by Nick Offerman. A few of the stories are mediocre at best, most are decent and a couple are very good.
    3 Stars

    Rumble Tumble: A Hap and Leonard Novel #5 by Joe R. Lansdale:
    Another fun romp with Hap and Leonard.
    4 Stars

    Hark! the Herald Angels Scream an Anthology by Various Authors:
    We are having our first heat wave of the year. So, what better time to read a Christmas themed horror anthology! Most of the stories are good and a few are very good. Overall a fun read.
    4 Stars

    Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson:
    There have been some Richard Matheson stories I enjoyed but this one is in a class all its own. I have always loved the movie but had never read the story. For those not familiar with this one it is a blend of Sci-Fi time travel and love story. It is a rare story that I have trouble putting down but this is one. I loved every element of this story from the beginning to the end. There is just no weakness to this story.
    5 Stars

    Captains Outrageous: A Hap and Leonard Novel #6 by Joe R Lansdale:
    Hap and Leonard go on vacation and bad things ensue! Another fun read.
    4 Stars

    The 3-Day effect: How Nature Calms Your Brain by Florence Williams:
    This is an Audible original and I believe it was a multipart podcast converted into an audio book. Each chapter follows a different group on a 3-day outdoor adventure where their vitals are monitored throughout to determine the health effects of the trip. Everything about this has an appeal to me. The execution simply did not work. It was good but my expectations were higher.
    3 Stars

    The Pool by Jason Sechrest:
    Amos has always wanted a pool of his own. He finally gets what he wanted. A pool is not all he wanted. I had no idea where this story would go but I can assure you it when somewhere I was not expecting. This was a really enjoyable read!
    4 Stars

    Cari Mora by Thomas Harris:
    This was one of my more anticipated reads this year. It may go down as one of my biggest disappointments for the year as well. I am still deciding if that is a result from my expectations being to high or just a weak story. I have really enjoyed everything Mr. Harris has written. I really wanted to love this one. Starting out he has an intriguing story line and characters with some real possibilities. Unfortunately, the characters never really develop and significant story lines just die on the vine. I have given this story three stars because I never felt like it was a struggle to read, it just left me wanting more. I am not someone who needs everything to be tied up in a neat little bow but a couple of the loose ends here are a bit extreme. After I think about this a bit, I may adjust my rating down a notch.
    3 Stars

    Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3) by Robert Galbraith:
    I have held off on ready book three in this series because I did not care for book two, after really enjoying book one. The good news is that this one was much better than book two.
    4 Stars

    Feeding the Dragon by Sharon Washington:
    This is a short memoir of a child who grew up living in a New York library. Her father was the caretaker of the building and the family lived upstairs. Everything about this is something I usually love. The first 2/3’s of the book were a struggle for me. I just could not get myself to care about the story. The final 1/3 really clicked and I really enjoyed that portion.
    3 Stars

    Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann:
    This is a small part of the story about the murders of Osage Indians who were murdered in the 1920’s for the rights to their oil payments. The story is told in three acts and covers a few of the murders, the early days of the FBI and even touches on the Tea Pot Dome corruption case. The story is well told and an important part of American history. My one disappointment was that I listened to this on Audible and they had a different narrator for each section. The first narrator just read the words with no emotion, the second told the story perfectly and the third was good but followed a tough act.
    4 Stars

    Vanilla Ride A Hap and Leonard Novel #7 by Joe R. Lansdale:
    Hap and Leonard are of to rescue a friend’s daughter from a drug dealer they get more than they bargained for. Another fun ride with Hap and Leonard. Went on a but of a Hap and Leonard kick this week with three books. I will probably take a bit of a break before venturing back to East Texas.
    4 Stars

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonUK View Post

    Jim Thompson - Pop.1280 (7/10) Thompson is hit or miss for me but this is one of his better books. A slowly revealed psychopath at its heart and plenty of sordid goings-on make for a great read.
    It’s been years since I read Pop 1280, but I remember it being one of my favorite Thompson novels. It’s probably worth a revisit. I Remember thinking that it was better than The Killer Inside me.

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    Jason, I'm with Ron on this one. I really liked How To Stop Time. This was right up my alley and has made me want to read more of Matt Haig.

  8. #8
    Member Part-timer JasonUK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daverob View Post
    It’s been years since I read Pop 1280, but I remember it being one of my favorite Thompson novels. It’s probably worth a revisit. I Remember thinking that it was better than The Killer Inside me.
    Yes, totally agree. Killer Inside Me didn't work for me at all. Pop 1280 covers similar ground but is much better done. Child of Rage remains my favourite Thompson novel.

  9. #9
    Member Part-timer JasonUK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    Jason, sorry to hear you didn’t like Haig’s novel, as I really enjoyed it. It’s not his best work, but I thought it was a solidly entertaining book. Then again, I’m kind of a sucker for that type/theme of book, so I may not be the most objective reader.
    The 1 point from 10 I gave this was purely for the climax.
    The appearance of Hendrich and the daughter finally introduced some intrigue and a sense of danger. It was a shame the book didn't concentrate on this aspect rather than the protagonist's tedious 'adventures'.

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