I am the Invisible Man!!

I am the Invisible Man!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Tale of Two Book Reviews

So another few weeks have passed, and I've managed to finish another few books. Both were along the same genre being murder/suspense thrillers, however that is there only real similarity. The first book I read was "The Whitechapel Conspiracy" by Anne Perry, and the second book I finished was "Big Red Tequila" by Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

Now I first purchased this book way back when I first joined a book club called Mystery Guild Book Club. The offer was 12 books for a penny plus S&H, and this was one of my choices. My initial thoughts back then that this was a true accounting of some murder mystery from back in the day but one I started reading, it was simply a fiction book about a murder mystery from way back in the day. In actuality I discovered this is actually the 21st book in the series of 25 involving the main character Thomas Pitt written by Anne Perry so far. The story begins in the late 1800's with Thomas Pitt heading to a trial to testify against a man he believes has murdered another man. The original conclusion was that the murdered was not a murder, but an accidental death. The main issue facing Pitt and the prosecutor is the fact that the accused is a high-standing member of society, as well as being a good friend of the deceased and seemingly having no motive to kill. Even with these hardships the killer is convicted and the decision is upheld during the appeal. Even though Pitt got his man, his troubles have just begun. He is shortly thereafter removed from his position and placed in an undesirable post away from his wife and kids. From there both he and his adventure seeking wife look for clues as to why this good friend of the deceased killed him and why it would provoke the rest of the "Inner Circle," a group of high level people throughout the society, to remove Pitt from his prominent place within the London police. Their discoveries eventually lead to the answer and even a possible Jack the Ripper cover-up. All in all, a fairly good story with plenty of twists and turns to keep your mind guessing. I would recommend this book and it may have even inspired me to pick up some of the others in Perry's series involving Thomas Pitt.

As I stated before, Rick Riordan is the writer of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, which just had a movie come out. However, before all the writing of Greek gods, his first work was "Big Red Tequila." This book is also a book in a series, the 1st of 7 that's he written so far. The series follows a detective Jackson 'Tres' Navarre III. The book starts with Tres coming home to San Antonio after being away for 10 years. He left to escape his past, his father Jackson Navarre Jr., former police chief of San Antonio, was shot and killed right in front of him. He comes back for the girl he left, who remained behind. Once he gets back into town, he's hit with memories both good and bad, as well as people both good and bad who are surprised, to say the least, to see him home. Although it wasn't originally part of the plan, Tres starts digging up the past to see if the unsolved murder of his father is still unsolvable. The main spark for his desire to learn the past is the sudden kidnapping of his girlfriend. From there, he's learning bits of information, none of which really connect together, but all that tell him there's something wrong. Through mafia hits and constantly being attacked by the new chief of police, the ex-fiancee of his current girlfriend, and his girlfriend's former work partner, he manages to not only stay alive but keep his sense of humor throughout. The story itself wasn't fantastic, but Riordan writes in a style that I love. He brings the character's sense of humor into the story, making it part of the book's theme, which is something I try to do when I write stories. I would definitely recommend this book and I look forward to finding and reading the rest of this series.

Well, that's all for me today. I know I said in my last book review that I was going to start planning out some writing time for myself, and even though I haven't had time to sit down and just write, I have had ideas going through my head quite a bit, and I plan to have something started by the end of the week. Whether it's the start of a story or just more poetry, I don't know yet, but as soon as I do you will too. Otherwise, I hope all is well for everyone out there and that your 2010 is going as planned. If not, don't worry, there's only 311 days left till you get to start all over again.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A pair of book reviews

Well I've read 2 more books and they couldn't be on more opposite sides of the spectrum. The books I'm reviewing this week are "Are you there God? It's me, Margaret" by Judy Blume and "Crash" by J.G. Ballard. So if you have no wish to have the plots of these stories explained to you, I suggest you don't read anymore of this entry unless you don't mind knowing the plot. In that case, please feel free to read on.

First off, Judy Blume is an author I've heard of but never actually read anything of hers. What I thought was going to be a book mainly focused on religion due to the title is actually a book that is mostly about the perspective of a young adolescent girl. The story follows young Margaret as she arrives in a new town shortly before starting 6th grade. The plot isn't really focused on any one issue that Margaret eventually encounters but the only 2 themes that are more or less focused from beginning to end of the book are her talking to God and her and her friends' obsession over getting their periods. I was never a young girl, but I am venturing a guess that Blume did a fantastic job of assimilating what young girls talk about and do and fret over. It was an okay book but I probably wouldn't recommend anyone to read it unless they were a young girl worrying about getting their period or having trouble with their relationship with God.

I've read a Ballard book before called "The Day of Creation," which was a good book, but that's not why I picked up this book. I bought this book due to my fascination with books turned into movies. However, I was pretty surprised when I started reading this book to find out it had nothing to do with the Ang Lee film. It starts with the main character explaining how another character he meets later in the book has just died in a car crash in an attempt to kill himself and Elizabeth Taylor. The beginning of the book is set up Tarantino-style where they start with the end of the book and the rest of the book is a prequel to the beginning of the book. The actual chronological story starts with the main character Ballard getting in an auto accident and finding his life opened to the beauty of car crashes and how it opens up his sexuality. Eventually he meets the character who is obsessed with Elizabeth Taylor, Vaughan, and his own obsession with car crashes and sex is taken up to Vaughan's level. After I started reading the book, I ventured to look at the back cover and read that the book was Ballard's critique of technology and how it's taking over our lives. But after reading the book, I don't see how that critique stands unless I missed a major metaphor because the entire book is dedicated to people who have been in car crashes, who purposely get in car crashes solely for sexual pleasure and I didn't see what it had to do with technology unless Ballard assumes that we are all erotically turned on by crashing automobiles. The story was weird and unless you like weird I wouldn't recommend this book either.

That's all for now, not much new to enter into the mess that is my life except for maybe I'm becoming an alcoholic. Okay, not really an alcoholic but my tolerance for beer has risen quite dramatically and it takes quite a bit to get me drunk now-a-days, which isn't horrible but it's definitely not good. Plus on a somewhat unrelated note, I just may start posting some of my writing on here. It's been a while since I've written anything but recently being featured in a friend's blog and seeing a pretty positive response to my stuff, I plan on taking time out to write some new stuff. Otherwise, I hope everyone's year is going well and if not, only 326 more days until 2011 gets here.

The Dingo's Bookshelf reserved for his favorites

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series
  • The Twilight series
  • The Harry Potter series
  • Fight Club
  • On the Road