Sunday, February 26, 2012

Goodreads the First


Hi, everyone. I was on the book-reading social network site Goodreads yesterday writing a review of Andrew Davidson's debut novel The Gargoyle and I thought, "I should share my Goodreads reviews on the Blue Guitar blog." So voilá, here we go!

I'm fairly new to Goodreads so I don't have many books or reviews there yet. Though I do have an author's page there. And I've got a Goodreads blog on that page too, with just a handful of posts. I hope you'll check my Goodreads author page and blog, both.

Okay, friends, here are a few book reviews, straight off my Goodreads. Enjoy!




The GargoyleThe Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A truly excellent book. In The Gargoyle, Andrew Davidson's style is continually surprising (in a good way) and distinctive. For example, the cynical narrator who has been severely burned in a strange car accident describes how in his treatment his body was wrapped with skin from cadavers: "My body was cleaned constantly but I rejected these sheets of necro-flesh anyway; I've never played well with others. . . . There I lay, wearing dead people as armor against death." As you may know if you read my non-Goodreads blog, I have a particular fascination with Dante's Inferno (click on "dante" in my blog at http://vincegotera.blogspot.com); well, Davidson uses Dante satisfyingly and marvelously, along with other ecclesiastic, legendary (e.g., Scheherazade), and pop culture references, not to mention national and ethnic cultures: Icelandic (Viking), Japanese, Italian. The Gargoyle's main characters — the unnamed burn victim and the enigmatic Marianne Engel (who claims to be a nun who loved him in the middle ages) — are fascinating and memorable. More than fascinating. Read this book . . . I recommend it.



NeverwhereNeverwhere by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A wonderful novel. I was continually surprised and then surprised even more as events and people unfolded. Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is a page-turner, no question. I couldn't stop reading it, but I found myself from time to time pausing, closing my eyes. Because it's so intense I needed just to rest and also because I wanted to savor the experience, to forestall the ending that I knew was coming closer and closer. My highest recommendation. And this from a guy who reads for a living.



Science Friction: Where the Known Meets the UnknownScience Friction: Where the Known Meets the Unknown by Michael Shermer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A collection of entertaining and thought-provoking essays, Michael Shermer in Science Friction turns a skeptical eye towards all sorts of science-related topics, including the so-called "anthropology wars"; Gene Roddenberry and Harlan Ellison's Star Trek tiff; the vicissitudes of evolution in contemporary life; the scholarly reputation of Stephen Jay Gould; and the current skeptic movement, among many fascinating subjects. A great read . . . check it out.

On my blog, I recently wrote a post about the phrase science friction . . . check that out too.



Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


My fave among the Harry Potter books. It's J. K. Rowling after she'd gotten pretty good at the craft but before she started fattening up the books — in numbers of pages, I mean. Loved the hippogriff, Hermione's time-turner gizmo, the marauder's map, Lupin as professor and werewolf) . . . even the Dementors who can put such a chill in the air and up your spine. Fun book.



Déjà Dead (Temperance Brennan, #1)Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked up Déjà Dead because (1) I'm in a hold line at the library for Patricia Cornwell's newest, (2) I'm waiting for James W. Hall's next, and (3) I like the TV show "Bones" that's based on the hero of this novel, Temperance Brennan. Well, I wasn't disappointed. I liked this novel quite a lot . . . it's a page-turner. In fact, I devoured the last 70 pages with a booklight next to my sleeping wife at 3:00 a.m. Couldn't stop reading. Kathy Reichs's descriptions are rich and striking . . . they really embed you in the often fierce action. Her metaphors are witty and entertaining also — for example, she describes a corpse in the woods this way: "Flies buzzed and circled around it, like academics at a free buffet." Touché. Check this book out.



Pattern Recognition (Bigend Trilogy, #1)Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I think I expected William Gibson's Pattern Recognition to be as good as Neuromancer, but that's a mighty hard act to follow. This one was fine . . . I liked it. Interesting that the protagonists' names are homophones: "Case" in Neuromancer and "Cayce" in Pattern Recognition. Probably some Freudian something-or-other that someone else can sort out. Anyone . . . ?




View all my Goodreads reviews




Okay, that's all for now. I'll save some other Goodreads reviews for later. If you're on Goodreads too, friend me there!

And please leave me comments below. I'd love to hear what you think about these books, if you've read them. Take care, everyone. Ingat.


No comments:

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