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  #641  
Old 08-03-2006, 09:59 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by chinton
les smug John Irving. I think Lazy Boy doesnt like Irving.
I loved The Cider House Rules, and while I liked Garp, there seemed to be a point where it was less the character speaking and the author speaking. Every character seemed pretty arrogant and self-confident, too much for my liking. I couldn't even get through Owen Meany, I hated that shrill little guy. I've read interviews with Irving, and he just comes across that way. Doesn't mean I'm not a fan, I like a lot of his stuff.

Brave New World - 6/10

Sorry, dman, I didn't really get involved with it. Felt more like an interesting essay in search of a narrative frame. Bland characters, I was disappointed.

I'm glad to be posting again after a well-needed vacation away from the computer.

Last edited by Lazy Boy; 08-03-2006 at 10:02 PM..
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  #642  
Old 08-03-2006, 10:00 PM
Well, I guess I'll have to read Lonseome dove.
I've read my fair share of books, but I'm not sure I could make a top 20 of books that I love.
I may find 15 but that's it. Most of the books are classics and stuff that I just read for reading's sake.
I need another great book to fill that list up.
McMurty likes Westerns I guess.
That Billy the Kid adaptation also sounds fairly neat.
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  #643  
Old 08-03-2006, 10:10 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Lazy Boy
Brave New World - 6/10

Sorry, dman, I didn't really get involved with it. Felt more like an interesting essay in search of a narrative frame. Bland characters, I was disappointed.
I've only read Irving's Cider House Rules and that was surprisingly really good. I liked it alot, and I've wanted to read Meady as a follow up but never got around to it.

I'm sorry you didn't like the novel Lazy Boy.
I last (and first) read it three years ago for school and I think I loved it because it was so refreshing to most of the other novels we were reading. I remember the characters being involving and their problems were pretty extraordinary and interesting...unlike most sci-fi I'd read.
The problem of sex and reproduction was especially interesting to see what it'd be like in a dystopian setting. The ending is unsettling and the whole book just feels more interesting as a non-fictional piece (although it isn't) rather than a narrative tale. I'm not sure I'll re-read it since it was pretty strenuous to get through and write an essay on the first time, but maybe. Has Huxley written anything major besides Brave New World?
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  #644  
Old 08-03-2006, 10:13 PM
Yeah, most of McMurtry's books are westerns, or are about characters who live in the Southwestern states. Anything for Billy is like a western cartoon. Its narrator is a dime novel writer/collector who is exploring the west, and the book is written like a dime novel (chapters that are only a few pages long, lots of excitement and adventure, stereotypical Western characters). I really do love that and Lonesome Dove, and I haven't read either in some time. Might want to reread them (along with a good many other books, I doubt I'll reread any of them in the near future) some time.
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  #645  
Old 08-03-2006, 10:15 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by dman476
The ending is unsettling
I agree. That was pretty interesting. Almost reminded me of the ending of Day of the Locust, where the blood lust of the mob truly comes out and takes precedence over humanity.
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  #646  
Old 08-03-2006, 10:24 PM
Thats interesting you say that about Irving. The World According To Garp is one of the best books I have ever read. It has so many things to say and it is the definitive book that shows how real life can influence an authors writing. The book brought tears to my eyes as I found out all the characters fate.
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  #647  
Old 08-03-2006, 10:27 PM
I'm glad it moved you, and that's the quality of any good book. It just didn't have that affect on me, and that was mostly because of the aloofness of the Garp character, IMO. Events and tragedies that should've affected me didn't do their job.

On the other hand, the surrogate father-son relationship between Homer and Dr. Larch in Cider House moved me tremendously, even if the good doctor was a bit of a know it all.

So, it's not that I dislike Irving's writing. It depends.
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  #648  
Old 08-03-2006, 10:33 PM
Ill g et around to Cider House.


Right now Im starting Empire Falls by Richard Russo
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  #649  
Old 08-03-2006, 10:49 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by bluesbrother965
Yeah, most of McMurtry's books are westerns, or are about characters who live in the Southwestern states. Anything for Billy is like a western cartoon. Its narrator is a dime novel writer/collector who is exploring the west, and the book is written like a dime novel (chapters that are only a few pages long, lots of excitement and adventure, stereotypical Western characters). I really do love that and Lonesome Dove, and I haven't read either in some time. Might want to reread them (along with a good many other books, I doubt I'll reread any of them in the near future) some time.
Anything for Billy sounds truly awesome. As soon as I'm done with Watt, Sisyphus, and Nietzsche, I'll be sure to read that (or Lonesome Dove), the World According to Garp (might as well), Sabbath's Theater, and Humboldt's gift. Anyone read any Bellow?
I've always wanted to but never got around to it.

And Lazy Boy, haven't seen Day of the Locust (yet), but it does sound similar...a tragic (albeit needed) revolt.

And Chinton. you should like Empire Falls. I decided to read it before the HBO miniseries (which stars my beloved Danielle Panabaker) and the book was surprisingly good and not all that different (from what I could remember). It's an interesting character study and events that scatter their lives. It's well written definitely, and quite a quick read.

Oh, speaking of which, who hates Nabokov's Lolita?
I do...
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  #650  
Old 08-08-2006, 11:23 AM


Finished this last night before bed and once again I'm pleased by yet another Jack Ketchum novel. Read only if you like a good story. Not the best of the 3 that I've read by him, but enjoyable none the less.

I'm about to start on The Lost, by....you guessed it J.K.


-Prime
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  #651  
Old 08-08-2006, 09:36 PM
That's funny, I'm reading THE LOST by Ketchum right now.
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  #652  
Old 08-09-2006, 03:50 PM
GRAPHIC NOVELS

Just got finished with Batman: Dark Victory. Really loved it.
SPOILERS The whole section where we see Dick in Bruce's parents room mirroring Bruce in his parents room and then Alfred breaks the mirroring by telling Dick "I'm going to say what I should have said a long time ago. Your not alone. And I don't think you ever will be from now on." - tear jerking and great. Really solid mystery and great follow up to Long Halloween.

I recently purchased Y: The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned, a buddy of mine who breaths comics said it was amazing, so here's hoping.

Books

Finished OIL! just because its turning into a film by P.T. Anderson starring D-Day Lewis. Interesting...
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  #653  
Old 08-09-2006, 04:05 PM
Finished-"Conservatives Without Conscience"

Starting-"Confessions Of A Former Dittohead"
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  #654  
Old 08-09-2006, 08:24 PM
Finished "Hero With 1000 Faces" by Joseph Campbell. Very interesting sure. That's all the non-fiction I'll be reading for a while.
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  #655  
Old 08-10-2006, 05:53 PM
The Lost by Jack Ketchum - 7/10
I liked it, but thought it was going to be horror more than a drama. I don't NOT recommend it, though.
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  #656  
Old 08-10-2006, 07:26 PM
No Country for Old Men -7/10

Pretty good western although McCarthy's fashion of storytelling gets old. Although it is a pretty multi layered (and fascinating) novels.
Now I want to read Blood Meridian for a look at the unrestrained McCarthy.

Last edited by dman476; 08-11-2006 at 05:25 PM..
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  #657  
Old 08-10-2006, 10:30 PM
Cormac McCarthy - All the Pretty Horses, 6/10

Had some parts that I couldn't stop reading, some that I couldn't even focus on because I found them so boring; the rest was in between. On further consideration, it might make a 7.


Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner 10/10

Wow. It has been a long time since I have read a book that went down as easily as that did. Excellent story (albeit, it trades in realism for more conventional plot elements at some points). Very easy to read and open, while at the same time, not feeling like the author was just resorting to cliches (although towards the end I started wondering how many tragedies can strike in one book). Refreshing, given how thick and below-the-surface most of my reading from the past few months has been.
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  #658  
Old 08-11-2006, 12:26 AM
So you also read some Cormac McCarhthy I see.

Your 6/10 is dissuading, and your description generally sounds like No Country for Old Men, except less interesting.
I'll probably skip Horses, and go straight to Blood Meridian.
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  #659  
Old 08-11-2006, 01:23 AM
Yeah, that was a funny coincidence.

If Horses looks good to you, based off of whatever else you've heard, I'd go for it; after all, it is considered a modern classic, and some sections were truly excellent (I wouldn't say it got old, my favorite part of the book was right after my least favorite). I, too, plan on checking out Blood Meridian at some point. Did you see the NY Times' top 25 books of the past 25 (I think) years?
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  #660  
Old 08-11-2006, 02:27 AM
Yeah it is a coincidence.
I want to check some more of his stuff out as he is considered a classic. I can't say I'd reccomend Country though. It's interesting, but too hard to get through (the language, man, the language).

Horses never sounded interesting to me. I was going to check it out sometime, but don't really want to.
Your review kind of put the last nail in the coffin, although I still might sometime.

That NY list sounds bloody interesting. 'D love to see what I've read and what I need to.
Do you have the list by any chance blues?
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  #661  
Old 08-11-2006, 11:33 AM
I cant stand Cormac Mcarthy. His writing totally puts me off.


Loved Kite Runner though
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  #662  
Old 08-11-2006, 12:53 PM
I can see where you get that chinton
In the beggining of No Country, it got so bad that I thought I wasn't going to finish the book.

I need to read the Kite Runner though...
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  #663  
Old 08-11-2006, 01:10 PM
Count me among the group that isn't a fan of Cormac McCarthy either...All the Pretty Horses...what a frigging bore...
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  #664  
Old 08-11-2006, 09:03 PM
After Midnight by Richard Laymon - 3/10
I'd say you could excise more than 50% of the book and lose absolutely NOTHING in details, and storytelling.
I found that I could read 3 sentences in one page and not miss a damn thing with what was going on for over half the book. Stupid. What's even more stupid is that I rarely DID skip shit, 'cause I'm stubborn and thought maybe I'd miss something important. No, I didn't.
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  #665  
Old 08-11-2006, 09:37 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Lazy Boy
Count me among the group that isn't a fan of Cormac McCarthy either...All the Pretty Horses...what a frigging bore...
*clears throat*
I don't want no pretty horses!
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  #666  
Old 08-13-2006, 05:02 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by dman476
Yeah it is a coincidence.
I want to check some more of his stuff out as he is considered a classic. I can't say I'd reccomend Country though. It's interesting, but too hard to get through (the language, man, the language).

Horses never sounded interesting to me. I was going to check it out sometime, but don't really want to.
Your review kind of put the last nail in the coffin, although I still might sometime.

That NY list sounds bloody interesting. 'D love to see what I've read and what I need to.
Do you have the list by any chance blues?

As I said, I'd like to read Blood Meridian and Sutree, but I'm not sure they'd be any easier than Horses.

The NY list, along with some comments from a very well-read and somewhat eccentric friend of mine. Sorry for the long post:

Quote:
I am not sure, if this could have been anymore pathetic. Morrison (this bum has a Noble and Pynchon doesn't. WTF!) is so damn overrated, and Beloved is so damn boring.


How these didn't even get one vote is a major


WTF?



Thomas "DA MAN SHOULD HAVE A NOBEL, WTF!" Pynchon - Mason & Dixon
David Foster Wallace - Infinite Jest
Ernest Hebert - Dogs of March
George V. Higgins - The Rat on Fire
Ward Just - A Dangerous Friend
Colson Whitehead - John Henry Days
Harry Crews - The Knockout Artist
Ishmael Reed - Reckless Eyeballing
Madison Smartt Bell - All Souls Rising
Jim Harrison - Sundog
John Gardner - Mickelsson's Ghosts
Richard Powers - Goldbug Variations
Alexander Theroux - Darconville's Cat
James Ellroy - American Tabloid
David Gates - Jernigan
David Gates - Preston Falls
Michael Chabon - Kavalier & Clay




There are some excelelnt books on there, you can't go wrong with McCarthy (if you by down with Faulkner and Pynchon, you be down with McCarthy), Updike, Roth (although, they went crazy on the Roth! They just as well have said his entire production for the last 25 years. haha ), and DeLillo for example.






Early this year, the New York Times Book Review's editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify "the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years."

Following are the results.

Note
This feature will appear in the May 21 issue of the print edition of the Book Review.


THE WINNER:
Beloved
Toni Morrison
(1987)

Review

Underworld
Don DeLillo
(1997)

Blood Meridian
Cormac McCarthy
(1985)

Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels
John Updike
(1995)

'Rabbit at Rest'(1990)

'Rabbit Is Rich'(1981)

'Rabbit Redux'(1971)

'Rabbit, Run'(1960)

American Pastoral
Philip Roth
(1997)

THE FOLLOWING BOOKS ALSO RECEIVED MULTIPLE VOTES:
A Confederacy of Dunces
John Kennedy Toole
(1980)

Housekeeping
Marilynne Robinson
(1980)

Winter's Tale
Mark Helprin
(1983)

White Noise
Don DeLillo
(1985)

The Counterlife
Philip Roth
(1986)

Libra
Don DeLillo
(1988)

Where I'm Calling From
Raymond Carver
(1988)

The Things They Carried
Tim O'Brien
(1990)

Mating
Norman Rush
(1991)

Jesus' Son
Denis Johnson
(1992)

Operation Shylock
Philip Roth
(1993)

Independence Day
Richard Ford
(1995)

Sabbath's Theater
Philip Roth
(1995)

Border Trilogy
Cormac McCarthy
(1999)

'Cities of the Plain'(1998)

'The Crossing'(1994)

'All the Pretty Horses'(1992)

The Human Stain
Philip Roth
(2000)

The Known World
Edward P. Jones
(2003)

The Plot Against America
Philip Roth
(2004)
May 21, 2006

The Judges
Following are the writers, critics and editors the Book Review asked to choose the best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years:
Kurt Andersen
Roger Angell
A. Manette Ansay
James Atlas
Russell Banks
John Banville
Julian Barnes
Andrea Barrett
Rick Bass
Ann Beattie
Madison Smartt Bell
Aimee Bender
Paul Berman
Sven Birkerts
Harold Bloom
Bill Buford
Ethan Canin
Philip Caputo
Michael Chabon
Susan Choi
Mark Costello
Michael Cunningham
Edwidge Danticat
Don DeLillo
Pete Dexter
Junot Diaz
Morris Dickstein
Andre Dubus III
Tony Earley
Richard Eder
Jennifer Egan
Dave Eggers
Lucy Ellmann
Nathan Englander
Louise Erdrich
Anne Fadiman
Henry Finder
Jonathan Safran Foer
Paula Fox
Nell Freudenberger
Carlos Fuentes
David Gates
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Julia Glass
Nadine Gordimer
Mary Gordon
Robert Gottlieb
Philip Gourevitch
Elizabeth Graver
Andrew Sean Greer
Allan Gurganus
Jim Harrison
Kathryn Harrison
Alice Hoffman
A. M. Homes
Maureen Howard
John Irving
Ha Jin
Thom Jones
Heidi Julavits
Ward Just
Mary Karr
William Kennedy
Frank Kermode
Stephen King
Maxine Hong Kingston
Walter Kirn
Benjamin Kunkel
David Leavitt
Chang-Rae Lee
Brad Leithauser
Frank Lentricchia
John Leonard
Jonathan Lethem
Alan Lightman
David Lodge
Ralph Lombreglia
Phillip Lopate
Janet Malcolm
Thomas Mallon
Ben Marcus
Peter Matthiessen
Ian McEwan
David Means
Daphne Merkin
Stephen Metcalf
Rick Moody
Lorrie Moore
Geoffrey O'Brien
Chris Offutt
Stewart O'Nan
David Orr
Cynthia Ozick
Ann Patchett
Tom Perrotta
Richard Gid Powers
William Pritchard
Francine Prose
Terrence Rafferty
Marilynne Robinson
Roxana Robinson
Norman Rush
Richard Russo
George Saunders
Liesl Schillinger
Joanna Scott
Jim Shepard
Karen Shepard
David Shields
Gary Shteyngart
Lee Siegel
Curtis Sittenfeld
Jane Smiley
Wole Soyinka
Scott Spencer
William Styron
Studs Terkel
Deborah Treisman
Anne Tyler
Mario Vargas Llosa
William T. Vollmann
Edmund White
Tom Wolfe
Tobias Wolff

Horses is the only one I've read, among both the NY list and my friend's list of suggestions.
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  #667  
Old 08-13-2006, 05:26 PM
Red by Jack Ketchum - 8/10

Excellent pacing, wonderful story, and fantastically (yeah, it's an adverb NOW, bitches!) written.
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  #668  
Old 08-13-2006, 06:30 PM
That's an awesome list bluesbrother. Thanks.
I need to read some of those.
Phillip Roth and de Lilo have been on my to read list for a while...may have to check them out.

Otherwise, the only book I read mentioned was the adventures of Kavalier and Klay. That was, surpisingly, an excellent book with great characters. It was a journey and Chabon had some interesting plot turns here and there. Really good book though...I'd reccomend it.
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  #669  
Old 08-13-2006, 07:36 PM
no wonder I hate McCarthy. I cant stand Faulkner or Pynchon.
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  #670  
Old 08-13-2006, 07:46 PM
I didn't think McCarthy's style was at all like Pynchon's, but maybe I'm thinking too much about Pynchon's crazy plots and less about the way he actually writes. I'm not sure how similar I think it is to Faulkner, either. Might have to try more McCarthy before deciding.
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  #671  
Old 08-13-2006, 10:51 PM
Wuthering Heights - 9/10
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  #672  
Old 08-14-2006, 03:18 AM
The Myth of Sisyphus - no rating

Give a philosopher the freedom to write erratically and you will get boring chaos. This is true for ALL (each and single one, in my opinion) philosophers that I have read.
When they wander on tangents, exploring issues that have no relevance to the story at hand...you know you're at trouble.
Most of Sisyphus is that... a prelude of nonsense leading to a brilliant finale. The philosophical piece deals with absurdidity and its clauses affiliated with existentialism. Camus inspects aspects of it through comparisons with other famous authors. It's all right for a while as he draws some interesting conclusions, but it is unbelievably boring. That it is when you have no cohesive plot and just ramblings of a smart man. But give a philosopher direction and something precise to examine and you get a masterpiece...why is that?
The actual segment entitled the Myth of Sisyphus is a remarkable tale and examination (philosophically) taken from pieces absorbed in previous chapters. It works and Camus proves his point eloquently.
The appendix working on Kafka is equally interesting at the very least, especially his thoughts on Joseph K.'s absurdity and assimilation to Kafka. It's all great top notch stuff...pure philosophical essays with a leading detector. Everything else is quite a mess, just like what I though Thus Spoke Zarathustra was...except that book has no final redemption by the end, while this more than fulfills its promis.
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  #673  
Old 08-14-2006, 05:45 AM
The Anatomy School - Bernard MacLaverty. Very enjoyable.


www.callaghaninfo.com
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  #674  
Old 08-14-2006, 10:59 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by KcMsterpce
Red by Jack Ketchum - 8/10

Excellent pacing, wonderful story, and fantastically (yeah, it's an adverb NOW, bitches!) written.
Don't you just love this guy? His writing is excellent. BTW, how'd you like The Lost? I haven't had a chance to read much of it lately.


-Prime
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  #675  
Old 08-16-2006, 02:10 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by PrimeSuspect
Don't you just love this guy [Jack Ketchum]? His writing is excellent. BTW, how'd you like The Lost? I haven't had a chance to read much of it lately.


-Prime
I thought THE LOST was a very good book, but was expecting a completely different kind of story - more like torture from beginning to end, instead of absolute drama and character study with a few gore nuggets in the end.
Ketchum is a very competent writer, and his characters are written with a flow that makes you naturally accept the story. I like reading about them!

RED was actually better to me, simply because I have never ever read a book that so poignantly elucidates the importance of a long-lived pet within the household. They can become just as important as your blood-kin. I really liked the last 20 pages of RED a lot. It was touching.
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  #676  
Old 08-16-2006, 09:35 AM
I really enjoyed RED as well. And he did indeed do a great job of making you feel for the characters loss as if the Red were a person. It was well written and very endearing. One book by Ketchum that I must recommend you read is The Girl Next Door. One of, if not the best book I've ever read. Give it a shot, you won't be disappointed.


-Prime
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  #677  
Old 08-16-2006, 01:22 PM
Already read GIRL NEXT DOOR, and yes, it's great!

In fact, I think I'll read it again some time soon.
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  #678  
Old 08-16-2006, 03:56 PM
Siddartha (Herman Hesse) - 8/10. A short, sweet, and beautiful book. Feels simple and complex, at the same time. I just got a bit bored, at times.


Now reading Cat's Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut).
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  #679  
Old 08-18-2006, 05:10 AM
Perv - A Love Story - 6/10

Typical coming of age story, spruced up with sex and general youthful horniness. Otherwise, I've read better.
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  #680  
Old 08-24-2006, 12:18 AM
The Ruins - 6/10
It's not necessarily bad, but rather un-entertaining.
And that's the worst a book of this kind can hope to be.
It's not particularly badly written, nor is it un-eventful -- only bland.
I'm sure everyone's read a book like it...
And I came in expecting a fun pulp read for the summer, but it was definitely less entertaining. The last pulp book of the sort I read was Koontz's Velocity and that was excellently entertaining.
Unfortunately, this isn't. Nor is it very frightening.
The characters are well transposed I guess...but I just don't know.
It was very disappointing, and I barely finished it.
Especially hard since there's all this quality television at the moment
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