Friday, December 16, 2011


The Dressmaker: A NovelThe Dressmaker: A Novel by Kate Alcott

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Tess Collins walked away from a thankless housemaid job in 1912....and simultaneously found employment as a maid on the soon-to-be sailing Titanic ocean liner...little did she know that History would become a major part of her life

Given that the hearings, post "sinking", are a major part of this story, the actual trials are secondary to the social aspects....even the newly minted Suffragette Movement is given a back seat to the development of Tess' story, and character (such as it is)

Torn between two "lovers", neither of whose characters are particularly memorable...apprenticed to the wealthy, capricious and egocentric Lady Duff Gordon...couturiere to other wealthy people.....befriended by the sprited journalist, Pinky.....our Tess is on the way to becoming an American Girl...full of hopes, dreams, and ambition, never allowing opportunism to become a "fault"

Of all the characters in the book (and there are many..some who actually existed, like the Unsinkable Molly Brown ....entrepreneur extraordinaire) Pinky rang truest for me...because she had definite goals and aspirations..and opinions to which she gave some thought

Most of the story is window dressing for Tess, the budding Designer, the Dressmaker of the title...and her journey in the New World. I thought it was a pleasant read..the Romance angle was not overwrought, but neither was it all that romantic...the political aspects were toned down to "entertainment" scale...and Tess' relationship to Lady Duff Gordon reminded me of a recent novel/movie along the same lines. Sad to say I have read/seen neither..This is, after all, a "woman's book" it's nature it can't afford to be too "deep"

Which is not to say I didn't enjoy the story. I just wish it had had more meat on its bones and less description of the trappings of wealth and luxury, which in the end meant very little as the Titanic slowly sank into those ice cold waters


*****This was a Net Galley*****

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Budapest NoirBudapest Noir by Vilmos Kondor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 1930's Budapest, a young woman dressed as a prostitute, is found dead in an alley. In her purse is a Jewish prayer book

Budapest, in 1936, was no place for a Jew, or an inquisitive newspaper editor, as Zsigmund Gordon soon discovers, once he begins his own investigation of the "non crime"

A knowledge of Hungarian history isn't necessary, to understand the story herein, but it helps.....the narrative itself fills a lot of blanks...but the story itself is pretty basic. A coffee factor's daughter blows the cover of her "Aryan" family, by falling in love with a Rabbinical a time when everyone, in Europe, was falling over to court the Nazis. Said daughter finds herself in the position of a Prostitute and "Artist's Model".....gets herself murdered...and Father does not know "best".

While not a Thriller in the James Ellroy mode....I see this more in Simenon's Inspector Maigret territory...more brains than brawn..though there is violence here..none of it gratuitous. Zsigmund Gordon is just a journalist...doing his job....risking life/limb/family.....It was the times, you know...

I liked this book for it's understated's "slow burn"...Recommended to those who like their Noir with a European, not Euro Trash, flavour.


*****this was a Net Galley*****

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Call Me PrincessCall Me Princess by Sara Blaedel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A young woman is brutally raped in her own home and Detective Inspector Louise Rick is given the case. Subsequent investigation reveals the fact that the young woman met her assailant at an online dating website.

The perils of Online Dating are the focus of this story. The ubiquity of the phenomenon and the supposed anonymity of the participants.

I found this to be a good mystery, story wise....but the entire tone of the book was a bit dry, and bloodless. Something I'll chalk up to it being a translation. I did not find it as compelling as Stieg Larsson's which it's been compared. ScandiCrime has become one of the darlings in publishing, lately....and any work containing potential "thrills" seems to be fair game. a pity, that..since this book is pretty low key. The addition of glimpses into Rick"s rocky personal life was a good touch....lacking sentimentality, they, again, proved that high stress jobs wreck havoc on romance.

There were enough plot twists in the story to keep it moving...some good insights into the feeding frenzy of the "tabloid" publishing mentality....and the fact that every job situation has its pompous dead weight.

I did enjoy this book, and would like to read more of Ms Blaedel's work. Recommended, but don't expect heart-stopping thrills...Louise Rick is no Liz Salander...but she works hard and gets the job done.

(3 Stars)

Saturday, November 5, 2011


The Witch's LadderThe Witch's Ladder by Dana Donovan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

If you're not already "into" Paranormal might want to take a pass on this one..

Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys do Paranormal??? This clueless bunch of psychics could barely organize lunch...never mind the murder of one of their own...who embodies the "soul of all evil" (my quotes..not the author's)

The narrative bounces between snippets of "lectures" on all this paranormal....and trendy, Hip dialogue...a bit disconcerting. All of the stereotypes are well as the funky fogs and spontaneous tornadoes/earthquakes/water spouts. There is grisly murder, complete with evisceration....."tribal" jealousy....a gambling jones....and a stalwart Policeman/convert.

I don't mean to make a complete hash of this book. It is not my genre-of-choice...but I was in the mood for "fluff" and I don't do romance...The plot was strong enough that it held my interest...but, I am a born skeptic. Things that "go bump in the night" probably do so for a very good reason...I like my Mysteries without the "hocus pocus". I will say, reading this book gave my Laugh muscles a workout!

Recommended to the already-converted...others, beware

(2 Stars)

Sunday, October 9, 2011


The Book of LiesThe Book of Lies by Mary Horlock

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The feral nature of adolescent girls and the vagaries of history...set on the Isle of Guernsey.

The lies told by the Rozier family during the Nazi Occupation in WWII resound down the years to impact on fifteen year old Cat Rozier

Cat the brain, the outcast, becomes fast friends with Nicolette, the new girl in town...The lovely and wild Nicolette. they become inseparable.....partying, drinking, hooking up with the local boys. All the while Nicolette alternates her friendship with taunts and bullying. A personal betrayal ends in murder...and Cat lays the blame on her family's history of lies and betrayal

Interspersed within this tale of "teens gone wrong" is Cat's father's account of the Nazi Occupation and the part played by his older brother as a collaborator.....and the disclosure of other family secrets

Hence, this BOOK OF LIES penned by Cat...History does repeat itself..and adolescent girls, by their nature and hormones, are not innocent.

I liked this book. I read it back-to-back with LIGHT FROM A DISTANT STAR by Mary McGarry Morris ...another story of a teenage girl in crisis...although that child didn't resort to murder. In this case, the girls were none of them very likable, but the interweaving of family history, secrets and lies...made the whole ghastly, central Act a little more justified....but just a little

Recommended...but only to those who don't see teenage girls as those who see the blood still on the lip

4 Stars

***This was a Net Galley***


Light from a Distant Star: A NovelLight from a Distant Star: A Novel by Mary McGarry Morris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The summer of Nellie Peck's thirteenth year is fraught with peril, and the impending vagaries of adulthood.

The family hardware business is failing, and dad (Benjamin) is busy writing a history of the town, while the family finances go haywire. Mom has to go back to work to pay the bills which leads to stressful family situations. Half-sister Ruth embarks on a search for her birth father, and little brother Henry becomes Nellie's responsibility. In an effort to toughen him up, she resorts to an old WWI hand-to-hand combat manual. Add cantankerous Grandpa, keeper of the town junkyard, and his hired man, Max, the loner.....and the stage is just about set for trouble.

When the Peck's tenant, Dolly is found dead.....all eyes turn toward doesn't help that she was a stripper by trade. However, Nellie knows that max is innocent....she even knows the identity of the real killer. Or does she? And how is she going to tell her "truth" and convince everyone when it would mean accusing an upstanding pillar of the community..the very person able to save her family from financial ruin? Oh, the quandary.....oh, the lack of credibility.

I've been a fan of Mary McGarry Morris' work for quite some time....and this, her take on To Kill a Mockingbird is, in my opinion, a success. While her prose is not as elegant as Harper Lee's..the story is set in the present day, where elegance is not a requirement...Nellie Peck is not Scout Finch, but Scout didn't have the media and Pop culture distractions that are part of Nellie's life. Nellie's dilemma is part and parcel of adolescence itself...the lack of credibility we all feel when on the verge of adulthood.

Maybe life was easier in the 1950s...but when Nellie eventually has her say, she does so with heart...even though the outcome is not victorious....most of the characters do survive and live their lives. Not perfectly.

Recommended.....4 Stars

***This was a Net Galley***

Monday, September 19, 2011


Fun and GamesFun and Games by Duane Swierczynski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A high-speed chase down the Hollywood Hills.....and, you're the girl at the wheel of the car. No brakes? The car has brakes and, neither does this story

B-movie actress Lane Madden is next on the list of THE ACCIDENT PEOPLE.

Have you ever wondered what becomes of screenwriters and film techncians....when their careers are over...or, they've fallen out of favor....Scripted "accidents".....posed "hits"???

Lane is next on The List.....through various nefarious events (exploding gas mains and biotoxic weaponry) our girl does not end up well.....she dies...nuff said

Did i mention Charlie Hardie??? The erstwhile hero of this book...the first of a series???

Charlie.....a former cop living off the guilt of the death of his former partner?

I love Mr Swiercznyski's work....since i read The Blonde.....though i can't spell his name for shit.....the fact that he writes for Marvel Comics makes this particular book a must!

This book is a Quentin Tarantino movie..on paper....a literary Graphic with no apologies

I'm posting this review because I love the author's work.....i loved this book and recommend it to anyone who likes Noir fiction.....i can't wait for the second book

****this was an ER book from Library Thing***

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Nairobi HeatNairobi Heat by Mukoma wa Ngugi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What could have been a decent, if unexciting murder mystery.....rapidly turned into a well written thriller. Set mainly in Nairobi, Kenya....we find our protagonist Ishmael, a Detective from Madison, Wisconsin (!), on the case of a young white woman...Identity Unknown....whose body was found on the doorstep of a prominent University professor. Not just any professor, though...Joshua Hakizimana being a famous hero of the Rwandan Genocide

Life in Nairobi proves a bit tricky, as Ishmael discovers after being summoned by a mysterious phone call. In the company of the enigmatic O...a local detective-of-sorts, and the sensuous spoken-word performer, Muddy.....Ishmael discovers the corrupt underbelly of Global Humanitarianism....and the lingering aftertaste of Mass Murder...

Ambiguity abounds, here....and for a while, no one is who he seems to be..but Wa Ngugi gives the reader a taste of the Real the people surviving in the wake of a national horror.

While this is not a novel of detection, per is a novel about justice...swift and unrelenting...where the Bad Guys do pay....and the Good Guys??? Endure.

This is a review of a Net Galley

4 Stars (****)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Color Online: 2011 YA/MG POC Releases

I saw this list the other day and thought it was pretty awesome...enjoy!

Color Online: 2011 YA/MG POC Releases

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Every Shallow CutEvery Shallow Cut by Tom Piccirilli

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Review "on the fly":

A dark "Noirella"....a meditation on personal and professional failure....Marriage gone bust...Career permanently on the rocks (save the twist)

Our nameless hero is homeward bound, reluctantly....after a failed marriage and a the company of his bulldog Churchill

Lots of pent up rage, accompanied by a case of know this guy is circling the drain.

At first, I would have called this a Stephen King type Road Novel....given his penchant for exposing the Hell that writers endure to serve their craft...on second thought..the only Horror here, is our protagonist's dilemma, being so out of touch with what is generally perceived as Reality...yet being so in touch with his own pain and frustration (if that makes any sense) that his vision is blurred, to say the least....

After a corner beat-down, he acquires a gun...Homeless and raging...he's homeward bound to a brother who probably doesn't want him around any way

If this seems's nothing compared to the short sharp ending....which i won't give up...let's just say "suicide or the highway"

This book packs a wallop in 175 pages...not for the fain if heart...

The only other book i have read by Mr A Choir of Ill Children...which was more of a Southern Gothic...and a lot creepier

I give this book 4 Stars...because it smacked me upside the head with its wit, heart, violence,and craft

This was a Net Galley....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The Handbook for Lightning Strike SurvivorsThe Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors by Michele Young-Stone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More NOTES, as it were:

Lightning streaks in the sky, running parallel until they finally converge, in the distance/future

Two lives.....Becca Burke and Buckley Pitank...two kids trying to grow up with dysfunctional families and the odd lightning strike

Becca: with a love-struck alcoholic mother and a philandering father...still very much a Daddy’s girl...struck by lightning, the first time at age 8. Of course, no one believed her, because she wasn’t dead

Buckley: with an overweight, loving mother...a hard-hearted Grandma...and, later, an abusive stepfather...the Preacher Man-of-God.....after his mother takes them both away from all that, he still thinks he’s unworthy of love and takes his own mental beatings...Mom is killed by a lightning strike...Buckley pens an eponymous Handbook

Becca reads the book, they meet but don’t fall in love. Young adulthood is a bitch...Buckley finally gets his own Lightning Strike and all ends well, more or less, in hospital

Life is messy and painful, with occasional flashes of bliss.....clear and sharp as lightning bolts and just as fatal

I know i’ve given up a bit of the story here, but that isn’t what carried this case it was the prose...the words. For a first novel this one is a joy...takes a while to get started but is worth the effort. Ms Young-Stone is, in fact, a lightning strike survivor...i’d like to think that “bolt” contributed to her talent.....the fluidity of these words...

Highly recommended

4 Stars (****)

*This was from Net Galley*

Monday, July 4, 2011

Conundrum or Dilemma?

Hester: A NovelHester: A Novel by Paula Reed

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A woman returns to London, after a sojourn in The Colonies, with her precocious, and wealthy, 8-year-old daughter. After settling in with old friends, she finds herself in the midst of the political machinations of Oliver Cromwell's England.....due to a certain "gift" of "seeing into the hearts of men".....her ability to spot lies and treason, while retaining her womanly propriety..While employed as such a Judge, she meets a hunky Sir John, who is playing both ends against the middle, politically. He's also pretty much of a libertine...Life continues...Cromwell "falls" and dies. The precocious daughter matures into a "boy crazy" drama queen, ultimately landing an "impossible" match.....marriage-wise. she hies of to Germany, pregnant but "in love"....satisfied to be a "kept woman" all her life..Mother returns to The Colonies....the site of her own past "sins"

This would be a pretty good Historical Romance, for those who fancy such, if not for the overt reference to The Scarlet Letter and the character of HESTER PRYNNE.

For one thing, any woman in possession of such a 'gift", as mentioned above, would more than likely have been condemned as a Witch and dispatched without qualms, or a trial. She would never have been given a seat in Oliver's STAR CHAMBER.

The back alley skulking betwixt her and Sir John probably did occur, but people made an art of Discretion in those days.....being Puritans and all

The intrusion of modern attitudes towards boys/men and sex were pretty un-subtle and annoying

I had a difficult time making a connection between Ms Reed's Hester, and Nathaniel Hawthorne's original...though I haven't read the original SCARLET LETTER in years, I seem to recall that Hester as being more of a slow burn.

With all of the historical detail present in this book, I am surprised at the anomalies I have mentioned. I found them to be rather jarring.....and a distraction from the story Ms Reed was trying to tell..Maybe that's my fault....but if the book had just been titled HESTER without the reference..i think it would have "gone down" easier

My rating:
4 stars for the story
3 stars for the delivery
3 1/2 stars total

* I got this book through the Library Thing EARLY REVIEWERS program*

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Identity CrisisIdentity Crisis by Debbi Mack

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Just another Chick Dick this case, though, she's an attorney with a Nancy Drew streak....a decent amount of moxie..a married boyfriend....and a temperamental automobile. The story is set in and around Baltimore...old CHARM CITY herself.

This little tale of identity theft and murder-most-foul (with a back story of High School hijinks gone wrong, and the revenge that followed) was a sweet respite from heavier fare. Nothing earth shaking, mind you...but it flowed smoothly, without too much Romantic mush (though the ending tends toward SAPPY CITY)...a few car chases...a little gun play...a scar-faced Mafioso...put it squarely in Chick Dick territory. It reminded me of Sue Grafton's KINSEY MILLHONE/Alphabet the character of Sam mcRae, that is..

My version of "fluff"...rates 3 stars..

*this was an ePub version...i read it on my NOOK)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Look Out, Sam's on the Case...

Judgment Calls (Samantha Kincaid #1)Judgment Calls by Alafair Burke

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One more in a long line of novels featuring a female PI/cop/lawyer...this is the first of a series, and the author's first novel. It possesses all the necessary elements: a smart, savvy protagonist(ess)....a semi-hunky love interest/foil.....a corrupt DA...some honest cops....and less-than -brilliant criminals. Ms Burke drew on her own experience in the legal profession, here.....the characters seem more 'believable" as a result.

We have here a teenage prostitution earlier death-penalty case that is "on the rocks"since those incarcerated for the crime could well be "innocent" of the crime.....several degrees of Bad Guys, from the seriously psychotic to the merely confused....and DAs playing both ends against the middle.

The book dragged in spots due to over explanation of the trial process/police procedure....but Ms Burke (daughter of James Lee) at least kept the "lectures" in the character's voice...less hectoring. Alafair has her Daddy's gift for dialogue and fast pacing....i look forward to reading her other offerings.

As I said, this is the first of a series featuring Samantha Kincaid...there is another series starring Ellie Hatcher, which joys I have yet to sample...Books like this are my idea of "fluff" and I recommend it to anyone who likes sassy, smart women in somewhat tough situations....anyone who likes the work of Sue Grafton and Laura Lippmann. Ms Burke is one writer to keep an eye on

3 Stars (***)

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We Are Family???

So Many Ways to BeginSo Many Ways to Begin by Jon McGregor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

David Carter - Curator of a local museum; obsessive collector and archivist of his own life

........until a senile relative reveals a long-buried family secret. Then David's life slips out of orbit. So begins his own personal Reconstruction..and his coming to terms with the fact that his life has not been what it seemed....that he isn't who he thought he was. so begins his search for "self".

Add to this a wife with bipolar disorder and its attendant strains...troubles in the workplace both personal and professional.....a daughter turned rebellious...and David's own batch of demons and weaknesses..and you have a heartbreaker of a story.

The author has an engaging style that moves the story along without undue sentimentality or "drama"...The ending could have been "tighter", but that's a minor quibble..and seems perfectly correct, in hindsight. The book has a definite British feel to it...."brave stoicism" with hysteria and rage lying just below the surface.

I liked the way McGregor portrayed David's situation as his life spiraled downwards- the confusion, frustration and anger so well-contained....only bursting forth at intervals..then receding quietly..until the next time. McGregor also writes about sex between married people in a healthily realistic fashion- no "throbbing" or "heaving" here...just "the way it is" in all its glory...the blessed "routine" of it all.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys intelligent Soap Opera......who enjoys a good story, well told, without a patent "happy ending"...who is still "searching for self" (though maybe not this thoroughly)......I say give this one a try...

4 Stars (****)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Way To Go, Ohio

Summer Of Shadows: A Murder, a Pennant Race, and the Twilight Of the Best Location in the NationSummer Of Shadows: A Murder, a Pennant Race, and the Twilight Of the Best Location in the Nation by Jonathan Knight

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summer of 1954......three stories

:The Cleveland Indians battled their arch-rivals...The New York Yankees...for the Pennant....only to lose the World Series to....The New York Giants

:Marilyn Sheppard was found, brutally murdered, in the home she shared with her husband...the charismatic "Dr Sam'...the prime suspect....His subsequent trial thrilled the nation

:The seeds of economic failure were being sown....thereby turning THE BEST LOCATION IN THE NATION into THE MISTAKE BY THE LAKE

I have to admit the the Baseball "play by play" lingo left me cold...i am not, and have never been, a Sports Fan.....but, the manner in which these Ball Games were presented....was enjoyable.....even to a curmudgeon like me...and made this book an enjoyable read..

Sam Sheppard's second 1966, i do remember (i was born in 1951...the events of 1954, i don't recall first hand) was big news in Akron, Ohio (my home town)...and still resonated, albeit a bit weakly, in 1969, when I left home for college...but my Dad did send me the newspaper clippings...when the Cuyahoga River caught fire in June '69....sowing those Seeds of Failure, i mentioned before..

I recommend this book to Sports Fans (who will understand the lingo)...Ohio History buffs....and any one who enjoys a good story, well told.....Mr Knight is the best Historian, in that respect....

4 stars

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Relief, Indeed!

The Sweet Relief of Missing ChildrenThe Sweet Relief of Missing Children by Sarah Braunstein

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Five stories going back and forth through time.....ending, or focusing, on the disappearance of 12-year old Leonora Coulter...deemed a "good" girl by her family and friends...a girl who got caught in a 'twist of fate"

Five sets of characters who interact with each other in unexpected ways throughout the book.

Awkward, damaged people going through life with enough "baggage" to down an airplane.

Small town life...the flip side of Bucolic

The awkward style of this book bothered, and distracted, me...until i realized it was perfect for these characters...most of whom are searching for reinvention...seeking acceptance, and comfort, and a sense of identity. The surprising ways in which they interact and separate remind me of broken glass on the sidewalk....that, in spite of the separateness of the pieces, the whole splintered mess, in fact, forms a weird kind of Whole

This wasn't an easy read and these people are not lovable......the atmosphere was desperate, claustrophobic, and strange....In an odd way I like it, and respect Ms Braunstein for letting her characters speak in their own tongues...

*this was an ARC from Library Thing Early Readers*

3 stars

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Is Dinner Ready?

One Bite Won't Kill YouOne Bite Won't Kill You by Ann Hodgman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of my "Reviews-on-the-Fly"....Be Warned:

I became aware of this book through some Childrens Catalogue (to remain nameless because I can't remember) where it was tucked in the last pages.

Now that i own my copy...I was looking at it, the other night...and figured it needed a review

Ann Hodgman is a wonderful comedienne "on the page"...and Roz Chast is...well..."i swoon" at her talent..

The book itself is full of recipes...some good..some bland. BUT...this book is geared toward parents with kids who are "picky eaters" alien life form, when I was a kid. I ate what was served...or creeped downstairs after dark for a bowl of cereal...UNTIL i learned how to cook....for my own self ( and after my Mom went AWOL). Ms Hodgman does a bang up job in the Introduction....explaining the world of "Kids & Food"...i skipped kids here...Her Afterword WHY NONE OF THIS it.

The recipes:

BROC BAKE-page220- is seriously sure to use Fresh Broccoli

PERFECT BROILED CHICKEN-page68- is just that

BREAKFAST "ZA-page 29- is so good..and a good reason to keep Crescent Roll Dough "in the house'

I recommend this to anyone who has to feed kids every day..if only for the humor element....and to anyone who loves to cook...and can tweak otherwise pedestrian recipes

4 Stars

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Lost Lustre: A New York MemoirLost Lustre: A New York Memoir by Joshua Karlen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn't know what to expect when I received this book from Library Thing's EARLY REVIEWERS program......what I got was a small gem.

Josh Karlen grew up on Avenue C in New York City...where the tenements burned and their charred skeletons remained "standing"...where beatings by other kids were a daily part of life...where despair pretty much ruled his world. Along came the Punk Rock/Club scene of the 1970s-early 1980s, where he , at least, had an outlet for his pent-up aggression...Punk Rock in its Flower....until it morphed into the citywide gentrification that folks now call "normal"

This book is part personal history and a cultural history of a time and place(s) that no longer exist...the title chapter is the history of New York Punk writ small and personal. Heartbreaking, tragic, hubristic and gaudy....yet full of a strange kind of hope. As is the entire book. This history is written as the map of Mr Karlen's environs, as he inhabited them, then...and as he remembers them now....written without sensationalism or self-pity. From the Greek diners to the smelly Punk Clubs....the SRO hotels and St Marks place with its trash and vaudeville. Through grammar school to Music & Art (from which he flunked out) to the Amazon's all here. One man's search for his true home.

A prosaic undertaking, to be we have all made that journey. But this particular trek is set down in a literate, clear-eyed prose that made the reading a pure delight. I am grateful to have found this book, since New York City was a kind of "dream city" for me when I was growing up in Akron, Ohio...I was a little old for the Punk scene when it hit....but I certainly loved the energy and rawness of the music. This book shows some of that scene's flip side...which the music rags never did. In the end, it's a story full of hope. I recommend it to anyone who is still searching for his/her true "place of belonging".

4 stars (****)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Great Book..Shitty Review

The Stray Sod CountryThe Stray Sod Country by Patrick McCabe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


>1958....Cullymore, Ireland. SPUTNIK is in orbit and the village is in turmoil. A Parish Priest beset with Paranoia and Guilt...Housewives with thoughts of Murder...a Teddy Boy come home hoping to regain the Lass He Once Loved....the World in between the Serious 1950s...on the cusp of the Wild & Wooly 1960s....Satan pulls the strings.....

The position of "remote artificer" that Satan or God...or collective Conscience??? I haven't decided on any guilty party..But, Satan can't exist without God....If Satan is the Puppetmaster here..God lurks in the wings..and vice versa....Given the Time..1958...on the cusp...between the staid 1950s and the potential unknown of the 1960s, it's a crapshhot....

Culleymore, Ireland is the perfect place for Old Scratch to insinuate himself into the lives of "normal" folk...a seriously paranoid parish Priest what carries a load of Past Guilt.....erstwhile housewives, one who has murderous night time thoughts.....the "hated" local hermit..the SCAPEGOAT...

The FETCH...what gives access to THE STRAY SOD COUNTRY...where we all go when life becomes a bit "too much....Is OLD SCRATCH the one who pulls the strings, here?.or is it the fact that Times are Changing?

Patrick Mc Cabe is not LACE CURTAIN a writer...His books include violence, cruelty, and madness....but i own 4 of them...If you want to start reading so with [The Butcher Boy]

i give this book 4 1/2 stars

* i know this review sucks...but i can never give a decent review to a book i seriously love*

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