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  #1481  
Old December 27th, 2014, 9:11 am
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, by Douglas Adams - 6/10

More absurd, geek humour. I love Marvin.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum - 3/10

I usually have no problem in reading and liking children's books, but this is hte first time I really think I'm too old for a book.


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  #1482  
Old December 31st, 2014, 11:37 am
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

The Spies of Warsaw, by Alan Furst - 4/10

The plot idea is good, but the pace is very irregular, the narrative would admit some polishing and the characters are quite plain.

The Black Tulip, by Alexandre Dumas - 5/10

It takes all of Dumas's skill to take a story that is basically about growing tulips and turning it into a mildly interesting reading. However, after growing up with the Musketeers and Mr de Monte Cristo this feels disappointing.


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  #1483  
Old January 6th, 2015, 12:44 pm
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

Now, this is holidays: six books in two weeks.

The Last Legion, by Valerio Massimo Manfredi - 5/10

Although the language and the dialogues are often a little contrived and some characters are cliché, it is quite entertaining most of the time. As an adventure historical novel I don't have much to object until the end, which feels too hurried. The Arthurian side of the story, however, is too forced.

To Have and Have Not, by Ernest Hemingway - 4/10

I know it's almost heresy to say you don't like Hemingway, but, honestly, I didn't like this book. I don't understand the structure, characters just pop in and out wihtout you know why they are there and without adding anything of interest except various reasons for getting drunk. It felt presumptuous most of the time. The redeeming factor is the great descriptions.


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  #1484  
Old January 11th, 2015, 4:02 pm
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

8/10 Lamb to the Slaughter - Roald Dahl
I'll give this one an eight only because they were two stories I didn't much prefer. This is my first encounter of Dahl's adult work, and I'm surprised by how sinister it was, remindede a bit of Poe or even King.


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  #1485  
Old January 16th, 2015, 2:58 am
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

5/10 Everybody Sees the Ants - A.S. King


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  #1486  
Old January 30th, 2015, 9:19 am
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

2 books of short stories by Katherine Mansfield, which I loved to bits. Exquisite prose, finely refined gems of stories. I love the Modernists.


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  #1487  
Old January 31st, 2015, 6:27 pm
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

Le Collier de la Reine, by Alexandre Dumas 6.5/10

With most of the ingredients that make Dumas's novels so entertaining.


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  #1488  
Old February 6th, 2015, 6:42 pm
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

My last couple of (audio) books were A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords by G. R. R. Martin. Like the first book, I give them each 7s. I think they're fun reads with an engaging world, but the lack of narrative arc in each book gets a little trying: I've yet to figure out why I'm reading this story. The books are clearly building and leading up to something, but the lack of objective or resolution makes it more akin to reading a historical chronicle than a fictional book. I don't think there's anything wrong with that - it makes A Song of Ice and Fire quite distinct - but it results in a feeling that I'm missing something while reading. And while Martin writes with rich detail and imagery, it all seems to fall flat for me: the world has yet to come alive for me.


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  #1489  
Old February 6th, 2015, 9:41 pm
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

10/10 The Shining - Stephen King


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  #1490  
Old February 24th, 2015, 4:44 pm
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

Mr. Mercedes -- Stephen King -- 6/10

Just finished up reading this one and to be honest it was underwhelming. The writing itself is ok, but the murder mystery is rather predictable.

Spoiler: show
And the murderer has headaches that cause him to murder, just like another one of King's creations from Under the Dome (Junior). So that's another reason for the 6/10 rating.


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  #1491  
Old March 2nd, 2015, 9:53 pm
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

The Face of the Third Reich, by Joachim Fest - 8.0/10


Eichmann in Jerusalem, by Hannah Arendt - 9.0/10


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  #1492  
Old March 4th, 2015, 4:05 pm
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

I recently read The Boss, The Girlfriend, The Bride and The Ex by Abigail Barnette. It's basically what Fifty Shades of Grey could have been if the author had known anything about kink in general and BDSM in particular. Barnette's Boss series is surprisingly well written, with interesting minor characters, a protagonist with aspirations beyond her love interest and conflict that is not always original but treated realistically and respectfully. This series deals with a lot of grown-up topics but never gratuitously. Loved this and would recommend! 9/10


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  #1493  
Old March 6th, 2015, 4:12 am
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

The last book I read was American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and I loved it.


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  #1494  
Old March 15th, 2015, 12:37 am
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

Un Capitaine de Quinze Ans, by Jules Verne - 6/10

OK, it has all of Verne's defects - there are lots of pages in which it looks more as a Geography book than as a novel, but the bits in which things happen are great.

Women in the Days of Catherdrals, by Regine Pernoud - 6.5/10

Very interesting, though the author has sometimes a tendency to wander off the subject of the chapter. True that she usually does it to tell more interesting anecdotes. I miss, however, more information about countries other than France.


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  #1495  
Old March 31st, 2015, 11:45 pm
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

All the President's Men, by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein - 7.5/10

Though at bits it is a little tough to follow for a non-American, it's absolutely fascinating.

The Living Shadow, by Maxwell Grant - 4.5/10

Not great literature, true. Far-fetched situations, cliche characters and over-use of exclamation signs. However, it is really funny and, in some ways, very naive. Is pulp-fiction the evolution of the feuilleton?

The Royal Game (Shachnovelle), by Stefan Zweig - 9.5/10

A very short gem. 52 pages of genius, obsession and very painful melancholia.


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  #1496  
Old April 15th, 2015, 4:21 am
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

4/10 The Killing Woods - (can't think of the author)


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  #1497  
Old April 22nd, 2015, 3:58 am
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

6/10 The Secret Place - Tana French


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  #1498  
Old May 5th, 2015, 10:30 pm
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens - 8.5/10

Just great

The Secret Adversary, by Agatha Christie - 6.5/10

OK, before reading this book I thought that there was an Agatha Christie character called Tommy Tuppence (lol)... The book is intriguing, funny and refreshingly trivial. The last plot twist may be a little predictible, but it doesn't matter much.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie - 6/10

Classic Poirot mystery

The Ladies' Paradise, by Emile Zola - 7.5/10

Endless descriptions, depressing atmosphere, and an X-ray of the department stores that feels valid even nowadays. Very interesting, but I wouldn't recommend it if you're depressed.


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  #1499  
Old May 12th, 2015, 4:49 am
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

9/10 Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town - Jon Krakauer


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  #1500  
Old May 17th, 2015, 9:19 am
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Re: Rate and review the last book you read

The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James, 9/10

Wonderful. It's dense, with endless pragraphs and descriptions and for many people probably very slow and void of action. But the depth and the character construction are a work of art.


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