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Beiträge von M. Desoer
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Rezensionen verfasst von
M. Desoer (Bay Area, California)
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Omerta: A Novel
Omerta: A Novel
von Mario Puzo
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 22,99

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A good early draft, 1. August 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Omerta: A Novel (Gebundene Ausgabe)
It is very clear to me that Mario Puzo either hadn't finished this book when he passed away or, at the very most, it was a first draft. With due respect to him, his editors should have taken a heavier pen to this draft, which was full of awkward writing and undeveloped points. (The fact that this work is so much briefer than Mr. Puzo's earlier works lends credence to the conclusion that it needed to be fleshed out.)
That being said, this was not a horrible book, but it was not what one would expect from someone as talented as Mr. Puzo. The characters were, for the most part, two-dimensional and some of the relationships not fully clarified.
Don Aprile, who has survived the FBI incursions into the Mafia, is gunned down by unkown assailants. He has annointed the nephew that he raised as his "heir apparent" to the remaning family businesses, as he carefully has sheltered his children from the less savory aspects of his life. The story line was interesting but a little hard to follow (I didn't think that the underlying attempted transaction made sense). This is definitely not the best novel written by Mr. Puzo.


The Devil's Teardrop
The Devil's Teardrop
von Jeffery Deaver
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen Another, very good Deaver thriller, 23. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Devil's Teardrop (Taschenbuch)
On the last day of the 20th century, a sociopath has meticulously planned a day of crime which will terrorize Washington D.C. He accomplishes much of the horror through a brain-damaged man who he controls like a puppet, and has been scheduled to commit machine-gun rampages at set times throughout the day.
Deaver is a master at writing stories in which law enforcement is forced to work in artificial time-constraints, in order to prevent further disasters. In this case, the FBI calls upon a retired, and reluctant, questioned document specialist, Parker Kincaid, to analyze the killer's ransom note, and aid in his capture. This analysis was interesting, but not as fascinating as the forensic work performed by Lincoln Rhymes in other Deaver books (Rhymes, by the way, has a "cameo" in this book).
While this was a very good thriller, I do not rank it as highly as other Deaver books that I have read. Despite the tight time factor of the investigation, I found that the book dragged, ever so slightly, at certain points. My criticism must be placed in context, however: I enjoyed this book, and simply have high standards for Mr. Deaver's work.


The Naked Detective
The Naked Detective
von Laurence Shames
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 20,73

4.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining "noir" novel, 23. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Naked Detective (Gebundene Ausgabe)
"The Naked Detective" is a good summer read. The protagonist, Pete Armsterdam, is listed in the yellow pages as a private investigator, solely based on his accountant's advice so that he can write off his wine and music rooms as his "office." One afternoon, as he calmly relaxes in his hot tub, a woman walks through his house and implores him to take her case. Although he initially declines, an ambivalent Armsterdam becomes caught up in a complex mystery filled with colorful characters, with elusive motivations.
"The Naked Detective" is a quick, enjoyable and colorful detective story. It is my first Laurence Shames novel, so I can't compare it to his other writings. I liked his "noir" style reminiscent of an earlier era.


The Mentor: A Novel
The Mentor: A Novel
von Sebastian Stuart
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 20,12

4.0 von 5 Sternen Unusual psychological thriller, 23. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Mentor: A Novel (Gebundene Ausgabe)
None of the main characters in "The Mentor" are "good" people, beyond approach. On the contrary, they are significantly flawed, which lends to an interesting story.
Charles Davis is a once-heralded novelist, whose recent works have received progressively less-glowing reviews. His wife hires a temp who she met at her office to assist her husband organize his office. When Charles discovers that the efficient temp is writing her own, promising novel, he takes her under his wing, and simultaneously pries into her hidden past.
While some elements may seem predictable, the twists and turns make this a tight, fast-paced read. You are not sure with whom your sympathies lie at various points in the book, which, to me, made the book very interesting. This is definitely a very good read if you like psychological thrillers.


Born Red: A Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution
Born Red: A Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution
von William A. Joseph
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 29,49

5.0 von 5 Sternen Riveting account of a student in the Cultural Revolution, 23. Juli 2000
"Born Red" is not a broad historical account of the Cultural Revolution, but the autobiography of a man who was a young student in an elite "middle school" at the outset of this tumultuous and destructive period of recent Chinese history. The students were urged to ferret out "counter-revolutionaries" and given almost free reign over their decisions and punitive actions. I agree with the prior reviewer that this book brings to mind a real "Lord of the Flies," and would add to that the Salem Witch Trials.
Although their actions were encouraged, at the outset, by their teachers, the students quickly turned their attentions to their instructors and "found" counter-revolutionary, "bourgeouis" and other improper behavior. Nearly all the teachers were branded, even after the Communist party instructed the students that most teachers should be considered good or "relatively good." When the students ran out of teachers and local petty officials to attack, they turned on each other, forming alliances which accused their opponents of non-revolutionary behavior. The mounting violence and resulting chaos are, on a certain level, surreal. The author's "postscript," while brief, ties the account to the present with its description of the "where they are now" of his friends, and enemies, during this time.


Day Hikes in Steamboat Springs Colorado (The Day Hikes Series)
Day Hikes in Steamboat Springs Colorado (The Day Hikes Series)
von Robert Stone
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen Good "starter" for the area, 15. Juli 2000
This is a good book for what it is: a collection of 16, mostly short, hikes in and around Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It is great for someone who intends to vacation in lovely Steamboat, or who is new to the town and/or hiking. The directions are clear, and the maps are quite good (accurate and simple enough to orient you well for the hike). As an added bonus, there are quite a few full-color pictures of the area.
This is NOT for someone who wants difficult hikes and/or who is already somewhat familiar with hiking at Steamboat. However, it is a great "starter" which will familiarize you to the hiking alternatives in the area.


Me Talk Pretty One Day
Me Talk Pretty One Day
von David Sedaris
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 24,30

4.0 von 5 Sternen Mostly hysterically funny . . ., 13. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Me Talk Pretty One Day (Gebundene Ausgabe)
This is the first book by David Sedaris that I have read and, for the most part, it was very funny. During certain portions (I am ashamed to include one short scatological piece among them) I was laughing out loud. Others were very funny in a more "dry" sense.
The first portion of the book is Sedaris' autobiography of growing up in a quirky family, dealing with a not-too-successful speech therapist, and working (?) as an artist and in other trades. Next, he describes his stays in France at his friend's house in the country and in Paris. Anyone who has spent time in France, and struggled with the French language, will be able to relate to the humourous situations.
This is definitely a good book if you need some chuckles and some loud laughs!


Manhattan Is My Beat (Rune Trilogy)
Manhattan Is My Beat (Rune Trilogy)
von Jeffery Deaver
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 7,78

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A fun, fast page-turner, 9. Juli 2000
I have to give 5 stars to any book that keeps me up reading past 1 a.m. (I'm not a late night person). This novel is very different from the Lincoln Rhymes series, but is entertaining in its own way.
The protagonist is a 20-year-old free spirit in Greenwich Village, currently working in a video store. She becomes a "detective" after she finds a customer shot to death when she arrives at his house to pick up a video, and then decides that the police is not working properly on the case. Her character shows both naivete and incredible spunk. The case she stumbles into involves a series of Mafia hits, and places her in considerable danger.
The plot is full of twists and turns; the ending ties together all loose ends. This is a fun read.


Five Thousand Days Like This One: An American Family History (Concord Library Book)
Five Thousand Days Like This One: An American Family History (Concord Library Book)
von Jane Brox
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen Uneven, but interesting account, 3. Juli 2000
I vascillated between really loving parts of this book, and being annoyed at others. The book discusses the history of the Merrimack Valley in northeastern Massachusetts, weaving in stories about the author's parents' lives there as immigrants from Italy and Lebanon. It also compares descriptions of the area written by Thoreau, and others, in the 19th century.
While most of it was fascinating, some aspects of the book bothered me. First, as the book progresses, it becomes evident that it is a collection of prior essays; some portions are repetitive, almost down to the exact language. Second, I felt that the author was trying too hard to be "lyrical." Some of the writing seemed "forced," convoluted, and grammatically awkward, to the point that I had to reread sentences to figure out what she wanted to say.
Despite these criticisms, it is an interesting read about an area that has changed so much over the last 150 years.


Charmed to Death
Charmed to Death
von STEPHEN SINGULAR
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen Engrossing story of a "Black Widow", 3. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Charmed to Death (Taschenbuch)
I am not a huge fan of the "true crime" genre, but picked up this book because I just moved to Steamboat Springs for the Summer, and people still talk about this case. I was pleasantly surprised at how well-written the book was. It also was well researched, presumably, in part because, before his death, the victim had hired a private investigator to dig up the dirt on his ex-wife in preparation for a trial. The book is a fast-paced read, and would be enjoyable if you like this kind of book, whether or not you have ever been to Steamboat. The activities of this sociopathic woman are chilling.


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