Content tagged with "fiction"

11 Birthdays
Book Review
January 5, 2014
94

“My daughter read this for school and asked me to read it too. It’s essentially the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ for tweens. I enjoyed it. It was well-written and had a nice theme of redemption and the need…”

1984
Book Review
December 6, 2014
120

“Brilliant book about a dystopian future brought about by the ‘perfection’ of politics and The State. The last act is particularly terrifying, both in raw descriptions of torture, and in the systematic…”

Airframe
Reading List
Book Review
June 4, 2017
55

“Solid thriller about the apparent cover-up of an inflight incident on trans-pacific flight. Lots of a super geeky airline industry information. If you like jets, this is your book. Fast-paced, page…”

All Systems Red
Reading List
Book Review
July 14, 2022
265

“This was recommended to me by a friend, and a Hacker News thread. It was recommended as a short work of fiction, and it is – it’s a novella, at best. ‘Murderbot’ (a name she gave herself) is a SecUnit…”

All the Light We Cannot See
Reading List
Book Review
August 25, 2019
89

“Shockingly good novel that will make for an Oscar-winning movie one day. It follows three separate narrative threads during World War II – a young radio operator in Hitler’s army, a blind girl forced…”

American Gods
Reading List
Book Review
December 31, 2015
243

“A wonderful book – some cross between a road trip buddy movie and a psychedelic drug experience. I’ll try not to spoil anything, but the basic premise is that when immigrants came to America, they…”

Another Ending
Reading List
Book Review
June 29, 2015
265

“I found this novel hard to read. First, as a 43-year-old male, I’m absolutely not the target demographic (full disclosure: the author is my niece). Second, as the father of two daughters, there are…”

Are You Sleeping
Reading List
Book Review
February 21, 2018
96

“Another book that I read for a women’s book club that I’m not actually in, but am following along with. Nothing I would ever choose to read myself, which made it that much better. It’s a wonderful,…”

Artificial Condition
Reading List
Book Review
July 17, 2022
194

“This is the second book of The Murderbot Diaries. Again, it’s a novella – only 149 pages. This picks up right after the first book. In this installment, she (1) helps a group of scientists get some…”

The Book of Strange New Things
Reading List
Book Review
July 3, 2017
166

“I don’t know where to go with this one. I read it on a recommendation from a friend. It’s…religious science fiction? Is that a thing? The basic idea is that a pastor goes to another planet to try to…”

Brave New World
Reading List
Book Review
December 6, 2014
148

“Wonderful book about the advancement of science to the point where the human race is absorbed and amused by non-stop pleasure and triviality. Into this comes an outsider, and the examination of how he…”

Cannery Row
Reading List
Book Review
May 23, 2018
92

“Nice, short novel(la?) by Steinbeck. He creates a great sense of place, and a great cast of characters, through little side anecdotes that have nothing to do with the main action of the plot. It’s a…”

Casino Royale
Reading List
Book Review
November 6, 2021
76

“Wonderful graphic adaption of Fleming’s first novel. It obviously abridges somewhat, but the artwork is unique, and there’s a neat element of ‘floating words’ that represent what Bond is thinking…”

Change Agent
Reading List
Book Review
March 14, 2019
313

“I enjoy Suarez – I’ve been reading him since ‘Daemon,’ which was so good. He has a great ability to envision how technologies we deal with today would be manifested in extremes down the road. The…”

The Copper Scroll
Reading List
Book Review
March 31, 2022
345

“This is Christian/Conservative spy fiction, if that’s even a thing? It’s perhaps telling that the cover has a praise quote from Rush Limbaugh, and there’s another from Sean Hannity on the inside…”

Cutting for Stone
Reading List
Book Review
September 21, 2021
237

“Absolutely stunning novel. I had heard of the book for years. My mother was born in Ethiopia in the 1940s (my grandparents were missionaries from New Zealand), and several people had told me that the…”

Death of a Salesman
Reading List
Book Review
July 7, 2018
74

“Clearly a great play, but hard to read. You know what’s coming all along, and you sort of dread it the entire time. I got a feeling of impending doom throughout the entire thing. It was hard to pick…”

Delta-V
Reading List
Book Review
June 17, 2019
375

“Daniel Saurez writes about the future…but not too far into the future. His books are all about the world in 10-15 years, which is ‘the future,’ technically, but not so far out to be unrelatable….”

Divergent
Reading List
Book Review
August 31, 2021
194

“I read this on a friend’s recommendation. I’m trying to read more fiction. I enjoyed it. It’s a young adult novel, so you get the familiar tropes: adolescent facing a major choice, problems with…”

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Reading List
Book Review
May 16, 2021
333

“(This is the book that was the inspiration for the 1982 movie Blade Runner. The association is very loose, through. The movie and the book have little in common.) This is ‘philosophical science…”

Dracula
Reading List
Book Review
July 10, 2018
95

“Great novel. Does not read like it was written 121 years ago. Genuinely terrifying in parts. Suffers a bit in the middle as the characters run around London, and I got a little confused as to what…”

Dune
Reading List
Book Review
May 30, 2020
236

“This is a classic of science fiction, clearly. By some accounts, it’s the greatest sci-fi novel ever written. I had been meaning to tackle it for years, but this took on increased urgency with the new…”

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Reading List
Book Review
February 16, 2018
87

“Wonderful novel about a woman who has pushed the world away due to trauma in her past, and who has to rejoin mainstream society in order to confront her demons. This is normally way outside my area of…”

Ender's Game
Reading List
Book Review
October 30, 2016
28

“I did not write a review for this book.”

Fahrenheit 451
Reading List
Book Review
December 14, 2014
125

“I wasn’t a huge fan of Bradbury’s writing, but the story is quite good. The message of the book is similar to ‘Brave New World’ – in the future, humans are so artificially satisfied that thinking…”

The First Man in Rome
Reading List
Book Review
June 14, 2022
571

“This is a ‘historical novel.’ It’s sort of fiction, but sort of not. It’s a narrative of history, but apparently quite accurate. The book mainly follows two men: Gaius Marius (a real person) and…”

First Team
Reading List
Book Review
December 27, 2015
308

“I read this book because I loved Red Storm Rising (which Bond co-wrote) when I was in high school, and was looking for a way to recapture that. The result was mixed. This book was less ‘nation…”

A Game of Thrones
Reading List
Book Review
March 8, 2016
278

“A shockingly good novel. I normally wouldn’t have read this, because fantasy is a genre I don’t think I’ve read a single page of, but a friend (who is a huge fan – he has tattoos…) recommended it. By…”

A Gentleman in Moscow
Reading List
Book Review
April 1, 2019
362

“An absolutely lovely novel, which is – at its core – about the relationships we make, and specifically friendships that develop over extended periods of time. Alexander Rostov is an aristocrat who is…”

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War
Reading List
Book Review
September 27, 2015
244

“A fairly nondescript techno-thriller about World War 3. In my attempt to replicate my love of Red Storm Rising, I took a chance on it. It was okay. The plot centers around the Zumwalt, one of a…”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Reading List
Book Review
November 11, 2016
32

“I did not write a review for this book.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Reading List
Book Review
February 14, 2016
253

“This is my sixth Potter novel – I’ve read them all in order. Like the last one (‘The Order of the Phoenix’), this was long: somewhere close to 700 pages. And like that one, the book seemed to…”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Reading List
Book Review
October 7, 2014
164

“A good installment in the series, but overly long. At 900 pages, it was the longest so far. She could have cut a third of the book out and told the same story. There were hundreds of pages in the…”

Highland Defender
Reading List
Book Review
September 22, 2021
345

“This was another book that someone bought me for my birthday as a joke. So, of course, I read it. I’m glad I did. It wasn’t as terrible as I feared (that’s a wildly elitist statement, I know). It’s…”

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Reading List
Book Review
April 24, 2018
92

“I’m only giving this two stars because it was interesting to see the source of a lot of pop culture references that I’ve grown up with. The book itself is awful. It’s an attempt at absurd parody that…”

The Hobbit
Reading List
Book Review
September 8, 2018
89

“Honestly, I didn’t love it, which I know is heretical, but it was very episodic – just random episodes kind of strung together with very little unifying plot. This is likely due to the fact that it’s…”

The Illuminatus! Trilogy
Reading List
Book Review
September 5, 2016
489

“So, here’s the thing: I shouldn’t have read this book. More importantly, I should have stopped reading this book when it became clear that it would never make sense. But I didn’t. Back in the 80s, I…”

Interface
Reading List
Book Review
December 3, 2017
78

“An entertaining novel about a corrupted political campaign in the then-future year of 1996. A political candidate gets a microchip implanted in his head, which is used to control his actions while at…”

The Knowledge
Reading List
Book Review
December 27, 2021
267

“I literally picked up this book because I’ve always been intrigued by The Knowledge, which is the test of city geography that London’s black cab drivers have to pass before they get licensed. It’s…”

The Last Days
Reading List
Book Review
April 30, 2022
185

“I’ve read two other books in this series, and they’ve been amazing. This one was…less so. It reminded me of The Phantom Menace, which was a Star Wars movie that was more about political maneuvering…”

The Last Jihad
Reading List
Book Review
April 8, 2022
265

“This is a first-rate political/military thriller. Some backstory: Joel Rosenberg wrote five books in the ‘Last Jihad’ series. Someone gave me book #4 – ‘The Copper Scroll’ – and I loved it. So, now…”

The Last Magician
Reading List
Book Review
April 28, 2019
250

“Not my jam, really, but my son and his girlfriend were reading it, so I decided to give it a shot. There are a lot of characters, and time travel is involved, so the book is all over the place. At any…”

Legacy
Reading List
Book Review
September 30, 2018
131

“Strange little book. I wanted to read some Michener without commitment, and this is the shortest Michener book. It’s a short family history, told in flashback by a contemporary solider preparing to…”

A Legacy of Spies
Reading List
Book Review
May 28, 2018
193

“Fifty pages into this, I was thinking ‘Man, I should never buy John Le Carre…’ His novels are so…administrative; so hard to follow. The book recovers a bit, though. It turns into a tragic love story,…”

Licence Expired: The Unauthorized James Bond
Reading List
Book Review
December 10, 2018
103

“Absolutely loved this book of James Bond short stories. Since it’s not canon, it takes so much…license, with the character and the series. There’s a Bond/Cthulu mashup, Bond as a teenager at Eton, a…”

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Reading List
Book Review
August 31, 2020
103

“I read this as the second novel in the series. It’s better than the first one (‘The Magician’s Nephew’), but still pretty thin. There are no layers to the story of the plot – it’s very linear, very…”

The Lions of Lucerne
Reading List
Book Review
May 17, 2020
187

“I bailed out of this just after the halfway point. I was looking for a spy thriller series to get into, but this just left me flat. There’s some poor writing here. Don’t bother forming your own…”

The Love of the Last Tycoon
Reading List
Book Review
May 25, 2018
287

“‘The Last Tycoon’ was the unfinished novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald – he died while writing it. This text is the unfinished manuscript – it ends, quite abruptly, with a note that says ‘The manuscript…”

The Magician's Nephew
Reading List
Book Review
August 31, 2020
114

“This was a later book in the series, but was written as a prequel. I read it first, before any of the other books. It’s…okay, I guess? Clearly, it’s exposition. Lewis is trying to clean up a bunch of…”

The Manchurian Candidate
Reading List
Book Review
February 19, 2017
64

“One of the best novels I’ve ever read. Incredibly suspenseful with a fantastic payoff in the end. There’s a sentence 84% of the way through (according to my Kindle) that had me literally slack-jawed…”

Manna
Reading List
Book Review
November 9, 2014
133

“The first three chapters which lay out the scenario of mass worker displacement by robots are quite interesting. After that, the book descends into bad science fiction and presents many fundamentally…”

The Merchant of Venice
Reading List
Book Review
December 26, 2014
252

“For the record, I didn’t read the raw play, but rather the book ‘The Merchant of Venice’ by Modern Library. This book has the script, a scene-by-scene analysis, and about as much commentary from…”

Much Ado About Nothing
Reading List
Book Review
January 3, 2016
231

“Wonderful play. I continue to be amazed at Shakespeare’s ability to write about the human condition, and have those observations be perfectly relevant 400 years later. As with The Merchant of Venice I…”

Murder on the Orient Express
Reading List
Book Review
June 16, 2018
111

“I had just seen the movie, so I knew what the big plot twist was. In that sense, I was reading it less for the story, and more to get a feel for how Christie wrote. Turns out, she writes well – very…”

New York 2140
Reading List
Book Review
April 16, 2017
49

“Didn’t love it. Was confused for most of it. Lots of characters and some of the summation at the end didn’t make sense. Additionally, a lot of political moralizing.”

Pandora's Star
Reading List
Book Review
August 18, 2020
106

“The definition of an epic sci-fi novel. This a long read, and prepare yourself for the second one, because the first one leaves a lot of questions unanswered. There are a ton of different story…”

A Piece of Cake
Reading List
Book Review
September 14, 2016
238

“My daughter bought me this for my birthday. She had read the back of it at the bookstore, and ‘thought I would find it interesting.’ It was riveting. It’s actually a fairly nondescript story of…”

The Portrait of a Lady
Reading List
Book Review
July 6, 2018
89

“A ‘novel of manners,’ much ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ It’s a long story of the coming of age of an American girl in Europe. Large scope, and gets tedious in the middle – I felt like there were about 100…”

Prey
Reading List
Book Review
June 6, 2017
44

“Another page-turner. More horror than science, unlike Airframe. Truly scary in places, with a nihilistic bent. Got me wondering if this is something that could actually happen.”

Pride and Prejudice
Reading List
Book Review
July 18, 2016
411

“I read this for a nascent classics book club I have become a part of. Sadly, I didn’t like it. It was a long haul, and I wouldn’t have finished it if not for the obligation. The book is…”

Ready Player One
Reading List
Book Review
September 14, 2016
305

“If you were a geek in the 80s, your book has arrived. The author is one year younger than me, and I half-suspect he was simply trying to cram as many 80s geek references into a single book as he…”

The Screwtape Letters
Reading List
Book Review
July 11, 2018
29

“I did not write a review for this book.”

The Secret of the Old Mill
Reading List
Book Review
September 21, 2021
153

“My neighbor bought me this for my 50th birthday as a joke. Just to spite him, I read it. It’s about what you would expect. It was written in 1962 and it shows. Lots of ‘fellows’ and ‘chums’ and…”

SilverFin
Reading List
Book Review
June 25, 2022
472

“This is the first novel in the Young Bond series. It covers James Bond in 1933 when he’s a 13-year-old boy at Eton. The date setting of the novel is actually never mentioned. I was trying to…”

Snow Crash
Reading List
Book Review
February 2, 2017
27

“I did not write a review for this book.”

Solo
Reading List
Book Review
May 25, 2021
158

“I’m an old-school James Bond fan. I’ve read every original novel (the Fleming novels), and most the later novels (Gardener, Benson, and some others). I’ll come out and say it: this is the best…”

The Sun Also Rises
Reading List
Book Review
October 25, 2016
29

“I did not write a review for this book.”

Their Eyes Were Watching God
Reading List
Book Review
April 13, 2015
114

“One of those books which you know is Very Significant, but that which you wouldn’t read for any other reason. The dialect (emancipated slaves in Florida at the turn of the century) is hard to read,…”

Trigger Mortis
Reading List
Book Review
June 30, 2021
100

“Entertaining, but not the best Bond I’ve read. It involves Bond racing at Le Mans, which is new, and there’s a very interesting post-script about how this was Ian Fleming’s idea, and Horowitz used…”

Uncommon Type
Reading List
Book Review
January 25, 2022
296

“A lovely little book of short stories by Tom Hanks. The hook is that every story ‘features’ a typewriter in some way (in quotes, because some appearances are brief – Hanks apparently collects old…”

War and Peace
Reading List
Book Review
November 28, 2014
340

“So, what can you say about this book that has been said a million times? It’s many things in one: a novel, a history, a philosophy, etc. I enjoyed reading it. It took me 50 days of fairly consistent…”

The War of the Worlds
Reading List
Book Review
December 14, 2014
211

“Simply a great read. A very fast-moving account of what a Martian invasion might look like at the turn of the 20th century (it was written in 1898). The author captures the subtle movement from…”