Wednesday, August 24, 2005

All Is Vanity (by Christina Schwarz)

We listened to this while driving across the country and then discussed it when we stopped at the Grandma Max's next to the Motel 6 in Where Am I, Nebraska. It's a very different experience from sitting down and reading a book, so take it with the appropriate grain of salt.

We (Jen and I) picked the book apart pretty mercilessly. There's a lot of detail about certain things, and then certain other things get completely glossed over. There are at least two major confrontations--actually three--that are skipped over completely. One of the main characters barely gets one line in the novel, even though he's centrally affected by the action.

The characters are compelling and very convincing, and on that level, Schwarz succeeds brilliantly. And the themes of the novel are totally convincing and ring true. But there are problems with the structure and the plotting and even the weird foreshadowing that doesn't do anything productive... I don't know. It's uneven. Some of it is sloppy and bad, and other parts are funny and brilliant. I halfway recommend it. (Especially if you're driving across the country.)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Fatal Mountaineer (by Robert Roper)

I was almost forced into reading this one. More later.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Into Cold Blood (by Truman Capote)

I could have sworn I wrote a whole paragraph about this book. Hmm, that's very strange. It's obviously been a while since I read it. I think what I said before (in the mysterious disappearing paragraph) was that it is a compelling story, but probably more important for its influence than its intrinsic value. I mean Capote can really write, but it's not anything exceptional in the way of true crime sagas. I did tear through it though; I did enjoy it. I know I wrote this before, too. Weird.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Eleven on Top (Janet Evanovich)

More of the same. Morelli vs. Ranger, cars exploding, wacky family, donuts, hamster, etc. Her new job is interesting and I hope that continues. Other than that, it is really just more of the same. Fun, but far from essential.