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Entries from Jun 2010

Michael Kaminski: The Secret History of Star Wars

30 Jun 2010 · No Comments

The foremost thing I want to note about The Secret History of Star Wars is that I found fascinating nuggets throughout the whole book. Next, that it represents a hell of a lot of work on Kaminski’s part — it weighs in at over 600 pages. Third, that it would benefit greatly from a strong [...]

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Tags: criticism · history · k-author · s-title

Dave Zeltserman: Small Crimes

30 Jun 2010 · No Comments

I ran across the elevator pitch for the third of Zeltserman’s “Badass Gets Out of Jail” books and thought it sounded more than a little Charlie Huston-esque, so I checked out the first in the series, Small Crimes.
Turns out it’s not the same badass — each book starts with a (different) felon being released from [...]

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Tags: s-title · suspense · z-author

Matthew Quick: Sorta Like a Rock Star

18 Jun 2010 · No Comments

Sorta Like a Rock Star provided an interesting juxtaposition to The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To: Amber Appleton’s high school life is pretty rough — she starts the novel sleeping in the school bus her alcoholic mother has somehow not gotten fired from driving — but at least none of the challenges [...]

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Tags: q-author · s-title · young adult

D.C. Pierson: The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To

12 Jun 2010 · 2 Comments

Here are a few of the things I love about The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To:

When Pierson’s characters talk about bands, the made up names, e.g., The Boy Who Cried Sparrow, sound so believable I had to use Google to make sure they weren’t real.
This book has the most realistic depiction ever [...]

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Tags: alphabetical-author · b-title · fantasy · p-author · science fiction · young adult

Daniel Pinkwater: The Neddiad

11 Jun 2010 · No Comments

While I was reading it, The Neddiad reminded forcefully of two other authors’ works in a specific, if somewhat slanted way. The obvious one was Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, because Neddie Wentworthstein’s narrative voice struck me as similarly authentic and adolescent. The other eluded me for a while, but I finally [...]

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Tags: fantasy · n-title · p-author · young adult

Michael Flynn: The January Dancer

04 Jun 2010 · No Comments

The January Dancer impressed me on many levels. Its milieu has a vividness that reminded me of Simmons’ Hyperion, Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun and Banks’ Culture novels, and, as those works do, Flynn’s tackles some familiar sci-fi concepts with literary ambition substantially beyond escapism. Flynn’s world-building is especially impressive — he takes a [...]

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Tags: f-author · j-title · science fiction

Chelsea Handler: Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea; My Horizontal Life

02 Jun 2010 · No Comments

I enjoyed these books more when I stopped thinking of them as literal, factual memoirs, and more as fiction in the uncomfortable-funny vein of Michael Scott or David Brent. Handler’s character is less a poster-girl for bad decision-making (although there’s some of that for sure) than a celebration of unchecked id. I suspect for [...]

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Tags: a-title · autobiography · h-author · m-title