Saturday, April 13, 2013

Books of February 2013

Looking at the list below, I kind of sucked butt in the month of February, though, in my defense I did read the unabridged version of Les Miserables which is at least 8,000 pages long!

From a Buick 8 by Stephen King - Another quirky novel by Stephen King.  Think "Christine" with a science-fiction-time-travel-horror twist.  Yep, what could possible go wrong?  Actually I found this tale intriquing even though it was a little bizarre.  Local bumpkin county mounties find an abandoned old Buick that starts spitting out grotesque aliens from another dimension.  Who else but King could have something like this published, meaning he can get anything published!  3 out of 5 stars.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo - My third reading of Hugo's masterpiece, the second time unabridged, though it has been about 20 years.  What can I say?  Unless you've you were born before the mid 1850s, everyone knows the story, popularized by many movies and a fantastic, albeit bloated musical.  If you're curious about the day-to-day living of an early 19th century Bishop in France, or a complete retelling of the battle of Waterloo where only a paragraph of 50 pages ties into the overall story, or you want to know how nuneries in 1832 worked, or... well you get the picture.  There's a lot of extraneous information to be found in the unabridged version of this classic telling, some of it fascinating, some of it dreadful.  Overall, a wonderful story and one of my favorite reads of all time.  Stick to the abridged version if uninitiated.  5 out of 5 stars.

The Two Minute Rule by Robert Crais - A book by Crais that's not part of the Elvis Cole series.  It's pretty much the story about a couple of bank heists, hence the title, supposedly two minutes is all the time one should take when robbing a bank.  I wonder if that's true for a sperm bank?  Anyway, it's a decent read and well written, I just never found myself getting too attached to the main character.  3 out of 5 stars.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair - Every wanted to become a vegetarian?  Read this book.  It's the story of an immigrant family that comes to Chicago in the early 1900s who are forced to earn a living working in the infamous meat packing district.  What goes on and how the industry is described in the book is truly horrendous.  Not to mention the lugubrious manner in which the "undesirables" of Chicago had to live at that time.  And I thought "Angela's Ashes" was the most depressing book about immigrants I had ever read!  Not for the faint of heart and definitely not a happy read.  The only downside to the story, for me, was toward the end it started to really go over the top.  4 out of 5 stars.

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