A couple of months ago I received an email from a group that associates itself with Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (It was a novel that opened my eyes). PBS Television is holding a “Great American Read” contest. The email from the group noted that along with Atlas Shrugged, such novels like Fifty Shades of Gray were listed. The impetus was to not allow Gray to make it and not Shrugged. The list is very interesting and I’ve been voting pretty much every day since…and not just for Atlas Shrugged.
Archive for August, 2018
“Harry managed to get an overall sense of how the Apocalypse was going to go down. It was his knowledge of these imminent events that had propelled him to build his media empire. He wanted to be ready to proclaim The End when it came. Harry had always been cognizant of the danger of becoming so wrapped up in the business of empire building that he would miss out on his true calling, to be the harbinger of the Apocalypse.”
“Troy knew that this was the moment most people would begin to scream and flail, their fight and flight reflexes tripping all over one another. He remained motionless. Analyzing. He had learned at a very young age the wisdom of lying low and keeping quiet. In orphanages things had usually worked out better that way. In the army they still did.”
“It was walking down a dark street, late at night, knowing that you were the most powerful creature there, that there was absolutely nothing, no one, that could fuck with you. Until she had been changed and had stalked the city as a vampire, she never realized that virtually every moment she had been there as a woman, she had been a little bit afraid. A man would never understand. That was the reason for the dress and the shoes—not to attract a minion, but to throw her sexuality out there on display, dare some underevolved male to make the mistake of seeing her as a victim.”
With characters named Jack Spratt, Mary Mary, Goldilocks, and the Gingerbreadman, there is no doubt of the nursery rhyme connection to this murder mystery. In The Fourth Bear author Jasper Fforde blends some familiar characters with a murder mystery. Jack Spratt heads the Nursery Crime Division of a local police department and investigates crimes by nursery characters.
“Gabriel remained in the window longer than he should have, watching the shrinking taillight of the motorcycle, pursued by the blacked-out Passat. When the two vehicles were gone, he looked down at the man lying in the street. Snow whitened him. He was as dead as a man could be. He was dead, thought Gabriel, before he arrived in Vienna. Dead before he left Moscow.”
It’s hard to believe that Spymaster is the eighteenth in the Scot Harvath series. Harvath finds himself pulled in many directions as the poor health of his boss and mentor necessitates more time at base while world events involving the assassinations of NATO officials pull him to the field. Though not “ripped from the headlines” this thriller seems to highlight some of the NATO issues currently being debated in the world. Can Harvath and his colleagues keep America from being pulled into a world war that no one except for an evil empire?
Hearing Voices is a different kind of action adventure novel as three people work together to save themselves, innocent people, and perhaps the world. While that’s not an unusual collaboration, in the case of Isaac Blaze, his two “partners” were in his mind. So the three of them (Isaac, a woman, and a man) team together to solve mysteries and almost as often, save themselves from certain death.
“Blue is glory and power, a wave, a particle, a vibration, a resonance, a spirit, a passion, a memory, a vanity, a metaphor, a dream.
Blue is a simile.
Blue, she is like a woman.”
I have read and enjoyed a number of novels by Christopher Moore and they all have been a bit unusual. Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art takes place in France circa the late 1800’s at a time when some of the most famous painters in history were active. Told mostly through the eyes of a baker’s son who wants nothing more than to NOT bake and just paint. Something strange seems to happen to some of the artists, the color bleu, a beautiful muse, and bread. Okay the bread part may be a stretch. This is not an art novel, but more of a murder mystery set in a lively bohemian time in history.
“The indestructible, irrepressible Bunny McGarry. But Johnny knew better. What didn’t kill you didn’t always make you stronger. There’d long been that sadness at the eye of the storm, but these days there seemed to be more of it. Still, this, today, whatever it may be, was something very different. He’d never seen him like this.”
It’s kind of hard to not see the spoiler alert when the book cover has the tombstone of Bunny McCarry AND the book is called Last Orders! The book picks up where the third in the Dublin Trilogy (this is the fourth book) left off with Bridgit and Paul fighting and their fledgling detective agency falling apart around them. Bunny makes brief appearances as he deals with his past demons coming back to haunt him…literally haunting him.
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