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Johan

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Crime Wave
Crime Wave

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not really a wave, but still good crime..., 24 May 2011
This review is from: Crime Wave (Kindle Edition)
Firstly, it's a bad title. There are two stories here, one pretty long, like a novella, the other one more like a short story...and I don't think you could call this a crime wave.

Secondly, it's quite good. I don't know why, as the first story starts in the style of a screenplay, and everyone knows screenplays are not for reading...but it's not overdone, and you find out that it was a flashback anyway, so it's quite a nice twist to have it done that way, like a movie.

The writing's pretty good. Not out of this world, but it's got a nice flow and I wasn't bored at any point. Both stories aren't straightforward, and I wouldn't call them crime thrillers but they are about crime, I guess. The first one starts with this big guy coming out of prison in Hong Kong and he's trying to lead a quiet life, but he gets a job as a bouncer and falls for one of the girls, and it's all normal and expected, but then his best friend comes back as a ghost. But not really a ghost. Does this make sense? Reading this back, not really, but when I was reading it, I found it quite compelling.

If you like your crime a bit weird and different then you'll probably get something out of this. And for a dollar it's good value.


L.A. Confidential [1997] [DVD]
L.A. Confidential [1997] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kevin Spacey
Offered by 101Trading
Price: 3.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Strong adaptation, but Hollywood ending, 24 May 2011
I think everyone's already said this for the last ten years or so, but this is an amazing adaptation of the book. Most of the actors suit their roles really well, especially Guy Pierce, who is such a schemer. I think Ellroy liked him the best too, so that's the best praise you can ever get.

The only thing that doesn't really work is the ending. Why does everything have to be resolved so easily? It's better in the books where not all the bad guys get killed, and Dudley is like an ultimate devil figure who is omnipresent in LA. You open the fridge and he might be in there, ha.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 20, 2011 1:43 PM BST


Destination: Morgue
Destination: Morgue
by James Ellroy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but Hollywood stories save it, 23 May 2011
This review is from: Destination: Morgue (Paperback)
I only half-liked this one, and because it's Ellroy I kept reading when if it were any other writer i probably would've given up.

I don't have much to say about it either. I usually find Ellroy's style of short sentences to work well in the novels, but not so much in these stories, some of which are non-fiction. The first story about his dad and boxing was almost painful, in a bad way. I got so bored and kept turning ahead to see when it would finish. I guess short sentences when you're describing the past isn't so great, whereas in a plot of action it works much better.

The fiction stories are better. The ugly cop and Donna the movie star, I thought they had a really strong relationship. And they only saw each other when there was a murder or crisis, which is a theme I like a lot. When things are normal they have no interest in each other and aren't boring enough to give it a try.

Another thing about this book is that some of the non-fiction stories are Ellroy's pursuit of real life murder cases. It does drag a little bit as he keeps doing his short sentences, but it's also involving because you know some of the cases might not get solved. Makes you feel very sad for the victims and you want to go back in time and save them yourself.


Maximum Bob
Maximum Bob
by Elmore Leonard
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Leonard with a twist, 23 May 2011
This review is from: Maximum Bob (Paperback)
There's the threat of alligators [or crocs?] the whole way through this book. And Bob is such an unlikable guy you start to hope one of them might crawl out and eat him.

But he's charismatic too, in a weird, shouldn't really work kind of way. I like this about Leonard, the way he puts people like Bob in there, people you can't turn away from even when he's trying to sleaze onto the main female character. A definite plus. Actually, she's not just the main female character, she's the main character full stop. There's the other cop, who seems like he might get together with her, but it's mostly the woman's show. She's a bit like Karen Sisco from Out of Sight...I only saw the movie of that story so I'm not sure if the name's the same in the book...tough yet compassionate, and not crazy enough to go for a guy like Bob, no matter how much cash he has.

Best part of this comes about two thirds of the way through. I won't spoil it but it's a plot twist that really took me by surprise, and only Leonard could really pull this kind of thing off.


Charcoal
Charcoal

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, self-indulgent, almost-brilliant..., 1 April 2011
This review is from: Charcoal (Kindle Edition)
I read the witch book by the same author, and this one was very cheap, so I gave it a shot. It's fantasy too, but it's not the same kind of fantasy as the witch book. This is no fairytale. In fact, the subject matter is very serious, and when the first few pages start talking about suicide, it did make me wonder if I wanted to continue through this journey. But I'm very glad I did.
Good points - It's amazingly easy to read. There are no paragraphs, more like single lines one after the other, a relentless kind of pace, and there were only a couple of parts where I was bored. A lot of the book is about suicide, but it's not overwhelmingly depressing. The main character actually wants to live life and hates the idea of killing himself, and there's a good story idea in the way he tries to prevent the Korean model from taking her own life.
Some of the writing in this is beautiful. It's hard to explain it exactly but there's a kind of rhythm and beauty to the words and sentences the author chooses to write.
Bad points - A lot of the ideas in this are truly challenging. I imagine there are some people who will hate what they read here. For example, the main character explains his thoughts and quite early on in the book we hear some racist remarks about the Chinese people walking past him. And then later we see him worrying that he might hit or rape a 17 year old girl. This is dark, dark, subject matter and a lot of people might not be able to handle it. However, there are other people who will think it's the most open, honest and intelligent thing they've read in a long time, and that's pretty much where I sit.
There's not a lot more to say really. Another reviewer said it right, people will either love or hate this book, but they should read it to find out where they lie.


Ljubljana Witch
Ljubljana Witch

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's intelligence in this castle..., 1 April 2011
This review is from: Ljubljana Witch (Kindle Edition)
I was a bit apprehensive when I came across this book. The title seemed absurd and I thought, what is this rubbish? But I read the sample, and the style was kinda interesting and it pulled me in.
Good points - I think the author has a very unique style in the way he writes. I don't really know how to explain it but it's really easy to read, but also challenging at times. As I've written in the title, there is an intelligence in this writing that blindsides you. It doesn't always work, but the best example of this is probably the part of the book set in the art commune. There is a lot going on here and you really get the feeling of an adventure happening as well as intelligent discussion of art and what it is exactly.
The characters are quite brilliant for most of the book. The main character is a little hard to like at times, and maybe overly-self-involved, but the supporting cast, especially the witch, are compelling. She really is unlike anything I've read in this genre before, but then I haven't read much so perhaps that's empty praise.
Bad points - There's one character who's American and occasionally racist, and honestly, I felt it hard to understand what exactly the author was trying to say in his portrayal. I mean, it was a challenge to read a character that was saying these stupid, ignorant things, but overall I don't think the author quite pulled it off. But a lot of merit for trying.
Also, the book does leave you wanting a lot more. Where is the sequel?


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