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Calvin "mike_k99" (Upper Darby, PA United States)

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The Abominable
The Abominable
by Dan Simmons
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.72

3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings..., 15 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Abominable (Hardcover)
I have read almost all the books by Dan Simmons. I also happen to share too his interest in mountaineering and for the last 20 years I have read many books on the experiences of famous Himalayan mountain climbers such as Reinhold Messner. His latest, lengthy novel "The Abominable" is historical fiction related to that subject. After reading the novel, I find that it is characterized by the same problem that exists in his latest novels: excessive chatter (spoilers ahead). In fact, even the characters of the novel chatter excessively at an altitude of 28,000 feet, although it is well known that it is very difficult to talk much there, due to the low atmospheric pressure and extreme fatigue. Well, not only the characters talk much but they also accomplish superhuman acts that do not make much sense. Therefore suspension of disbelief is not achieved while reading this novel. The book is so full with technical details on climbing techniques, equipment e.t.c that the reader looses the motivation to read after a while. A map of Everest on the first pages (like in the Terror book) showing the locations of the Camps. would have helped the readers follow better the description of the whereabouts of the characters. There is no DRIVE to keep turning the pages as there used to be in novels such as SONG OF KALI, HYPERION, A WINTER HAUNTING or THE TERROR. And the revelations near the end of the novel are not convincing, within the constraints of real historical events.
On the positive side, the patient reader may enjoy this novel. As usual for a Simmons book, it is well-researched ( although I found some errors) and manages to mentally transport you to the time of early-mid 20th century. The length of it, allows time for good character development and in fact, by the end. you find that you “care” about the characters of the story.

Decoding the Heavens: Solving the Mystery of the World's First Computer
Decoding the Heavens: Solving the Mystery of the World's First Computer
by Jo Marchant
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very readable book, 21 Mar 2013
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I really enjoyed reading this book. I kept turning pages and finished it off very fast, since it is very clearly written. I live in Athens, Greece and afterwards I visited the museum to see again the Antikythera mechanism but with very different eyes, thanks to this wonderful book. I would only recommend a few more photos, maps and diagrams in the text.

Eco - Stepper Folding Electric bike - Black, 20 Inch
Eco - Stepper Folding Electric bike - Black, 20 Inch

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good bike for its price - Terrible manuals, 21 Mar 2013
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This is a very nice compact electric bike. The power assist is a big help on hills ( a couple of days ago on a hill I passed a guy with huge thigh muscles) but I prefer to turn off the power assist on flat roads in order to get some exersise. My only complaint is that the manuals for the bike and the battery are written in very bad English, miss basic instructions and also have bad photos that show parts of another model! The manual for the battery seems to be a direct chinese-to-english translation by a computer program. I don't understand how a company that designed such a nice bike, did not pay enough attention and hire somebody who knows proper Englsh to write a decent manual. Also the headlight keeps falling off. It would be nice also if they had a power plug adaptor for my country.

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