Helpful votes received on reviews: 71% (164 of 230)
Location: New Haven, CT
Birthday: 24 Aug
In My Own Words:
I am currently pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. In addition to my philosophical pursuits, I try to keep my cultural palate balanced by feeding my love for popular music, theatre, literature, baseball, cheese, and wine. I also enjoy films, dance, and modern art, but I know less about those things. I am an unabashed modernist in my artistic tastes.


Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,119,651 - Total Helpful Votes: 164 of 230
The Upright Piano Player by David Abbott
The Upright Piano Player by David Abbott
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Conservative, 28 Jun 2010
What came across most strongly in reading 'The Upright Piano Player' was its conservatism, both in literary terms and in the social, cultural and political attitudes it conveyed. The author is a retired corporate executive and the main character is a...retired corporate executive. Write what you know, I guess. It's a breezy read, plot-driven and brief, but I felt the pace too quick at times. We are introduced to a flurry of characters and don't get the chance to know or empathise with many of them. I also felt that the structural device of starting with a brief section 5 years after the main action didn't work. The tragedy of the opening feels disconnected from the rest, yet hangs over it… Read more
Amulet by Roberto Bolano
Amulet by Roberto Bolano
2.0 out of 5 stars Rambling, 15 Jun 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Perhaps this is the wrong book to begin with for a Bolano newcomer such as myself: though short, its brevity is at the price of any trace of the epic vision Bolano is said to display in his other books. Nevertheless, I found it very disappointing. The book is a stream-of-consciousness tale of the bohemian scene of Mexico City in the 60s and 70s driven by an unreliable narrator. Unfortunately the unreliable narrator is not employed subtly, with the unreliability hitting you round the head, chiefly exhibited through obvious date mix-ups and failure to remember whether particular episodes even occurred. Furthermore, the book's structure is not 'complex', as one can imagine its devotees might… Read more
Mr Toppit by Charles Elton
Mr Toppit by Charles Elton
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent debut, 6 Sep 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Let's start with the positives. The premiss of this book is engaging, crafting its story round an imaginary series of children's books, and its never-encountered figure of doom, Mr Toppit. The characters are well-drawn, particularly Luke and Martha. Elton is often amusing, subtly poking fun at his own characters without shouting the jokes from the rooftops, burying ironic references into first-person narratives or neutral observation. And you do find yourself caring for Luke and empathising with him.

Where for me 'Mr Toppit' fell down was that I never knew quite what Elton was driving at; what the point of the book was. Is it supposed to be commentary, on the destructiveness of… Read more

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