Tunnel Vision by Aric Davis

I have many problems with the book, on two separate levels: poorly plotted and ridiculous on the first level, badly designed and poorly printed on the second.

When it comes to the plot and the like, please believe the other reviewers with the one and two star ratings: the plot is so ridiculous as to be throw away. I’m all about the suspension of disbelief, but, this book pushes far beyond any galaxy I know of into the bounds of the stupid. An 18-year-old running a marijuana growing operation, who’s also a private eye, who has his own house and thinks like a 40-year-old man? Give me a break.

Teenagers who solve a murder mystery? Again, break please.

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Man alive! by Mary Kay Zuravleff

Man Alive! by Mary Kay Zuravleff is a decent read. It starts strong, it seems like it has a decent enough middle but ends up just sort of plodding along to its ending. Despite some plot turns, some ratcheted-up drama, it just ends and by the end of the book I was happy just to be done.

In the end, I just don’t care that much about the characters, or maybe, I stopped caring.

I want to write more. I want to make this a long, in-depth review. I want to hit 600 words. But I can’t, because there isn’t enough to write about. It’s well written enough. It starts our interesting. Blah, blah, blah. Not bad, but the lack of a finish makes it just blah.

This book was received, free of charge, from the Goodreads First Reads program.


Robot & Frank & Fascism: A look at the near-future we don’t want to live in

This is not a review of Robot & Frank, an enjoyable film. This is about the future Robot & Frank imagines.

One critic does write specifically about the future imagined.

Joshua Topolsky at The Verge summed up his opinion in the last paragraph of his review:

“It’s also one of the few movies I’ve seen where the future is not a dystopic nightmare, 3D-generated phantasmagoria, or otherwise unbelievable peek into a not-too-distant hellworld. It’s future that seems real, palpable, and just around the corner — one where we have to figure out not just what our technology will do to us, but what it will mean to us.”

But Topolsky is wrong. Let’s be clear: I’m bias. My job as a criminal justice reporter for a weekly newspaper in a small community means I’m more aware of what police may be able to do, and what they may not be able to do and when they’re violating somebody’s rights.

Very few, if any, of the critics I read picked up on the fascist state director Jake Schreier and writers Christopher D. and Christopher Paul Ford conjured up. It is, I imagine, the result of a creeping fascist state.

The main character, Frank (played by Frank Langella) is a retired cat burglar with varying degrees of dementia. His son gets him a robot to take care of him and the robot’s main directive appears to be Frank’s health, even if that means helping and allowing him to commit burglary, something that engages him intellectually.
(Far more than the robot’s love, gardening.)


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The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

The Paying Guests, despite the critical acclaim, is nothing more than an extremely bloated exercise in supposedly literary fiction.

At 564 pages, big pages, it’s a door stop and a slog and a bore. Really, The Paying Guests could be 150 pages and not lose a single thing. Around page 260, something actually happened. The first thing of any real substance.

Any real plot developments in The Paying Guests are overshadowed by the endless parade of bloated thoughts from the narrator. The bloated thoughts aren’t interesting or engaging. Rather, they’re pointless drivel.

The book is a period piece, it speaks to a certain time and it might actually carry some great weight about the status of women in a patriarchic society. It might, but I don’t know because all of the worthless words bogged it down so far that I ceased to care a long, long time ago.

The paying guests is not worth reading, or buying. Maybe an abridged version would carry less real weight and more of the metaphorical kind. I can only hope.

This book was received, free of charge, from the Goodreads First Reads program. All quotes come from an uncorrected proof for limited distribution and may, or may not, reflect the final copy. Just don’t know!

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