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"Book Reviews" by Token

Snaggletiger

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Re: "Book Reviews" by Token
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2015, 10:49:34 AM »
Yan...Bubie....I know you prorry no speak good Engrish...but this Book review.  Not video. 
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Headin' for the south lands
Lookin' for some fun
Down below that dixie mason
I know your the one
My tongue is chasin' my eyes are wide
I can see paradise
I been down here once or twice
But I never seen it look so nice

Kaos

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Re: "Book Reviews" by Token
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2017, 09:48:33 AM »
Camino Island
-- John Grisham

John Grisham is a hack.  Plain and simple.  The guy peaked with A Time to Kill and has churned out pretty much nothing but plodding, repetitive garbage since.

His latest, Camino Island, is his attempt at departure from his typical lawyer, peril, Caribbean island themes.

It's terrible.  It's a slow paddle to nowhere with no real reason to care, no compelling characters, ridiculous contrivances and stilted, awful dialogue.  I've read GED essays that were put together better. 

Plodding, dreary, idiotic.  Just awful.  It starts slowly, never gains steam and then fizzles to a moronic end. 

The only redeeming quality is that one of the main characters attended Auburn.   
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GH2001

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Re: "Book Reviews" by Token
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2017, 10:27:42 AM »
Camino Island
-- John Grisham

John Grisham is a hack.  Plain and simple.  The guy peaked with A Time to Kill and has churned out pretty much nothing but plodding, repetitive garbage since.

His latest, Camino Island, is his attempt at departure from his typical lawyer, peril, Caribbean island themes.

It's terrible.  It's a slow paddle to nowhere with no real reason to care, no compelling characters, ridiculous contrivances and stilted, awful dialogue.  I've read GED essays that were put together better. 

Plodding, dreary, idiotic.  Just awful.  It starts slowly, never gains steam and then fizzles to a moronic end. 

The only redeeming quality is that one of the main characters attended Auburn.

Damn.

Dude called Grisham a hack. Harsh.

Replace Grisham with Spielberg, and Time to Kill with Saving Pvt Ryan. Does that hold true as well?

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Kaos

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Re: "Book Reviews" by Token
« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2017, 06:56:55 PM »
Damn.

Dude called Grisham a hack. Harsh.

Replace Grisham with Spielberg, and Time to Kill with Saving Pvt Ryan. Does that hold true as well?

Not to the same extent.  Spielberg has a much better catalog. 

Grisham's prose is insulting.  Written for third grade level reading.
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GH2001

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Re: "Book Reviews" by Token
« Reply #44 on: August 01, 2017, 09:30:09 PM »
Not to the same extent.  Spielberg has a much better catalog. 

Grisham's prose is insulting.  Written for third grade level reading.

Good to hear I can read it then.
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Kaos

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Re: "Book Reviews" by Token
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2019, 02:53:00 PM »
The Reckoning
-- John Grisham

After I deservedly trashed Grisham's amateurish and insulting Camino Island I felt like I should come back and give him the credit due for leaving the lazy behind in his most recent book The Reckoning. 

I almost didn't read it.  I'd grown incredibly tired of his half-assed efforts and recycled storylines.  If I read one more book where lawyer money was hidden in some Caribbean Island...

I'm glad I didn't shelve it. 

The Reckoning is a departure.  It's not A Time To Kill, but the story is compelling enough to keep you wanting to plow through it and get to the reasoning.  It's much closer to the book I wanted Grisham to write and a significant step above his lackadaisical efforts of the past decade or so. 

Pete Banning, a veteran of World War II, is wounded but survives the Japanese in the Pacific. In the early 1940s Banning returns to his Mississippi cotton farm. About a year after he returns, Banning walks into the parsonage at the Methodist church and shoots his pastor dead. 

The remainder of the book is a slow exposition of the rationale behind the killing -- which Pete never provides -- and follows the lives of the wrecked family he left in the wake of his act of violence.  It follows his trial and verdicts, but unlike most Grisham books it doesn't wallow in the courtroom theatrics.  Instead it moves fairly quickly through the mundane legal work and devotes the majority of its time to the people affected -- his mentally ill widow, his son, his daughter, his old maid sisters, the farmhands/house help who are a half step above slaves, his lawyers and the gossiping community. 

A big chunk of the book skips back in time and follows Pete's participation on the Pacific front in WWII.  .  It's difficult to imagine what the men of that era endured and Grisham does a good job of giving life to the horrific events.  Man's capacity for cruelty is astonishing.  Even though Grisham's work is fiction, he clearly relied on real life stories of the terrors inflicted on American soldiers as he marches through Banning's grim but inspiring war history. 

Banning's backstory took up at least a third of the book, maybe more.  And while it was definitely interesting, in retrospect it didn't really inform any of the other events of the story.  In that way it was almost like two completely disconnected books either of which might have been fine as a stand alone effort.  Had Banning's adventures motivated his actions in the Methodist parsonage in any way whatsoever, it might have been a better fit. 

I also figured out what had actually happened long before the exposition that came in the final few pages. The twist was sort of telegraphed  by some obvious story injections (and since you may read it, I won't tell you how)

The end of the book felt a little unfulfilling, like there were some more stories to tell.  Thing don't always wrap up neatly and sometimes the wrong people win.  But that's life, right?

Still, those are minor complaints for what was (in my opinion) the best Grisham book in quite a long while.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 03:01:38 PM by Kaos »
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If you want free cheese, look in a mousetrap.

Kaos

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Re: "Book Reviews" by Token
« Reply #46 on: November 24, 2020, 12:28:58 AM »
A Time for Mercy
Back to Grisham.  That bitch sure has a lot of my money. But not this time.
Got gifted his latest, A Time for Mercy. 

Grisham is back to trolling the same waters that made him famous.  With this book he's resurrecting Jack Brigance, Harry Rex, Lucien and the town of Clanton from A Time to Kill. 

It's clearly what he does best.  Most of his books after ATTK were the literary equivalent of CoolWhip. Very little substance.  Not necessarily bad, but of little substantive value.  I could typically read an entire Grisham book in a few hours at worst. 

Not this one.  I'm nowhere near done with it and it may fall completely apart in the second half, but this is where Grisham is really at his best.  In this town, with these people who were fully realized in the first book and then brought to cinematic life.  This is what he knows. This is who he is. And it shows.

I'm probably a little over 1/3 done and even if it sputters to a ridiculously stupid conclusion it's still better than anything he's written in decades. 

I kind of hope he just stays there from now on.  If he doesn't want to write about Brigance, fill in Lucien's backstory.  Take a deeper look into Harry Rex's history.  Just stay there for a while and tell the stories he knows, not the asinine "run to the Caribbean" ones he hacked out year after year.

I do read a lot of other stuff besides Grisham, I just never think to write about them here.  I try to read a book a week at least. 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 12:32:29 AM by Kaos »
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If you want free cheese, look in a mousetrap.