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  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,773 ✭✭✭ The White Feather


    I had reading logs here before so here I go again.I have a load of books to read in my house and I'd say i could literally open up a book shop!!

    Last year I only read 32 books which is poor in my view. The years before that I had read 56 and 69.

    I want to read at least 50 and the good news is that I am off and reading already! It's just keeping it going is the thing!

    I would tend to read thrillers mostly but also read classics, sci-fi and some non fiction too.Hopefully you might have read the same stuff as me or want to.

    I will always say what I thought of it and feel free to give your views as well.


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    It's time : My 360 view of the UFC by Bruce Buffer



    I like watching the UFC and if you didn't know, this guy is the announcer for them.Its his autobiography and mildly interesting. He has a very high opinion of himself throughout and thinks he is very important. It's almost laughable how valuable he thinks he is to the show.He proves my point in one story where he said he made a mistake while announcing a fighter.He was all upset over it and then apologised to the fighter afterward. The fighter hadn't even notice it and said no problem.While he adds a good bit, he is not why people are watching! Only if you are interested in the UFC read this. Otherwise don't bother.




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    Timeline by Michael Crichton

    This is a very good Sci Fi book about time travel back to the 14th century.Going back to that time does not sound exciting at all but Crichton makes it really good with a load of twists and turns.Making everything seem very believable is his forte and this had me really interested throughout the whole book.From jousting to sword fighting and physics of time travel, there are loads of good stuff in this.If you like thrillers and history like I do, then this one is definitely for you.




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    The First Rule by Robert Crais

    This is a crime novel about a home invasion where a family gets killed by Robert Crais and I have read him a lot. He really writes a good book and this is no different. This focuses on the sidekick Joe Pike rather than Elvis Cole and would not be as good as the usual ones but still is fun.Pike is the guy who is the hardman and Crais tries to tell his story rather than Cole the detective.The problem is Pike is never in danger at all as he is just too good. Too good at fighting and too good at shooting. It still had me gripped until the end where it suddenly seemed to fizzle out right at the end.

    The end left me a bit "is that it?" but otherwise it still is a good read if you like crime novels.




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    Diary by Chuck Pahlahniuk

    I am a huge fan of Chuck's work and had high hopes as usual. This is written in the form of a "Coma Diary". From the initial premise it just never really took off at all. It felt like this was a short story that he decided to broaden out to a full novel. It wasn't very exciting but as usual Chuck redeems it somewhat with a good ending! I didn't hate it but didn't love it either. It seemed like there wasn't much to it.Just for fans of Chuck only!!




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    State of Fear by Michael Crichton

    This is another techno thriller from Crichton about Eco-Terrorists plotting mass murder to publicise Global Warming.As usual he blends real stuff with fiction to make you believe this kind of stuff is possible.He gives extra material at the end of the book on what he thinks about Global Warming. Whether you agree or not, this is a great book that flies along and had me gripped throughout.He can really tell a good story full of action. Very much recommended if you like action thrillers!


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    The Aspern Papers by Henry James

    This is a book in my "Classics" section on my shelf by Henry James that isn't really a short story but not a novel either. It's cool to call these a novella nowadays! The story is quite simple. An unnamed narrator is looking to get the Aspern Papers off an elderly woman who lives with her daughter in Venice.These papers are letters and papers from a fictional poet who was meant to be famous called Jeffrey Aspern.The problem is she is secretive about whether she even has them and won't let anyone see them or take them.The narrator decides to go there and pretend to be just a lodger with her and wait and see can he get or see them.

    I really enjoyed this book as it has a very simple story but had me hooked all the way to the end. I enjoyed his writing and want to try to read more of Henry James now.He fleshed out the characters very well when in essence there are only 3 in this.Its only around 140 pages so it is a very quick read.Definitely recommended to anyone!!

    Another good thing I heard about this book is that it is being made into a movie that will be out this year. It will star Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson in the Julien Landais-directed period drama The Aspern Papers.

    I want to always read the book first if they are made into movies so this one willl definitely be on my list to check out.




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    Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

    Another demented tale from Chuck! I enjoyed this one a lot more than Diary (Number 4 in this log) The book begins with Tender Branson who was a member of a death cult, alone on a Boeing 747 telling his story into the cockpit voice recorder before it crashes.His story about how he survived the suicide cult and becomes a mainstream icon and sort of messiah figure!

    The books pages count backwards starting with 289 until 1 which is the last page. This had me laughing out loud throughout it as its meant to be a satire. If you like Chucks style, then this one is definitely for you.

    There is an important note about the ending that is on the Authors website. I have reprinted it here.
    Don't read this spoiler if you have not read the book. If you have, then it sheds more light on the ending.
    The end of Survivor isn't nearly so complicated. It's noted on page 7(8?) that a pile of valuable offerings has been left in the front of the passenger cabin. This pile includes a cassette recorder. Even before our hero starts to dictate his story -- during the few minutes he's supposed to be taking a piss -- he's actually in the bathroom dictating the last chapter into the cassette recorder. It's just ranting, nothing important plot-wise, and it can be interrupted at any point by the destruction of the plane.

    The minute the fourth engine flames out, he starts the cassette talking, then bails out, into Fertility's waiting arms (she's omniscient, you know). The rest of the book is just one machine whining and bitching to another machine. The crash will destroy the smaller recorder, but the surviving black box will make it appear that Tender is dead




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    Darktown by Thomas Mullen

    The premise of this book had me very interested.It is set in 1948 when the Atlanta police department hired its first black policemen. Two black cops see a black woman with a white man in his car and she is eventually found beaten up and dead.The problem is they cannot arrest white suspects,drive a squad car and cannot use police headquarters.

    I was expecting a story full of twists and turns until the truth is revealed.What I got was a book where the author constantly reminds us that everyone was racist then. I'm sure a lot were but it felt like everyone was and the point kept being hammered home. Then the mystery turns out to be very basic almost like a Scooby Doo mystery that is very obvious from the start.

    The worst part is that the book is just not very exciting at all. It felt like a teacher who decided to write a book and it ended up like a racism history lesson.Those parts were written well as I'm sure they were very realistic but the book needs to be entertaining. I didn't care at all about the characters and just barely got to the end.

    I wouldn't advise you to read this at all. It was just too tedious and dull.




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    Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie

    A bit out of season for this one! This is a locked room mystery about a very rich old man who invites his family home for Christmas. He has invited all his sons and wives and a granddaughter that he has never seen before. Added to the mix unexpectedly is the son of a former business partner.

    The old mans name is Simeon Lee but unfortunately he has a nasty streak and likes to play off his family against each other toying with their emotions.One son is a prodigal son who stole money and left home years ago. The others don't like him but the old man accepts him back.Then there is the butler who is very old and gets people mixed up and Simeon's valet who seems to creep about listening to conversations.

    So with all these potential suspects in the house, the old man gets his throat slit in a locked room! Whodunit?!!

    I worked out fairly early how the murder was done and how the murderer was not discovered but I had one pick for the murderer that I changed late on. I was definitely fooled for most of the book though!

    If you like mysteries and Agatha Christie then this one is one of her best. This had me enthralled until the end! A must read for fans of her!!




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    The Outlaw Josey Wales by Forrest Carter

    I always prefer to read the books first rather than see the movies but in this case I had already seen the movie. I loved the movie that had Clint Eastwood in the title role so always wanted to read the novel.

    This was also called The Rebel Outlaw:Josey Wales and Gone to Texas.

    This is a American western novel set just after the American Civil War.Josey Wales is a Missouri farmer whose family was murdered by Union forces during the war. He became a Confederate Guerrilla and fought for the South.Now the war is over and all guerrillas have to surrender and pledge loyalty to the United States. Most do but he won't so there is now a price on his head and he is on the run with a young kid who wants to stay with Josey.

    The movie followed the book a fair bit so some bits are very recognisable if you have seen the movie. Obviously the book fleshes out the character of Josey a bit more and its a great read.Lots of good action but good descriptions of the landscape and how life was at that time.

    I'd say if you like watching westerns and reading like I do then you will love this book too.You can see why they made it into a movie because Josey is such a cool character. Chewing tobacco and blowing guys away with two guns!! Next up....is the sequel!!


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    The Vengeance Trail of Josey Wales by Forrest Carter

    This is obviously the sequel to the one above that I just read.Josey Wales is back and when old friends are attacked with one raped and killed and another kidnapped, he sets out for vengeance.

    If anything, this may be even better than the first which I loved reading.This has a load of good action, chases, shootouts,knife fights and humour.There is a lot of sadness too with the rapes being very graphic so be warned if you don't want to read anything like that.It did fit the story to show how sadistic and cruel the evil Mexican General was but it makes you really root for Josey as he goes on the vengeance trail.

    Josey Wales is such a great character (as I said above already!) from his "figgerin' " on what the bad guys are going to do, to his two guns shooting people and then his chewing tobacco! He seems to be always able to spit it out on someones head or some poor lizard in the dirt! :pac:

    It is a good tale of friendship as well as the heroes battle together through thick and thin and reminded me of the Fellowship of the Ring with the friends on an adventure together. I'm glad I read these books back to back and just wish there were 10 more adventures to read with Josey!

    If you like action adventures then this book is a must read especially if you read the first one as this carries on from the end of that one.




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    The Passage by Justin Cronin


    Obviously my reading died a death this year due to various factors but I am back again.

    I have the same copy of the book shown above and it interested me because of all the glowing reviews. Stephen Kings one in particular!

    It is about a girl called Amy who is abandoned by her mother when she is 6 years old but then gets mixed up in a government experiment. The story progresses into a post apocalyptic world spanning a good deal of years as the world is overtaken by a virus that causes people to turn into "virals" that are like vampires.

    From that premise, I'd say you will know if you like this kind of book or not. I loved it but beware that it is a long book to read also.This is the first in a trilogy that I am reading. It really has everything that I like. An epic story that is very hard to stop reading. Definitely recommended!!




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    The Twelve by Justin Cronin

    This is the second book in a trilogy and it doesn't disappoint. If you like apocalyptic type stuff then this trilogy is definitely for you!

    It is around 730 pages so its a hefty read.It starts off well but then kinda dipped a little about a 100 pages in. I found myself a bit bored waiting for things to happen. Then at about 300 pages things really get going again and then the pace quickens until the very end where there is a great climax.I finished this book off in bed this morning. Nothing better than a lie in and reading a good book!

    After the first book where it was kind of like the walking dead about survivors where society has crumbled, I was wondering where this trilogy was going to go. Thankfully I was surprised and happy in the direction it went and now I will go straight on to the last book.

    Around 200 pages could have been cut out though as it felt like filler but this is still a fantastic read.

    The next book is 800 pages so I had better get started!! :D




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    The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

    This is the final book in the trilogy and thankfully it doesn't disappoint. It picks up from where The Twelve finished and goes straight on. This book is 800 pages so all these books have a fair bit in them.

    I would definitely recommend this trilogy as it kind of reminded me of The Lord of the Rings in that its really an epic tale. Well worth it especially if you like post apocalypse type fiction.

    However in all 3 books, there was a recurring problem. Only a small one but it seemed all 3 books had it. They would start off great then dip and then crank up again for a great finish. The dip would last about 200 pages in each book where it felt like filler and tedious. Not tedious as in "I am going to give this book up" but just a bit dull. Then things would start moving again.

    The good thing is that this trilogy was taking up a lot of space on my shelf and now I am finished them! I would be interested in reading more of Justin Cronin and it will be interesting what type of books he will write next. Just hopefully they are edited down a bit more!!




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    Win or Learn: MMA, Conor McGregor and Me: A Trainer's Journey by John Kavanagh

    This is a book by the trainer of Conor McGregor so if you like MMA or are interested in sport then this book will interest you. I had avoided reading this for ages as I thought there wouldn't be much in it but after reading it, I should have read it sooner. There is more to it than just "I coach the most famous fighter" It goes into detail about how and why he got started coaching.

    That is what stood out most to me. The reasons behind everything. John Kavanagh got bullied when he was younger so he turned to martial arts. This is exactly what happened to me so I can definitely relate to it although I am not a coach now!!

    It is a tale of perseverance too as he wasn't making money at all when he started so everyone was telling him to stop. Good message in it about how to keep going if you really feel passionately about something and it tracks all the way along until recently. If you follow MMA like I do then you will hear all the inside story on the events that happened.

    The only negatives are there wasn't any information about the reasons when his fighters lost. It was just they came up short but will learn from it. I would have liked more about what went wrong. Was it the wrong game plan, inexperience in some area or just being unlucky? I am not saying to slate fighters but just even a look on why they lost would have been good. Maybe he didn't want to give information away but there was plenty about other stuff so it felt missing to me.

    I really thought this was going to be a book that wouldn't have so much in it so I was very pleased that I was wrong. If you like Irish sport then I would recommend this as it shows that we can compete with the best in the world and actually be the best ourselves.




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    Clockers by Richard Price

    I really loved the TV show The Wire and the writer of that (David Simon) has said without Clockers there would be no Wire. Price has also wrote for The Wire too. So if you are a fan of that show too then you will like this book and know what its about.If you have no idea what I am talking about then this book is about the drug trade and the cops investigating it.

    It deals with a small time drug dealer called Strike. Strike is the guy on the corner in charge of a few low lifes who sell the drugs. They are the lowest on the totem pole of a bigger criminal organisation headed by a guy called Champ. Under Champ in the pecking order and Strikes boss is Rodney Little.Rodney asks Strike to kill his second in command so Strike can take his position, Strike is a bit hesitant to do it but goes to where that guy deals his drugs to check him out.

    He goes to a pub across the street for a drink to have a think about it but Strike meets his brother Victor in there. Victor is a regular working man who is not involved in the drug trade. He works hard and is there after work. Then Strike goes home and learns the next day that his target has been killed and the police are saying that his normally honest brother has confessed to killing him.Rocco Klein is the homicide detective assigned to the case but he thinks Victor is covering for his lowlife brother. The narrative switches from then on from the investigation to the drug dealing in the community.

    I loved this book as it is very gritty and realistic just like the TV show The Wire. It is a slow burner and is around 600 pages. It isn't a type of book that you can pick up and read for a few minutes as it is very dense if you understand me. I found myself having to read a good few pages in each session as there was a lot packed into each page. This type of book won't be for everyone as its not full of car chases or action in every page yet its very realistic. I think you will know by now if you will like this book.

    I certainly did and recommend this for fans of The Wire and anyone who likes realism about life on the street and the drug trade.




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    Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie


    Another great read from the queen of mystery Agatha Christie. This one had me hooked from the start as it has a simple premise. A halloween party goes on for kids and while it is on, one girl says she once witnessed a murder. Everyone laughs and no one believes her as she is known to make things up.But then later she is drowned while bobbing for apples in a bucket!! No one saw who did it but was it due to her letting that secret out? Did someone get to her before she spilled the beans??!! Then off we go on a great read as usual where Hercule Poirot is called in to investigate.

    From reading this I could tell it was written later in Christies career (1969) as there were references to kids being more modern by.......shock........horror..........Kissing with no adults around!! :eek:
    If you have read her books then you will know that's unusual!!

    Annoyingly, I didn't work this one out. I worked out one part of the mystery but not the other. There are clear clues in the book and I was going mad that I missed them! Sometimes her books tend to produce evidence at the last second so they are nearly impossible to work out who did it but not this one.

    I would recommend this book if you are a fan of Agatha Christie like me or if you like mysteries.




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    Chicago: A Novel

    I am a big fan of some of David Mamet's movies especially Glengarry Glen Ross so as this book has just come out recently I decided to try it. When you see the blurb you can see why I was excited to read this one.

    "A big-shouldered, big-trouble thriller set in mobbed-up 1920s Chicago—a city where some people knew too much, and where everyone should have known better—by the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Untouchables and Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright of Glengarry Glen Ross."

    I was expecting to read about the Chicago Mob and that it was really fast paced. What I got was a story about a journalist who falls in love with a florist but she gets killed. To say this book was slow moving is an understatement. It was snail pace and really really boring. Don't waste your money on this book and avoid it. I barely got to the end!!




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    Thin Air by Richard Morgan


    This is by the same author of Altered Carbon which I loved but he also did Market Forces and I hated that! This s a Sci-Fi tale set on Mars, and our hero is an ex-enforcer who is equipped with military technology that is now basically built into him. He wants to return to earth so he accepts a job as a bodyguard for an Earth Oversight investigator who is visiting Mars.Of course things don't work out that easily as there is a conspiracy and other people with different agendas.

    This was a very hard book to get into as Morgan throws a load of stuff at you about all the technology and doesn't explain anything. I was a bit floundering at the start as I kept thinking "what is that?" and what is that reference. This and the fact that nothing about life on Mars is explained. It could just as easily be on Earth and the only reference to Mars made is that the air is thin hence the title of the book.

    Once I accepted that not everything will be explained and the world building is non existent then everything else was great. The weapons and tech the hero has is really cool and the story is very exciting.If you liked Altered Carbon then you will like this too. The action is very good and the story kept me gripped throughout.

    If you like good Sci-Fi then check this out.




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    Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton


    This is a book that Crichton was supposed to have written back in 1974 and is like a precursor to Jurassic Park. He called it his other dinosaur story. This is based on actual real life exploits of 2 fossil hunters in the days of the wild west in America. They were friends but fell out and then became enemies and were trying to collect more fossils for museums than the other guy.

    This era was called the Bone Wars and you can read all about it on its wiki page here Crichton blends fact with fiction by imagining a student who is out there with them and meets both of them.

    This story flies along and is a real adventure story. Its a fun, easy read. Certainly not his best book but is still a good read if you like thrillers. I liked finding out about an era that actually happened in history!


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    The Outsider by Stephen King

    I was looking forward to reading this one from King as I liked the premise. Its about a young 11 year old that has been found murdered brutally. There were witnesses in the area and they are all adamant that it is the local little league baseball coach.DNA confirms it as well as fingerprints. Seems like an open and shut case doesn't it?

    The local cops arrest him publicly as they believe him definitely guilty but then he has an alibi that he was seen somewhere else at the time of the crime. To top things off, video seems to confirm it. So how could a person be in two places at once?

    From what I understand, this book is related to the Mr Mercedes trilogy. I have not read them yet but it didn't matter as its basically a stand alone. There are references to them but it didn't matter.

    This was a fun read that just about held my attention throughout. There were a few bits that were a tad boring and it does suffer from being padded a bit. Its almost 500 pages and he could have cut a bit out. The ending is a bit anti climatic too so they are all the bad points. I still liked this book though all in all. If you like King then you will like this book too.




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    Never grow up by Jackie Chan

    I am a big fan of Jackie Chan movies so I was very excited to read his autobiography. I was expecting a light read but he is very honest about his life including all his mistakes. He talks about his upbringing and how hard it was and then moves into the films he made. As he is older and wiser, he looks back on some of the things he did with regret such as when he first got money, he was out gambling all night wasting it. Its interesting to hear him look back on things now that he is older as he can see times where he wasn't a nice person.He sees that he was engrossed in doing the movies and doing crazy stunts and he tended to forget about everything else.

    Now that he has come out the other side, he can give back by doing charitable things and helping his fans. Its the stories from the various movies though that are very good especially if you have seen them!

    If you like autobiographies then this is a good one and if you are a fan of his then you will love this book.




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    Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk


    This is by the author of the famous book "Fight Club" and this book is somewhat related. You would not have to have read "Fight Club" to read this but it is in the same vein as it. It's a satirical take on America and politics as the politicians plan to have a war to keep everyone busy and to kill off the overpopulating young male demographic.What the politicians don't realise is that everyone has been reading an underground book and memorising what it says to do.

    That book is about the Adjustment Day that is coming. Most people are killed off to create a new society.The normal society disappears to be replaced with the disunited states of America. There are places for Gays , whites and blacks. No one can go into the other area.

    This is a satirical take on America and the way people are at the moment. From college professors, students to all politicians and interest groups, everyone gets a good going over. Its kind of like the movie The Purge if you have seen that.

    It had me laughing out loud at some points. Instead of Internet popularity lists such as likes or tweets on a post there is The List. This is more like an unpopular list as anyone can be nominated and if they get enough votes then they are killed off!! Throughout the book, there are quotes from the Adjustment Day book that everyone is reading within the book.
    I really liked this book but it will not be for everybody. If you didn't like Fight Club then you won't like this either but if you did, then you will love it like me.





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    One Way by SJ Morden

    I took a chance on this book as I had a voucher and the premise seemed interesting. As you can see from the cover, there are 8 astronauts sent to Mars but there is a killer amongst them! The premise is far fetched as in they are all convicts that are sent to Mars. It is set slightly in the future as the prison service has been privatised. And what does a corrupt company do? They send convicts to Mars of course!

    The only thing is that they start getting killed one by one. They are being sent there to set up a Mars base for scientists that will go there eventually.I really enjoyed this book even though the killer and ending is quite obvious. At least it was to me. The actual work of setting up a base seems very realistic and you feel like you are there too.

    The story is basically "And then there were None" by Agatha Christie set on Mars. If you have read that then you will know if you will like this.I was hoping that the ending wasn't going to be as obvious but it is still a very enjoyable read. It isn't all action but there is enough in it to entertain you.




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    Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz
    This is book number 5 in the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. I have read the first 4 ages ago and only getting back into this series now.If you haven't read the first one then go check it out. It was also made into a movie starring the late Anton Yelchin. The good thing is that each book is almost stand alone, yet they do reference the other books so you could jump in to them if you really wanted to do it.

    Odd Thomas can see dead people and fights evil in the world is the synopsis of the character! He is a cool character and the stories are a mix of thriller, kind of occult Sci Fi and humour thrown in,
    In this book, Odd comes across a mansion where evil may be lurking. This is a weak entry though in the series as most of it is Odd wandering around a huge mansion. I would skip this one unless you really want to read the whole series from start to finish.

    I did like some aspects of it such as the experiments that led to the mansion being there. I can't say much more without spoiling things but there just wasn't enough in this story to keep me riveted.

    It's just an OK read and nothing special.




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    Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz

    This is book number 6 in the Odd Thomas series so it's the second last one.This follows on from my previous log entry and sees Odd Thomas going up against a mysterious truck driver. Odd sees a vision of him torturing and killing 3 kids so he decides to track him, to save them. When he hears a story of 3 girls recently kidnapped as well as others, its a race against time.Then it appears the truck driver has a lot of help and they may be supernatural also so Odd is up against it this time!

    I really enjoyed this book as its much better than the previous one. Odd is a great character and this time he gets help as he is really up against it. The story is very good and kept me interested throughout. Definitely one of the best in the series as there is a lot of action in it.This book really feels like it would be great as an action movie. It's a huge improvement on the previous installment. Very much recommended!!




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    Saint Odd by Dean Koontz

    This is the last book in the Odd Thomas series and sees our hero Odd Thomas finally return to his hometown where the first book was set. He is drawn there by his usual "psychic magnetism" as it means trouble is brewing. The satanic cult that he battled previously are back and they have something huge planned.Odd has to find out what it is and stop it in time while surviving their threats. They know about him too but Odd has help again so the battle lines are drawn!

    Good action in this one with Odd using guns again and I liked the story.The only minor quibble is that the big event the bad guys have planned is not that big at all. Its still a very enjoyable read and I especially liked the end where we learn what happens to Odd Thomas as I loved the character.

    I would recommend this series to anyone as they were all fun reads. Some were better than others but overall they were all good.




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    Back from the Brink by Paul McGrath

    I was looking forward to reading this for years and only got around to it now. Everyone in Ireland knows Paul McGrath but if you don't, he was a famous soccer player and this is his autobiography. It is both a fascinating read but also a frustrating one.

    It goes through his childhood and then goes into his time playing football over in England. If you didn't know, he was a deep drinker going off on binges and even playing drunk sometimes.

    This is where the book is both fascinating and frustrating. Its about him boozing it up constantly and everyone around him helping him through things. He does say that it was his own fault and he knew it was bad but it was very annoying after so many stories that he didn't get help and go to AA. I felt he had a lot of enablers but he should have taken himself to AA. He does address this briefly but says he couldn't go as he was too well known.I think that's a bit of a cop out to be honest

    Another disappointing aspect is that the Ireland games are flown through and barely get a mention. Its just he went to play and they won then lost and tournament over. It seems that quick. Actual accounts of the matches and training would have been great from someone there but there wasn't anything about it. The book is just focused on all his boozing exploits and each low he would go to.

    Even though the book is frustrating, it is a great account of what an alcoholics life is like and the depths to which he fell. Just wish there was a bit more in the football aspect of the book.




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    Congo by Michael Crichton

    I am working my way through Michael Crichton's books so here is Congo.I had seen the movie many years ago so I had a good idea about what it was about. This is another of his thrillers that seem kind of possible.

    This is set in the 70s and a team of 8 geologists are deep in the African rain forest looking for an ancient city and they stop to set up a remote camera.The resulting footage is watched back in the USA and everyone in the party are killed mysteriously. A blurred image of a face is seen before the camera is knocked over and shut down.

    Another party is set up and dispatched as there are other teams all chasing this old city but this time a primate expert with his gorilla is sent with them as its thought that image may be a gorilla that killed the expedition. The expert communicates by sign language with the gorilla so she is very intelligent.

    This is a great read with the only drawback being its a tad dated although this was high tech at the time it was written which was 1980. I learned a good bit about gorillas too in that they are naturally fairly docile and not aggressive.

    If you like his other books then you will like this one too. Crichton always did great thrillers!


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    The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton

    Another nice book by Crichton. This one is about a guy who has violent seizures and beats up people while having these blackouts. He is picked as an ideal candidate for an operation to plant electrodes in his brain to control the seizures.The problem becomes that he is able to give himself these seizures as when he does, he gets a shock of pleasure. Then due to a mix up he doesn't get his medication that controls him so he escapes and now he is a maniac on the loose. He has to be found before he kills a load of people.

    This was written in 1972 so again the technology is a bit dated now but would have been cutting edge back then. Nowadays this kind of thing is done a lot and we know a lot more about how the brain works.That aside, this is a great thriller as the man needs to be found quickly before he kills more people.This wouldn't be one of Crichtons best but I think that's down to how time has passed and this doesn't seem as far out there as it was originally.

    If you like a good thriller this would be good to read.He always did good stories that keep the reader hooked.


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