anthonyschmitz

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Leftovers

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This is a great, head-smacking, why-didn't-I-think-of-that premise for a novel — that the righteous and apparently wicked would be equally snatched in The Rapture, and that there would be a lot of second guessing among those left behind. The writing itself seems somewhat removed, I thought, as if the craziness below were observed from the treetops.
Talulla Rising

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Wonderful voice and language, plus some hilarious trash talk about vampires. Who knew they smelled like a vat of rotting hog flesh? The level of melodrama rises as the book progresses, but then when isn't it tough bring a novel to its conclusion?
City of Bohane

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Great for the lingo, though not the strongest plot ever.
Ten Thousand Saints: A Novel

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Truth is, it seems a little long before it's over, and a few of the main characters never really take off. But it's a big, old-fashioned novel at heart, even if it is about the straight-edge music scene of the late 80s. You get a touch of the mindless violence associated with that, plus the earlier days of the AIDS epidemic and the rattiness of NYC during the period. Weirdly, it's something of a historical novel, and for me slightly more satisfying than A Visit From the Goon Squad. (Though they make good companion pieces.)
The House of the Dead or Prison Life in Siberia with an introduction by Julius Bramont

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Fascinating in a couple thousand ways — among them the apparent necessity of properly motivating a Siberian convict workforce. The barking of armed guards is not enough. The guards had to define the conditions of work, at least in Dostoyevsky's telling, in terms that made the prisoners want to stop lounging in the grass, smoking their pipes and trading insults. Once given sufficient reason to set to the task, they went at it with alacrity. Who knew that workplace psychology applied?
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Eclipse: A Novel

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A bit like the Sandor Marai novel, Portraits of a Marriage, in which every page is beautifully written and insightful, and yet the book as a whole drags. I found myself longing for some action, some dialogue, and then felt like a lowbrow for insisting upon the conventions of normally engaging fiction in the face of so many lovely sentences.
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The Leftovers

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This is a great, head-smacking, why-didn't-I-think-of-that premise for a novel — that the righteous and apparently wicked would be equally snatched in The Rapture, and that there would be a lot of second guessing among those left behind. The writing itself seems somewhat removed, I thought, as if the craziness below were observed from the treetops.
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