Archive for December, 2010

NATION by Terry Pratchett

In interviews, Terry Pratchett has said that he had to write NATION. He pushed aside earlier scheduled work to accomplish this. The momentum of this need translates itself into a headlong rush which the reader experiences quite shortly after picking up the volume… until the end.

December 19, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Coming-of-Age, Speculative (Beyond Reality), y Award Winning Author

THIS WICKED WORLD by Richard Lange

Jimmy Boone is a certain kind of maverick – out of the box and not quite a civilian. After serving his time in the Marines, Boone becomes a partner in a security firm. He works as a bodyguard for the rich and famous. He spends his time in Hollywood, Hawaii, Aspen or wherever those with money gather. It is his job to protect and defend them. However, one of his jobs goes awry. Jimmy believes that his client is sexually molesting his daughter and beats him to within an inch of his life. Jimmy later finds out he was set up by the man’s wife as part of a mean divorce. The man he almost killed may have been innocent. Jimmy goes to jail and, when THIS WICKED WORLD opens, Jimmy is out on probation. He is bartending by night and acting as super of an apartment complex.

December 18, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: California, Character Driven, Debut Novel, Mystery/Suspense, Reading Guide

THE BLACK LIZARD BIG BOOK OF BLACK MASK STORIES edited by Otto Penzler

Clocking in at over 1100 pages, THE BLACK LIZARD BIG BOOK OF BLACK MASK STORIES s is an impressive collection destined for the shelves of noir and crime fans. This is a companion volume to THE BLACK LIZARD BOOK OF PULPS (and yes, I have a copy of that too). The 50 plus short stories, novellas and novels found in The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories have been “handpicked” from the archives of Black Mask Magazine. The magazine ran from 1920-1951, and as aficionados know, there are only two known complete collections of Black Mask magazine. Old or rare noir is pricey, so this collection is a must for all crime fans.

December 17, 2010 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags:  · Posted in: Classic, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, Short Stories

COMEDY IN A MINOR KEY by Hans Keilson

To be comfortable in the world of the Kafkaesque, one must slowly climb up the literary ladder, page after page, year after year. My journey began with the likes of V.C. Andrews during my tawdry youth, and then eventually reached its pinnacle with Tolstoy, and of course, Kafka. Aside from my literary snobbery (which is nothing short of a veneer – I still love me some Sidney Sheldon), having entered Kafka’s abyss of absurdity and horror makes Hans Keilson’s novel, COMEDY IN A MINOR KEY, not only recognizable, but entirely brilliant.

December 16, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Classic, Holland, Reading Guide, World Lit

DANIEL by Henning Mankell

Book Quote: “I’m a little boy, he thought. I have travelled much too far away. My parents and the other people I lived with are dead. And yet they live. They are still closer to me than the man called Father and the woman who doesn’t dare come close enough for me to grab her. […]

December 15, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Africa, Class - Race - Gender, Facing History, Sweden, Translated, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

EVERYTHING LOVELY, EFFORTLESS, SAFE by Jenny Hollowell

For the longest time, growing up in rural Virginia, Birdie Baker is convinced she is destined to follow the path set forth by her devout Christian parents. Like them, as a Jehovah’s Witness, she will spread the word of the Lord, marry, settle down and wrap it up. But the sense of unease that plagues her even after she is married to a church-going man named Judah, is worsened when she runs into her high school drama teacher at the grocery store. “What are you still doing here?” he asks, “I figured the next time I saw you it would be in a movie.” Eventually, leave Virgina she does. Birdie pools all her savings toward a one-way bus ticket to Los Angeles.

December 14, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, California, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Drift-of-Life