Reviews by Rob Reader

A Double Barrelled Detective Story

by Mark Twain

Mark Twain is always exceptional, even when he is not at his best he is exceptional. This is a novella of pure satire and much dry humor. Twain mocks Sherlock Holmes and his scientific methods in this remarkable little book. Also in the midst of the story he introduces himself answering correspondence concerning his work. What a strange and wonderful little story. If you love Mark Twain read this, should you not love Twain reexamine your literary taste. Four stars

Reviewed on 2014.02.06

Whose Body?

by Dorothy L. Sayers

Lord Peter Wimsey is first introduced in this book as are several supporting characters who reappear in Sayers later novels. I will not review the story except that the "wrong body" theme reappears later in Sayers books. Wimsey introduces his peculiar form of speech which again is repeated throughout the series. Perhaps it was in vogue amongst British noble families circa 1920.

I first read this book over 30 years ago and am experiencing it in audiobook form this time. My belief in the inferiority, insufficiency and unsatisfactory nature of the audiobook is once again confirmed.

This book made Dorothy Sayers career and it is certainly not a bad first novel. For those who have not read her subsequent work it does improve and by the publication of The Five Red Herrings in the early 1930's she is close to being a master of the genre. Overall an excellent introduction and much above average first book. Three stars

Reviewed on 2014.02.01

A Pushcart at the Curb

by John Dos Passos

A short but often very sad book of poems. Pasos was a novelist and poet best known for his Manhattan Transfer which became a best seller. He was a communist early in life and also enlisted in the communist army in Spain to battle Franco. Later in life he reversed his politics and endorsed Barry Goldwater for President. Pasos is credited with having coined the famous phrase \"If you are not a leftist at 20 you may not have a heart, If you are not a rightist at 40 you may not have a brain\". This short book of poems did not speak to me because in it Dos Pasos appears to be a sad and disappointed man. In life he never turned away from society or lost hope in the future. There is little joy here and that is unfortunate.

Perhaps I have missed the point of the book however I found it amongst the least of his works

Reviewed on 2014.01.16

The Art of War

by Sun Tzu

Great, good, incisive, sapient, intellectually expanding and interesting. Just way too many comments, notes and annotations by the translator. Is there a less cluttered version available as an e-book?

Reviewed on 2013.12.27

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