Recent Reviews

Arizona Nights

by Stewart Edward White

Enjoyed this book. It's a collection of stories about Cowboys, outlaws, sailors, and ranchers. Some are funny, some are serious, and at least one (the last one) is thoughtful and poignant. All interwoven with vivid descriptions of the old west. Read it, you'll like it.

Reviewed on 2015.01.28
by David

The Return of the Soul

by Robert Smythe Hichens

A well-done horror story that slowly builds dread to the climax.
A boy's parents force him to stay with his dying grandmother because he is her favorite and they hope to inherit. It takes her months to die, and he grows to hate her. He can't take it out on the old woman, so he turns his malice towards her cat.
Great descriptions and characterizations. I'm not sure Professor Black is necessary to the plot. He's almost a distraction, but that's the way they wrote in the olden days.

Reviewed on 2015.01.28
by Lisa Carr

Panther Eye

by Roy J. Snell

It's an episode of a large series and the only one I've read.
Adventures of a group of gold-miners working at a Russian concession in Alaska, year 1920.
Dangerous tigers, malevolent natives and poisonous plants, in a mostly plain narrative.
But also, mysterious grammophon disks messages, treacherous Orientals, murderous Russians, a dirigible balloon, a strange community of political exiles and many, many gold everywhere.
Not a great book but nicely readable, relatively fast-paced (after a somewhat slow first chapter) and showing a curious historical moment.

Reviewed on 2015.01.25
by Lena

An Account of Some Disturbances in Aungier Street

by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

I love ghost stories but found this one about average. I will try some more from the author.
Greg B.

Reviewed on 2015.01.25
by Greg B.

Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede

by Bradley Denton

Bradley Denton's best-known novel likely resonates more with Baby Boomers who than it will with younger readers, but for our generation, the 1991 John W. Campbell Memorial Award winner is a rockin' and rollin' masterpiece.

Oliver Vale, born in 1959 to a teenaged single mother obsessed with Buddy Holly and UFOs, leads a humdrum if stressful life in Topeka, Kansas, until a few years after his increasingly zany mother's death. Everything changes one day in 1989 when all TV stations, everywhere in the world, become preempted by a continuous broadcast depicting the long-dead singer, who claims to be imprisoned in a glass bubble on Ganymede. A sign there reads, "For assistance, contact Oliver Vale, 10146 Southwest 163rd Street, Topeka, Kansas, U.S.A.," Holly says, pleading, "So would someone out there please get in touch with that fellow for me?"

Vale is forced to flee his home, pursued by the law, a renegade federal agent, his psychologist, a cyborg Doberman, a pair of reanimated otherworldly spirits and a populace maddened by the signal blocking their favorite sitcoms. Meanwhile, he recounts growing up amid the music and events of the 1960s and '70s.

This fond and funny romp through the history of rock and roll feels more skin to a Carl Hiaasen novel than typical science fiction hard-sf lovers may find it too lightweight, but if you like the works of writers such as Mel Gilden and Christopher Moore, you'll enjoy this one.

Reviewed on 2015.01.25
by Leah A. Zeldes

The Shadow of the Rope

by E.W. Hornung

A drama / mystery written in two sections. The first section deals with the case of Rachel Minchin, a young woman accused and tried for the murder of her husband. A mysterious stranger attends every session of the trial and attempts to make contact with Rachel - is he benefactor or villain? The second section of the novel presents the re-opening of the case by an amateur detective. Will a new investigation shed light on Rachel's guilt or innocence, or identify new suspects?

I enjoyed the book except for the fact that things seem to fall into place far too easily for the amateur detective. The book is a good drama, but only a fair mystery.

Reviewed on 2015.01.24
by bhold

A Passionate Pilgrim

by Henry James

I love Henry James but I didn't like this one. Weak. Only for biggest fans.

Reviewed on 2015.01.24
by MarkM

Aletta

by Bertram Mitford

Aletta is historical fiction set prior to and during the Boer War in South Africa. Most of the characters are Dutch settlers and much of the novel centers around romance between a Dutch woman and Englishman. There is also some intrigue and a case of mistaken identity.
A well written book from an author who is knowledgeable about Africa, the landscape and politics. I would definitely read more by this author.

Reviewed on 2015.01.24
by Jo

The Philosopher's Joke

by Jerome K. Jerome

A good story, though a bit long getting started. Three couples all share a strange dream: that when they had been married 20 years and were out of love with their spouses, they were all together one night in a German Inn and a funny little man gave them a drink to share. It made them go back in time 20 years, but remember their future lives. They could change their lives, if they liked.
Unfortunately, I got a bit confused about the six, so I may have missed some of the subtleties of the story, but overall, a good idea for a story.

Reviewed on 2015.01.24
by Lisa Carr

The Observers

by G.L. Vandenburg

A lab assistant at a top-secret military research facility commits suicide and a replacement must be found. Are there ever any open-knowledge military facilities? Anyway, the personnel manager for the base has the job.
He is a slavering, sexist, idiot, easily convinced by a sultry woman to interview her clients. Who are odd.
A trite and mildly disagreeable story.

Reviewed on 2015.01.24
by Lisa Carr

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