Archive for September, 2008

Love and Marriage

[openbook booknumber=”0553284673″]


I had never read a book written by a comedian before, though I have read comedic writing (in the form of David Sedaris). That said I found this book to be very entertaining and laugh out loud funny. Love and Marriage is a humorous accounting of Bill Cosby’s success and failures in love in the first half of the book, and in marriage in the second half.

A lot of people were disappointed in Love and Marriage because, unlike his book Fatherhood there was humor but no wit, no advice on what to do to survive the uncertain waters of love or marriage. Because Bill Cosby, like the rest of us, is just as clueless about what makes love and marriage work. He has a general idea, as do we all, but a lot of it remains a mystery as he himself admits. I didn’t read Fatherhood but I also didn’t feel like I could hold him not being in a position to dole out advice against him.

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Down The Long Hills

[openbook booknumber=”0553106910″]


My second foray into westerns was Down The Long Hills by Louis L’Amour, and while I liked it better than the first novel I read by him a lot of my complaints about the first one transferred on into the second one.

Down The Long Hills is a story about two children being escorted across the west, one a three year old crossing with her parents, and the other a seven year old boy crossing with that family and many others on the way to where his pa had prepared a place for him out in Fort Bridger. The wagon train gets attacked by Indians and the children have to push on alone across Wyoming in fall with winter setting in against increasingly mounting odds with nothing but a sack of food, a knife and a horse.

One thing that was kind of fun about this book was the fact that I had been to several of the places they talked about. So the lack of in depth description wasn’t so bad because I knew the country. I also knew first hand how poorly he described it because he really didn’t come anywhere close.

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The Quick and The Dead

[openbook booknumber=”0553107615″]


You’d think with a title like The Quick and The Dead I wouldn’t be surprised by all the dead. The Quick and The Dead was my very first “real” western, as I’ve been told Little House on the Prairie doesn’t count as a western. It was a nice short book and was supposed to be the proverbial toe in the pool. I came away feeling like someone had come up behind me and shoved me in. And, it wasn’t pleasant.

The Quick and The Dead is a novel about a small family making their first foray into the west, tenderfoots they are called. During all of this they meet up with the main character Con Vallian. Con was a bit like the Mary Sue of fanfiction. Doesn’t have many faults and goes around showing everyone how perfect he is and how dumb the supposedly main characters really are. He is the perfect western man and has nobility and a bit of education to boot. Swoon worthy, I suppose but, while I liked the character, the way he was written got on my nerves rather quickly.

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Paris Trout

[openbook booknumber=”0394563700″]


The novel Paris Trout is about a man of that name and the damage he does to a town by his actions. This book is not exactly my cup of tea, but I was able to get into it and enjoy parts of the book. I definitely can’t complain about it not being a page turner, I ended up going through the second half much faster than I went through the first. I was eager to see what happened to the bad guys.

The book starts with Paris Trout, a white businessman, murdering a 14 year old African American girl. He claims he was perfectly within his rights to do so because someone else in the house owed him a debt. His racism against the family and particularly the girl seems standard of the time at first glance as it is compared and contrasted with how the girl was treated up until then. Though the actual act of murder showed a level of pure malice and spite that went beyond it.

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These Three Remain

[openbook booknumber=”0743291379″]


The conclusion to the trilogy Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman was everything I expected it to be and more. I can’t say much without spoiling the plot for those of you that haven’t read Pride and Prejudice but I will say Darcy’s transformation was astounding and done in a completely believable way and that (during my first read through) I actually skipped the second chapter in its entirety because the beginning had moved me so to tears I couldn’t bear to read the rest. I did on the second read through though, and it was entirely worth it.

The three novels were tied together very well, even with the new cast members involved. The only thing I didn’t like about the continuity is I felt the very, very end was a little… smooshed. There were a few scenes that I felt were set up to happen that didn’t, and it was a disappointment. Can’t say too much without giving things away. But, I’ll think you’ll agree that Darcy’s final scenes with his guy friends reveal that some conversations should have taken place “on camera” that didn’t at that point. But, maybe that’s because the focus was finally on Fitz and Lizzie, instead of on Fitz and no Lizzie as it was before.

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