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Saturday, July 11, 2015

BOOK REVIEW TIME

All I have been doing lately is wandering around Plovdiv (Bulgaria) and listening to audio books.  That's why there are so many audio book reviews.  Fear not, in less than a fortnight I will be back on the road.



Logan's movie (and other media) scale:

1 - Logan has many, many interests and this didn't trip any of them. Normally though I don't send hate mail to the director or writers for making such a piece of shit. Normally.

2 - It's a shitty movie I might have stood for over a half hour of but I'm glad to have escaped it.

3 - Here is the turning point. I either watched about 75% of this trash before turning it off or perhaps made it all the way through and feel disgust for having gone that far.

4 - The movie was watched in it's entirety but was just 'bad'.

5 - It's a movie. While not especially good or bad it did manage to suck an hour and a half out of my time and kept me entertained enough. It did it's job but no more.

6 - Generally enjoyed the film, book, etc.

7 - A very good movie, book, etc.

8 - This can be re-watched now and again.

9 - Very rewatchable. Undeniably a great movie. To me, at least.

10 - I will probably be seeing a lot of this movie. If I kept stuff, it would definitely be in some sort of collection.



BOOK REVIEWS

Note:  People may think I only run into good audio books.  This is completely untrue.  For every book I review, two to five got deleted after half an hour or less.  Annoying readers, stories that didn't immediately grab me, etc cause rapid deletion.  I'm just reviewing the ones I liked rather than hearing the usual message of "Oh, it gets better if you stick with it longer."  For me, this is bullshit.  Most people don't really know the meaning of "Life is too short" unless they've experienced a lot of personal loss or are going to die from some sort of disease soon.  I'm surprised I'm still alive so my time is too precious to spend on garbage.  There are also some things I just don't like - 'graphic audios' where they put in the sound effects anyone not brought up on a constant diet of TV should be able to use their imaginations to get.  Multiple readers I find distracting.  Give me one talented voice actor.




Gun Machine by Warren Ellis

Reader, excellent.  Story - kept me engaged.  This is not too common so I thought I'd mention it.

I didn't read the wiki (etc) before reading it.  Normally, if the reader sucks or some element of the story/setting/characters doesn't grab me in the first few minutes, it's gone.  Life is too short and there is too much out there to read to wade through something hoping it gets better.

I really have no bitches about the book other than the same one critics gave (everything gets rapped up quick and neatly at the end) but it is not a serious gripe.

Recommend checking this book out.  It is NOT a genre I normally enjoy but in this case I listened to it in a day.


"Day By Day Armageddon", Book 1 by J.L. Bourne

This was a page turner though the very ending (and beginning of book two) was jarring.

A bit of a 'WTF?'

To discuss the book would be to give spoilers however I can say it is a world collapsing survival type book.  Pretty well done.  A page turner.

The second book gave a screeching halt to my reading.

Suddenly, there were zombies.  No explanation - almost as though the author decided "Fuck it, zombies are big right now - I'll just stick them in without explanation."

I thought more than once "Am I reading the wrong book?  What happened to the first cool character and his friend?  Who the fuck are these jokers?"

And that was the end of what started as a very promising series.


"Crooked Little Vein" by Warren Ellis

Audio book

After too many establishing shots of pathetic excuse for a human private eye, this book goes down the 'what the fuck did I just read' humorous rabbit hole quick fast and in a hurry.

There is shit in here I would have been proud to think up for the old HC campaign within.  My saying for table top gaming was 'If it causes the players to need therapy later, you have succeeded as a GM'.

This is right down there with that.

One thing that impresses me thus far is this author seems to have written only two books (which were big enough to get audio books) but they are of strikingly different genres.  Writing in just one is hard enough.  Mastering more than one, badass.

Just like the old coffee commercial, this was good to the last drop.

Highly advised.

9/10


"Ghosts of War" - by Ryan Smithson

This is a book about what happened in Iraq to a brand new 19 year old soldier who went over there.

There are only three types of people who are able to ask 'what's it like':

a) spouse or very close friend

b) people who have been over there (known as 'comparing war stories')

c) people who have seen there own bad shit back when they served

So, if you don't fit into any of these three categories this book is a good way to get a sample of what's it like. I'm enjoying it though the reader (who is the author) is not an actor - hence less smooth than audio book 'performances'.

The guy is 'hella' philosophical at times but overall I liked it.

6/10.


"No Hero - The Evolution of a Navy SEAL" by Mark Owen

Pretty decent book, good reader.  Nothing really special here but enjoyable.  This is the same author who wrote No Easy Day.  NED was a best seller and I'm going to get hold of that and review it.

6/10.


"Hold Me Closer, Necromancer" by Lish McBride

Catchy title.  Book Lumsie would have approved of.

There are aspects of this that felt very 'young adult' (we can't go to any authority figures, we're immature, etc) but oddly the main characters were all about 19-20 years old.  Odd.  Remembering all the odd stuff I had been through and done by that time, various espionage training, dealing with gangsters, blowing stuff up and shooting stuff down - it seemed these guys were extremely inexperienced at life.  Or I just had an abundance of weird shit going on with me.  I don't know.  But they did seem like nice people.

But aside from that, I enjoyed the story and the book seemed to go by very quickly.

7/10.

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{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia | Michigan | Illinois | Colorado |

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