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1. Real Men Don't Bond
2. Fierce Invalids Home from Hot
3. Mr. X: A Novel
5. The Best Poems of All Time, Part
6. The Letter of the Law
7. No Witnesses
8. Body of Truth
9. Fear Nothing
11. Seize the Night
12. Seize the Night
13. Fear Nothing
14. A Walk on the Wild Side
15. Rising Sun: PriceLess
16. Fierce Invalids Home from Hot
17. The Deeds of My Fathers: How My
18. Blue Highways
19. The Faye Kellerman
20. Seize the Night

1. Real Men Don't Bond
by Bruce Feirstein
Audio Cassette: Pages (1992-10-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$0.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671797409
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The author of Real Men Don't Eat Quiche returns to set men straight in the 1990s: too many men blame their problems on everybody but themselves. ... Read more

2. Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (Read By Keith Szarabajka) - 10 Cassettes unabridged
by Tom Robbins
 Audio Cassette: Pages (2000)

Asin: B0045XF5US
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3. Mr. X: A Novel
by Peter Straub
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1999-08-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$0.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671738593
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Ned Dunstan's birthday is fast approaching, and every year on this date, Ned experiences a paralyzing seizure in which he is forced to witness scenes of ruthless slaughter perpetrated by a mysterious and malevolent figure in black whom Ned calls Mr. X.

Ned has been drawn back to his hometown, Edgerton, Illinois, by a premonition that his mother, Star, is dying. Before she loosens her hold on life, she imparts to Ned the name of his father, never before disclosed, and warms him that he is in grave danger. Despite her foreboding, Ned's determination to learn as much as possible about his absent father ignites a series of extraordinary adventures that gradually reveal the heart of both his own identity and that of his entirely fantastic family.

He discovers that he is shadowed by an identical twin brother who can pass through doors and otherwise defy the laws of nature; he becomes the lead suspect in three violent deaths; he investigates the secret shadow-world within Edgerton; he learns to "eat time" and remembers the one occasion when he and his sinister brother united into a single being. Finally, at the moment of battle, he must call upon everything he has learned to save his own life.

Brimming with the author's trademark wit, understated eloquence, vibrant characters, and brilliant sense of pace, Mr. X displays Peter Straub at the top of his form.Amazon.com Review
Peter Straub's Mr. X is an enthralling, complex tale ofa decent young man troubled since childhood by barely understoodflashes of precognition and an awareness of a shadowy "other."

NedDunstan returns home to Edgerton, Illinois, a raffish and atmosphericMississippi River city, as his mother, Star Dunstan, liesdying. Impelled to trace his tangled paternal lineage after Star'sdeath, Ned finds himself caught up in a web of murder and otherheinous crimes, not only in the present but also in a past that hiselderly great aunts Nettie, May, and Joy would prefer remainedundisturbed. The aunts, whose remarkable gifts include teleportationand telekinesis, frustrate his search for knowledge, partly to protecttheir own secrets and also to shield Ned from the mysterious andomnipresent force that seems to dodge his every step. He is aided inhis efforts to discover the mysteries of his birth by a dopplegangerwho may or may not be his twin, and also by a lovely young woman,Laurie Hatch. She is the estranged wife of Stewart Hatch, an Edgertonscion whose own history is inexorably linked with Ned's and with theentire Dunstan family.

The secondary characters, from the elderlyaunts to a lawyer named Creech who is the essence of the small-town"fixer," are deftly drawn. --Jane Adams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (90)

3-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly intriguing yet ultimately frustrating
Peter Straub is an extremely talented writer; with this statement I'm sure few will disagree. However, he has a certain tendency to force this talent down everyone's throats when he writes a novel; case in point, Mr. X.

Mr. X is full of plot twists, annoying (albeit rather interesting) characters, and the sure signs of a very gifted writer. Unfortunately, that just didn't cut it for this book. In Mr. X, the main character, Ned, has been consistently affected by "fits" on his birthday since he turned 3, involving a murderous man referred to (by Ned) as Mr. X. From the very beginning of the novel, the actions are hard to follow and the characters are rather difficult to keep track of; what is certain, from reading the novel from Ned's perspective and Mr. X's perspective, is that Mr. X has been trying to get Ned since his 3rd birthday, and is oh so close at the start of the novel.

The novel leads the reader through the world seen from the eyes of Mr. X, himself, and Ned; the "diary" entries from Mr. X are ludicrous to say the least, and sound like the babblings of a man on the brink of insanity, as I'm sure was the point. The goings on with Ned deal with his oddball family, his escapades with two beautiful women and an interesting court case, his reintroduction to an old family member, and his fear of his upcoming birthday (among other strange things). The premise of the novel and the praise it received truly helps push the intrigue factor sky high, and was the main reason I kept reading the book.

In hindsight, Mr. X is an extremely complex novel by one of the genre's finest authors; however, the various plot shifts, the annoying characters, and the confusing complexities make this a truly hard novel to enjoy thoroughly. Straub never really explains why Ned's family is the way they are; are they just oddballs, do they really have powers??? He never really answers the questions that are certain to be asked throughout the novel. While he certainly has a knack for creating intrigue in all of his books, this is one of those cases where nothing particularly thrilling or suspenseful happens to maintain interest. The only point of interest is that the ending does create more questions rather than supplying the necessary answers. So, in conclusion, anyone looking for a scary or suspenseful novel should pass on this one.

Final rating: 2.5*/5*

3-0 out of 5 stars Should have been great, but...
Along with 'Houses without Doors', 'Mr X' is disappointing in comprison to Straub benchmarks such as 'Koko', 'Ghost Story','The Throat', etc.

As a fan of Straub's work and Lovecraftian fiction, I was particularly looking forward to this, but for me it was a disappointment and in the end a frustrating read.

Difficult to pinpoint the exact reason (s), but I think there were too many plot threads running through the book and they didn't quite fit together or resolve properly. I found myself continually having to page back through the book to remind me of the context of a particular character or situation - Straub's books are usuallly compulsive page-turners, but in a forward direction!

Readable but nowhere near Straub's best work.

2-0 out of 5 stars Fans of Lovecraft LIKE revulsion, right?
I just finished it, and feel relief. I hate to leave things unfinished, especially when I've given them so many second chances. It's blue-collar doesn't match the money from the sky, or the shadow out of time.

This book was recommended by my beloved paperback eating machine of a grandmother, likely because she knows I like creepy stuff, not because I'm well-read.

The content is fun enough, for an 80s story that wants us to believe it's a 90s story, but the style begs so desperately for the 'clever yet not pretentious' badge that it ends up less than pretentious, merely pedestrian.

Two stars instead of one because it wasn't bad for its ilk, two instead of three because it wan't as good as it thought it was.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book that makes you think
I've always liked Lovecraft stories, but Poe's poetry has always seemed slightly boring to me.Somehow Straub has melded the two and I think Mr. X is a masterpiece.After reading all of the Tim Underhill and Tom Passmore related books, I decided it was time to read Mr. X and I was not disappointed.

I haven't stopped thinking about this book since I finished it. Ned Dunstan has an odd assortment of relatives that range from a homicidal maniac to deformed cripples with birth defects to kleptomaniacs with enhanced mental powers.It's hard to figure out if the narrator is Ned or his "brother".He may possibly have a split personality. I plan on reading it again to see if I missed a few clues.

1-0 out of 5 stars Do not waste your money!!!
I was determined to finish this book.Eventhough, it wasthe most hard to follow, confusing and BORING book that I have ever read!It is definitely not a page turner. I was not thrilled, horrified or left in suspense.I kept on reading in the hope it would all come together and make sense.That never happened. ... Read more

by Faye Kellerman
Audio Cassette: Pages (1998-08-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$11.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671577581
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Under the desert moon, there's no place to hide.

Just outside of the city's neon Strip, in the bleak wastelands of Nevada's desert, Las Vegas Metro police discover the mauled corpse of a young and beautiful showgirl. Called to the crime scene is Detective Sergeant Romulus Poe -- a thirty-five-year-old Vegas native and a seasoned, fifteen-year police veteran. A loner with a love of justice, Poe immerses himself in the horrific case.

The corpse is badly mutilated. Poe is particularly struck by its dreaded similarities to a horrifying slaying done by an anonymous monster dubbed "the Bogeyman". Immediately, Poe forms an investigatory team; the handsome detective Stephen Jensen; Patricia Deluca, a homicide newcomer; and forensic pathologist Rukmani Kalil, who is also Poe's part-time, unorthodox girlfriend.

From the start, the team is mired in a web of intrigue, and the urgency of resolution becomes frenzied when another young nighttime desert dump is found a month later. From Native American mysticism and medieval folk legends to untold modern scientific secrets, Poe must sift through Vegas' sordid history and dark underbelly to solve a series of gruesome murders -- and save a beautiful woman he had once loved -- before all of them are caught in a deadly dance of Moon Music.Amazon.com Review
In Moon Music Faye Kellerman turns her attention from the streets of Los Angeles, where her previous novels were set, to the casinos of LasVegas. A mutilated body of a young woman is discovered in the desert andDetective Sergeant Romulus Poe sets out to determine who could havecommitted the murder and the brutal desecration that followed. His team ofinvestigators include the tall and lusty Steve Jensen, novice PatriciaDeluca, and medical examiner Rukmani Kalil. The relations between the fourare complex and add depth to this tale of deadly dealings: Poe carries atorch for Jensen's mentally troubled wife and knows of his colleague'sphilandering; Kalil and Poe are engaged in an off-again, on-again affair.Although collectively they feel as though they are making progress in thecase, another similarly mutilated corpse is found within a matter ofweeks, turning the mystery from that of a peculiarly brutal murder in thesingular to the search for a serial killer.

It's a tight, tense read. Kellerman engages the reader with her carefullywrought characters and with her sense of place. Las Vegas not only sets thestage for the story but is central to it. The seeds of the crime wereplanted in its small town past as a nuclear test sight and only reach theirfruition in the gambling and selling of sex and drugs in the present.Kellerman ties it all together beautifully, with extraordinary hints ofNative American mysticism and government conspiracies. In another's hands,such flights of fancy would verge on the ridiculous, but Kellerman managesto keep her fantastic plots well under control. For those with a strongstomach and an imaginative streak, Moon Music is a captivatingthriller. --K.A. Crouch ... Read more

Customer Reviews (184)

2-0 out of 5 stars Sort of Silly
This was not even close to being a horrible book.This is the worst book I have read by Faye Kellerman however. I was disappointed that I wasted my time reading it, especially by the time I got to the silly, supernatural ending.I like books dealing with the supernatural but this one just touched on it and not in a way that was believable or intriguing.

4-0 out of 5 stars MURDER, MAYHEM, AND MYSTICISM
This book follows the lives and loves of police detectives, casino bosses, hookers, and medical examiners in Las Vegas, Nevada.Toss in some mystery, murder, and mayhem with some cannibalism and shape-shifting, and Faye Kellerman's Moon Music (Paperback) is a compelling read.

I definitely welcomed the opportunity to check out this book of Kellerman's that I had missed along the way.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the ending--which I will not divulge for fear of creating a "spoiler"--was how there was still just a hint of mystery that hovered over the characters, especially for one primary character, Romulus Poe.There was a lingering cloud of doubt about the actual events that had transpired.

Suffice it to say, there is plenty of crime scene stuff to satisfy those who enjoy that aspect of solving murders.And the character "Rom" treated us to various theories along the way, even some of which sounded totally "out there" to other detectives on the force.

Add in a little mysticism, set against a historic backdrop of atomic bomb testing sites in the area--all yield interesting twists to this tale of horrific homicides.

Some of Kellerman's more recent novels, especially those dealing with the rituals of the Jewish faith, are more to my liking.I do not actually enjoy the shape-shifting and cannibalistic aspects of a story, although there are plenty of people out there who do.

So for me, I would give the book four stars...for others, the rating might be higher.

1-0 out of 5 stars I didn't expect sci-fi... really disappointed!
I have never read a Faye Kellerman book before this one, and knew that it was different from her standard mystery novels.I was enthralled up until the last 50 pages.Though the book's characters were rather amoral and often nasty, I enjoyed reading about their adventures.

However, the last 50 pages suddenly turned into sci-fi and I was disappointed as I was expecting a straight-up mystery.

1-0 out of 5 stars Oy
Let's put it this way... you wanna read about a manitou, stick with Eva Galli.

1-0 out of 5 stars Her editor should have saved Faye from herself
Let's face it, Faye Kellerman is never going to win a writing prize, but her Decker/Lazarus novels are good enough for their genre.On average, they're tight, compelling and memorable.And then there's Moon Music, a departure from her Decker/Lazarus series, where Kellerman stumbles badly.Maybe she wrote it in a hurry.Maybe she wrote it on crack.Or maybe trying to write a mystery involving Native Americans, nuclear testing, dwarfism, giantism, pimps and ho's, cancer treatment, mental illness, romance, the casino biz and a werewolf was just a tad too ambitious. Whatever the cause, this book is a poorly paced mess of subplots that go nowhere.The only sympathetic character in the book works on cadavers; perhaps Kellerman can take a stab (no pun intended) at making her the central character the next time she feels the need to give Peter & Rina a rest. ... Read more

5. The Best Poems of All Time, Part I
by Keith Szarabajka, Eric Stoltz
Audio Cassette: Pages (2001-03-01)
list price: US$9.98 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586210203
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Verses to move you, lines you'll love,
from oldfavorites to modern classics, here are...THE WORDS WE LIVE BY

Thisperfect poetry companion puts your favorite poetry and poets fromaround the world at your fingertips. By including only the best-lovedor best-known work of each poet, this portable treasury offers theopportunity for every reader to revisit the classics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Poetry Ever
This book has it all. Some of the best poems ever are spoken beautifuly. Every famous poem from the best poets ever. If you do not own it, your missing out. ... Read more

6. The Letter of the Law
by Tim Green
Audio Cassette: Pages (2000-09-01)
list price: US$24.98 -- used & new: US$4.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586210238
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
" In a major departure, the New York Times bestselling author and practicing attorney delivers an electrifying breakout legal thriller that centers on the murder of a beautiful law student.

When a 22-year-old law student is found brutally murdered, her father comes undone-and rightfully so. In a fit of rage, Donald Sales accuses Eric Lipton, his daughter's arrogant and brilliant professor, of killing her. Then, after an article of the victim's blood-soaked clothing is found in Professor Lipton's possession, he hires attorney Casey Jordan to represent him. To Jordan, Sales' violent history makes him a more logical suspect, and the skillfull attorney discredits him on the witness stand. As the jury finds Lipton not guilty, Casey is stunned when the professor whispers to Jordan that he did it. Weeks later, as more bodies turn up, Jordan must decide whether to uphold her legal oath to protect her client...or join forces with an unlikely ally in bringing a demented killer to justice."Amazon.com Review
Casey Jordan is a successful Texas criminal defense attorney who likes to take on the kinds of cases that grab headlines and CNN interviews. Her ambition is stoked when she gets an opportunity to represent herformer law professor in a capital murder case. Eric Lipton has beenaccused of the mutilation death of a young law student with whom he wassexually involved. Although the evidence points to his guilt, Caseyis confident that she can get him off and certain that he isinnocent. It's a promising setup for a legal thriller, but a seemingly unrelated murder in the novel's opening pages will nag at readers. By the time the relationship between thetwo crimes is teased out, the solution to the first crime seems like ananticlimax.

Lipton is a truly evil man. Casey is not particularly likable either: her hardscrabble background has propelled her into a sterile, lovelessmarriage to a wealthy man, and her childhood dream of defending indigentclients now seems like a remnant of youthful idealism.The novel's more interesting figures are Donald Sales, the law student'sfather, a traumatized Vietnam veteran whose grief and rage fuels thenarrative, and Bob Bolinger, an Austin cop who believes that Lipton is aserial killer responsible for other, similar crimes across the country. Like Lipton's pathology, which is unveiled long after his guilt isproven to the reader's (if not the jury's) satisfaction, Casey's changeof heart--about her client, her husband, and her ideals--is late andlukewarm. Before it occurs, Tim Green has a chance to showcasehis heroine's courtroom skills and illustrate why she's among thefastest legal guns in the Lone Star state.A workmanlike addition to apopular genre, Letter of the Law won't keep you up at night, butit's a satisfying hammock read on an Indian summer afternoon. --JaneAdams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (39)

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay...not great!
I was not really sure how to rate this book. I have read another book by Mr. Green that I loved. His novel Exact Revenge was his Count of Monte Cristo story, which is a favorite of mine, so I went into it with already knowing I was going to like it. But his books get such mixed reviews, I wasn't sure if I would read any others. So, with that said, I read great reviews for the sequel to Letter of the Law, so I decided to try it, knowing I had to read this one first. It was okay....not great. I didn't hate the characters like so many other reviewers did, at least the main character was honest with herself about her flaws. And I loved the character of the vicim's father. Don't know if we will see him again or not. But anyway, the story was good, even if it seemed not very plausible,and it kept me reading so I could see what happened. Not great, just okay.

2-0 out of 5 stars weak and predictable
I had hopes for a great quick read. It started out okay but towards the middle got weaker and the end was just so predictable & unbelievable it wasn't funny!!!!The characters are see though and the plot is even worse!Don't waste your time.

4-0 out of 5 stars A perfect fix for legal thriller addicts
The Letter of the Law opens with the murder of a cyber sex addict, a killing whose significance only becomes apparent near the end of this tense, taut tale of perverted morality and the law.It then segues to a grisly crime scene, a scene change which signals the beginning of the main action of the novel.Here, readers are introduced to police Detective Bob Bolinger, who, despite being a twenty seven year veteran of the force, has never seen quite so brutal a crime scene--the victim, law student Marcia Sales has been eviscerated, her internal organs strewn over the floor of her apartment.

Searching for suspects, Bolinger briefly focuses on Donald Sales, the girl's father, who, in his grief, went berserk at the crime scene.Bolinger's finely honed instincts soon lead him, however, to law professor Eric Lipton, with whom she was romantically involved.Upon learning he is the chief suspect, Lipton, famous for "The Letter of the Law," a treatise and course on how to manipulate the legal system,flees, only to be captured by the police in short order.

A la the O.J. Simpson or the Claus Von Bulow cases, the case attracts national attention, becoming more of a media circus with each passing day.Dismissing his first attorney, thearrogant, eccentric Lipton hires one of his brightest students, up and coming attorney Casey Jordan, to defend him.Anxious to make a lasting mark in the legal community, the ambitious Jordan accepts the case.Using all the weapons in her considerable arsenal, she proceeds to secure a verdict of not guilty, attacking Bolinger professionally, and Donald Sales personally, even going so far as to suggest that Sales may have had an incestuous relationship with his daughter.

The jury verdict is only the beginning of the action, however, as, seconds before it is announced, Lipton whispers something to Casey that turns her world upside down.His revelation triggers a truly bizarre sequence of events that ultimately lead to analliance between Casey and her former adversaries, Bollinger and Donald Sales.Together, the unlikely trio stalks the killer even as he stalks them.

Upon hearing of the basic elements of The Letter of the Law --appalling violence, a genius criminal, an ambitious professional battling seemingly insurmountable odds, a relentless veteran cop searching for the truth--veteran readers might conclude that the book is riddled with clichés, the type of thing we've all become familiar with through the works of authors like Grisham, Cornwall, and Turow.While that's true to an extent, it would be unfair to brand the book that way. Green shows great assurance for a first time novelist, putting his characters through paces that even some of those veterans might blanch at.For instance, he's not afraid to show the dark sides of his characters, at the same time examining the pitfalls and consequences of taking the law into one's own hands.He also makes some telling points about the cost of ambition, as to whether the quest search for the brass ring is worth the rationalizations people are often forced to make as they climb the ladder of success .Green's characters, besides being interesting, are also human, capable of abrupt about faces and unexpected actions.

Filled with tension, and packed with telling insights about our legal system, The Letter of the Law combines solid writing and a well developed ability to surprise readers to create a memorable, fast paced work of fiction, a perfect fix for all you legal thriller addicts out there.

3-0 out of 5 stars Wow, this was bad
This was my first Tim Green book, and although it's a quick read, I did not like the story. This makes the second not-so-good book in three days for me.

Aside from the computer stuff, did anyone else notice the "Law for Dummies" vibe of the book?Some of the lines read like a "we lawyers do THIS for THIS reason."

Just bad.I agree with previous reviewers about how characters change for absolutely no reason.Shouldn't Sales have been charged for kidnapping?Or did Casey have to press charges in order for that to happen? Either way, there were too many gaps in this book.I thought it was interesting to reveal the killer in the middle of the book, but I lost interest after a view unbelievable conversations.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great, fun book
I couldn't put it down except when I had to.The twists and turns are complete surprises.This is the first book by Tim Green that I have read and it isn't 'literature' but it is fast paced, exciting, and great entertainment. ... Read more

7. No Witnesses
by Ridley Pearson
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1999-12-01)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$8.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553702157
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Detective Lou Boldt and police psychologist Daphne Matthews participate in a wild game of cat and mouse with the brilliant killer responsible for the supermarket food poisoning deaths in Seattle, but this serial killer is unlike any other. Reprint. K. NYT. PW. AB. Amazon.com Review
Ridley Pearson's reputation for smoothly-paced, edgy suspense fiction is unassailable.In this, his eighth novel, a Seattlefood company is under siege from an unknown poisoner/extortionist, and innocentconsumers are in constant danger.Police sergeant Lou Boldt and psychologist Daphne Matthews -- both too close to the case for comfort --work furiously to build a profileof the madman, but the police department is cracking under the strain as the lunatic slips away unapprehended from ATMmachines one after another.As the manhunt builds to a furiouscrescendo, Boldt and Matthews are jolted again by the discovery thatthe man they seek may not be working alone. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars No Witnesses
A few years back we had a sitation where a psycho was tampering with pills in the drugstores to the detriment of the user.In "No Witnesses" Ridley Pearson takes this type situation a step further with a large food conglomorate, Adler Foods, being blackmailed by an individual who somehow is introducing poison into their food product....but in the food stores, not in the processing plant. The story line is believable with multi twists and turns that keep you guessing from page one to the final word.

Pearson gives us some very believable characters in Lou Boldt, a homocide detective, and Daphne Matthews, a psychologist to name but two.Through these characters he present us with a great mystery suspense story with a complex plot riddled with tension.We are also treated to some very realistic police work as everyone works real hard to bring an end to the rising death toll of those stricken when they eat the food that has been contaminated..This is a writing you will have a problem putting down once you start, so leave enough time to complete your read before you have to do something other than read the best of Pearson to date.

E.J. Walden, author of "Operation Snow Owl"

4-0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly good read.
Fast paced and suspenseful, reading this was like watching a very good action-suspense movie.The characters were interesting and very human, the relationships realistic, and the technology fascinating.Reading this was a thoroughly good time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thrilling Story,
No Witnesses by Ridley Pearson, was an exciting, nail-biting story that I was glued to until after I had finished the story.

4-0 out of 5 stars Money TalksAll The Way to the Bank
Daphne's lover is being blackmailed and an inspector of the WA state Heaslth Dept has perpetrated fraud, costing a family their livelihood and eventually costing 8 people their lives.Meanwhile, someone is demanding money;the killer or someone else?They're going through ATM's which means Lou needs Liz's bank connections to solve this one.One plot comes to a climax at Dorky's (the adopted daughter of Daphne's lover) Monty the clown, ( a typical 7 year old's party) The other, when Lou realzes that a mistake has been made and they correct it and help a young prostitute get free.Add to this a scene with Bear that gets you thinking about the cameras around you, Daphne's unusual engagement, Lou getting cooperation because of his status as the cop who caught the crosskiller (and the ramifications of that), a rogue cop, a crazy Prosecutor, an over ambitious cop, and La Moia just being himself--you've got an excellent read!

4-0 out of 5 stars CAREFUL WHAT YOU EAT
A serial killer with no witnesses...a unique and fascinating concept for a book and for the most part, Ridley Pearson's "No Witnesses" is a compelling read.His dialogue is crisp, terse, and very believable.If he sometimes overdoes it, as with the character of Bernie, it does serve to educate the reader into the different types of things going on.
The leading characters of Lou Boldt and Daphne Matthews are complex, and well-developed.I did not realize that this is a part of a series featuring these two, so much of what they described happening in the past was new to me.Does make we want to read more in this series, though.
The plot in this one is chilling:someone is poisoning food and massing up killings in a revenge plot against the millionaire behind Adler Foods.Adler is also Daphne's love interest.There are no real clues in the beginning, but as the drama unfolds, ATM machines play a huge part in the extortion plan of the killer.
Lou's relationship with his wife, Liz, is credible and realistic.The supporting characters particularly John LeMoia and Kenny Fowler are also strong and well-written.
The biggest problem with the books is its length.It's long, and there are several times I found myself losing interest in some of the secondary storylines.
But it is an excellent read, and I do recommend it. ... Read more

8. Body of Truth
by David Lindsay
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1999-12-01)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553702122
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Houston homicide detective Stuart Haydon deals in lost souls, and Lena Muller, daughter of a prominent local family, is about as lost as you can get.  Three months have passed since Lena went out to meet an old friend, and she has yet to retum.  Haydon is determined to bring her home.  But word has come that she has surfaced in a place far beyond her jurisdiction and way out of his league.  To find her he must head for Guatemala, a land where people never die . . . they simply disappear.  From the moment he arrives in Guatemala City Haydon finds nothing but traces of the vanished:  Lena, her journalist lover, and the private detective who tracked them down.  As he searches for the young woman in a ravaged country, he encounters a trail of her lovers and a string of brutal murders.  Lena, it appears, has unearthed a dirty secret, one that reeks of death.  Drawn into a world of casual violence and corruption, Haydon soon find that, like Lena, he is seeking the body of truth at the heart of a labyrinth of lies.

From the Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great thriller
I can't quite understand the negative reviews this book seems to be getting here.I think it may well be the best thriller I've read.I've spent a fair amount of time in Guatemala, and I'd say Lindsey may overstate the menacing atmosphere a bit, it is hard to look at Guatemala's recent history and fault him for this.A great book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Half as long would have been plenty
I struggled through the interminable descriptions of stench, of fountains bubbling in the background, of statues, wrought iron gates, you name it, Lindsey can write two paragraphs on it.

After 80 pages, I started skipping the paragraphs that were desciptive filler.I gave up by chapter 17.

If ever there were a book that would make me believe the author was being paid by the word, it would be this one.Had some of those words actually created a spark of interest in the characters, I might have pressed on.

Perhaps Lindsey has written better books.Too bad this was my first encounter with his writing. It will be my last.

1-0 out of 5 stars He doesn't know what he is writing
How could a book like this be published? Yes, He has been to Guatemala. Yes, He knows the structure of the city precisely. Yes, He invested his time and money preparing for the novel. DOES THAT MEAN I HAVE TO THREAD THROUGH ALL THE DESCRIPTION ABOUT THE CITY FOR MORE THAN 300 PAGES? He wrote pretty well at the beginning. But as the story went on he lost balance and wasted too much effort on city and landscape description. DON'T TRY TO READ THIS ONE. NEVER!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
David Lindsay's "Body of Truth" truly conveys the atmosphere prevailing in Guatemala during the last 40 years and especially the time of the just concluded civil war. It is highly realistic, true to time and place in that it enmeshes the characters in the nightmare of crime,politics, and war. I enjoyed this book tremendously, even as it made thehairs on the back of my neck stand up!

3-0 out of 5 stars It Should Have Been Titled "I Hate Guatemala"
I've read and enjoyed most of Lindsey's books, as they are chiefly set in Houston, Texas, my hometown.In this work, Lindsey has become more descriptive in his writing.This works well when he is characterizing theplayers, and moving the storyline, however, his descriptions of Guatemalaare downright nasty.I understand that it is a country that is fraughtwith corruption and violence, but the way Lindsey illustrates it, I'msurprised that people still live there.Also, Lindsey is verycondescending in his negative portrait, displaying a decided 'U.S.A.Superiority Complex'. For example, in one scene, the main character,Haydon, pays for his meal with U.S. Dollars.Lindsey then describes theGuatemalan waiter's "delight" in receiving payment in a currencythat "actually had value".Other passages like this permeate thebook to the point where it becomes almost laughable.(With commentary likethis, no wonder the rest of the world hates us!). But, despite the digs onGuatemala, the story is fast moving, compelling, and keeps you guessing. Overall, I recommend it - just check your opinion of Guatemala at the door. ... Read more

9. Fear Nothing
by Dean Koontz
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1998)

Asin: B0015PG05S
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**OWN THE UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK! 10 Cassettes, 12 Hours, Performance By Keith Szarabajka. Christopher Snow Suffers From A Rare And Fatal Skin Disease That Keeps Him Out Of The Sun. Christopher's Mother And Father Died From The Disease. But His Father's Corpse Is Missing, And The Nurse Who Cared For Him Was Found Murdered After Voicing Some Unconventional Theories. Christopher Enlists His Buddy, Bobby Halloway, To Help Him Investigate. Along The Way, Christopher And Bobby Uncover Some Sinister Secrets And A Mysteriously Empty Military Base, And Realize That They Can Count Only On Each Other To Survive Their Adventure. ... Read more

 Unknown Binding: Pages (1998)

Asin: B003GJIIH4
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11. Seize the Night
by Dean Koontz
Audio Cassette: Pages (1998-01-01)
-- used & new: US$8.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002NW7JP2
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12. Seize the Night
by Dean Koontz
Audio CD: Pages (2007-01-02)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$19.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739341375
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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There are no rules in the dark, no place to feel safe, no escape from the shadows. But to save the day, you must...Seize the Night.

At no time does Moonlight Bay look more beautiful than at night. Yet it is precisely then that the secluded little town reveals its menace. Now children are disappearing. From their homes. From the streets. And there's nothing their families can do about it. Because in Moonlight Bay, the police work their hardest to conceal crimes and silence victims. No matter what happens in the night, their job is to ensure that nothing disturbs the peace and quiet of Moonlight Bay....

Christopher Snow isn't afraid of the dark. Forced to live in the shadows because of a rare genetic disorder, he knows the night world better than anyone. He believes the lost children are still alive and that their disappearance is connected to the town's most carefully kept, most ominous secret—a secret only he can uncover, a secret that will force him to confront an adversary at one with the most dangerous darkness of all. The darkness inside the human heart.

From the Paperback edition.Amazon.com Review
Chris Snow, the light-phobic, oddball hero of Dean Koontz's Fear Nothing, is onceagain caught in the middle of something ugly.The children (and pets)of MoonlightBay, California, are disappearing.The first to go is Jimmy Wing, the sonof Snow's former girlfriend, Lilly.Then Snow's own hyper-intelligent doggoes missing. Snow decides that he will find them, but what he uncovers ismore than just a simple kidnapping; before he can turn back, he's upagainst an age-old vendetta, an active time machine, and a geneticexperiment gone awry.

Seize the Night offers up the same eclectic mix of characters thatappeared in Fear Nothing: boardhead Bobby, disc jockey Sasha, Snow,and all of their friends band together to find the missing kids and figureout why the people of Moonlight Bay are morphing into demonic versions oftheir former selves.They outsmart corrupt cops, outrun geneticallyenhanced monkeys, and outlive a time warp with a vengeance--all betweennightfall and sunrise, the only time that Snow can be outside.

Though the premise is a little bit hard to believe, and the surf lingooccasionally irritating, Seize the Night is ultimately fun to read. Koontz successfully draws you in and keeps you entertained through anunexpected climax and an enlightening resolution. --Mara Friedman ... Read more

Customer Reviews (361)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dean Koontz Seizes Readers!
I recommend you read Fear Nothing first, as "Seize the Night" is the second in the series. Night owls will love these, as the lead character, Chris Snow, is the ultimate Night Person.His dog, Orson, is no ordinary dog.Dean Koontz ROCKS again!

1-0 out of 5 stars Dull and needs a plot please!
I tried reading this book but after 6 chapters of Snow's constant conjecture and little as far as advancing the story line I had to ditch this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good story, but less prose, more action would be desirable
I haven't read Koontz in years (Voice of the Night was probably the last book of his I did read though not a very good one) but picked this up at a point where I could find nothing else, intrigued by the blurb on the back.I'm about 2/3 of the way through, and reading it only because, again, there's nothing else (currently waiting on several books) and the story actually has *just enough* intrigue to it that like the plot to a semi-bad B-movie, I just gotta see how it ends.

The problem is the long, drawn out, super-metaphorical way every scene is handled; there was a writer from around the turn of the century, I recall a friend telling me, who would fill out his books in such a way (describing a room, a chair, etc.) just to please editors who called his works "too short"--and this book so badly reminds me of that.The surfer banter is grating but not as bad as these long, drawn out scenes!Because of them I actually find myself backtracking, trying to remember referenced events and people...I feel like Koontz was told, "We want x number of pages" and he did his best to fill them, at the price of story pace.

I'll probably finish it for the reasons stated above, but after that, I think I'm going to swear off Koontz again (as I did after Voice of the Night).At least until he decides to focus more on story and pacing, rather than filling pages.

5-0 out of 5 stars There are Scary Creatures in the Night
This is the sequel to "Fear Nothing" which introduced Christopher Snow, who suffers from a rare, light-sensitive condition known as xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). Light shortens his life, so he has to live in the dark, in the shadows. We also met Snow's, sharp as a tack girlfriend Sasha and his surfer pal Bobby. And of course we can't forget his genetically altered, very bright dog, Orson or the small seaside town of Moonlight Bay, where they all live.

Five-year-old Jimmy Wing is missing and Snow and his friends are concerned, especially Snow, because Jimmy's mother is a friend and a former lover. Soon they learn that Jimmy isn't the only missing child in Moonlight Bay and the clues seem to lead to Fort Wyvern, the base where a series of secret experiments years earlier left behind an assorted mix of genetic mutations - super-smart rhesus monkeys, snakes, coyotes and the occasional human, the occasional very strange human. And, of course, Orson, the intelligent pouch, is a result of those same experiments.

Snow's deceased mother had a lot to do with these experiments, which started out to be a search for a cure for genetic disorders, but Fort Wyvern is a military base, after all. Is it any wonder that the experiments turned to the dark side, any wonder that the super secret types would want to use genetics to turn out the perfect soldier.

In no time at all Snow and his pals are up against mutant creatures of several stripes, creatures that will give you the chilly whillies. But our gang of good guys fights on and perseveres to the end. However you won't have to fight on or persevere through this book that is so good that it seemed to be over before I started. Dean Koontz sure knows how to draw you into a story, how to tingle the imagination, chill the spine, speed up the pulse. Don't pass this one by.

3-0 out of 5 stars Love the author, but not the story in this one

Seize the Night is the second book of a series featuring Christopher Snow, who suffers from xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), and his frantic search for the missing child of an ex-girlfriend. XP is a condition that renders Snow extremely sensitive to any form of light, limiting him to a lifetime spent in the dark of night, to which he has adapted and thrives.

The search for the child takes him to Wyvern, an abandoned government R&D facility on the outskirts of town, that rumors link to any number of wild genetic studies and, as we find late in the story, time travel experiments. Snow survives a number of threats, from swarming suicidal birds to rabid and super-intelligent rhesus monkeys and genetic mutants, and in the process loses his best friend Orson, his canine companion, himself a product of the bio-engineering that takes place at the Wyvern facility.

With the help of some friends, Snow later returns to Wyvern to rescue what he deduces to be a group of missing children, only to find a host of new challenges. * * *

My Two Cents Worth

I am an avid reader and most of my friends know that I am always looking for "new" authors, genres, and writing styles. Many of them recommended I give Koontz a try, so I did. Seize the Night was my first Koontz book and I was hindered by the fact that I had no knowledge of the prequel in the series.

That being said, I was initially quite pleased by the author's way with words in the first 42 pages, but it was exactly here that my focus was lost. The clever dialogue, interesting setting, and vivid descriptions of the games that a person's mind plays as they maneuver in a totally darkened environment ended abruptly.

Just as the action promised to race, it became mired in wordy and disjointed paragraphs that completely derailed the story line. By the time Snow leaves Wyvern to gather his friends for the return trip (page 208) I had lost interest.

The following 130 pages - as we meet the friends who are to accompany him back to the lab - was much too long an interlude in the plot for me. The characters were weak, not to mention unnecessarily odd, and the "surfer dude" dialogue made me crazy. I didn't like it at all.

From page 370 to the climax of the story, the wandering and excessive descriptions of the laboratory became a hindrance to the action. Finally, as the mystery is being revealed and the action mercifully hits its peak, Snow stops to read newspaper clippings he finds taped to the walls of the dark hallway through his night vision goggles. I found this to be a very weak way to discover some of the missing clues about the evil kidnappers. I was disappointed and it felt like the author had forgotten to disclose some important details earlier in the plot and threw them in as an afterthought.

Koontz is such an accomplished author but I feel like this was the wrong book for me to start with. I will choose another of his books in the future, but this one didn't do it for me. Sorry guys.

443 pages
6 hours!! ... Read more

13. Fear Nothing
by Dean Koontz
Audio CD: Pages (2006-06-27)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$22.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739334298
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Christopher Snow is the best-known resident of 12,000-strong Moonlight Bay, California. This is because 28-year-old Chris has xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)—a light-sensitivity so severe that he cannot leave his house in daylight, cannot enter a normally-lit room, cannot sit at a computer. Chris's natural element is the night, and his parents, both academics, chose to live in Moonlight Bay because in a small town Chris can make the nightscape his own—roaming freely through the town on his bike, surfing in the moonlight, exploring while most people sleep.

But Chris's brilliant mother, a scientist, was killed in a car accident 2 years ago, and as the book opens his father, Steven Snow, is dying of cancer; Chris's protected life is about to change forever. We meet Chris as he is carefully preparing himself to go out in the late-afternoon sun to visit the hospital. In his last moments of life his father tells Chris he is "sorry" and that Chris should "fear nothing"—cryptic words that Chris cannot really relate to.

Steven Snow's body is removed to the hospital basement for transport to the funeral home/crematorium, and when Chris goes downstairs for a final moment of farewell, he witnesses a frightening and clandestine encounter: the funeral director and another man Chris doesn't recognize are substituting the body of a hitchhiker for Steven Snow's body–which is being taken not to the crematorium but to some secret destination.

For Chris, this scene is the first intimation of a conspiracy that he will come to realize envelopes many of his townspeople. His parents knew of it and wanted to protect Chris from it. His best friend has had hints of something wrong because of the frightening nocturnal visitors that have come to his beachhouse. And the first person to try to explain to Chris what's going on—and warn him about the special danger he himself is in—will be hideously murdered.

In the 24 hours this book encompasses, Christopher Snow will find out that, sheltered though he's been, he has the soul of a fighter and an adventurer. By the end of the book he will have killed a man, will have discovered the role his own mother played in the birth of the conspiracy, will have come to recognize the extraordinary guardians that, unknown to him, have watched over him for years. He will realize that some people hate him, others revere him, and neither his own life nor those of anyone he knows will ever be the same.

From the Paperback edition.Amazon.com Review
If you think you've got it tough, meet Christopher Snow, thehero of Dean Koontz's novel Fear Nothing. Not only did hisparents die under mysterious circumstances, but he's also being stalkedby shadowy characters who want Snow to stop trying to find out howthey died--or else they'll bump off his remaining loved ones (hissupersmart, beer-lapping dog Orson; his best surfing buddy Bobby; andhis late-night deejay girlfriend Sasha). And as if being on the lam inhis own hometown, Moonlight Bay, California, isn't bad enough, Snowhas to outrun his pursuers without leaving town. He has XP--xerodermapigmentosum--a rare genetic affliction that forces him to avoidlight. Cumulative exposure to sun, fluorescent lights, and the likewill give him cancer eventually, and he doesn't dare leave the placewhere he's skillfully "done the mambo with melanoma" for all of his 28years. Koontz makes the night-town of Moonlight Bay come alive inthis sometimes pulse-pounding, sometimes funny, but mostly ratherlyrical thriller. Fans of Koontz's legendary 1986 novel Watchers will lovethis book's similar theme: our hero and a loveable super-dog deal witha genetic engineering laboratory run amok. Horror fans will savor theevil mutant rhesus "millennium monkeys" who hunt Snow, thefew scenes of eloquent gore, and the plight of certain mutatingtownsfolk who are, as they put it, "becoming" something verycreepy.

Koontz gives Snow and Bobby a lingo that does for surfertalk what Austin Powers did for the Swinging '60s, and his metaphorsare almost as madcap as Tom Robbins's: "As the chains of theswinging light fixture torqued, the links twisted against one anotherwith enough friction to cause an eerie ringing, as if lizard-eyedaltar boys in blood-soaked cassocks and surplices were ringing theunmelodious bells of a satanic mass." Sometimes Koontz's stylegoes over the top and wipes out, surfer-style, but for the most part,Fear Nothing will have readers bellowing "Cowabunga!" ... Read more

Customer Reviews (474)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Scary Story about a Boy and His Dog
Christopher Snow, called Snowman by his friends, is a twenty-eight-year-old writer who is doomed to a life of darkness because of a rare genetic disorder called xeroderma pigmentosum, or XP for short. He's normal in every way except that exposure to ultraviolet rays - even from fluorescent lights - could be fatal.

His father has just died. But when the hospital turns the body over to the mortuary, it's switched for one of a hitchhiker, who was a victim of a brutal beating that ended with someone plucking out his eyes. Snowman sets out to discover why and finds himself involved in a mystifying tale that involves all of Moonlight Bay, a quaint California coastal town.

Snowman goes to the mortuary but is discovered. There is a chase that wind up with Snowman following an intelligent cat into an underground drainage catacomb that's full of hundreds of animal and human skulls.

Snowman eases himself back into the darkness and goes home, where he gets his faithful dog Orson and heads out in search of answers. There are it seems, animals in town who are a whole heck of a lot smarter than they have a right to be. Some good, a troop of monkeys apparently not so good. In due course he finds out that his quiet little town has been a hotbed of DNA research and that his mother was involved in some sneaky governmental work that involved intra-species gene therapy. And he learns a little something about his dog.

This book is typical Koontz, a thriller as well as a scary read that grabs you from the first page and pulls you right into the story. I loved the characters, Christopher, Bobby, Sasha, but most of all I loved Orson the dog and I believe you will too.

4-0 out of 5 stars My first Koontz book - coming from a Stephen King fan
Good story.It could have been longer and gone into more detail about the history of Wyvern and the characters' parents.I am used to King books which can be very long.This book definitely sucked me in, and I am going to read "Seize the Night" next.

5-0 out of 5 stars i love this book!!! reviewer: apple allen
Christopher Snow, Sasha,Bobby,and of course Orson(!) are some of the best fictional characters ever written. I devoured FIND ME,also. I highly recommend the Christopher Snow novels,and hope Mr. Koontz has many more to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars First and favorite!
This was the first Dean Koontz novel I ever read.That was about 12 years ago now and this is still my favorite of his works.There's a great balance between humor and thrills.It's because of Christopher Snow that I use words like "bitchin'."The sequal, Sieze The Night, was also good.I just wish that Koontz would have continued the series like the Odd Thomas collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining
This was the first book I read by Koontz and I am hooked.Very good story that had me hooked from page 1.I loved all the characters.This book was one that I couldn't wait to get back to when I had time to read.I have now read a few other Dean Koontz books (The Face & Sole Survivor) and Fear Nothing is my favorite so far.I am ready to read the sequel to this one "Seize the Night" ... Read more

14. A Walk on the Wild Side
by Nelson Algren
Audio CD: Pages (2010-03-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 144171054X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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With its depictions of the downtrodden prostitutes, bootleggers, and hustlers of Perdido Street in the old French Quarter of 1930s New Orleans, A Walk on the Wild Side found a place in the imaginations of all the generations that have followed. I found my way to the streets on the other side of the Southern Pacific station, where the big jukes were singing something called 'Walking the Wild Side of Life', wrote Algren. I've stayed pretty much on that side of the curb ever since." Perhaps the author's own words describe this classic work best: "The book asks why lost people sometimes develop into greater human beings than those who have never been lost in their whole lives. Why men who have suffered at the hands of other men are the natural believers in humanity, while those whose part has been simply to acquire, to take all and give nothing, are the most contemptuous of mankind." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars Bad poetry, worse fiction
I was excited to read this, having read an Algren interview in the Paris Review wherein his off-the-cuff stories were more entertaining than most polished fiction (No, I haven't read any other Algren, and, yes, I will). This book was then a great let-down. It is a wash of mildly poetic language, poetic in the sense of being obscure, which obscures the tale of a young man gone to New Orleans to seek his fame and fortune and find his bottle, whores and destruction. I have read stories far more obscured by poetry (Ulysses, The Alexandria Quartet, The Obscene Bird of Night), but the poetics of these works excuse themselves by being a joy in themselves. With this work, the poetics do replicate a boozy, confused New Orleans of one night bleeding into the next, but it is so boring that one constantly tries to look past it to find the story, or simply wants to put down the book. It's a kind of 'Brown Bunny' approach to aesthetics--the form is supposed to justify itself. Your supposed to be disgusted, bored, etc. That means it's effective. To my mind this is a cheap technique and exactly the one Algren employs. The characters are not so much unreal or unenjoyable as inert--they appear, they push the plot in a given direction and then they fade back into the background. Only Dove, the main character, remains, getting tossed about by all these disparate forces. There are whores, fights, pimps, lots of con-men and other stock characters (everyone is trying to get ahead and looking out for themselves, a pure Machivelian world, but no-one even has the sophistication of desire to want anything but bottle, cash or sex)... I don't know, I really wanted to like this book. Algren was a self-made writer, a very respectable human being by all accounts, and not without talent. But this book missed the mark for me. I'll try 'Man with the Golden Arm' when I stop being mad about this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning
Nelson Algren's novel relates the adventures of Dove Linkhorn, an illiterate young man who leaves poverty and a failed love affair behind him to wander the countryside.He has many adventures along the way until he settles for a time in New Orleans, where he will experience happiness and great tragedy.

Linkhorn is an appealing character, whose desire to better himself makes him easy to sympathize with.The real star of this novel, however, is Algren's prose.Hemingway himself felt that Algren was one of the best writers in America, although their styles couldn't be more different.In contrast to Hemingway's stark, deceptively simple prose, Algren's is full of flourishes and wordplay.I have never encountered a writer that was more adept at breaking my heart and making me laugh out loud on the same page--sometimes in the same paragraph.There are verbal fireworks going off in this book.His characters are extreme types living on the fringe of society, but Algren makes them come alive.Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Down Those Mean Streets with Algren
As I have mentioned in other reviews of Nelson Algren's work, such as The Man With The Golden Arm, I am personally very familiar with the social milieu that he is working. Growing up in a post-World War II built housing project this reviewer knew first hand the so-called `romance' of drugs, the gun, the ne'er do well hustler and the fallen sister. And I also learned the complex mechanisms one needed to develop in order to survive at that place where the urban working poor meet and mix with the lumpen proletariat- the con men, dopesters, grifters, drifters and gamblers who feed on the downtrodden. This is definitely not the mix that Damon Runyon celebrated in his Guys and Dolls-type stories. Far from it.

Nelson Algren has once again, through hanging around Chicago police stations (does anyone describe that milieu, cops and criminals, better?), other nefarious locales and the sheer ability to observe, gotten that sense of foreboding, despair and the just plain oblivion of America's mean streets down pat. In this, probably his best literary endeavor in that vein,Algren has gotten down to the core of existence for the would be world-beater hustler Dove Linkhorn a character who symbolizesa certain aspect of American life in his way, as say, Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby or Hemingway's Robert Jordan do in theirs.

Several factors make this an exceptional work. Not the least is the beginning section`s description of the antecedents of the "white trash" phenomena, as exemptified by Dove, that as always been something of a hidden secret about the American experience.In short, what happens when the land runs out, or in Professor Frederick Jackson Turner's thesis-the frontier ends. Nobody has put this in literature better than Algren, even Steinbeck. Furthermore, he has moved the story line here back in timefrom his usual 1940's and 1950's to the 1930's when some cosmic shifts were occurring in American life.

Algren has also moved the geography from Chicago to New Orleans.and integrated some of his short story characters and story lines found in his collection Neon Wilderness into this project. Changes in time, place and characters there may be but that raw struggle for survival for those down almost below the base of society is still the same. The only objection that I have is that the portrait of Linkhorn, as described here by Algren,gives me an impression that old Dove could never ever make it in his `chosen' world unlike, say, Frankie Machine who has that urban grit almost genetically build into him in order to survive. Frankly, I do not believe that Dove could have survived in my old housing project. Frankie Machine would have been the `king of the hill'. Read this valuable book about an America that, then and now, is hidden in the shadows.

4-0 out of 5 stars A flawed masterpiece
You are a good person, pay your taxes, honour your parents, do an honest's days work...so nothing in common with whores, drug addicts, boot-lickers, queers, hustlers, drunkards, jail fodder. You are a good honest citizen looking out for others.

Last week I was on a train that got stuck outside of Bristol by the floods for several hours, we moved up and down the tracks and stopped before moving up and down the tracks again. Eventually we returned to Taunton and were dumped at the station. Outside the promised coaches were absent, it was bucketing down rain and no one from the rail company in charge. When coaches did arrive in dribs and drabs 300+ people ran as if fleeing a doomed city. No thoughts given to parents with babes in arms, to elderly passengers struggling with heavy cases. I bet you that we were all good people, who pay our taxes...

In Walk on the Wild Side, Nelson Algren asks "why lost people sometimes develop into greater human beings than those who have never been lost in their whole lives. Why men who have suffered at the hands of other men are the natural believers in humanity, while those whose part has been simply to acquire, to take all and give nothing, are the most contemptuous of mankind."

The book was written at the on set of the cold war in the 1950's but is set in the Deep south of the early 1930's. Algren himself went into popular and critical decline soon after in part due to the abuses of McCarthyism and in part to his own hard drinking, gambling and drug taking.

The story starts with Dove a Southern trailer trash illiterate 16 year old in the Mexican-Texas border. His grandfather is traveling preacher...described by Dove as the type that makes you want to throw your Bible away. He is barefoot, and in country yokel jeans. At the end he is in the height of fashion albeit bedraggled due to prison sentence for being drunk and disorderly. Along the way we see the ins and outs of hustling, working in a peepshow, making and selling rubbers etc. We meet the women he loves or has sex with and one who keeps her humanity enough perhaps to love him. This unfolds as he jumps trains to New Orleans and then tries to make a living.

The narrative can at time feel like a series of short stories threaded together but its both naturalistic and funny. See Dove as an innocent abroad who walks where others fear to tread and so sails through danger that passes over his head. It also has lots of little passages of songs scatters throughout the book.Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed is based on the book and was going to be part of a musical of the book- want to see that if it ever happens!

It has to be said it's a flawed masterpiece but still better then many other writers' best work so give it a try and get a sense if you could believe in humanity if crushed at the bottom of the pile.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not exactly an uplifting read
I've read this book twice now.First in college for a literature class, and again 8 years later.Both times it depressed me.Granted, that is the book's purpose.To provide a realistic and tragic glimpse into the lives of some of America's least fortunate during the depression.Though it is interesting and well written, I can't say that I would tell my best friend to read it. ... Read more

15. Rising Sun: PriceLess
by Michael Crichton
Audio Cassette: Pages (1999-04-06)
list price: US$8.99 -- used & new: US$10.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375405755
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Specially priced! Crichton's riveting murder mystery unfolds in the arena of volatile Japanese-American relationships--where control of the most sophisticated technology is the fiercely coveted prize and the Japanese saying "business is war" has a more figurative meaning. The basis for the movie starring Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (136)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius
In my view, the genius here is the way the author combines big business, economics, minute details of police work, knowledge of Japanese culture and business and pure storytelling to produce an information-packed and tremendously entertaining novel. No need to rehash the plot here, but I just need to add that the characters are interesting and twisted, rather than predictable and flat, which is the problem with many contemporary novels, and the author manages to accomplish that in an easy, natural non-descriptive manner. We never know what to expect from whom. Some will dismiss the novel as Japan-bashing, yet Michael Crichton manages to say many good things about Japanase culture, and not come across as flattering. The writing style suits the novel perfectly, the suspense is palpable and the plot is the cleverest I remember encountering in a long time. One other thing - the movie is a very close adaptation of the novel, and is highly recommended to anyone who has read or is planning to read the book. It's a very accurate rendering of, and just about as good as the novel; the acting is amazing; the film has a few nuances of its own which are not in the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Crichton's Best.....But.....
Although the technology in this book is now dated, the story still can reel you in.I have read a few of Chrichton's books and this one certainly isn't his best, but it also is not his worst.

4-0 out of 5 stars MUCH BETTER THAN THE MOVIE!!!
If u like MC then u will prob like this book.I read it right after it orignally came out and recall thinking it was pretty good. Although, many of us chg are opinions by the time we are over 30...lol. Drew

3-0 out of 5 stars Reading with Tequila
Rising Sun was a tough one to get through. It wasn't extremely long, but without having any prior knowledge of Japanese business or customs I found myself boggled by the details. Once finished, I felt it was a satisfying read, but not something I would have an interest in reading again. Rising Sun is a must for the more rabid Michael Crichton fans, but casual readers should pass this one by.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crichton's best book ever!
After reading Jurassic Park, I wanted to read every Crichton book available!After doing so, I have decided that this was the best book that he has ever written!

I loved the Rising Sun!It had an intriguing beginning, and only got better as the story went on.This is one of the few books that ever was portrayed in a fair way on television.If you loved the television/movie version, you would love this book!

Have fun! ... Read more

16. Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates: A Novel
by Tom Robbins
Audio Cassette: Pages (2000-05)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$6.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553527320
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Eight cassettes, approx. 12 hours
Performance by Keith Szarabajka

In Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates the wise, witty, always gutsy Tom Robbins brings onstage the most complex and compelling character he has ever created.

Switters is a contradiction for all seasons: an anarchist who works for the government; a pacifist who carries a gun; a vegetarian who sobs up ham gravy; a cyberwiz who hates computers; a robust bon vivant who can be as squeamish as any fop; a man who, though obsessed with the preservation of innocence, is aching to deflower his high-school-age stepsister (only to become equally enamored of a nun ten years his senior).

Yet there's nothing remotely wishy-washy about Switters.He doesn't merely pack a pistol.He is a pistol.Robbins has said that throughout the writing of Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, he was guided by the advice of Julia Child: "Learn to handle hot things.Keep your knives sharp.Above all have a good time."

Perhaps that is why he has managed to write a provocative, rascally novel that takes no prisoners-and yet is upbeat, romantic, meaningful, adventurous, edifying, and fun.

Amazon.com Review
The fierce invalid in Tom Robbins's seventh novel is a philosophical,hedonistic U.S. operative very loosely inspired by a friend of the author."Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll are enormously popular in the CIA," claimsSwitters. "Not with all the agents in the field, but with the goodones, the brightest and the best." Switters isn't really an invalid, butduring his first mission (to set free his ornery grandma's parrot,Sailor, in the Amazon jungle), he gets zapped by a spell cast by a"misshapen shaman" of the Kandakandero tribe named End of Time. The shamanis reminiscent of Carlos Castaneda's giggly guru, but his head ispyramid-shaped. In return for a mind-bending trip into cosmic truth--"theHallways of Always"--Switters must not let his foot touch the earth, orhe'll die.

Not that a little death threat can slow him down. Switters simply hops intoa wheelchair and rolls off to further footloose adventures, occasionallyswitching to stilts. For a Robbins hero, to be just a bit high, notearthbound, facilitates enlightenment. He bops from Peru to Seattle, wherehe's beguiled by the Art Girls of the Pike Place Market and his 16-year-oldstepsister, and then off to Syria, where he falls in with a pack ofrenegade nuns bearing names like Mustang Sally and Domino Thirry. WillSwitters see Domino tumble and solve the mystery of the Virgin Mary? Canthe nuns convince the Pope to favor birth control--to "zonk the zygoticzillions and mitigate the multitudinous milt" and "wrest free from awoman's shoulders the boa of spermatozoa?" Can the author ever resist ashameless pun or a mutant metaphor?

The tangly plot is almost beside the point. Switters is a colorfulundercover agent, and a Robbins novel is really a colorful undercover essaycelebrating sex and innocence, drugs and a firm wariness of anything thattries to rewire the mind, and Broadway tunes, especially "Send in theClowns." Some readers will be intensely offended by Switters's yen foryouth and idiosyncratic views on vice. But fans will feel that extremism inthe pursuit of serious fun is virtue incarnate. Fierce Invalids Homefrom Hot Climates is classic Tom Robbins: all smiles, similes, andsubversion. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

Customer Reviews (212)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fierce it is!
Fiercely funny, fiercely wise, and the most unusual characters and plot you can imagine.If you love things off the beaten path, mixed with a little sex, a little libation, and a lot of humor this book is for you!And somehow world religion is involved. Tom Robbins is a philosopher/theologian that sees the world from a different angle than the rest of us.And he never misses a chance to laugh at how serious we take ourselves.People of the world...relax!

5-0 out of 5 stars "Fierce Invalids" as religion
I love this book. I listen to it on TAPE as I drive from job to job on the freeways of Southern California. I rewind constantly to enjoy again and again the insightful, articulate and often hilarious ruminations of Tom Robbins. I purchased copies for all of my friends. Read "Fierce Invalids from Hot Climates". It will change your life...or at least the way you LOOK at life.

2-0 out of 5 stars in love with himself
I wish the author loved himself a little less and loved his readers a little more.I found myself skimming over pages of fat, looking for the meat.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not What I Was Expecting
Wow!This book is quite bad.

I have wrestled with ways to describe it to my friends, and the best I've settled on is to call Robbins a talented wordsmith who uses language like a middle-schooler.Imagine giving a young child a huge vocabulary and then asking him to write a crazy story: this is EXACTLY how the book reads.He uses five adjectives when one would do.He clutters his sentences when a simple declaration would suffice.He name-drops authors, poets, and singers as if in college and trying to impress a girl.All in all, the book is an exercise in overcompensation that makes for difficult reading.

I consider myself a "serious" reader in that I strive for quality in my reading list.I am not so quick to judge as to call Robbins a bad writer, but he is not exactly refined in the sense that I need.The good news is that you can do an easy litmus test yourself: read the first page of the book.If you can stand it - indeed, if you can even enjoy it - then you might have what it takes to tackle this one.I didn't.

5-0 out of 5 stars perfection
this is the book of books. if you read the one star reviews on this page you'll see people who have read every other tom robbins book and hated this one. that says it all. if you really understand robbins you will not be disappointed. ... Read more

17. The Deeds of My Fathers: How My Grandfather and Father Built New York and Created the Tabloid World of Today
by Paul David Pope
 Unknown Binding: Pages (2010-12)
list price: US$69.99 -- used & new: US$69.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1441768955
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A story that reads like The Godfather has been crossed with Citizen Kane. The Deeds of My Fathers is the riveting true story of two men, a father and a son, who each started with nothing and built an empire.

Generoso Pope, Sr., an Italian immigrant, arrived in New York in 1906 with only pennies in his pocket. He got a job shoveling sand, but through his intelligence, natural leadership, ruthlessness, and ability to woo powerful politicians such as Jimmy Walker and Franklin Roosevelt, he worked his way up to become the biggest provider of cement, just as it was becoming the key building material for New York, vital to landmarks such as Rockerfeller Center and Radio City Music Hall.

Gene Pope, Jr. was his father's choice to inherit and run the business, but Gene's mother and two brothers forced him out, and he found himself penniless and on his own. With a loan from his godfather, mobster Frank Costello, Gene bought the New York Enquirer. He renamed it the National Enquirer and focused on the paranormal, celebrities, and the hopes and fears of Americans. Gene forced the tabloid into the supermarkets and became a powerful media force, peaking with the seven million copies sold of the blockbuster expose' on the death of Elvis.

This captivating narrative, told for the first time, chronicles the emergence in America of an Italian immigrant and his son whose deeds would make them among the most prominent practitioners of power and influence in this country. Based on previously untapped sources, this book presents an archetypal story of the American century, told candidly by a consummate insider who lets all the chips--the light & the dark--fall where they may. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Epic!
Huge scale, huge scope and fascinating...twenty pages in I was hooked. Seldom have I learned so much I didn't know about American history.True, I haven't ever read a book about the tabloid, but I had no idea the depth of the family history, nor the role they played in behind the scene machinations from the Depression to the Second World War.An epic tale told in a modest tone by a real insider.I loved it.I expect a film.Jim Linderman Dull Tool Dim Bulb

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book
Exciting family story, Wow this family influenced so much of how mainstreamnews is record and published.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Read
Deeds of My Fathers is a compelling read not to be missed.A fascinating insight into two powerful men who used the power of the press--one to politically motivate Italian Americans, and the other to create a tabloid world of news with stories that people wanted to read, forever changing what we consider journalism in this country.A great family saga!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Deed and a Good Read
Paul Pope has done readers a favor by telling the story of his fascinating family as well as he has. As a born-and-bred New Yorker, I relish good books about the city, and Deeds of Our Fathers will join the ranks of the must-be-reads. It is a terrific urban story, another (and needed) take on the Italian-American experience (see Mario Puzo and Pietro DiDonato for others), and a dramatic multi-generational family saga. Knowing a bit about the book beforehand, I expected to be entertained by the tale of the first generation, Generoso Pope's major but far-from-angelic role in New York journalism and politics, but was really surprised and delighted by the second, Gene Pope's establishment of the National Enquirer as a huge media success and now, with the wisdom of hindsight, we can see it, for good or bad, as the progenitor of celebrity magazines (People, Us, et al) and Entertainment-Tonight style TV, and, at times, serious journalism as well.Highly recommended. ... Read more

18. Blue Highways
by William Heat-Moon
Audio Cassette: Pages (1991-11-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$34.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671760599
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This runaway 1983 bestseller is Least Heat-Moon's masterful view of the diversity of America--on a 13,000-mile, 38-state, automobile trek down the country's fascinating backroads. 2 cassettes.Amazon.com Review
First published in 1982, William Least Heat-Moon's account of his journeyalong the back roads of the United States (marked with the color blue on old highwaymaps) has become something of a classic. When he loses his job and his wifeon the same cold February day, he is struck by inspiration: "A man whocouldn't make things go right could at least go. He could quit trying toget out of the way of life. Chuck routine. Live the real jeopardy ofcircumstance. It was a question of dignity."

Driving cross-country in a van named Ghost Dancing, Heat-Moon (the namethe Sioux give to the moon of midsummer nights) meets up with all manner offolk, from a man in Grayville, Illinois, "whose cap told me what fertilizerhe used" to Scott Chisholm, "a Canadian citizen ... [who] had lived in thiscountry longer than in Canada and liked the United States but wouldn'tadmit it for fear of having to pay off bets he made years earlier when hefirst 'came over' that the U.S. is a place no Canadian could ever love."Accompanied by his photographs, Heat-Moon's literary portraits of ordinaryAmericans should not be merely read, but savored. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (130)

3-0 out of 5 stars Blue Highways

I have mixed feelings about this book.It has taken me forever to read, and not because I was just savoring it.It's not a particularly long book, I could just only stand to read so much of it at a time.Least Heat Moon tells interesting stories and meets some fabulous people in this journey, but he tends to be long-winded.

After losing his wife and his job, and figuring he has nothing holding him back, William Least Heat Moon turns his van into a somewhat camper and decides to just drive.As a unique point of his roadtrip, he doesn't take the more common roads and highways, but instead what he calls the "Blue Highways".Those roads that are in an old atlas marked in blue and not commonly used for travel anymore.He starts out in MO and makes a trek to the eastern shore, from there he heads south, and then West, eventually making a complete circle around the United States and ending back in MO.He enjoys most of his travels, although, like some of the other travel books I've read, he didn't have all pleasant experiences in the South. While he encounters racism in different parts of the United States, most of the ones he writes about are in this region.

He meets some very interesting people and his stories of them were some of my favorite parts of the book.The shipbuilder, who over the years has been building his own boat for him and his wife to live on once its complete.The barber who gave him one of the best haircuts of his life.The traveling "missionary" who liked to hitchhike and was headed towards South America by way of Montana. There are several other characters, but these were the main ones that stood out to me.He also, thoughtfully, includes pictures of these individuals so we can picture who he's talking to.

The other parts of the book are more of a "poetic" description of his feelings and what he is learning from this trip.This isn't a bad thing to have in a book really.But he tends to ramble on a bit in these sections and to me they weren't as relevant at times as I would have liked.I found myself losing interest when confronted with several of these chapters at a time and it probably explains why it took me so long to read this book.

Least Heat Moon is a good writer.Everything is clear and richly descriptive.He just seems to like his words so much that he can't be as concise as most writers.When he's writing about other people he's excellent.Writing about himself is just a whole different style for him.

I liked a good half of the book I would say.It's always interesting to read travelogues and I especially like it when author's focus on what they are seeing and who they are meeting, rather than their thoughts on how the trip is changing their life.In this book, I got half of each.I would recommend reading it, as he does have some interesting accounts in the book.

Blue Highways
Copyright 1983
411 pages + map and afterword

Review by M. Reynard 2010

5-0 out of 5 stars Funny!
I have always loved this book.Nameless, Tennessee is the best bit in the book.I promise you will enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blue Highways
Blue Highways is my favorite book and William Least Heat Moon is my favorite author.Need I say more?His trek around the country, in Blue Highways, is so fascinating.The most unfriendly people he met on his way live twenty miles from where I grew up!!!!If you get to Kewaunee, Wisconsin, though, be sure to go to this bakery because the kolaches are phenomenal.You will absolutely enjoy this book and it's a great summer read.

5-0 out of 5 stars I don't regret for a minute paying full price....
I paid full price for "Blue Highways" at Harvard Book Store and I don't regret it for one minute.

I picked it up based on reviews I had read elsewhere. I didn't even think of Amazon when I went to look at it at the bookstore. I was just curious. It intrigued me immediately.

This simply may be one of the best books (of any genre) I have read in a very long time.

I'm not going to ramble on; there are 127 other reviews that you can read, but if you are thinking about this book -- and I suppose that's why you are here -- I would buy this book.It is simply outstanding.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great read.
If you like knowing about hidden towns and interesting folk in our great country, you will enjoy this book. William Least Heat-Moon engages you with humor and folksy people who are even pictured on the page. The trip by William Least Heat-Moon was taken in '78, but it still is a "great read."

... Read more

19. The Faye Kellerman
by Faye Kellerman
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1999-11-01)
list price: US$29.95
Isbn: 0743500024
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20. Seize the Night
by Dean Koontz
 Audio CD: Pages (1997)

Asin: B001ALPCL0
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