November 23, 2010

Review: One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest

One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey
About: Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, this is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the awesome power of the Combine.

Review: I had to read this book for school and I always have a hard time reading assigned books but this one really blew me away. I'm usually not one for realistic fiction but this book was written in the 1960's and well my humanities class is 'Humanities in the 1960's' so it was very fitting. The whole story is interesting because its told by Cheif Bromden who everyone thinks is deaf and dumb, but he isn't, he gets to hear everyone's conversations. The book is a power struggle between the controlling Big Nurse and the newest patient to the mental war McMurphy. McMurphy sent himself to the mental ward from a working farm where he didn't want to be anymore. He realizes most of the guys in the Combine are just as normal as he is and tries to get them to laugh and joke around and be happy. He gets them to play basketball and organizes a team, he takes them on a fishing trip and shows them life and talks and listens to them. Ultimately he tries to take down the Big Nurse by his actions like putting his hand through her glass box and running around in his towel. I felt like I got a lot more out of this book because we got to discuss it in class. We talked about the different symbolism throughout the story and how the Combine was 'the man' bringing us down (my teacher is a big hippie). If you ever get the chance to read it in class, or just need a very intense story pick this one up. Its a classic.

Side Note: As for the movie I've heard its good but the Big Nurse isn't as nasty and dominating in the movie as she obviously is in the book. I'd definitely read it before I saw the movie.

November 12, 2010

The Camulod Chronicles

The Camulod Chronicles are a series of nine book by Jack Whyte. These stories are a rendition of the Arthurian legend that attempt to propose a possible explanation for the foundation of Camulod (an alternate spelling of Camelot), Arthur's heritage and the political situation surrounding his existence. The setting series begins during the Roman departure from Britain and continues for 150 years ending during the settlement of Britain by the Germanic Angles, Saxons and Jutes. (from wiki)

This series was recommended by my brother and I've heard nothing but great things about it from him. "It was interesting seeing the Arthurian legend in a more 'realistic' light...I enjoyed how Jack Whyte tied in historical events and characters in with the story to show a basis for the legend." -Ben (my brother)

New! Edge

Edge by Jeffery Deaver

About: Henry Loving, "a lifter," specializes in extracting information from human targets by any means necessary (i.e., torture). Corte, "a shepherd," is an agent in the Strategic Protection Department of a secret government agency normally assigned to protect high-profile targets. An intercepted communication identifies Loving as the lifter ordered to target Ryan Kessler, a Washington, D.C., metro detective. While Corte attempts to protect Kessler's family and identify the "primary," Loving's employer, Loving seeks the edge to get the information he needs to extract. Corte, a board game aficionado and game theory student, and Loving are well matched, sharing a history that ups the stakes and makes the contest personal. Deaver's first first-person narrator, Corte, is an exciting new weapon in the author's arsenal of memorable characters. (from
I love thrillers, and this one seems like a brain teaser. Its been awhile since I've been able to find/read a good thriller but this one might just be it! I wonder if the library has a copy.

My Vintage Books

On my personal blog I've made a post about my vintage books. Feel free to check it out! The Mad Hatter Damn Blog. Let me know what you think!

November 3, 2010

Review: The Gardener

The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
 About: On a visit to the nursing home in which his mother works, Mason discovers that her job does not involve caring for the elderly patients as he imagined, but for several apparently catatonic teenagers. When his mother steps away, one of the teens awakens in response to a DVD that he puts on. She suffers from amnesia but somehow knows she must escape her current environment and begs Mason for his help. He suddenly finds himself on the run from TroDyn Industries, the scientific corporation that owns most of his town. It has been using the girl as part of some sort of research—but what kind? And might there be some link to the father Mason has never met?

Review: I started reading this book in amazon quick look and was completely intrigued. I knew I just had to get it from the library and read it immediately. I got through about 1/4 of the book and got really bored. It was predictable, it was boring, and I didn't enjoy it. I always feel bad posting bad reviews but honestly there wasn't a thing I liked about it. Each character sounded the same, I didn't get any type of recognition that these were real people with their own personalities, each one sounded like the author, all the same. The main character Mason was annoying, he complained about this mysterious girl and how all he wanted to do was be with her but there was no connection for me. Even while he was crying about leaving her all I wanted was the chapter to end so I was that much closer to finishing it. I thought there would be more of a twist or more of a plot even but the summary basically gives away exactly what will happen. With just reading the first chapter and the inside flap I knew the outcome of this story. I wasn't impressed with this book, the writing style, characters, plot line, basically everything. I still have The Compound to read and I'm determined to read and finish it to see if Bodeen redeems herself. I feel bad about not having anything good to say about this book, but really, there isn't. Sorry Bodeen.