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Minervasbutler

Minervasbutler

Joined May 2016

I read just about anything
review
Minervasbutler
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

This is the story of Curtis Elwood, a bright, ambitious boy whose only crime is to be black in 1960s America. Sent, by a cruel misfortune, to a reform school run by sadists and pedophiles, Curtis attempts to hold true against all odds to his sense of self-worth and dignity. A searing indictment of American society and its justice system, with a brilliant twist.

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Minervasbutler
Stinger | Robert R. McCammon
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Excellent sci-fi horror mashup set in a dying Texas town riven by gang violence and economic decline which becomes the backdrop to a titanic struggle between two alien civilisations. Beyond the mayhem is a moving tale of personal redemption and reconciliation. Great stuff.

TheBookAddict @KennethTolesJr this sounds a bit up your alley. 7d
KennethTolesJr @TheBookAddict It does. Think it's on one of my TBRs also. 7d
46 likes2 comments
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Minervasbutler
The Godfather | Mario Puzo
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Much better than I remembered. Sonny, Michael, Tom Hagen and the rest leap off the page, and towering over them all the Godfather himself, one of the great figures of popular fiction. Puzo deserves to be recognised as one of the most influential figures in popular culture.

AmyG Agreed. I need to read this again. 3w
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Minervasbutler
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Connelly abandons Bosch for this one, but it's still pretty good. Our hero is a middling successful crime reporter who at the start of the novel learns that his cop twin brother has eaten his gun. But something doesn't sit right with Jack and soon he's hot on the trail of a pedophile cop-killer. This was first published in 1996 and the references to digital cameras and dial-up modems that take 5 minutes to download a photo only add to its charm.

LeslieO This is still my favorite. 4w
Bookzombie @LeslieO Me too! I also read The Scarecrow after, but need to get to the rest of the series. 3w
55 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Minervasbutler
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An alien from a vastly more advanced civilisation than ours is sent on a mission to thwart the discovery by a Cambridge mathematician of the solution to the Riemann hypothesis for which we as a species are woefully under prepared. As the novel progresses, the alien narrator's rather superior disdain towards our primitive species gradually undergoes a change as he begins to realise what it is to be human. Superbly readable, funny and touching.

Tamra The first half of this was so comical, laugh out loud! 1mo
Minervasbutler @Tamra agree. Maybe it got a bit over sugary towards the end? 1mo
rwmg Wishlisted 1mo
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Minervasbutler
The Queen of Bedlam | Robert McCammon
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Second in his Matthew Corbett series set in early 18th century America. It begins with Matthew plotting revenge on Ausley, the principal of the orphanage where he grew up before embarking on a career as a detective and attempting to unravel the connections between Ausley, a serial murderer dubbed the Masker and the mysterious titular Queen. An abundance of scrapes and narrow squeaks and the historical background seems absolutely authentic.

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Minervasbutler
The Queen of Bedlam | Robert McCammon
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Lol

Soubhiville 🤣😂 1mo
39 likes1 comment
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Minervasbutler
The Queen of Bedlam | Robert McCammon
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He does these cheeky little winks to the reader all the time and I love them ;)

Lindy I enjoy cheeky winks in fiction too. Rushdie has loaded his latest novel with them and I say: Bring it on! 2mo
37 likes1 comment
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Minervasbutler
The Changeling | Victor LaValle
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Apollo Kagwa, whose father abandoned him as a child has embarked on married life and parenthood determined to be the best father he can be to son Brian. Then his wife begins acting strangely, and an explosion of violence sends the book careering off into ever weirder territory. I didn't think it was wholly successful but it contains some good stuff on parenting in the social media age and it's certainly unlike any other novel I've read.

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Minervasbutler
Dictator | Robert Harris
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Third in his Cicero trilogy sees the great man return from exile but find himself increasingly marginalised as the Big Three of Crassus, Pompey and Caesar circle each other uneasily, waiting for the final showdown. So many incidents remind us how things stay essentially the same throughout history - the description of the evacuation of Dyrrachium, for example, brought to mind the fall of Saigon. And the ending is genuinely moving.

Crazeedi Everything stays the same throughout history, this was a great series. And why knowing the past is so important, so maybe it doesn't repeat, but unfortunately...😒 2mo
CoffeeCatsBooks I love this series, but I haven gotten to this one yet. The audios are great too. 2mo
63 likes2 comments
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Minervasbutler
Lustrum | Robert Harris
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Second in his Cicero trilogy, and this one sees Cicero rise to the top of Roman politics by becoming Consul, and shortly after acclaimed Father of the People with the defeat of Catilina's conspiracy. But the top of the pole is a dangerous place, and all too soon the tide of popular opinion turns against Cicero and in a heart-rending final chapter he is forced into exile. Wonderful stuff.

CoffeeCatsBooks Loved this series! I even got the audio too. 2mo
55 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Minervasbutler
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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Minervasbutler
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Harris, via his narrator Tiro, Cicero's slave and confidential secretary, plunges us headlong into the morass of corruption and intrigue that was Late Republican politics and it's a page-turner from the off. Many memorable characters, but it is the portrayal of Cicero himself - witty, urbane, flawed, that makes this book such a good read. Laced with deliciously sly humour, this is the very best kind of history lesson.

Crazeedi I totally enjoyed this series 3mo
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Minervasbutler
The Institute | Stephen King
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King's latest is a return to the "kids with weird powers" trope he explored in Carrie and Firestarter. As usual, King is brilliant on kids' friendships, with little Avery a particular star character. The villains perfectly illustrate Hannah Arendt's thesis about the banality of evil and King, who clearly has US policy towards child refugees in mind, has never sounded so righteously angry.

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Minervasbutler
The Institute | Stephen King
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Oh Stephen you tease, lol

Cathythoughts 😱... lol , sounds freaky 3mo
OwenBanner I love all his Easter eggs 3mo
DrawingSustenance Uh.. you mean like The Shining? Lol. 3mo
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Minervasbutler
The Institute | Stephen King
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Didn't take him long to get in his first dig at Trump lol

TrishB I laughed at this one too 😁 3mo
LauraBeth 😹😹 3mo
75 likes3 comments
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Minervasbutler
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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The good news is it doesn't disappoint. Whereas The Handmaid's Tale drew its considerable power from being told from a single POV, The Testaments switches between three narrators, one already familiar to us from the previous book. Atwood entwines the three strands expertly and I was equally absorbed in them all. The paranoid atmosphere of plotting and betrayal common to all totalitarian regimes is superbly rendered. Great.

Cathythoughts That‘s good to hear. I thought it would be more of the same ... 3mo
Minervasbutler @Cathythoughts some people are unhappy that it makes explicit a lot of what was implied in HT, about the creation of Gilead etc. Didn't bother me. 3mo
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Minervasbutler
The Handmaid's Tale | Margaret Atwood
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Atwood's speculative dystopia, first published in 1985, seems vastly more prescient than it seemed back then, with its vision of a world (or at least an America) where the hard-won victories of liberalism and feminism have been reversed. The prose is luminous and the narrative technique, involving flashbacks to the times before and just after the new order has been imposed, masterly.

SexyCajun I read this book and it's sincerely scary that this could even come close to happening 3mo
MaggieCarr That's exactly how I felt about this YA Dystopian, said it was "next day believeable" 3mo
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Minervasbutler
Untitled | Unknown
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Woke up to this :) Thank you Litsy friends!

BooknerdsLife Awww Congratulations!! 👏🏼👏🏼🎉🎉🎉 3mo
BookwormAHN Congratulations 👏🏻 3mo
Cathythoughts Nice one 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 3mo
See All 22 Comments
GrilledCheeseSamurai 🎈👏👏🎈 3mo
LeahBergen 🎉🎉🎉🎉 3mo
julesG Congratulations!!! 3mo
Velvetfur Woohoo! Big congrats! 🎉👏🤗 3mo
Birdsong28 Congratulations 🎊 🎉📚📖 3mo
Texreader Congratulations!! 🎉🎊🎈 3mo
Crazeedi Yes! Congrats!!🎶🎉 3mo
Megabooks Awesome!! 🎉🎉🥳🥳📚📚🍾🥂 3mo
ShelleyBooksie Congratulations! 3mo
Mollyanna Congratulations 🎉🍾🎉 3mo
Librarybelle Congratulations! 3mo
Jas16 🎉📚👏 3mo
QuietlyLaura 🎉👏 3mo
Ddzmini Congratulations 🎈🎊🎉 3mo
Erofan 🎉🎉🎉 3mo
Dragon 🎉👍😀 3mo
JoScho 🥳🥳🥳🥳 3mo
Minervasbutler Thanks for all the congrats and emoji thingies everyone ;) 3mo
84 likes22 comments
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Minervasbutler
Give Me Your Hand | Megan Abbott
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Dark crime novel centring on female friendship and rivalry, here in the context of the ultra-competitive world of research and academia. The chapters go back and forth between "Then" when the two main characters are in high school and "Now" set 12 years later when the two meet up again in the setting of a biochemistry research lab. The buildup to the first big reveal is slow and menacing and the final third ratchets up the tension most enjoyably.

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Minervasbutler
The Daughter of Time | Josephine Tey
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Mehso-so


A sort of Rear Window type scenario, where our policeman hero is laid up in hospital and starts thinking about the mystery of Richard III. The problem I had was that while all this business of questioning the motives of Tudor historians might have been cutting-edge 70 years ago, it all seems pretty obvious in our age of fake news and alternative facts. Rather dull, to be frank.

CaramelLunacy I also found the central premise that he couldn't believe Richard III could have had his nephews murdered because he had a "nice" face a bit ? 3mo
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Minervasbutler
Devil in a Blue Dress | Walter Mosley
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First in his series of crime novels starring Easy Rawlins and set in Chandler country in the 1940s, with the twist that Easy is a black man hired by a white psychopath to track down a missing woman. I got a bit lost towards the end and had difficulty keeping all the characters and their motivations straight but the atmosphere of post-war black urban California is brilliantly conjured up and Easy is a great character.

charl08 Such a great series! Was this your first one? 3mo
Minervasbutler @charl08 yes, it was. 3mo
79 likes2 comments
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Minervasbutler
The Power of the Dog | Don Winslow
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Minervasbutler
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The majority of the book is taken up with reminiscences about his childhood (generally hilarious) and early life with a few satirical/political "impersonation" pieces thrown in (less successful in my view, because the targets were a bit obvious). Not much is off-limits, and the China pages are borderline racist though no doubt he'd argue he's just reporting what he saw. I didn't go for more than a couple of pages without a snort of laughter.

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Minervasbutler
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Who said chivalry is dead ;)

Laura317 😂At least he‘s honest. 3mo
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Minervasbutler
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Haha so true!

Cathythoughts Yes, I never understood “ offside” in Rugby 🙈🤷🏻‍♀️even though my son played for years .... sports rules are beyond me ... I like to watch the games though - I could never be an analyst. I‘m out of that discussion 😬 (edited) 3mo
Minervasbutler @Cathythoughts I don't think anyone really understands the rules of rugby ;) 3mo
Cathythoughts I‘ll ask my son about that 😂he‘s reffing now .... mad game. I could have done with a few Xanax when I was watching him play though 😱 3mo
Clare-Dragonfly One of the reasons I hated sports in gym class! I didn‘t know the rules! 3mo
69 likes4 comments
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Minervasbutler
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Lol

QuietlyLaura Sums up my childhood! 3mo
AmyG Ha. Quote of my home, by my parents, was....Our house, our rules. 3mo
scowler1 That's just brilliant. I know what I did wrong now. 3mo
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Minervasbutler
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After an explosive opening sentence which is not picked up on till much later on, we follow protagonist Rachel, first in her quest for the father she has never known, then through her subsequent career and emotional life. It's all superbly rendered but seems more Jonathan Franzen than Lehane. Once we hit page 150 though the suspense and mystery elements kick in and the final third is a thrilling rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Cathythoughts 👍🏻sounds good. 3mo
Minervasbutler @Cathythoughts some people found it a bit far-fetched. Can't say it bothered me 3mo
Cathythoughts Interesting! I‘ll try a sample on kindle 👍🏻😉 life is a bit far -fetched 🤷🏻‍♀️ (edited) 3mo
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Minervasbutler
Zed: A Novel | Joanna Kavenna
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Dystopian near-future satire along the lines of Dave Eggers' The Circle or Annalee Newitz's Autonomous. There are so many ideas fizzing around that it can all get a bit overwhelming, and, like so many novels of this type, the characters tend to be a bit thinly-drawn. But it's still an entertaining and thought-provoking read. Don't blame me if you feel like chucking your smartphone in the bin at the end of it.

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Minervasbutler
Zed: A Novel | Joanna Kavenna
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This book is great!

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Minervasbutler
Insidious Intent | Val McDermid
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Tenth in her Hill and Jordan saga and Carol's recently formed Regional Major Incident Team have a smoothly nasty serial killer to track down. The previous installment perhaps dwelt a bit too much on Carol's personal demons at the expense of the crime element but McDermid redresses the balance nicely here. As always, there are spoilers for earlier books in this one but if you're a fan this is one of the best in the series.

KathyWheeler I loved the tv show based on these books and the books too. This is a new one to me though. Can‘t wait to read it! 4mo
Andrew65 @KathyWheeler I love this series, amongst my very favourite and just started the new one and hooked already. 4mo
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Minervasbutler
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Not some blood-drenched slasher crime thriller but a smart, blackly comic exploration of family secrets and sibling rivalry set in Lagos where beautiful, sexy, younger sister Ayoola has begun bumping off her boyfriends and sensible big sister Korede gets roped in to help with the clean-up afterwards. It's also grimly comic about how so many of us get validation from social media and revealing about the status of women in Nigeria. Great.

Bookzombie I feel so lame, because I just noticed the reflection in her sunglasses. 4mo
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Minervasbutler
Psmith in the City | P. G. Wodehouse
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Psmith is generally regarded as Wodehouse's first great comic creation and here, liberated from the school context, he comes into his own. The account of his haunting of Bickersdyke at the Senior Conservative club is the funniest passage Wodehouse had written up to then.
This is still an early novel, far from the later glories of Blandings Castle and Jeeves, but if you're a fan and have somehow overlooked this one it's highly recommended.

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Minervasbutler
No Country for Old Men | Cormac McCarthy
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Begins with one of the most horrific murder scenes I've ever read and never lets up. The story itself is powerful and gripping and McCarthy's prose is laconic yet oddly poetic. He wastes no words on physical descriptions yet his characters I suspect will prove unforgettable, in particular Sheriff Bell who is wrestling with his own demons and is the main conduit for the novel's existential questions about good and evil. Simply superb.

paulfrankspencer One of the best. Movie is a top 5 for me. Book is better. 4mo
Reggie It‘s so funny because I thought the movie answered questions I had about the book and the book helped me answer friends‘ questions about the movie. Lol I didn‘t know how he was killing them in the book. 4mo
Minervasbutler @Reggie yeah that airpump stun gun thing had me confused too lol 4mo
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Minervasbutler
No Country for Old Men | Cormac McCarthy
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Loving the dialogue in this one

paulfrankspencer Best part of the book and movie. So good. Monologues are much better in the book, though. 4mo
71 likes1 comment
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Minervasbutler
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First installment of the "memoirs" of Harry Flashman, notorious bully of Tom Brown's Schooldays. Flashman is a coward, a liar, a toady, and an all-round whoring blackguard which makes his exploits irresistible. Fraser's pastiche of late-nineteenth idiom is pitch-perfect and this is fun-packed read as well as being the most enjoyable kind of history lesson.

Cathythoughts OMG !! I don‘t know this. But the expression on Harry Flashmans face 🙄🤭🤣 looks brilliant 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻What a great name (edited) 4mo
Heatherfeather Is this satire? Looks so interesting 4mo
Soscha This is a great read. I‘ve been trying to work my way through the series. 4mo
Minervasbutler @Heatherfeather not so much satire, more swashbuckling historical with a dash of comedy. 4mo
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Minervasbutler
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Oh Flashy you cad lol

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Minervasbutler
The Secrets She Keeps | Michael Robotham
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Early comparisons with Girl on the Train or Eleanor Oliphant are soon forgotten as the novel picks up pace in a series of oh-my-god twists. None of the characters are particularly admirable, and yet even the worst of them never totally forfeits our sympathy. The last few chapters are a rollercoaster. Great read.

Cathythoughts I think I might like it 👍🏻stacked 4mo
Minervasbutler @Cathythoughts I hope you do! 4mo
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Minervasbutler
The Secrets She Keeps | Michael Robotham
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I'm sure many of us can identify ;)

SamanthaMarie Stacking based off of that alone 😂 4mo
Clare-Dragonfly Oh so much! 4mo
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Minervasbutler
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Electrifying debut novel set in the estates and tower blocks of Neasden where a bewildering mix of ethnicities and religions jostle and sometimes clash. A virtuoso performance in which the varied speech patterns, slang and patois of each character is perfectly rendered. It's not an easy read nor a comfortable one but it shines a light on people middle-class literary culture usually ignores. Great.

TobeyTheScavengerMonk This sounds awesome! 4mo
Nute Nice review! Piqued my interest level! 4mo
Cathythoughts Great review! Stacked 4mo
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Minervasbutler
The Power of the Dog | Don Winslow
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Stupendously readable, if brutal, account of the Mexico-US drug trade from the Reagan years on. Winslow has been compared to James Ellroy and Don DeLillo in his ambition, but despite its complexity the reader never gets lost or baffled despite all the twists and turns, double-dealing and treachery. There's also a barely concealed fury at the human cost of the nonsensical "War on Drugs". Just great.

Melissa_J I also read this book this year. It was excellent. Can‘t wait to read The Cartel. 4mo
Minervasbutler @Melissa_J I think I need a break before starting that lol. So intense! 4mo
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Minervasbutler
The Power of the Dog | Don Winslow
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Ouch!

Cathythoughts 👍🏻 4mo
Amiable This is a great book, and the rest of the trilogy is excellent as well! 4mo
CarolynM Yes, hard for me yo understand too. 4mo
See All 7 Comments
Kayla.Adriena 🤬 4mo
Minervasbutler @Amiable I was hoping to hear that! 4mo
Jaimelire I think most Canadians wonder the same thing. 4mo
rwmg Great quote 4mo
66 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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Minervasbutler
The Power of the Dog | Don Winslow
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Goombah wisdom ;)

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Minervasbutler
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Well-researched and readable biography of Guy Burgess, one of the "Cambridge Spies". The ease with which this philandering, drunken and overtly Communist slob was able to infiltrate the British secret service while already spying for Moscow is breathtaking. Background checks? Chap went to Eton, for heaven's sake. Burgess's treachery seems motivated by a measure of warped idealism combined with a delight in skulduggery. Fascinating.

CarolynM Have you ever seen the TV film from the 80's An Englishman Abroad? It's based on Coral Browne's account of meeting him in Moscow when she was touring with the RSC in the 50's. If not, it's worth tracking down. 4mo
Ruthiella Any time I read about this era and espionage I am floored at how incompetent they all seem! 4mo
Minervasbutler @CarolynM I've read Alan Bennett's play but not seen the film. Now collected with A Question of Attribution (about Blunt) as Single Spies, I believe 4mo
CarolynM Oo, thanks for that. I will look for a copy🙂 4mo
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Minervasbutler
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This one is classed as "YA" Discworld, which is a bit odd as it doesn't seem any more or less adult than Pratchett's usual stuff. It's great, anyway. Maurice is a cat, and together with his rat associates has been running the Pied Piper scam in various towns on the Discworld. We also get Malicia Grim, grandniece of the famous fairytale-writing Grim Sisters and excerpts from the adventures of Mr Bunnsy and his friends of Furry Bottom. Great.

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Minervasbutler
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Lol

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Minervasbutler
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gradcat Yaaasss! I love this! 😻 4mo
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Minervasbutler
The Fall of Hyperion | Dan Simmons
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Mehso-so

This sequel abandons the frame structure of the first in favour of a first-person narrator (the cybrid reconstruction of John Keats, since you asked) and to my mind the sheer complexity of the plot slightly weakens the effectiveness of the storytelling. It's hard to keep up with exactly who has betrayed whom and my eyes glazed over too often during the interminable military briefings. Slightly disappointing.

Geeklet Agreed. I loved Hyperion but I felt like the following three books were a bit of a downhill slide into mediocrity. Next time I‘m craving a reread, I‘ll probably just stick with Hyperion and ignore the sequels. 4mo
Minervasbutler @Geeklet I felt I had to know what happened after the cliff edge that Hyperion ended with but I think I'll ignore the rest of the series. 4mo
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Minervasbutler
The Fall of Hyperion | Dan Simmons
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Bit like Brexit then? ;)

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Minervasbutler
The Fall of Hyperion | Dan Simmons
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