Townhouse Books

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cryptonomicon: Neal Stephenson

That was one long book. The WWII storyline was excellent -- interesting and funny (Bobby Shaftoe!) and successfully jetted the characters and readers around the world. Loved it. The present day storyline however, I was not as fond of, though it definitely had its moments. Randy's relationship with the woman was actually almost offensive in places and the ending was laughable and kinda weird. Fun times overall though. Thanks for the multiple recommendations.

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Acts of Faith: Philip Caputo

Beautiful and tragic (the narrator tells you it's going to be in the prologue), Acts of Faith recounts the intertwining stories of relief workers, Arabs, and rebels during the Sudanese civil wars in the 1990s. Caputo impressively delivers loads of information, character development, and plot. For me, it helped me figure out further the situation in the Sudan and how ungodly complicated and daunting and morally ambiguous it can be. Toward the end, the book got a little contrived as one character tries to clear his conscience after the deaths of other characters, but I still recommend this highly.

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The Westing Game: Ellen Raskin

Adorable! Short little teen book that's the equivalent of reading a murder mystery party. It's a funny puzzle with funny characters that's a joy to read. I found it on a shelf while traveling and spent a pleasant afternoon in a park trying to figure out who killed Mr. Westing.

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Rabbit, Run : John Updike

Partly predictable, partly shocking with a wholly unlikeable and emotionally empty protagonist whose story I devoured like watching a train wreck while reading an US Weekly magazine. Updike's writing is at such a high level though, he could write about porridge and it would still be fascinating. I recommend this one if you haven't read it, but I am not sure if I want to know the rest of this Rabbit guy's stories in the subsequent books.

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