Archive for January, 2014

The Four Star Book Review That Ticked Me Off

Often, when looking for a book on Kindle or the Amazon website, since we are all human (based on a genetic code I sometimes wish I could exorcise), what always pops into focus for yours truly are the star/number reviews given to that body of work.  To be clear, if you have ever read any of my reviews, you know I don’t rely on other opinions (or stars, numbers, etc.) prior to writing my reviews.  However, those little stars and numbers DO have an impact on most of us in one way or another.  This is my true story of being totally pissed off by one of them, so I decided to write The Four Star Book Review That Ticked Me Off.

The DescentIn case you were wondering what it was that prompted this diatribe, it was the Amazon review star factor of 4 — for a book that I didn’t just love, but have — and here’s the key — remembered for years after I read it.  Every avid reader knows that you might slightly enjoy and finish the bad ones (if you’re feeling generous), have a good time with the good ones, but you remember the great ones.  The great book I am referring to is “The Descent” by Jeff Long.

Before I get going again, I highly encourage you to read this book.  If you enjoy a story that begins a bit benign, then takes you down a dark, creepy pathway and then shoots you in the butt — this book is for you!  It’s kind of like a funhouse on horror factor X.

So okay, here’s the little bit I’m gonna give ya.  Hell exists, only it’s been below us all this time and we never knew about it until we went down and found out about it.  Okay, that’s not the greatest description, but I don’t want to ruin anything for you.  Bottom line is that this book makes you think about what Hell really is.  And who is down there lurking… and waiting for you.

I know I didn’t give you much to go on — but that’s part of the fun isn’t it?

PS.  I admit I read this book years ago, but I wrote this review from memory.  Still own it on my Kindle, so I will be re-reading this bad boy soon.  Very soon.  To me, it’s like a warm and fuzzy sweater in the back of the closet I forgot I had and now must wear again to feel right with the world.

A SPECIAL PSS:  To those “readers” who gave this book 1, 2, or 3 stars on Amazon — either you need to have your eyes checked or your ability to recognize a great book when you read it.  On a side note, you also suck if when writing a book review you ever picked on:  the “character development”, “wasn’t what was expected”, “had too many curse words”, or my favorite to hate “had grammar problems”.   You DO realize that someone else created a work of art for you to escape into a fantasy world that THEY created for YOU.  I hate to be crass, but FUCK YOU if you expect perfection on their grammar (some of these authors SELF PUBLISH — look it up how much editors cost!) or even worse have the audacity to sit dwn and write a review abut how mnay times thye used the work FUCK.  Oh hey, FUCK, FUCK oh and then they really FUCKED!  (NOTE:  My little rant does not reflect what is in the book “The Descent”, just for the record.  It is only this readers complete annoyance at asshats who think that because they are offended while reading something they can put down screwing up an authors review online.  Just sayin’)

James Patterson’s “ZOO”

jp zoo

When I saw this book on the shelf in my local grocery store, I thought to myself “Ya’ know, you haven’t paid a lot of attention to “popular” writers lately, so maybe you should get off your high horse and check it out”.  Well, that’s not exactly how my thought process went, but it’s pretty close.  Ergo, I went home, went on-line and looked the book up.

When I logged in, I discovered that it was an audio book, and that they have become somewhat less expensive these days; I was used to purchasing the CD’s for a fortune.  So I said “What the heck!” — it’s James Patterson and a book that seems interesting as the tag line on the inside of the book in the store was:  “This time, it’s not zombies.” I admit: on that, they had me.

Now on to the review.  In an effort to keep this short, sweet and to the point this book depressed the hell out of me.  To be sure, there was a lot of science (none of which I have even attempted to verify) and great story telling.  The problem with this book is simply that there was a lot (and I do mean a lot) of MAN HAS DONE SOMETHING TO KILL THE WORLD!!! in it.  There are also a few shots taken at Fox News Channel which I found totally perplexing — at one point the narrator/protagonist says about a female Fox News Anchor — “The blond bimbo said…”.  I mean REALLY?  As a female and a thinker, it takes quite a bit to offend me, but this was just over the top (and I’m a red-head!).

To be fair, if the character in the story had a background that called for such views, I would have accepted them in stride and perhaps even applauded them for building the character and the readers view of him/her.  Unfortunately for this book, no such background existed, unless we are to infer that because the protagonist owned a chimpanzee, he loves animals and everyone at Fox (or who watches that channel or might be a blond bimbo) does not.  Jeez.

Fox News and blond bimbos aside, the main reason I did not enjoy this book is because of the obvious pulling of heart-strings (which in some books is an excellent idea) and complete and total let down at the end.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have read, listened to and enjoyed many works that do not have a happy ending.  However, this is the first, especially by an Author I really used to enjoy, using such low-down tactics to push his own view-point onto his readers in such a way — and then have the nerve to charge them for it.  At least Stephen King, like it or not, was honest and forthright when he wrote and published “Guns”.

UPDATE: By the way, the “hero” of this story left his chimpanzee when he went to go off to do this own thing.  This is a poor chimpanzee who loved and depended on his owner (who the chimp looked at as a father/protector) was left in the dirt by our supposed “hero”.   Just FYI.

For instance, who knew “Wrong Turn 4” would be so interesting to people?

New Year’s Resolution:  Post more reviews and follow more great blogs and writers.


Hope you rock it out and gross out at least one person describing a book or movie you have enjoyed!

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