Tag Archives: 3 stars

Review: American Psycho

American PsychoAmerican Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I have now read American Psycho. I now feel completely justified in my previous suspicion that Bret Easton Ellis is not the author for me. Oh, when it isn’t taking itself seriously, the book is very well-written. Even the originally incredibly irritating repetitive detailing of brand names and prices and food became a part of the rhythm of the book in a way I was not expecting. Patrick Bateman is certainly a psychopath, whether his crimes are only in his head or real. With all of these things though, I would still love to give this one star. The reason it gets three is because of the way a consistent crawling horror was maintained. There was no respite, even in the seemingly innocuous sections. This takes talent. I still found it anything but enjoyable, and towards the end became annoyed when Ellis tried to make it somehow meaningful in a greater sense. Oh, and it’s certainly gory in every sense of the word, in case there was someone who missed that. I need a stiff drink now.

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Review: Death of a Cad

Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)Death of a Cad by M.C. Beaton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Death of a Cad was a definite improvement on the preceding Hamis Macbeth mystery. M.C. Beaton seems to have found her stride in the genre and the characters are far more developed. We learn more about Hamish and his object of affection, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. We also receive further proof that both the Scottish Highlands and country houses are dangerous. Also dangerous are artists and pushy fiances. (Naturally, as someone who has read many of the Regency novels the author writes as Marion Chesney I was previously aware of the trouble the latter can bring.) Overall, this was a delightful and light read. I recommend it to any fans of the English mystery genre.

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Review: The White Queen

The White Queen (The Cousins' War, #1)The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I suspect that, had I read The White Queen first, I would have understood and enjoyed Richard III far more. I do not find Philippa Gregory to be a particularly compelling author, but the subject matter fascinates me. I cannot say where this fascination with the Tudors and now their Yorkist and Lancastrian ancestors first began, but it seems to be quite persistent. I will almost certainly read more of these books. They are a pleasant diversion from anything serious. Well, pleasant other than all of the dying. And children being used as pawns. And children dying. What happened to the princes in the Tower anyway?

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Review: You Don’t Look Like a Librarian: Shattering Stereotypes and Creating Positive New Images in the Internet Age

You Don't Look Like a Librarian: Shattering Stereotypes and Creating Positive New Images in the Internet AgeYou Don’t Look Like a Librarian: Shattering Stereotypes and Creating Positive New Images in the Internet Age by Ruth Kneale
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I stumbled across You Don’t Look Like a Librarian: Shattering Stereotypes and Creating Positive New Images in the Internet Age while randomly browsing at a library today. Shocking, right? Given the title, length and terrible choice of font, I did not have high expectations, but it seemed worth checking out. I’m glad I did. Not so much because the book said anything particularly profound, but because it is a trove of other books and media I now want to find. It was rather irking to see just how terrible a survey the author conducted and cited was, but Ruth Kneale did acknowledge its shortcomings. Overall, I’m glad I read this. Even though I could probably have found the resources elsewhere, I’m fine with doing it the lazy way.

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Review: The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Given how many of [a:Agatha Christie|123715|Agatha Christie|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1190633574p2/123715.jpg]’s works I read as an adolescent, I was somewhat astounded to realize as I read that I had not read [b:The Mysterious Affair at Styles|140290|The Mysterious Affair at Styles|Agatha Christie|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1207178577s/140290.jpg|3366260]. Written in 1916 and set during the first World War, it introduces us to both Hastings and Hercule Poirot. Like the first Miss Marple book, it is primarily fascinating because of the “origin story” aspect. Both characters became more fascinating over time as Christie developed them. That being said, this was a delightful read filled with the red herrings and twists that made Dame Agatha a master of the genre. I highly recommend this for any aficionado of English mysteries.

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Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Recommended as “steamalicious.” A very accurate description. Surprisingly fun.

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Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Uncle SilasUncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu does bone-chilling creepiness exceedingly well. This book made the hairs on my neck stand up at least twice; not the easiest thing to accomplish with fiction. The story contains several villains, with varying degrees of overt nastiness and subtlety. That being said, I found myself repeatedly grinding my teeth at or wanting to shake the heroine into using her brain at least once in a while. Admittedly, I am relatively unversed in the gothic horror sub-genre having only previously read the Bronte sisters, but I do not recall their heroines being quite so limp and hysterical. This definitely hurt my enjoyment of an otherwise excellent book. Uncle Silas is yet another book that makes me wish I had the option to give 3.5 stars. As it is, being unable to accurately give it 4, I have to downgrade it to 5.

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