Recently Read - 24th March 2008

Here's a list of the books I've recently read, with an Amazon-style star rating and a few comments.

First a load more graphic novels:

And the rest.

  • The Goon Show Scripts - Spike Milligan
  • More Goon Show Scripts - Spike Milligan

    These two books have been sitting on my bookshelves unread for over 30 years. It was about time I read them.

    The Goon Show was a radio comedy program from the 1950's that was way ahead of its time. Checkout their web site for lots of goodies. If you've never heard of them before, spend 2-3 minutes watching listening to this clip. Don't look at it. Just imagine you were listening to it in front of the wireless radio over 50 years ago. It helps to know that the character of Eccles (played by Spike Milligan) is an idiot and Bluebottle (played by Peter Sellers) is another idiot (with a cardboard fetish).

    From there, (and assuming you find it funny), go to The Last Goon Show Of All - 1972 [1] [2] [3] [4] [5].

  • Bones Of The Moon - Jonathan Carroll
    An early Carroll novel and slightly disappointing. I guess he was still honing his writing skills.

  • Gideon's Fire - J. J. Marric
    J.J. Marric is really John Creasey. Won an Edgar for best novel in 1962.

  • Sleeping Dog - Dick Lochte
    This has to be one of the best mystery books I've read in a long time. Great plot, very funny and told alternatively by the two main characters in the first person. It doesn't hurt that it's set in California with a lot of places where I've been. As the Library Journal says:

    Lochte's novel snagged the Nero Wolfe Award and was nominated for an Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Award when it debuted in 1985. Not bad for a first novel.

  • Free Fall - Robert Crais
    The last of the Elvis Cole books that I hadn't read.

  • Looking For Rachel Wallace - Robert B. Parker
    If you haven't read any of Parker's Spenser novels, this is a great one to start with.

  • The Iceman Cometh - Eugene O'Neill
    Another classic play. At a 4-1/2 hour running time, I'd prefer to read this rather than watch it. If it's still too much, then there's always The Gasman Cometh by Flanders and Swann, superbly recreated in LEGO.

  • Absolution Gap - Alastair Reynolds
    This was a slog. I put it down many times, but kept coming back to it so I could get closure. I ended up reading it in short bursts. I loved the first two books in the series, but this one was a struggle. The ending is very disappointing too. It just fizzles out. Maybe Reynolds got fed up with it. I certain did.

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