• A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
    A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
    George R.R. Martin
    ★★★★
    Please do not judge the series by its first book. It's not bad so much as inauspicious. It takes a long while to properly ramp up into events of real interest, so even by the end, during which it was impossible to put the book down, I was tempted to write off the series and try to find a new one. Fortunately, the series just keeps getting better.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Mar 26, 2007 | 2 users.
  • Neverwhere
    Neverwhere
    Neil Gaiman
    ★★★★★
    It's difficult to describe a Neil Gaiman book without giving away too much of the plot. Then again, it's also very difficult not to love them.

    Neverwhere takes place in London Below, an anachronistic, and slightly magical, conglomeration of parts of London that have slipped through the cracks.

    And of course, Neil Gaiman's humor pervades the entire book, so there are very few dull moments, and they pass quickly.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Mar 26, 2007 | 8 users.
  • The Catcher in the Rye
    The Catcher in the Rye
    J.D. Salinger
    ★★☆☆☆
    A fantastic sleep aid. I've been told this is a great book. I've been told you need to be in the right mood to read it. But so far all I've found is that it takes about a chapter and a half to fall asleep.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Sep 3, 2006 | 12 users.
  • American Gods: A Novel
    American Gods: A Novel
    Neil Gaiman
    ★★★★★
    A beautiful story about gods in a land that has no true gods.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Sep 3, 2006 | 1 user.
  • The Idiot (Penguin Classics)
    The Idiot (Penguin Classics)
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    ☆☆☆☆☆
    Currently reading.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Apr 2, 2006 | 1 user.
  • The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story (Deluxe Edition)
    The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story (Deluxe Edition)
    Douglas Adams
    ★★★★★
    Two brilliant books, three good ones, and a rather mediocre short story, all wrapped in one binding.

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of the funniest books I've read. Douglas Adams has a talent for saying things in the funniest way possible, and the first time you read them, you'll probably have to set down the book to properly laugh.

    The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is also an excellent book, though you'll have to forgive my lack of a proper review, as I am having difficulty aligning events in my head.

    Life, the Universe, and Everything is also good, but it begins to feel as if perhaps he's pushing it a bit further than it ought to have gone.

    By the time you hit So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish, you know he's definitely pushing it too far, since it's the fourth book in the self-described trilogy. Still a good book, but nothing brilliant about it.

    Mostly Harmless is (I believe) a work that was still in progress at the time of his death, and was cleaned up and published. In this book Adams' desire to end the whole Hitchhiker's Guide series comes through clearly, especially considering he does so quite thoroughly.

    Oh yes, and an inconsequential short story is included since it contains a character from the series. Young Zaphod Plays it Safe is the worst thing I've read from Adams.

    As with most comedies, it's only good so many times. Since a major part of comedy is novelty, these kind of run low on humor the third or fourth time through. The first two times, though, were side-splitting.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Mar 17, 2006 | 1 user.
  • Catch-22
    Catch-22
    Joseph Heller
    ★★★★
    It's style is brilliant and its characters are absurd. Catch-22 is a hysterical book. The first time. If you try reading it again, you'll realize most of the humor came from unexpected actions and wordplay, which are only as funny as they are novel.

    Don't get me wrong, I highly recommend you read this once. But do yourself a favor and leave it on your shelf after that. You'd get a few chuckles but it would leave you disappointed.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Mar 17, 2006 | 12 users.
  • The Sword of Shannara
    The Sword of Shannara
    Terry Brooks
    ★★☆☆☆
    A very disappointing book. Here's a quick conversion for anybody who's read Lord of the Rings:

    Shady Vale = The Shire
    Culhaven = Rivendell
    Hall of Kings = Moria
    The Skull Kingdom = Mordor
    Kern = Osgiliath
    Tyrsis = Minis Tirith
    The Sword of Shannara = The One Ring
    Jerle Shannara = Isildur
    Allanon = Gandalf
    Shea Ohmsford = Frodo Baggins
    Flick Ohmsford = Sam Gamgee
    Balinor Buckhannah = Aragorn
    Menion Leah = Faramir
    Shirl = Eowyn
    Stenmin = Saruman
    Palance Buckhannah = Theoden/Denethor
    Orl Fane = Gollum
    Gnomes = Orcs
    Trolls = Trolls

    That about covers it. There are some other characters, and some of the major plot points are altered, but on the whole it's a LotR clone, and (in my opinion) a much more poorly written one.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Mar 17, 2006 | 1 user.
  • Journey to the End of the Night
    Journey to the End of the Night
    Louis-Ferdinand Celine
    ★★★★★
    In the process of reading. So far so good. Review comes later.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Mar 16, 2006 | 3 users.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
    J. K. Rowling
    ★★★★★
    Holy shit, wow. Obviously some major changes had to happen in the next to last book (so as to prepare for the final series of confrontations), but, and I repeat, wow.

    This book sees Harry mature in several ways. First of all, he's gotten over the angst, which is quite a relief. One more book of that and I would have considered (though not really) boycotting the last book. (Yeah, I've got no principles.) He's gotten mercifully more comfortable with the ladies, and his main trouble is how to do it tactfully, what with his girl of choice being somewhat taken. But more importantly, he's focusing almost solely on preparing for the confrontation with Voldemort that he's known from the beginning he would eventually have to face. He acquires a few new skills and hones those that he's always taken for granted.

    I think we can safely say that most of Harry's learning has completed by the end of this book. It is my suspicion that the next book will be the closest to pure adventure of all of these.
    a book added by effigies's avatar effigies on Mar 9, 2006 | 32 users.
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