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Mountain Soul
Mountain Soul
37 used & new from $2.31

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning achievement !, September 14, 2001
This review is from: Mountain Soul (Audio CD)
Ms. Loveless doesn't offer us this CD as an hommage to old school country or traditional bluegrass and gospel, rather, she presents us with this wonderful album as if it's the only music known to mankind, and she sings it from the bottom of her soul ! A superb mix of the above mentioned genres, without a misstep on the entire CD. It has been a long, long while since I have enjoyed every single song on a country album, but this one cured that problem. The more I listen to it, the better it gets. Like I stated, every song is great, but, beginning with song ten and ending with song 14, Patty offers us a suite of music that is truly some of the most beautiful and haunting songs ever captured. Her remake of her own song, Sounds of Loneliness, will give you goosebumps, as will, You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive. Where is all the promotion for this stunning collection of songs ? I happened to see a review in Spin Magazine (of all places !) and they gave it 9 out of 10, which is an impressive feat. If this glorious album doesn't win best country album of the year, then I will lose what little faith I have left in this dreadful countrypolitan scene. This is THE album Patty has hinted at on her previous ten albums and it's truly the jewel in her crown. My hat is off and I take a deep bow to Ms. Loveless for a job extremely well done. If this album isn't in your country collection, then it should be !


The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
Price: $7.00
449 used & new from $0.01

13 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The most overrated "noise" in musical history, August 27, 2001
I can only assume that some cruel, but well respected music critic, gave this noise a high rating as a joke to see what would happen...and sure enough, a mindless, Stepford nation followed his lead. Surely, he is now sitting back somewhere, laughing hysterically and thinking "GOTCHA !" My assessment of this dreadful noise is this. Imagine your worst enemy making the most unpleasant noise he can make for an hour or more, never going up nor down with the irritating pitch, but going on and on and on with the hideous, evil, suicide-inducing sound until it becomes utterly unbearable. That describes perfectly Ms. Hill's prank/joke of an album. Absolutely the most hideous noise/sound I have ever heard. Raise your hand if anyone can say truly say that they play this CD often and enjoy it ? Do you know anyone who plays it ? Now, raise your hand if you were duped into believing this was music but now realize you were the victim of a cruel joke. AHA !! I thought so :)


Essence
Essence
Price: $10.19
170 used & new from $0.85

10 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Longtime fan disappointed, August 12, 2001
This review is from: Essence (Audio CD)
When one really admires an artist's work, it's easy to overpraise their weaker efforts due to that great admiration and respect. I am indeed a great fan of Ms. Williams, but I just can not make myself enjoy nor admire her latest release, "Essence." My first response after hearing it was to think it was lackluster, rushed and (dare I say it) boring. There wasn't any of the rawness, simple but brutal honesty, playfulness or snappiness that I've come to expect from a Williams album. Believe me, I've given this CD many spins trying to force myself to like it, but it just won't happen. It remains boring and subpar. I will admit that the title track is a slow-burning, sensual effort, but, it stands out mainly because it is surrounded by many hollow and disappointing songs. When I first heard that Williams was releasing a very personal and introspective album, I was happy and imagined an instant classic, but alas, all I got was a huge bucket of lackluster. I really can't complain too much as her last three efforts were spectacular and will certainly hold me until her next release, which I'm sure will be back on track.


Seven Up (Stephanie Plum, No. 7) (Stephanie Plum Novels)
Seven Up (Stephanie Plum, No. 7) (Stephanie Plum Novels)
by Janet Evanovich
Edition: Hardcover
466 used & new from $0.01

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't want to rile any hardcore fans, but....., June 23, 2001
...after finishing "Seven Up," and it being the second novel from Ms. Evanovich that I read, the other being "High Five," I can only give an honest assessment of what I read. First, it is glaringly obvious that this author is heavily influenced by the work of Sue Grafton, which is not a bad thing, but sadly, Evanovich doesn't even come close to reaching the satisfaction level that Ms. Grafton does so effortlessly. Granted, her novels in the Stephanie Plum series are meant to be funny, but the overkill of humor is drastically hindering her work. The character of Plum can't walk from her apartment to her car without a "major event" happening ! She can't seem to take a shower, eat breakfast, talk on the phone.....NOTHING !....without something spectacular sure to happen. This grows very tiresome VERY quickly. It also seems that 99 % of all the characters in her novels, the regulars and the brief, are all wisecracking, witty and sarcastic individuals, just anticipating their chance to pop off a one liner, regardless of the scenerio. If one were to subtract the sarcasism, the wisecracks or the many, many unbelievable "events" that happen to Stephanie, with her every breath and step that she makes, one would realize that there isn't much of a story going on. Any avid reader knows a great novel's backbone is it's storyline....pulling the reader in...building momentem and suspense...then reaching the climax. This does not happen in a Evanovich novel. She comes out of the starting gate with screwball humor and bombards the reader with it until the last page....tossing bits and pieces of a shallow story every now and then. It's really very exhausting, and the screwball humor becomes very unfunny and predictable long before one finishes the book. I realize that her novels get glowing reviews from notable critics, but I can only assume that they were duped by the overkill of humor, and haven't realized they weren't actually reading a story. For me, reading her novels are the equivalent of watching a 15 minute Three Stooges short, with Moe poking Curly in the eyes for the entire 15 minutes.....it grows very tiresome and unfunny.


The Traveling Vampire Show
The Traveling Vampire Show
by Richard Laymon
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
92 used & new from $0.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A nice set up, but the author blows it...., May 31, 2001
The notion of a traveling vampire show coming to a small American town in the 60s, during a summer when three teenage friends are "awakening" into adulthood, was truly a great idea. Mr. Laymon certainly pulled some of this idea off, but, unfortunately, he stumbled badly, and what could have been an intriguing story falls flat. The biggest disappointment of this novel is the author's ultra-silly humor, which is never funny, just simply juvenile and irritating, and it's there...basically on every page....during every scenerio...and it really destroys any suspense or momemtem the story may have built up. I did indeed finish this novel, suffering through the great amount of unfunny humor, and I must admit, the preposterous ending equalled the lame humor in it's level of disappointment. There were some (very few) passages that satisfied, like Dwight's awkward feelings concerning his love for Slim, but these were always capped with some silly line, or a never-ending bit of sarcasm from Rusty. This "over-kill" is throughout the entire novel, and it's sad that such a good premise for a story was ruined. These same comments also apply for the only other Laymon novel I read, "Bite" and judging from these two novels, I don't care to read any more from his body of work. I truly love horror, and I enjoy a great sense of humor, but unbearable silliness is not my cup of tea.


O Is for Outlaw (Kinsey Millhone Mysteries)
O Is for Outlaw (Kinsey Millhone Mysteries)
by Sue Grafton
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
527 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Grafton should take a bow, May 29, 2001
In "O is for Outlaw," Ms. Grafton once again demonstrates her unique talents for keeping an on-going series fresh and immensely readable. In this chapter of the Kinsey Milhone: Alphabet series, the author gives us fans a little more insight into Kinsey's very personal and mysterious past life, while at the same time offering us yet another intriguing and very satisfying mystery/thriller. There is so much to admire about the author's wonderful prose, and her ability to tell a flat-out great story with each novel, but, I must pin-point her most valuable gift to her fans....and that would be her absolutely unbeatable sense of humor, which she so wonderfully injects in the entire series. When writing Kinsey's views and thoughts of the world and it's inhabitants, this author will have you rolling on the floor.....as her perceptions are so dead-on and down to earth, surely, everyone should and could relate. Applying this level of humor into very serious and dangerous cases can not be an easy task, but Ms. Grafton does it brilliantly. These books are so well written, one has to constantly remind themselves that Kinsey (and all her escapades) are a work of fiction. I look forward to each new novel, and all past 15 are highly recommended. A truly great author that should appeal to any avid reader.


The Devouring
The Devouring
by Douglas D. Hawk
Edition: Paperback
53 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the packageing fool you...., May 24, 2001
This review is from: The Devouring (Paperback)
This novel appears to be one of those cheap, formulatic horror novels that are a "dime a dozen," but, as I discovered, it was anything but. The basic story itself is a little familiar, being: man against an evil, centuries old species that comes out of hiding for survival purposes, but, the author tells this somewhat familiar tale in such an exceptional and very intelligent manner, that the reader will forgive any feelings of deja vu. Douglas D. Hawk is an obviously intelligent man whom appears to have done his homework concerning his chosen craft. His characters are well developed, his settings are well crafted, and he has a great sense of humor that never sinks to silliness. This novel moved at a brisk pace throughout, keeping the reader's full attention. An avid reader can see the outcome a mile away, but, once again, the author does an admiral job of putting a "freshness" to an often told tale, thus, the ending remains pleasant and satisfying. I would recommend this novel to all horror lovers in general.


The Wolf's Hour
The Wolf's Hour
by Robert R. McCammon
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
25 used & new from $1.32

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who would have ever thought...., May 24, 2001
...that a novel about WWII, Nazis, spys and werewolves could have been written ? Not only did McCammon write it, he did so brilliantly. When I read the subject matter of this novel, I was skeptical, even though being a huge McCammon fan. Well, when I finally got around to reading it, to say I was impressed just wouldn't cover it. I was floored. Folks, this is an extremely intriguing story that is fast paced, well thought out and written with that exceptional flair and style that McCammon is so gifted with. A thought provoking fictional tale that blends in non-fictional events with beautiful harmony. This novel will stir every emotion in your senses while constantly keeping your pulse rate pounding. If you are seeking an intelligent and thoroughly satisfying thriller to read, then search no further...just read "The Wolf's Hour." It will have you howling at the moon in it's praise.


The Church of Dead Girls: A Novel
The Church of Dead Girls: A Novel
by Stephen Dobyns
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
107 used & new from $0.01

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those who enjoy intelligent thrillers !, May 10, 2001
There's not too many things as pleasurable as discovering an outstanding "new" author, being highly impressed with his novel, then realizing the author is a veteran writer with many books under his belt. "The Church of the Dead Girls" absolutely floored me ! I truly enjoy the fact that I can turn into a gushing fanatic to recommend a novel, being that it happens so rarely, but this thriller/mystery is so perfectly realized, please allow me to gush. Mr. Dobyn's prose is exceptional. An obviously intelligent man that not only knows his craft, but truly seems to enjoy and respect it as well. This story begins with a gruesome discovery in a small town, as three missing young girls are found. Then the author backs the reader up a bit, taking us to the beginning, and simply unfolds the story in such a brilliant and deeply involving manner, you will repeatedly have to remind yourself that this is a work of fiction. The author leaves no character unturned, as each one is richly developed, as well as the setting and each scenerio that takes place. This author's intelligent prose practically leaps off every page as the mystery and suspense keeps building. A complaint I hear often from avid readers is their disappointment with a book's ending. Well, I'm happy to announce that this ending is superb, and matches the brilliance of the rest of the novel. If you are tired of the generic and cliched mystery and thrillers that saturate the market these days, then I HIGHLY suggest you seek this novel out. One of the greatest that I have read in a long while, and for once, all the great reviews from the very notable critics were accurate. This novel is a winner and hits the bullseye...dead center !


Merrick (Vampire Chronicles)
Merrick (Vampire Chronicles)
by Anne Rice
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.18
660 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Annie, Annie, where art thou Annie ?, May 8, 2001
I find it hard, no, make that impossible to believe, that the same author who wrote "Interview...," "...Lestat," "Q O D," and "The Witching Hour" is the same author who wrote "Merrick." To be more thorough, beginning with "Violin" and including the entire "New Vampire Tales" and ending with "Merrick"....is this in fact the same author ?! I just can't believe it is. Ms. Rice has always been long winded, but her words were in depth, intriguing and beautiful. This new "mystery writer" is simply just long winded. Painfully long winded....the passages just seem to rattle on and on with no particular place to go. If you haven't read this novel yet, trust me, reading a dictionary is more exciting than reading "Merrick." There are no moments of dizzying heights, no intrigue, no wicked humor, no jaw-dropping surprises to be found. Just rattling....and when a minor incident finally happens, you try to convince yourself that it was major, out of love for the author. This book was yet another disappointment from the camp of Anne Rice, but, as a long time fan, I have a right to wonder which camper is writing it. Could it possibly be that she's allowing her young son Christopher, whom is a writer, to do her work for her ? Whatever is the case, I miss the real Anne Rice.


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