Profile for RandOR > Reviews

Browse

RandOR's Profile

Customer Reviews: 5
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,806,858
Helpful Votes: 24




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
RandOR RSS Feed

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Love and Relativity
Love and Relativity
Price: $5.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Small-Town Small-People Going Nowhere., January 30, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Please find the review by Book Worm posted January 29, 2013. I totally agree.

Initially, I was going to just leave a comment on that review, but I felt that I needed to add a starred review to counter some of the irrational 5-star reviews that brought me to this book.

I find it depressing that the main characters are all so uninspiring. Highlight of their week is getting drunk at Pete's on Friday night. They all have menial jobs. Emma is an aid at a nursing home. Whitney is a hotel maid. Jackson is a part time hanger-on at a marina. Small-town small-people with low ambitions trapped and going nowhere. Even Emma, who is at least going to a local Jr. College, who at least is voicing intentions of "Getting off the Island", is showing by her actions that she is doing little more than dreaming, and I have no great expectation that she will ever break free. Jackson is totally uninspiring. A handsome local bad-boy to whom Emma is drawn has nothing to offer but poverty, fist-fights, misguided cock-sure posturing, and getting drunk. Is this someone you'd want your daughter to interact with? Shudder. Emma is briefly attracted to a new guy at Pete's... "He was thin instead of built like a linebacker, but his geek glasses and tattoo-covered arms were pretty damn sexy." Oh, come on Emma. Quit digging.

I'm sure that there are many people who live like this. I just don't need to read about it. I am at 41% and I'm going to bail. The second half may get better, but I won't be there to find out.

Randy


Another Day in Paradox...a very unconventional love story (The Grace Anderson Series Book 1)
Another Day in Paradox...a very unconventional love story (The Grace Anderson Series Book 1)
Price: $2.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful (With a big exception), January 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I just finished Another Day in Paradox, and with an exception, it was a well-written engrossing read.

I really liked the woman. Grace Anderson. At 46, a successful romance author who is facing a total writer's block while facing a deadline for her new novel. She is intelligent, knowledgeable, capable...stack the positive adjectives, and they probably pertain. As a guy, it didn't hurt that she was tall, blonde, and Swedish.

I really liked the guy. William Sorenson. Wunderkind. Started Princeton at age 15, and is rushing toward graduation of both a Bachelors and Masters at age 18. His friends call him "The Professor".

They meet in an AOL chat room (AOL? Really? In 1999? oh well), and somehow in their month of getting to know each other, the matter of their ages never comes up. When they finally meet, they are a bit surprised that he is younger than she had guessed (but she still is thinking 25 or 26), and she is older than he was expecting (but he is still thinking 35 or 36). Things progress nicely enough for a while.

And here is the exception to my enjoyment of this book. Once Grace discovers that Will is only 18 (A Teenager!!!), things get weird. Even though the age of consent in Pennsylvania is a solid 18, she goes a little nuts about what a child he is even though he doesn't act or seem young compared to others his age. Even though they get along famously, in a once-in-several-lifetimes soul-mate kind of way, she immediately pushes him away in a knee-jerk and irrational way.

Grace's friends, supportive, and Oh So Happy that she has finally found "The One" (albeit a little young), go absolutely bonkers when she finally admits to his real age. "I'm always there for you" immediately turns into "You cradle robbing pervert" in a heartbeat. Lifelong friends who had been reveling in the joy they had seen in the interaction, are instantly shouting at her "You have to end this NOW!!!" Nice supportive friends you have there Grace.

I could see this reaction if Will were 15 - there are laws after all. I could maybe see this reaction if Will were an immature 18 year old. I just found it hard to believe that the reaction was so immediate and violent when he obviously has so much more to offer than the typical person his age.

No one expects totally smooth sailing when a new relationship is between a 46-year old successful woman and an intelligent and mature age 18 young man. Lots of generational issues to be explored. Unusual (but legal) pairing that probably would have raised eyebrows, but at most should have received misgivings or disapproval rather than condemnation.

The first half of the book was a wonderful romance as they got to know each other, and the whole second half of the book was this long drawn-out intentional irrational heartbreak for both. This is somehow transcended in the final pages of the book as he reaches the magic age of 21, and suddenly Grace is over her hangups and is rushing to meet him. Been a long 3 years for all of us, Grace.

I haven't yet read the follow-on book, Paradox Found, so maybe once he is 21, Grace's attitude and that of her friends becomes less unreasonable. Maybe the whole second-half heartbreak is a ploy to get us to read the follow-on when their relationship can finally be explored.

Overall, the first half is an A (What a great read), and the second half is a C (I struggled to finish it), for an average of a B. I'll give it 4-stars, but only on the promise that the follow-on book is less... less... less just plain stupid.

Randy
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 19, 2013 12:38 PM PST


The Final Appearance of America's Favorite Girl Next Door
The Final Appearance of America's Favorite Girl Next Door
Price: $1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Just effing Wow., December 26, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A terrific read.

The story of Ellen Gregory, edgy "It" girl comedienne who has made it big-time and now has parlayed her brilliance into a mega-successful sitcom which has, after four seasons, sucked the joy and life out of her. A person playing a part of a person playing a part. Where is the true Ellen? Who is the true Ellen? Scripted and controlled by the Hollywood "Suits", who consider it edgy, but nowhere close to what she knows and remembers is the "Real" Ellen. Unable to go anywhere without the crush of her well-meaning but fanatical fans stealing whatever kind of normal experience a normal person might have and leaving her burned out and running from the fame and overpowering adoration.

This wasn't an easy book. The author expects his reader to be intelligent and to be paying attention. He has a great vocabulary, and I found myself using the Kindle's dictionary frequently. The book has a different style than I have ever encountered. Told in the third person, but there are no quote marks to be found. Whereas a normal third-person story is a play where we the audience sit in our seats and hear the lines and see the set, this book is a stream of consciousness where the actions and the words meld together in a rush of experience that just keeps going. Frenetic. The pace of the story is not constrained by the normal story-like punctuation, but just flows and flows and flows. At first it was a bit disconcerting. Wait a minute! Where are the quote marks? I just found a "she said", but her words weren't set off like I'm used to. But after a chapter, it seems efficient and direct, and I found myself admiring Stephen Stark's skill at laying it all out in this unconventional way.

Ellen runs from her mega-million contract and sitcom back to her hometown in Iowa to hole up in her childhood house with estranged parents she hasn't seen in the years since she fled to New York as an almost 18-year old to find a stage for her need to perform and entertain. There are remembrances of her early years in tiny clubs filled with drunk hecklers, and the evolution of her act to a foul-mouthed comedienne in a black thong pink tutu with fishnet stockings and combat boots. Just looking at her, the audiences knew what to expect, and her skill and cutting wit quickly boosted her into the national lime-light.

I enjoy great stand-up comedy, and Ellen has it. In an interview, she says "If you think about it, it's one-person theater, and when it works well, it can be completely sublime, you know? I mean you think of some of Robin Williams's shows and Steve Martin's early albums... George Carlin. Bob Hope or Phyllis Diller standing there firing off jokes with incredible precision. With some comics, you can hear the clock tick, their timing is so good. I mean, at it's best, it's like jazz, a framework that allows some improvisation, which comes out even better than you could have imagined, And when it's bad, you cringe hideously with embarrassment."

During her runaway, she meets Michael, an intense PhD candidate who is working on a brain-to-computer "Black Box" interface that goes awry and instead of showing a desktop and folders, suddenly, inexplicably, is presenting dream-like but ultra real remembrances of past events that somehow, aren't quite like they originally took place. The story bounces around, past and present, Ellen, and Michael. Not my favorite style, but in this case, it works as the bounces always introduce more information in ways that you don't quite expect. Intellectual and refreshing. The story uses the black box and other methods to fill in the back story of Ellen, Michael, and the people in their sphere, but the majority of the story involves the months leading up to the meeting with Michael, and the months following. I can't tell more without giving too much information which will spoil the sense of wonder as the reader rushes through the book never quite knowing what is going to happen next.

Many times, I judge a book on how well I like the characters, and Ellen is superb. Charismatic, witty, and smart in ways that you just know that she would be fun to have as a friend. Michael is absolutely believable as a love interest, and part of the fun of the story is how jaded Hollywood burned-out Ellen finds simple joy in the unpretentious but brilliant mid-westerner.

This is not a fluffy beach read. It is an intense visceral experience where the reader needs to focus and pay attention. If you are looking to be challenged and intellectually stimulated by an abundantly skilled author, I highly recommend it.

Randy
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 10, 2013 9:29 PM PST


Advice of Counsel (The Samuel Collins Series Book 1)
Advice of Counsel (The Samuel Collins Series Book 1)
Price: $3.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, November 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What a great read. Some authors just have a way with words, and Debra Trueman's talent is among the best in recent memory. Skillfully told in first-person, we share a tumultuous month of the life of San Antonio lawyer Samuel Collins.

The story starts with an asocial Samuel moving into his new home during the night because he didn't want the complications of nosy neighbors watching. That didn't work as over the next days, elderly neighbors bearing food, a precocious young neighbor boy and the Welcome Lady all invade his space.

We find that Samuel, a self-described "Prick" of a lawyer, and successfully so, has a kind and conscientious heart under the prickly and gruff exterior. Many times he says something that is meant to put off, but inside we see that he understands how silly and unreasonable it is. The internal honesty is a common thread throughout the book. One of hundreds of examples...
"Niki leaned in and said under his breath, "You're not jealous are you, Sammy Boy?" He had a stupid smile on his face like he'd caught me with the goods.
"Of what?" I asked irritably.
"Of another guy paying attention to your cute neighbor."
"Not even," I told him, but even as I said it, I knew that he knew I was lying.

Sam, who has never been married, finds himself increasingly entangled with two women, the first, Landra, a too-good-to-be-true beauty with a troublesome history, and the second, his neighbor Maddie, who comes with her own complications, namely two young boys. Both have legal problems, and Sam is pressed to represent them while juggling his instant attraction to Landra, and his growing attraction to Maddie and her son Oliver.

The dialog is energetic and believable. An example...
Maddie smiled and I couldn't help smile back. She looked especially pretty that day, and as much as I liked to refer to her as my client, that was actually the last way I thought of her. She was definitely my friend first, and a very good friend, at that.
"Now will you get out of here so I can get some work done!" I said. I didn't need her getting sentimental on me.
"I'm leaving," she said, but she turned back around as she walked towards the door and busted me watching her. "What?" she said defensively, when I didn't avert my eyes.
"What what?" I said.
"Never mind. I swear Samuel, sometimes I worry about you."
"Are you going to leave, or am I going to have to physically escort you out of my office? I know what it is. You want to be close to me."
This time Maddie rolled her eyes. And she did it so good that it looked like she'd learned it from Niki, himself. "You're a sick man, Samuel." And with that, she closed the door behind her.

It was one of those books that even as you rush to the end you know that there will be a sad empty feeling once there. Highly recommended.

Randy
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2012 6:41 AM PST


Waiting (Crazy In Love Series Book 1)
Waiting (Crazy In Love Series Book 1)
Price: $3.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable, February 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I just finished "Gnome on the Range" by Jennifer Zane. It was thoroughly enjoyable. A cut above the standard romance. Witty, smart, well-written. I was sorry to see it end.

It is the story of Jane who lives in Montana with her two young sons. She meets Ty (a fireman recently returned from two tours in the Middle-East) who moves in two houses down, and there is an immediate attraction. The gnomes in the title are garden gnomes her sons buy at a garage sale, and immediately thereafter her ordinary life becomes difficult with mysterious and sometimes dangerous things happening to her.

It is told through the eyes of Jane. She is smart and sassy, and I liked her immensely.

Be aware that she works at an "Adult Shop" with her mother-in-law, and there is a certain amount of frank discussion regarding the wares there. Later, the book becomes sexy, but I found it well-written and believable.

Of course, it has a happy ending. A feel-good book that had me glued to my Kindle until the end. Highly recommended.

Randy


Page: 1