Your Garage Summer Reading Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Lacuna Coil Father's Day Gift Guide 2016 Fire TV Stick Get Ready for Summer and Save 15% Father's Day Gifts Amazon Cash Back Offer bighero bighero bighero  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $149.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Outdoor Recreation SnS
Profile for Thomas J. Rice > Reviews

Browse

Thomas J. Rice's Profile

Customer Reviews: 24
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,452,579
Helpful Votes: 148


Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

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

Reviews Written by
Thomas J. Rice RSS Feed (Briarcliff Manor, NY)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
The Dog: A Novel
The Dog: A Novel
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars For sure not a happy tale., January 18, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Dog: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
Joseph O'Neil's "The Dog" is a well-written novel with some very interesting interior monologue from our unnamed narrator.

The setting - mostly in Dubai with brief flashes of New York and London - is one that perhaps readers in the United States are not overly familiar with. Professor O'Neil paints a none too flattering picture of post-financial crisis Dubai and especially of its expatriate western residents. His description of the treatment of non-citizens (some 85% of the population) some of whom have lived in Dubai for generations is particularly disturbing.

I hope that I never find myself feeling so despondent that I need to make the alarming personal choices of Professor O'Neil's attorney / narrator and flee friendly New York for a relentlessly depressing job in the Gulf.

In spite of the great writing, I am compelled to award only three stars here; to be very blunt the book was simply too much of a bummer for me. I am not certain I could identify one character who was not either overly self-loathing or loathsome at some level.


An Irish Doctor in Love and at Sea: An Irish Country Novel (Irish Country Books)
An Irish Doctor in Love and at Sea: An Irish Country Novel (Irish Country Books)
by Patrick Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.39
72 used & new from $5.74

4.0 out of 5 stars Taylor's descriptions of what life was like is meticulous and well-crafted, November 20, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Patrick Taylor continues his heart-warming "Irish country doctor" series; the volume takes us back and forth between the "current" events of life in Northern Ireland in 1966 and in 1940 Britain during the intense German bombing of the Battle of Britain.

As always, Taylor's descriptions of what life was like is meticulous and well-crafted. And he does a fine job conveying the love between Deidre and Fingal at both an emotional level and the physical level of young people in love.

I have been such a fan that I have to restrain myself with the ratings - Patrick Taylor is not John Banville or Anne Enright; but his writing and storytelling are terrific and I cannot get enough of them.


All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliantly Crafted Story from a Time We are Beginning to Lose, October 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Every day the number of survivors from the World War II generation diminishes and their particular stories with them.

It took ten years for Anthony Doerr to complete his World War II set tale. From this reader's perspective this obvious labor of love was worth the wait. The chief characters in this meticulously crafted work (Werner and Marie-Laure) are as fully realized as I believe is possible in a novel. And it takes very few pages before your heart is with them and you begin to feel with them and for them. And even the secondary characters are memorable - whether it is the "giant" Volkheimer, poor, crushed Frederick or Marie's (eventually) brave Great Uncle Etienne.
Was it all a bit fantastical (sea of flame) or coincidental (certain radio broadcasts from France reaching young Werner) - yes, and indeed. But these elements were essential to the plot and in no way detracted from my enjoyment of what is, after all, a story.

Mr Doerr not only has a way with his human characters, but with the other great feature of this novel - which are the sights and sounds and smells of the places he takes the reader - whether it is Paris and St-Malo in France or the bleak coal mining towns of German or the killing fields of the Ukraine - each are vividly recreated. War-time Europe lives again.

As with most of the books of this caliber that I read, I had to start to ration my pages halfway through so I could let the enjoyment linger over this truly amazing tale.


A Spool of Blue Thread: A Novel
A Spool of Blue Thread: A Novel
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars House, Home & Family - A familiar but very rewarding read., September 29, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Anne Tyler returns to the themes of family and in her familiar haunts of Baltimore and so a reader is on very familiar turf with this novel.
However, this does not make the experience any less rewarding or enjoyable because, as she has always done Ms. Tyler knows how to write characters that capture a reader no matter how familiar the setting. And, in any event, there are a few new twists and turns. The actual physical home of the family in question is itself a central character and mostly a blessing but perhaps also a bit of curse at the same time. Certain mysteries and secret histories are revealed in the novel (in a time jumping style) but others are not (what is up with Denny - we learn a little at the end but not much).

I liked the way Ms. Tyler wrote the strange but compelling history of Red's back country parents and how they made their escape (incomplete though it was in Junior's case). And as always I commend Ms. Tyler for rendering respectfully an explicitly devote Christian character (Nora).

Whether you are a new reader or old fan, I enthusiastically recommend this novel. It is rewarding.


An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War: An Irish Country Novel (Irish Country Books)
An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War: An Irish Country Novel (Irish Country Books)
by Patrick Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.38
84 used & new from $0.44

5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Pleasant Addiction, November 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Patrick Taylor's "Irish Country" series have become an addiction that has gotten stronger and stronger with each novel. And indeed, I have have spread the addiction to others.

He continues to round out the personalities of his cast of characters. This book (like the others) is sentimental and heart-warming in many ways, but not overly so. After all, the book covers part of the World War II period and Taylor does not sugar-coat what happens when ordinance meets man and Dr. O'Reilly and his fellow healers must try to save lives in less than optimal conditions on board. It was also an interesting development to see temptation placed squarely in front of Dr. O'Reilly while on his long war-time voyage.

Now I am getting a bit impatient to hear more of Barry and Sue's story - particularly as it is 1966 and Sue has a strong interest in the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. We all know the sad big picture story of what happens next in the real world. It will be a true challenge for Dr. taylor to navigate that story in his series. But I beleive that he is up for ti.

Get them coming Dr. Taylor!


Beer Soap Oatmeal and Stout Beer Soap Bar with Shea Butter Made with Guinness Extra Stout Beer
Beer Soap Oatmeal and Stout Beer Soap Bar with Shea Butter Made with Guinness Extra Stout Beer
Offered by Natural Handcrafted Soap Company
Price: $12.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing way to wake up, June 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'd have never thought that this combination of materials would make a good soap - but I tried it and now I am hooked.

It has a fresh and masculine scent - but it is not overwhelming to either me or any one else.

I will continue to buy this product.


An Irish Country Wedding: A Novel (Irish Country Books Book 7)
An Irish Country Wedding: A Novel (Irish Country Books Book 7)
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot Help Myself with these Books, January 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The "five"star rating is not meant to imply great literary merit; it is however, meant to convey my absolute joy of having the pleasure of reading and recommending Dr. Taylor's "Irish Country" series. It's "BallykissAngel" meets "Lake Woebegon" and if you have to ask what those refer to then this series is most likely not for you. As far as I am concerned, keep them coming Dr. Taylor!


American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell
American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $9.99

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some solid scholarship marred by Unsupported Speculation, January 28, 2014
Deborah Solomon's "American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell" has a split personality. On the one hand, it is a fairly workman like effort that covers the chronology of Rockwell's life in ample detail. There are also some interesting insights into Rockwell's techniques and style and how his efforts were viewed over time in both the "high" art community and in popular culture. So far so good. Solomon also presents Rockwell's personal side, revealing him to be self-absorbed and perhaps at times uncaring and unfeeling about those around him (i.e., models who have outlived their usefulness, wives, his sibling and children). Even with the best of sources, it is my view that these verbal pictures are incomplete at best. Even so, it is fair game for Ms. Solomon to piece the fragments together to speculate as to what kind of person Rockwell was.

What is not supportable, however, is her curious and repeated forays into speculation about Rockwell's sexuality. One or even two reflections on this subject would have been more than sufficient, given that Ms. Solomon (as she readily admits) has no solid direct evidence for her speculation on this point (and even her circumstantial evidence is not that compelling). Instead, she carries on about this point, sometimes writing with a lack of restraint that would embarrass a correspondent for the National Inquirer.

This is all a pity because it truly detracts from what would otherwise have been a fine effort.


MaddAddam: A Novel
MaddAddam: A Novel
by Margaret Atwood
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.11
137 used & new from $0.35

4.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully crafted, satisfying conclusion, September 20, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MaddAddam: A Novel (Hardcover)
My rating is 4.5 stars actually.

First, like many reviewers, I found this to be a "can't put down" satisfying conclusion to the Ms. Atwood's dystopian trilogy. The book answers (or provides a pathway to answers) to a variety of questions left over from "The Year of the Flood" such as - is there a future for the rag-tag, remnants of the old humanity? How close are we (old humanity) to Crake / Glenn's new people? And just how smart and dangerous are the Pigoons?
But Margaret Atwood is not just about substance and great story telling, she's a "writer's, writer" and a stylish one at that.

Look for the shifting narrative voices and individual perspectives as the story unfolds and is told in bits and pieces going from Zeb's perspective to Toby's to the Craker's. All of these characters are successful but I would say that Toby is one of the most fully developed characters I've encountered in recent memory. Atwood makes us feel what she feels and reminds us that even through a monumental disaster, humans are humans - they will love, they will be petty and jealous and also amazing brave, kind and caring all at once.

All in all, this is a very fine piece of work that I highly recommend. For those who have not yet read "Oryx and Crake" and the "Year of the Flood", I would start with these two books to truly appreciate and understand Maddaddam, although, in my view, if you only have time to read "The Year of the Flood" you will get enough of the backstory to make Maddaddam a satisfying volume.


TransAtlantic: A Novel
TransAtlantic: A Novel
by Colum McCann
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.65
227 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Irish take on the "Pond", July 8, 2013
This review is from: TransAtlantic: A Novel (Hardcover)
Colum McCann's latest is about journeys - of many types - the physical journeys of Fredrick Douglas, Alcock and Brown, Emily and Lottie and Lily Duggan - to say nothing of George Mitchell's hop-scotch between New York, London, Belfast and Dublin. And McCann captures the travels with his usual flair and elegance - whether by steerage, first class in an ocean liner or an ancient or modern plane.

But this gem of a book is also about metaphorical and personal journeys; Fredrick Douglas not content with abolition fighting for sufferage; Lily Duggan's metamorphsis from a penniless Catholic maid in famine ridden Ireland to prosperous Protestant business owneer in St. Louis. Some of these journeys are very successful - Lily's for sure; but some are less so - Brown never being able to recapture the joy of his flying career; Emily settling for a lesser career in Newfoundland and some of these journeys we are still waiting to see play out - George Mitchell's efforts (and Ireland's own transformative journey) have more or less stopped the bullets but perhaps we, like Hannah, are wondering what will happen to it all in the end. Will the peace survive these very economically difficult years on the green island?

While "TransAtantic" did not have for me (a New Yorker) the emotional punch of "Let the Great World Spin", it is a fabulous book that I could not put down (even as I wanted to ration the pages).

Notwithstanding the fact that he continues to tap away in his Manhattan cubby-hole, McCann is truly an Irish storyteller, with a fantastic sense of time, place and pace.

I most enthusiastically recommend this novel.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3