Your Garage Up to 80 Percent Off Textbooks Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it $5 Albums Fire TV Stick Health, Household and Grocery Back to School Totes Summer-Event-Garden Amazon Cash Back Offer PilotWave7B PilotWave7B PilotWave7B  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis DollyParton Shop Now
Profile for JRubino > Reviews

Browse

JRubino's Profile

Customer Reviews: 110
Top Reviewer Ranking: 918,622
Helpful Votes: 232


Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

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

Reviews Written by
JRubino RSS Feed (New York, New York)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11
pixel
Breakfast of Champions: A Novel
Breakfast of Champions: A Novel
by Kurt Vonnegut
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.52
262 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars 100 Words or Less, January 23, 2013
A testament to its greatness is that ... well ... it's indescribable.

What's the plot? Um ... well ....

Who are the characters? Well ... yeah, it's kinda hard to say. Um... the narrator is both a character and the author. Nothing really happens, yet so much goes on. Oh, sections will make you laugh out loud because they're so stupid, except it somehow reaches the core of humanity. I mean, not only physically, but on a metaphysical sense. Even an alternative universe sort of way.

Okay, now I'm babbling. But trust me, it's all that and so much more.


A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought)
A Fire Upon The Deep (Zones of Thought)
by Vernor Vinge
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.55
88 used & new from $0.05

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 100 Words or Less, January 23, 2013
I loved the opening chapter ... and then came the doglike telepathic symbiotic warriors?

Ugh. I suppose those aliens are as good as any, but from that chapter I knew exactly where this novel was heading. Okay, maybe I didn't know exactly, but it was enough of a disappointment for me to stop reading.

I just have no patience for the "children among aliens" plot devices.


The Dog Stars
The Dog Stars
by Peter Heller
Edition: Hardcover
124 used & new from $0.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 100 Words or Less, January 23, 2013
This review is from: The Dog Stars (Hardcover)
Post-apocalyptic nonsense.

Ten years after devastating pandemics, most survivors are small clumps of marauders? Historically, that's simply false. Even in the darkest eras, communities have come together for common good and protection.

Yet in Heller's world, everyone reverts to wolf packs ... and with intact infrastructure, farmland, and ample supplies? The author ignores a basic premise: dead people leave behind plenty of useable stuff and humanity has always been adaptable.

That's a shame. Heller works hard to get us to care about his characters. However, with this major plot flaw (and a handful of smaller ones) it's wasted.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2013 5:52 AM PST


Plainsong
Plainsong
by Kent Haruf
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.52
799 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 100 Words or Less, January 23, 2013
This review is from: Plainsong (Paperback)
After 100 pages I'd no intent on continuing. I've grown tired of the "poor rural barbarism" that permeates many novels recently.

Yet wait. This review is a rave.

I came back to the novel with a little hope and was rewarded. Where the first half focuses on people's cruelty, the second half rebounds with simple humanity and a true insight to how people can better the world ... not on a grand scale but for a few neighboring souls.

This almost non-read becomes a great novel. It's a testament to Haruf's skill and trust in us to keep the faith.


Year Zero: A Novel
Year Zero: A Novel
by Robert H. Reid
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $25.00
64 used & new from $0.01

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 100 Words or Less, January 23, 2013
This review is from: Year Zero: A Novel (Hardcover)
Oh, this tries so desperately to be another Hitchhiker's Guide. You can tell from the snark and the forced jokes and the crazy nonsensical dialogue that pours out of the first couple of chapters.

And that's the problem. It tries so hard to be something it's not. What might have been a mildly amusing plot is simply overwrought with bad decisions. I found it unfunny and tepid.


Angelmaker (Vintage Contemporaries)
Angelmaker (Vintage Contemporaries)
by Nick Harkaway
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.34
91 used & new from $2.00

4.0 out of 5 stars 100 Words or Less, January 23, 2013
Just when you know where this is headed, it jukes back another way in a wonderful surprise. Part of that is the amazing plot and characters. Yet, the crisp and at times beautiful writing is the core of this novel's power.

Many times, Harkaway tiptoes atop the absurd but in a delightful way. Separate all the parts, and none of the plot or characters are believable. However, as a whole, it comes together with a force that keeps you turning page after page. It's weird, inventive, fun, and a pleasure to read.


Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle No. 1)
Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle No. 1)
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.70
170 used & new from $0.01

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 100 Words or Less, December 19, 2012
This is the case of rock solid research ruining an interesting story.

Stephenson's setting and characters are vivid within their world. But too much so. It's as if every detail he's uncovered needs to be included. Every historical fact needs to be stated. Seemingly minor characters are encountered haphazardly, only to coincidentally emerge as important historical figures: an adolescent Ben Franklin? A young Newton?

It's too much. I wanted a story that dropped me into that era. I ended up with a comical Who's Who date book. I had to stop reading after about 50 pages.


The Breach
The Breach
by Patrick Lee
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.53
210 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 100 Words or Less, December 19, 2012
This review is from: The Breach (Mass Market Paperback)
The fast-paced, action-packed nature of this novel makes it a fun, easy read. However, the last few pages completely destroy its Sci-Fi cred.

Not to give anything away, but how can the author build up such a mysterious interesting premise and then explain it all away with abject carelessness? Few things are sacrosanct in Sci-Fi, but Lee violates a cardinal belief with a casual dismissal. It's as if, with a shrug, he simply wants to brush the paradoxes away.

This is a good novel in search of a much better ending.


The Bells: A Novel
The Bells: A Novel
by Richard Harvell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.16
113 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars 100 Words or Less, December 19, 2012
This review is from: The Bells: A Novel (Paperback)
Harvell assembles all the emotional pieces, but the joints and glue show.

Oh, he's obviously done his homework. His historical facts are pristine. The setting and characters are realistic, though sometimes a bit overly cartoonish: the giant, the scholar, the hero, the lover, etc. The story moves along at a predictable pace ... yet this is where the novel falters.

No real surprises emerge at all. Everything is by-the-numbers. Time for conflict? Insert here. Time for love? Insert here. The formulaic momentum and end result reduce the impact of what is otherwise a well written novel.


The Player of Games (Culture)
The Player of Games (Culture)
by Iain M. Banks
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.28
93 used & new from $1.39

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 100 Words or Less, December 19, 2012
Banks creates a challenge: a world without problems and characters without worry, and then asks us to care.

Halfway through this novel, I didn't care. So what if the Gamer might lose some prestige (in a society where there's little if any). So what if he may not win a high profile political/societal contest. It's a bit like arguing over a D&D dice roll.

Yet ... in the end, Banks does a decent job. His story still lacks any real emotional pull, but it's well written, expertly thought out, and enjoyable. Though that sets the bar low, it's enough.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11