Tuesday, March 31, 2015

“Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency” by Douglas Adams – Vectors of Interconnectedness

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams is rightfully known as one of the most original and thought-provoking science-fiction writers out there, penning the immortal Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy which will probably be spoken of so long as people remember how to speak. However, the author's genius in the world of literature is far from being limited to that one chef-d'oeuvre, and Dick Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is certainly a magnificent example of that.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

“Ubik” by Philip K. Dick – A Backwards Race

Ubik by Philip K. Dick (Book cover)
Time is something many of us take for granted as being unalterable, a thing that always moves forward and sweeps us along its path. We are so obsessed with gaining any kind of power over it that it has taken a central role in fiction, and upon review, many such works have succeeded in creating a dent of doubt in a reality that was set in stone. Countless works have explored the potential real-world implications of time shifting in one way or another, and Ubik by Philip K. Dick is most certainly one of the more revered ones out there.

Friday, March 27, 2015

“NYPD Red 3” by James Patterson and Marshall Karp – Snatchers in Paradise

NYPD Red 3 by James Patterson and Marshall Karp - book cover
Fast-paced detective dramas, though seldom have true depth, are still a favorite genre for many literature enthusiasts due to the sheer rush and thrill they provide, how they quench the thirst we have for quick and intense stories that reward you almost instantly.

James Patterson and Marshall Karp have established themselves as rather proficient authors in this category, and most recently cemented their place even further with NYPD Red 3, a continuation of the series in which an elite task force spearheaded by detectives Zachary Jordan and Kylie McDonald, is assigned to protecting and serving, but the rich and famous exclusively.

Monday, March 23, 2015

“The Accidental Empress” by Allison Pataki – Love and The Court

he Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki - book cover
The unforgiving world of the imperial European court of the 19th century has become somewhat infamous for the amount of intricacies associated with it, being like the world's most complex game of chess, but one where immense amounts of wealth and power are at stake, and of course, the price for failure is often death. It should therefore be expected that it serves as rather interesting literary fuel, and one that is often put to good use, as is the case with The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki.

In this piece of historical fiction we are taken to 1850s Europe, as the young duchess of Bavaria, “Sisi”, travels to Habsburg Court along with her older sister who is meant to be married to the young and ever-desirable prince, Franz Joseph. However, soon things take a turn for the dramatic as the young “Sisi” ends up winning over the affections of the young prince, who soon decides that he would much rather marry the younger sister. Much to the chagrin and detriment of her older sister, the young duchess embarks on an intricate and rather complicated quest for love, one that will plunge her straight into the cruel world of The Court and instill in her the cunning history later remembered her for.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

“Red Notice” by Bill Browder – A Crusade of Corruption

Red Notice by Bill Browder – book cover
Let's face it, whether we are talking about the Soviet Union or today's Russia, the country had numerous reputations, but being an honest and transparent one certainly wasn't, isn't and probably won't be part of the list any time soon. Shady dealings, to put it mildly, have been going on probably as long as people have been living there, and at this point the corruption runs so deep that it has become an unavoidable part of daily life there.

However, despite their practices, the government and law enforcement administrations have done a remarkable job at keeping things under wraps, but the story of Sergei Magnitsky certainly isn't one of them, thanks to the tireless work of Bill Browder, and the book he wrote titled Red Notice.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

“4:50 From Paddington” by Agatha Christie – The Unlikely Witness

4:50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie - book cover
Agatha Christie has for long been known as the indisputable master of murder mystery novels, always being capable of delivering a solid plot that drags the reader along exactly where it wants to, keeping them oblivious to the clues under their noses and leading to the unexpected unveiling of the criminal nobody even suspected.

Though she did tend to follow certain archetypes or had similar settings from one story to the next, there always managed to be that high-class uniqueness to it all, as can be perfectly seen with 4:50 From Paddington, a Miss Marple mystery.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

“Lusitania” by Greg King and Penny Wilson – A Ship of Dreams

Lusitania by Greg King and Penny Wilson - book cover
Though the First World War is being pushed back further and further into our history books as the years go by, there is no doubt that it was a rather important event in mankind's history, at least speaking in more recent terms. There are many individual stories, bits and pieces of information to explore (as is the case with any war, I would imagine), and perhaps one of the more overlooked ones is that of the Lusitania, the ship whose sinking led the United States to actively enter the conflict.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

“Yes Please” by Amy Poehler – Inside the Mind of a Comedian

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler is a name that generally evokes smiles on people's faces, belonging to a person who has truly made her mark in the acting community, bringing a special kind of comedy to the screen, the kind that is memorable in its uniqueness. Needless to say, she has done a lot of work before really bursting through into the biggest of leagues with her performance on Parks and Recreation... as a matter of fact, she has had a pretty interesting and fulfilling career as a comedian.

Friday, March 13, 2015

“The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith – The Threat of the Pen

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith - book cover
It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword, and I do have to agree with that statement, unless of course we are talking about being on a medieval battlefield (where a pen would only be a useful weapon in McGuyver's hands). Countless people around the world have been coerced, blackmailed and murdered for words they have put on paper, and it is understandable in a certain sense; after all, it is possible to utterly demolish someone's life with nothing but a few words.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Gliding Over the World of Literature – Issue 70

Good day to you all and welcome back for the seventieth edition of Gliding Over the World of Literature, one where things are going to be taken a bit more lightly, starting off with a recent discovery which suggests that Jesus (talking about the historical figure here) might actually have been married, and even had two sons. Following that we are going to check out how the relics of the past fair today as Alexandre Dumas' former house finds itself in need of some good old-fashioned solidarity. Finally, we will finish it off with a tour of locations you could draw inspiration from, as did many great British writers back in their days.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

“The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins – The Threads of Truth

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - book cover
It doesn't happen very often for a debuting author to make a huge splash in the literary community, but if every single book review outlet is to be believed, Paula Hawkins accomplished just that with her first thriller, The Girl on the Train. It would be best classified as a psychological thriller, one where the main attraction lies in watching things unfold, even if you suspect or already know how they are going to turn out.

Friday, March 06, 2015

“The Painter” by Peter Heller – An Artist's Retribution

The Painter by Peter Heller - book cover
Stories of people who end up being prosecuted for committing actions which are regarded as morally correct and yet illegal are something we are attracted to for one simple reason: the good one's relentless fight against what seems like unstoppable evil is a source of inspiration, and perhaps even serving as a confirmation of our widespread belief that the world wasn't and never will be a just place.

It shouldn't be surprising that the archetype has spread like wildfire through literature and has remained a rather attractive subject for countless years now; there's just nothing like a good old-fashioned revenge story fueled by injustice and unfairness.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

“A Pocket Full of Rye” by Agatha Christie – Rhymes from the Dark Past

A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie - book cover
When we think about the many trials and tribulations faced by some of our favorite recurring characters in literature, one of the most obvious ones we don't think about is just how much terror and death they have witnessed without letting it touch them. Perhaps Miss Marple is the epitome of iron old ladies, being capable of making it from one end of the English countryside to the next without going mad from witnessing swarms of stabbings, poisonings, hangings, and “accidents”.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

“The Triangle” by Kevin Deutsch – War of the Invisible Men

The Triangle by Kevin Deutsch - book cover
Many of us know the Bloods and the Crips as being two opposing gangs, identifying themselves by the colors red and blue, respectively. We know they have made life rather difficult and dangerous in a number of areas, especially the socioeconomically underprivileged ones, and continue to be a rising threat to all who live besides them.It has actually come to the point where it is an international phenomenon, and you can find the Bloods and Crips separation happening in major American cities as well as small European villages.