11-22-63 by Stephen King is an amazing book. In spite of its length (866 pages), King’s diverse plot is maintained by the strength of the main character, Kyle.
The book is a time-travel story about Kyle being persuaded to find his way back to the year 1958. Once there, his goal is to establish himself, collect information and then do everything in his power to prevent John F. Kennedy from being assassinated on November 22, 1963. Of course, all instances of time-travel must be subject to things changing. The number of “strings” involved could either cause differences by a “residue” effect or cause things to be recognized as familiar because of a sense of “harmony.” This may sound a bit confusing but King has set up a world where the reader is comfortable slipping in and out of time where these terms and many others are commonplace.
As years roll by, there will always be the possibility of falling in love. When a tender and very real interaction develops between Kyle and a teacher he meets named Sadie, I will only say that because of my own personal experiences, I was eventually brought to tears. To me, this love story deeply added to the mix and also places the book under the romance novel category.
Because the book was so very long, I was immensely curious about how King would bring the story to a close. The conclusion was so immensely satisfying that as soon as I finished, I began to make phone calls to recommend that friends give the book a read as soon as possible. I definitely give 11-22-63 five out of five stars.
The Jazz of Physics - The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe.
Author: Stephon Alexander, Publisher: Basic Books
More than fifty years ago, John Coltrane drew the twelve musical notes in a circle and connected them by straight lines, forming a five-pointed star. Inspired by Einstein, Coltrane had put physics and geometry at the core of his music. Physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander returns the favor, using jazz to answer physics’ most vexing questions about the past and future of the universe.
Following the great minds that first drew the links between music and physics—a list including Pythagoras, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, and Rakim--The Jazz of Physics revisits the ancient realm where music, physics, and the cosmos were one. This cosmological journey accompanies Alexander’s own tale of struggling to reconcile his passion for music and physics, from taking music lessons as a boy in the Bronx to studying theoretical physics at Imperial College, London’s inner sanctum of string theory. Playing the saxophone and improvising with equations, Alexander uncovered the connection between the fundamental waves that make up sound and the fundamental waves that make up everything else. As he reveals, the ancient poetic idea of the “music of the spheres,” taken seriously, clarifies confounding issues in physics.
Whether you are more familiar with Brian Greene or Brian Eno, John Coltrane or John Wheeler, the Five Percent Nation or why the universe is less than five percent visible, there is a new discovery on every page. Covering the entire history of the universe from its birth to its fate, its structure on the smallest and largest scales, The Jazz of Physics will fascinate and inspire anyone interested in the mysteries of our universe, music, and life itself.
See more at:
Amazon.com, Youtube.com, Perseusacademic.com
Tech, Lies and Wizardry is not just an enticing choice for a title. There’s a great story attached to this space opera, which does not disappoint. I picked this read knowing that it was a short story (about 25 pages) but as soon after it began, I wished that it could be so much longer.
Morin’s crew of diverse personalities (and/or creatures), are interesting and very well fleshed out. The author quickly shows this, as the unlikely band are thrust into an unexpected mission at the Orion Space Station. The way they “get the job done” is both unexpected and entertaining. I’m curious to know what happens next to this rag tail crew that reminds of the Firefly TV series that I always enjoyed.
Bravo to J.S. Morin for a great lead in to what I’m certain are many entertaining novels.
Tech, Lies and Wizardry by J.S. Morin
Finders Keepers is book two of the Bill Hodges trilogy (Book one being Mr. Mercedes, which I also reviewed). It's the story of one man's obsession with the way an author has written a particular character in his books. When this man (Morris Bellamy) finds that there are unpublished works in which the author might have supported Morris' view of a beloved character, Morris is willing to kill in order to possess the unseen manuscripts. Unfortunately for Morris, he goes to jail and his obsession is put on hold for many years. This gives others a chance to possess the books but watch out! Morris has never forgotten his obsession and will let no one stand in his way to get them back.
Finders Keepers is definitely a crime drama and an excellent one at that. Seems like Stephen King can write anything (I'm used to his horror) and be really good at it. The pacing and suspense were right on target. I know to expect the unexpected from King but the scene in the house between Morris and Pete's mother actually startled me (in a 'that didn't just happen', kind of way).
It was great to see the old crew from Mr. Mercedes back together again. Their roles in the story fit perfectly and just like in the previous book, things got more and more tense towards the end.
It was difficult for me not to see Morris as the Gollum character from Lord of the Rings, though. His life-time obsession with Rothstein's unpublished stories felt only strangely familiar at first. I did not make the Gollum connection until Pete also got hooked. All I could think of was the passing of the ring and what a person is capable of doing in order to possess it. I was happy that neither Morris nor Pete ever said, "Give me back my precious."
This book I give a five out of five stars and I'm anxious to see the third installment in the trilogy.
Last night, while driving home from Thanksgiving dinner, I finished the audio version of Dolores Claiborne, written by Stephen King and overall I liked the story quite a lot.
Dolores Claiborne is about a woman who stands accused of murdering an employer. She surprises everyone by freely admitting to murdering her husband many decades prior. The reasons for the old crime were masterfully woven into the present accusation in a surprising and grotesque way, as I have come to expect from King.
As Dolores continued telling her story and I realized that the book would really be a one-person narrative; I was a bit put off. I stuck with it though and I was not disappointed. As the puzzle pieces of the story fell into place, I became more impressed. The relationship between Dolores and Vera was very real. Regardless of their different life stations in the small town setting, they became good friends and taught each other needed lessons (good and bad) as real friends usually do.
It only made sense that Dolores wanted to come clean when the accusations were being made about Vera's death. Dolores had been holding on to her secret about her late husband's death for decades. No matter how "right" Dolores was for the actions she took, she had been tormented since the event and lived with constant guilt and the knowledge of how it affected her family. To suddenly be accused of killing her friend Vera, meant the authorities might dig deeper and try to connect prior events. Dolores was not a scheming criminal who got some kind of kick from hurting others. She was a woman trying to do right and in the end she was tired of the games. If I was in Dolores' position, I would have opened up also and let it all out.
My only point of disbelief was the kid's bank accounts. It the police were checking into whether there were insurance motives concerning Joe's death, why would they not check on bank accounts? I mean, at least ask questions about who had what money in their name or were there any recent deposits or withdrawals. Just because the bank representative had things to lose so he kept quiet, didn't mean that others could not have at least asked some banking questions.
Other than this point, Dolores' attempt at the keeping her of secrets in a small town and living with the repercussions made this a very believable situation. I applaud Stephen King for being able to successfully tackle this unique way of storytelling. In other words, I like the book and I give it four out of five stars.
To those that have not yet read the book: Beware the dust bunnies with their dusty teeth :)
Things aren't as quiet on the Crystal Coast as some may believe. They say there might even be witches there.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Coven: Book One by Chrissy Lessey. The characters were interesting and it’s obvious that a lot of care was taken to correctly convey the area where the story takes place. There were times that Stevie’s learning about her new “gifts” felt like Witch Training 101 but Ms. Lessey’s real point was so much deeper than that. The real story is about a mother’s love for her autistic son. During the story, Stevie’s instincts are to use her newfound gifts to protect her son. She understands that hurting another in an attempt to achieve this goal would make her no better than those presenting the evil and Stevie’s final decision towards the evil, springs from her love for those around her. This theme carries the reader to a well-written rollercoaster ending, which had me on the edge of my seat. I will be reading, The Secret Keepers, which is the next book in this series.
I give The Coven (Crystal Coast Series) Book One four out of five stars
The main characters (Hodges and Brady, to name a few) jump off of the page and into reality as people that we might really know or we try hard to avoid. The motivations and the actions that they take make sense as increasingly difficult situations are presented to them. The best example is the obsession, which develops within Hodges in order to solve the mystery of the killer. He is a detective who has lived for his job and can’t handle his well-deserved retirement. His desperate feelings of worthlessness (among other reasons), drives him to catch the killer. As Hodges struggles to do the right thing, he is constantly aware that by doing so he might also be breaking the law.
I must mention the dark character that is the killer. It’s astounding how King came up with the personality traits and family relations of the man. I would swear that King personally sat down with Brady and collected the facts first hand. Once this information is blended into the story, King makes Brady just dark enough that regardless how much you understand his life (and it’s pretty messed up) you have to hate the guy.
King has written a well-paced story that grabs hold of the reader’s attention from its shocking beginning to its nail-biting conclusion. This book makes for one of King’s best suspense novels and it easily deserves five stars.
Murder has come to a quiet rural town in New England during the 1930s. Is it possible that children might be involved?
The story of Thomas Tryon’s exploration into the odd behaviors of the young brothers Niles and Holland Perry is both well written and well executed. The small-town descriptions were realistic and the plot twists kept me guessing and the unexpected final revelation involving the siblings haunted me for days. Tryon’s work with the 1972 movie of the same name was just as shocking and I consider both works to be classics.
I give The Other by Thomas Tryon five stars
My point of view matters but I'd like to hear yours also. Drop me a comment.