As you no doubt noticed, I’m going to try a new title system and give the names of the authors I’m covering for the current post. I hope this will make it easier (for me at least) to look up previous authors and books I’ve covered.
Mass Casualties: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq by SPC Michael Anthony, copyright 2009, published by Adams Media
The way this book is titled, it sounds like Mr. Anthony went to Iraq to save lives, kick ass and chew bubblegum. Ha! The truth? He apparently signed up thinking he was going to to have the private room, fancy clothes and sauna bath that Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin was offered. This book should be titled Mass Whining by SPC Whiny.
He whines, his friends whine and his superiors whine. Illicit drugs and affairs run rampant. Okay, as a realist I have to accept that these things will happen everywhere, including the military. But after reading War by Sebastian Junger, I found myself disappointed and appalled by the behavior of “America’s finest” shown in Mass Casualties.
This is a book that should never have been published and should you find yourself with a copy in hand, drop it and back away immediately. You’d be better off reading James Patterson. Speaking of which. . .
Kiss The Girls by James Patterson, copyright 1995, published by Warner Books
This second book of the Alex Cross series is somewhat shorter and way better than the first. First off, and this is the major criteria, higher body count. Murder and dismemberment abound or at least show up at fairly regular intervals. My complaint for this book is the same complaint I have for most books of the mystery genre. All the lead detectives (whether male or female) are stunningly good looking and never at a loss for extremely attractive people practically throwing themselves in their path for gratuitous sex. Really? REALLY?
Far be it for Mr. Patterson to break from the mold. And so who is Alex Cross’ sexual partner for Kiss The Girls? Why a victim of course! Makes sense. Alex Cross is such a wonderful, sensitive, total babe that a woman who was kidnapped, violently beaten and repeatedly raped would just jump at his penis within a month or so of her travails. My eyes hurt from rolling.
I confess that I enjoy reading Mr. Patterson much in the same way I enjoy reading the older Nancy Drew series. Simplistic, fun and often unknowingly humorous. This having been said, I would still recommend Mr. Patterson any day before SPC Michael Anthony.
A Year In Provence by Peter Mayle, coypright 1989, published by Vintage Books
Autobiography of Mr. Mayle’s first year of living in a 200-year-old farmhouse in Luberon, France.
I chose this book because I’m on an armchair traveling spree and this was recommended to me by Amazon. I agree with the Washington Post review in calling this a delightful book. It is. Light, enjoyable reading. However, the paroxysms of piss-yourself laughter that was promised by multiple Amazon customer reviews was not forthcoming.
I am, by nature, a rather morose and pessimistic person and perhaps this might explain my lack thereof. I did smile a number of times though and would wholeheartedly recommend this book. Off all the books covered today, this provided the best reading.
P.S. This is my 50th post!