Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reading Roundup

Here are a few more great books I've read lately:

The Thirteenth Tale: Lyrical and involving. I didn't care for the twist at the end but I'm sure others loved it. Not my usual sort of book but really lovely writing.

Under and Alone: True story of an ATF agent who went undercover with the Mongols. In case you're unfamiliar, they are a motorcycle gang that makes the Hell's Angels look like yuppies. A very honest account of how living as a patched-in biker changed him.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: I nearly didn't get this one, due to a review that said it was exactly like the movie (which was good, but not earthshaking). While it's true that the events are the same, the read is a completely different experience. It seems clear that years of research went into the project, but his knowledge leaks out in a hundred tiny ring-of-truth period details. The history illuminates rather than glares. Hansen's writing has a cadence that really brings you into his moment. This book is a freaking time machine. I'm halfway done and already dreading the end - I don't want it to be over. Sample paragraph:

Jesse, on the other hand, was the soul of friendliness and commerce, acknowledging each of Bob's remarks, letting the boy ingratiate himself, rewarding him with trivial tasks that Bob executed with zeal. Then he asked Bob to strike a match as he read the dial of a pocket watch in a gold hunting case, stolen from a judge near Mammoth Cave. The clock instructed him and he retreated into the dark and after some minutes returned with a kerosene lantern and with a burlap grain sack over his arm like a waiter's towel. "You can stick with me, but don't heel. I don't want to bust into you every time I have the notion to change direction."

Bob muttered, "I'm not a moron, for Heaven's sake," but kept his head down - one might have thought his boots had ears.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Hey, I just wanted to thank you again for turning me on to the "Ender" books. Card is still writing them, and I'm still reading them. I just got a new one from Amazon today. XXO