October 19, 2015

Recent Reads

116. Devil's Peak (Benny Griessel #1)
Book blurb: A young woman makes a terrible confession to a priest. An honorable man takes his own revenge for an unspeakable tragedy. An aging inspector tries to get himself sober while taking on the most difficult case of his career. From this beginning, Deon Meyer weaves a story of astonishing complexity and suspense, as Inspector Benny Griessel faces off against a dangerous vigilante who has everything on his side, including public sympathy. 

This is the first of five books in the Benny Griessel series, and the second book I've read by the author. I listened to the audiobook, which is wonderfully narrated by Simon Vance. 

The story is set in South Africa, and unfolds via three narrators: Christine the prostitute, Bennie Griessel the cop, and Tobela Mpayipheli the man who decides to set right some of the wrongs of this world. And you just know that their worlds will collide one day. The writing is really good, the sense of place wonderful, and the characters are fully fleshed out. I quite liked some of the themes this story explores: What does justice look like? Are there some crimes that can be forgiven, encouraged even? People have an idea of who they will be, so how do they lose their way?

I really enjoyed the author's skill at spinning an interesting yarn, and I've already picked up the rest of the series. Rating: 4 stars.

117. The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present
Book blurb: A highly provocative, mindbending, beautifully designed, and visionary look at the landscape of our rapidly evolving digital era.

Okay, let me try to talk about this one: It is a little book with text and graphics. It can be read in one sitting, but I decided to do it in two. Each double page spread or two could be used to spark very interesting dinner conversations. You could start reading this book at any page, but I'd suggest for the first read through that you read it front to back. There are things in this one that gave me pause, and really made me think. I will be reading this one again.

Honestly people, I not sure how to even describe this book, but I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy pronto.  Rating: 4 stars.

118. The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5)
Ah, Sherlock Holmes. I have yet to read the series; in fact this is only the second book in the series I've read. Not sure why. I enjoy his stories immensely - but there you go, I think I just hit the nail on the head - they are indeed stories. Not a huge fan of short stories. But every now and then I find myself in the mood to indulge, and when this story won the 2015 Audies for Audio Drama, that decided it.

I'm sure you all know the story, so I won't summarize it. This full cast production by the L.A. Theatre Works is wonderful. I had a delightful time listening to this story read by Geoffrey Arend, Wilson Bethel, Seamus Dever, Sarah Drew, Henri Lubatti, James Marsters, Christopher Neame, Moira Quirk, and Darren Richardson. 

I have no doubt that there will be more Holmes in my future, and if you have yet to read this one, or even if you have, give yourself the gift of a couple of fun hours listening to this production. Rating: 4 stars.

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