Posts from the ‘Books’ Category


Finally worked my way through all eight books of Osamu Tezuka’s manga Buddha.  Wow.  A story so beautifully told that it made me cry.



The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks From The Apocalypse

If only these notebooks had stayed secret.  Then I wouldn’t feel compelled to complain about them.

This book is, succinctly, crap.

Yes, I’m a fast reader.  Yes, I’m a sucker for the zombie genre.  Yes, I’m a sucker for the first-person “found documents” genre.  Yes, I’ve been known to burn my way through books, damn the torpedoes full speed ahead, when they thoroughly engage me.

In spite of that, there is no way I should’ve been able to finish reading this entire book in under two hours.  But I did.  (And the shocked look on my daughter’s face was almost worth it.)

Why?  Because this book did not deserve me wasting any more of my life reading it.  And, much like The Rising & City Of The Dead, I kept hoping that it would get better and eventually live up to some of the online reviews.  Nope.  No such luck.

My major problem #1: this reads like a draft of someone’s first novel.  Not their first novel.  A draft.  Not even a rough draft.  There are one or two intriguing ideas buried in here, but they’re all execrebly executed.  Lo & behold, I discover it is the author’s first novel.  No surprise there.  Dr. Schlozman, you need a much better editor.

My major problem #2: The author, Steven C. Schlozman, has a medical degree.  The majority of the novel is written in the first person, by a character who has a medical degree.  But at no point in any of this did I ever believe I was reading anything written by a doctor.  My sister has an MD.  I’ve spent good chunk of my adult life hanging out with doctors, reading medical texts and medical research papers.  The quality of the writing in The Zombie Autopsies came across to me as what I would expect from someone who decided to drop out of college after one or two years in order to try making it rich writing zombie stories.  It certainly did not feel as if it was the first-person journal of an MD/PhD who works for the CDC, trying to document EVERYTHING for the next batch of poor bastards that find their way into this death trap.  Hell, the supposed CDC doctor in The Walking Dead series was far more believable to me than anything presented here.

Color me not impressed, but very thankful once again that I can get drivel like this for free out of my library so I don’t have to waste any money (only time) reading it.

Dr. Schlozman, please go back to teaching psychiatry.  I’m sure you’re far better at that.

Dexter Is Delicious

This is Jeff Lindsay’s fifth novel about America’s favorite serial killer (tho I admit I have a softer spot in my heart for H. H. Holmes), and I think the novelty has worn off. Actually, I think it wore off a few novels ago. Darkly Dreaming Dexter (the inspiration for the Dexter series on Showtime) was fantastic. Dearly Devoted Dexter was almost as good. But from there, the novels have gone downhill. Has Lindsay lost his touch, or have I simply become tired of this? I have similar feelings towards the Showtime series — as much as I adore Julia Stiles, I had a lot of trouble getting excited (and getting into) this last season of Dexter. Jimmy Smits made the third season for me. John Lithgow was good in the fourth season, but overhyped and overrated. Neither the novels nor the Showtime series seem ready to end, so I can assume more of both are coming. But Dexter is not as tasty as he used to be.

The Rising & City Of The Dead

Yeah … well … I read books too, so I might as well complain about some of them.

As I think I mentioned before, I’m a sucker for a zombie apocalypse. I stumbled across comments in various fora recommending Brian Keene’s novel The Rising. The few descriptions I read intrigued me, since Keene’s zombies are intelligent and can talk, reason, and use weapons and equipment.

If you want to remain 100% spoiler-free, stop reading.

Argh. What an execrably-written waste of paper. Little did I know this is not a zombie apocalypse so much as a demonic possession apocalypse (caused by a particle accelerator experiment?!?). I forced myself to finish The Rising only to find that the book does not have any sort of ending. It. Just. Stops. The Rising was apparently written only to hook fools like me into reading its sequel, City Of The Dead, which is just as bad.

Why did I keep reading them, then?

Mistake #1: Thinking that, as highly recommended as The Rising seemed to be, at some point in the story the writing had to get better. It never did.

Mistake #2: Thinking that, in spite of the horrible writing, there must be some sort of redeeming payoff at the end of the story. Nope.

Mistake #3: Thinking that Keene can’t possibly be tying Biblical zombies … er … sorry, demons … into the old whacked-out fears about CERN’s Large Hadron Collider? Yep.

If you are interested in more precise criticisms of The Rising, go to Amazon’s page for the book, click on the 1 star reviews, and look for one titled “I only made it 9 pages…see how far you can make it!” by J. Calton. It’s a spot on itemization of the crap that I had to wade through.

The only two positive things that I took away from reading The Rising & City Of The Dead are: 1) they’ve motivated me to start writing again, because if books this bad can get published then damn near anything should be publishable; and 2) thanks to my library I did not have to waste any money to read them.