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04 August 2010


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Um, ok, I officially heart Mr. CR. Like, seriously, I think even non-Midwesterners have probably heard of UW. Bad copywriter! Bad! Bad! No treat!

I like the Monkeewrench books--they're pretty enjoyable, sort of on the line between mystery and thriller (the newest one kinda wasn't great, so I may be done with them if the next one is similar).

I haven't read Mo Hayder, but I generally like the dark atmosphere in Brit genre lit. But I think my love of the twisted and creepy has been noted here before.

Speaking of creepy thrillers, I read Still Missing by Chevy Stevens this weekend. Creeped. Me. Out. I had to go and check the locks on the window at 1 am, and I brought the dog with me. Pretty good debut novel, especially for a thriller--a woman is kidnapped by a sicko and held captive for a year in a cabin in the woods, all kinds of nasty things ensue, but it's written in the form of sessions with her shrink after she returns. Very disturbing because of how realistic the character's responses are. Decent writing, too.

"three of my favorite books of all time are a true crime classic, a book about torture, and the true story of the assassin who was hired to kill the Palestinians who killed the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics--so I'm not judging anyone else."

Titles, please, CR!!!

I felt somewhat queasy enjoying the young adult book, The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. It was a thrilling and exciting read, but the premise of the story - kids playing real life "Survivor" was somewhat revolting. I felt a little guilty enjoying it so much. And I also like true crime. I wonder why a fictionalized account would be more repugnant than reading nonfiction books about real events. Maybe it's just me.

BTW, I loved it that the day you wrote about romance, the Fiction listserv was all about the best in romance.

I'll admit, to know Mr. CR is to love him. He gives new meaning to the phrase "detail-oriented." I'm so glad you said this about the UW--I was just sitting here thinking, you know, I don't get to northern WI very much, I wonder if they do say "U of W" up there. But it doesn't seem too likely....anyone up in northern WI happening to be reading this and want to respond?

I've heard great things about "Still Missing," but will have to go off thrillers for a while, I think. I may try it later on. If you do try Mo Hayder, let me know what you think, okay?

I dig Hayder, esp the one about Nanking (devil of nanking). Don't read Pig Island, which is WEAK.

I recently read So Cold the River, which was pretty good.

Venta dear,
1. Shot In the Heart (you know all about that one); 2. Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture, by John Conroy, and 3. Vengeance, by George Jonas (Vengeance, like John Bowe's Nobodies, just BLEW. ME. AWAY.).

I know just what you mean about The Hunger Games, too. And yes, I wonder too why I'm more bothered by this sort of thing in fiction than in NF. Maybe because I'm disturbed that someone could imagine it, rather than just report on what happened?

Yup, Hayder's pretty talented, I think. I didn't get to the "Devil of Nanking" yet.

Hey, So Cold the River! I forgot already I read that one this summer too. I started out digging out but thought the second half/ending was weak, weak, weak. Were you satisfied with it?

I basically felt the same way you did, although I would quibble a bit and say last quarter was weak. It ended too upbeat for me and the titanic evil was distilled into a fairly pathetic foe.

Oooh, The Hunger Games. Made me sob like an angry toddler. Stomach-turning, for sure, but I *really* enjoyed it. But yes, it was extremely disturbing to enjoy something so incredibly revolting.

Okay, I'll give you last quarter. I was really disgusted with the ending because the first three-quarters was so good--genuinely creepy!

Yes, I'll admit, I cannot wait for the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy this fall. If that's wrong, I don't want to be right. I still say it wasn't as disturbing as many thrillers--perhaps the slightly futuristic setting provided some cushioning?

Man, I need to read Hunger Games apparently.

CR, you are exactly right that the end was so disappointing as the build up was so good. This happens to some of the Stephen King books, but I feel like he sometimes painted himself into a corner, not end up with a lame conclusion.

We just had our book group last night (16 in record breaking attendance) and we discussed a legal thriller The Hidden Man by David Ellis. What kept coming up in the discussion was that the writer was being too manipulative in his writing style. Maybe this is why you don't like the thriller, the author is playing with you, setting up red herrings and leading you down the wrong path. Ellis, by the way is a Chicago lawyer who recently was lead prosecutor for the impeachment of Governor Blagovich. The trial delayed writing his book. Ellis also runs marathons in his spare time, that is one busy author.

Anything co-written isn't a book.
It's a project.

I'd be interested to hear what you think about "The Hunger Games." It's a YA novel, so it's a fast read. People seem to either love it or feel complete indifference for it, not much middle ground.

Wow, 16 for a book group, AWESOME! You are Super-Librarian. And yes, I do always feel manipulated by thriller writers, with their short chapters and cliff-hangers, makes me feel like I have to read at their pace. And I do not like being told what to do. Interesting that others found Ellis's style manipulative too--particularly him, or did the subject of thriller authors and manipulation in general come up?

Actually, Monkeewrench was pretty seamless, I thought, for a joint project. What I'd like to read is a good NF book about HOW authors work together on titles like this.

I agree with Mr. CR. It's the "U of M" up here so perhaps that's why the authors thought it might translate to "U of W". But given the proximity, that's ridiculous. I often find my Cheesehead origins winning out over 25 years of living in Minnesota.

Yes, believe me, this issue has been discussed at length here at Chez CR, and we figured it was the U of M connection probably causing the problem. But as you point out, I think even most people in Minneapolis still call it (especially since we share recipcrocity and should know a bit about each others' schools) "the UW."
And, yay Cheesehead origins! I'm not nationalistic at all but I like my state okay. It touches Canada, after all.

Monkeewrench is sitting on my bookshelf, and I didn't even realize that it's a thriller. I happen to like thrillers, so I'll move it up on my list. Thanks!

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