I just started the other day Bill James' Popular Crime. I'm not very far in. Maybe a hundred pages.
James as many of you I'm sure know is considered the founder of the modern statistical analysis approach to baseball evaluation. The fact that he's written this true crime novel is odd at best. But I do like James, in spite of what often comes off as a pompous tone, and I do like numerical analysis, in spite of myself, and I do really enjoy true crime as a genre.
I picked it up a while back when it came out and simply never read it. I just finished up a few things and had some spare time, so on a boring Sunday on my way to the car wash I figured I'd pick something out of my pile and give it a go, and this is what I got.
Firstly, he's got a really strange writing style. In spite of being incredibly loaded with data and logical presentation, he has an extremely conversational sensability in that he is constantly veering off on tangents, and even in his grammatical use, he'll literally say things like "... but now we're getting off topic.", as if we the reader were in a bar with him having a conversation. Very unusual, but so far I like it.
Secondly, unlike most of the stuff I read in the genre, it's a compendium of cases, as opposed to a focus on a single crime. I've read a few compendiums, but mostly I leave the compendium stuff to the internet. However he's taking a different perspective than most stuff I've read, in that it's not just the crimes he's focusing on, but rather the effects the crimes have society. How we cover them, how we consume them as news. It seems like it's gonna be pretty interesting. He seems to be running mostly linearly through time in the US, so no Jack the Ripper, and I just finished Lizzy Borden. Things should start to get interesting soon when he hits the modern stuff.
Finished this yesterday, id give it about a 7.0.. Its Dean Koontz novela so it doesnt really accrue a high mark. It is cool above average due to Odd Thomas. Decent enough for a first section, going to read Book Deux today and see if the action escalates enough to intrigue. Hopefully it does since the last book is less than 70 pages...
Finished The Dharma Bums and I was a bit disappointed. It had a couple bright moments and it really made me want to go hiking and create some healthy distance between myself and city life but it lacked the magic that On the Road had. A lot of it just sounds like a journal of a guy who just discovered Buddhism and just spouts every new half-baked thought that pops into his head.
Basically the gods of Egypt turn out to be real, although updated a bit since they evolve with civilization. Now in his Percy Jackson series the protagonists were demi-gods. In this one they are descended from a line of magicians like those that "existed" in Egypt. They are sorta demi-gods in a sense but I can't really explain why.
They fight evil. I can't tell you too much other than that. Have you read the Percy Jackson series?
fking strange book this one. i knew going in that bukowski was a trip... and hell i guess he just lived up to every description i'd ever heard of him. it's stream of consciousness kind of, except this guy doesn't give too much time to his thoughts. he has them and they're occasionally quite interesting, he just happens to not care and would rather not dwell. instead Henry Chilaski, the only slightly fictional self-portrait alter ego for bukowksi himself, essentially sleeps, drinks, pukes, does poetry readings, and f*cks every woman he comes across. that's... essentially the entire book.
it was good not great, super fast read regardless because of its style. hilarious at times, never a dull moment, lots of crazed bitches strewn throughout.