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The Wrestler's Cruel Study by Stephen Dobyns
 
Slow, Pointless, Poorly Written
By far the worst book our club has read in 10 years!

If you think a book constructed with rhetorical questions makes for good literature, by all means, read this.

 
Confusing, Dramatic, Adventurous
Irving, his publisher, and his editor should be embarrassed

This book is a parody of an Irving novel. Constantly shifting time, place, and names makes it very confusing. Major plot events are improbable, and book is nothing but a concatenation of unrelated and random scenes. Simply terrible -- hard to believe this is the same guy that wrote Owen Meany.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
 
Book Club Recommended
Difficult, Insightful, Dramatic
A Classic

A tough read at times, but worth it!

 
Confusing, Informative, Difficult
Not Gosh's best

Gosh is a great writer, but this is definitely not his best effort. His most recent book, A Sea of Poppies, is simply outstanding, and should have won the Booker. His previous book, The Hungry Tide, was also very good. Skip this one, and try one of the recent titles.

 
Book Club Recommended
Epic, Fantastic, Brilliant
very surprising tale, highly recommended

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Interesting, Brilliant
A very good first effort

An enjoyable read, beautiful prose, pretty good story line. My only criticism would be that it treads the line of young-adult fiction -- not because of the fantasy element -- just a bit too simplistic in terms of character development. An example of an outstanding fantasy for adults would be Mark Helprin's "Winter's Tale".

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Dramatic
An outstanding first book

Amazingly well-written for an author's first work -- highly recommended!

 
Book Club Recommended
Gloomy, Dramatic, Brilliant
A brilliant re-creation of a time and place

but a tough read, in the sense that it's a bit of a downer -- if you insist on likable characters, and/or up-beat endings, this is not the book for you.

Habibi by Craig Thompson
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Graphic, Beautiful
A very different and enjoyable experience

I had to talk my book club into selecting this, and don't think anyone had any regrets, although most of the others didn't like it nearly as well as I did. This was only my 2nd graphic novel, but far superior to the 1st one (Feynman). Graphics are simple gorgeous, and truly a labor of love. The story had some odd interludes, but that didn't really bother me. It's also an easy fast read, probably equivalent to a 100-page book in terms of time expenditure.

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