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Content by Arah-Lynda Hay
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Reviews Written by
Arah-Lynda Hay (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)

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The Accident
The Accident
by Linwood Barclay
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.77
16 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Accident, Jan. 28 2012
This review is from: The Accident (Paperback)
Glenn Garber is beside himself. His wife Sheila, mother of his eight year old daughter Kelly, is dead, the result of a horrific car accident. Worse still the officer at the scene believes that Sheila is responsible for the accident that claimed the lives of two others. He wants Glenn to accept that his wife was driving under the influence, with an overwhelming amount of vodka in her system. This simply makes no sense. Sheila would never do something that stupid! As the coroner's report confirms the officer's initial assessment of Sheila's condition Glenn's disbelief and grief morphs into rage and an all consuming anger aimed at his dead wife. How could she have done something that stupid, that thoughtless, that final? How can he possibly explain this to Kelly?

After the funeral, life resumes it's new, normal rhythms. His daughter Kelly is having trouble at school, being ostracized by her fellow students where one of the other victims of the accident was also a student. Fortunately she still has one loyal friend and Glenn has agreed to let her attend a sleepover there. His anger has subsided now and what remains is an unyielding reluctance to accept the apparent facts surrounding Sheila's death. But now Kelly is on the phone begging her father to come and get her immediately! What she tells him when he picks her up becomes the first link in a series of troubling events that propell Glenn forward into a vortex of seething corruption. Secret after dangerous secret emerges in his small, home town in Conneticut, complete with threats from neighbours and friends alike and now, well now he is being hunted by total strangers! As he digs deeper to understand and uncover the real truth Glenn must find a terrifying place within himself in order to protect his daughter and avenge his wife's death.

The Accident roars forward at a breathless, pulsating pace that brings this domestic thriller to a chilling climax you won't see coming.

Robopocalypse: A Novel
Robopocalypse: A Novel
by Daniel H. Wilson
Edition: Hardcover
45 used & new from CDN$ 1.60

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robopocalypse, Jan. 28 2012
This review is from: Robopocalypse: A Novel (Hardcover)
I started this story with a gentle yet persistent trepidation. It took me a while to adjust to robospeak and slowly, familiarize myself with (on a very shallow level, toes dipped so to speak) the technical terminology.

Somewhere along the way, somewhat surprisingly, I became invested in this story and it's many occupants, human and well, not. Suddenly the outcome of this war mattered, the story mattered, it mattered a lot.

It's somewhat eerie, I think, that the storyteller holds a PHD in robotics......

Holy Raptors Reader, what next...... Dinosaurs

State of Wonder
State of Wonder
by Ann Patchett
Edition: Paperback
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars State of Wonder, Jan. 28 2012
This review is from: State of Wonder (Paperback)
This marks the third time that I have dipped into the writing pool of Ann Patchett and let me tell you, she does not disappoint!
Dr. Marina Singh embarks on a trip to Brazil in an effort to determine two things: What happened to her colleague, who had died there scant weeks ago and what kind of progress was being made by her former mentor in the development of a new fertility drug that was being funded by her pharmaceutical company. Both of these tasks prove to be most complex and difficult to acheive. Her former mentor's work is at the center of her journey and involves a little known tribe of people whose ability to procreate extends well into their seventies and proves to be as closely linked to their life's rituals as the environment in which they live.
Patchett is such a fine writer that you become an unseen guest on this quest into the Amazon rain forest. Encounters with cannibals, poison arrows, humongous anacondas, pyschedelic fungi and the ever incessant, insect infested jungle. OH MY! This one left me in a State of Wonder.

11/22/63: A Novel
11/22/63: A Novel
by Stephen King
Edition: Hardcover
24 used & new from CDN$ 16.94

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 11/22/63, Jan. 28 2012
This review is from: 11/22/63: A Novel (Hardcover)
Stephen King is a master storyteller. We all know this. So I should not have been surprised to have been swept away from the get go and taken to the Land of Ago, but I was. I was! I walked with Jake Epping through the 50s and 60s and into my own past.

11/22/63 as the title implies is a story centered on one, of the far too many, watershed moments of our lives: the assassination of John F Kennedy. Jake Epping, a middle aged high school teacher reads a story by one of his adult students, a gruesome, heart wrenching, true story, that brings him to tears, not a common response; no wait an extremely rare, response from Jake. Shortly thereafter Jake receives a call from a local diner owner, who has a portal to the past to show him and a story to tell. He also has cancer and is enlisting Jake to act on his behalf, go back in time and save John F. Kennedy. But this is King so there are rules and Jake now has his own little bit of history that he would like to see changed.

I was taken on a journey by the King's own hand, held captive from cover to cover. And beyond! I'm not going to go in to this story. If you want a fantastic experience read it for yourselves, because it is King's story that you need to hear. Let me just say that in his masterful hands you are transported in time to the late 50's, early 60's and that he is spot on! Everything is slower, simpler, a time of Glenn Miller and swing, with 59 Chevy's and fins that went on forever! Cleaner air, unpreserved, delicious home cooking, friendly, trusting people, no cell phones, pre -Vietnam America! Camelot! Of course there is the other side of this era, from which King does not shy away: racism, domestic violence, cold wars and every ounce of oxygen polluted with first and second hand smoke. The Land of Ago born again: festering wounds and scabs intact.

What if you could go back in time and change the course of history, prevent one of those watershed moments of your own from ever happening? Would you? And if you did, what new history would take its place? As King shows us the past is obdurate, it does not want to change.

For me, this is that watershed moment. I remember everything about the day that JFK was assassinated; where I was, what I was doing, wearing, eating and thinking throughout the course of this historic day, even though I was still but a mere child. Ever since then I have wondered, on and off, many times, over the years, what life would be like if JKF had survived.

11/22/63 has now become my new all time favourite Stephen King book! It has reawakened in me everything that I have always loved about King's stories. I need more, no doubt about that. So I have physically cleared a spot for 11/22/63 on my top shelf. No doubt it will dwell there for a long, long time.

In the end all you really need to know is: Read It! Read It! Read It!

Strangers On a Train
Strangers On a Train
by Patricia Highsmith
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.93
33 used & new from CDN$ 9.69

3.0 out of 5 stars Strangers on a Train, Jan. 10 2012
This review is from: Strangers On a Train (Paperback)
I went into this already familiar with Hitchcock's film version of the same story. The opening premise of the film and HighSmith's novel are the same. Two strangers meet on the train and discuss among other things, people in their lives: a Wife, a Father, who they would be better off without. One of these strangers, Charles Bruno, is an extremely well imagined sociopath, while the other, Guy, is a mild mannered architect whose role in this story I never entirely accept. Bruno murders Guy's wife, even though Guy never agreed to this plan. Now he is pressuring Guy to do his part and eliminate Bruno's Father.

After this setup the film and the book are very different. The book delves into the conscience of Bruno and Guy and takes you into their heads. While at first interesting this became quite tedious.

Then again it could be that I simply preferred Hitchcock's adaptation.

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One
A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One
by George R. R. Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.37
26 used & new from CDN$ 15.37

5.0 out of 5 stars A Game of Thrones, Oct. 8 2011
WOW! What to say, this really is just a great story, one that you can sink right into. As the cover suggests it grabs hold and does not let go! Almost from the beginning I became invested in this grand masterpiece of modern fantasy and in all the many people that populate it's pages. Early on... this feeling came over me, that I was about to be swept away into a long, magical and wondrous adventure that would take me deep into the histories of these people, exploring their lands; their pain and pride and love riding rough shod over my own emotions. These characters are so well written and their peronalities so deftly revealed through their unique perspectives that it is easy to forget that I have come to know them only through the hand of the author himself. The writing is absolutely brilliant, so much so, that it is almost completely transparent, allowing you to feel as though you are actually there, living and feeling and feeding, vicariously through it's cast of characters. Truly all of my senses have been awakened, stimulated and satiated simultaneously, leaving me breathless, shaking and thirsting for more.

I suggest you drop whatever you are doing and run, quickly mind you, to get this book. No doubt it is destined to stand as a masterwork.

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