Code of Thieves by Joyce Yarrow
Book Review / April 7, 2013

Code of Thieves by Joyce Yarrow My rating: 2 of 5 stars Another book I got from the “Early Reviewers” program on LibraryThing which I’m grateful for, thanks. Unfortunately, “Code of Thieves” has a lot of flaws.I’ll skip the summary which others have already done well. The problems start with the characters – none of them, including the hero, are believable human beings. In fact, they don’t get a chance to be because the author simply lacks the talent for characterisations; let’s look at Jo Epstein herself: We don’t ever get to know what really drives her. Yes, she worries about her mother’s (relative) well-being but she never displays any real emotions. She observes her mother and everyone else but she never really seems emotionally invested – apart from the obligatory relationship she jumps into and even there we we get to see the carnal side but the emotional one is severely lacking. Everyone in this book is, at best, very roughly outlined but there’s no substance to any of the characters. They all behave like any reader of mysteries will expect them, too. In contrast to well-written books, though, the reader won’t really care what happens to anyone –…

The Bourbon Street Ripper by Leo King
Book Review / December 15, 2012

The Bourbon Street Ripper by Leo King My rating: 4 of 5 stars Just when I was thinking nothing really good would ever come out of giveaways, I got “The Bourbon Street Ripper” (BSR). Put off at first by the lurid title, I quickly got drawn into the book. As usual, I’ll skip summarising the story as others will have done this before. In short, it’s basically a well-done mystery novel and, in contrast to the author’s “Clearly not your normal mystery book.” it is a normal mystery book with a few twists and some “extra features”. It’s not normal in that most “normal” mystery books are treading well worn-out paths which, to a fair extent, BSR succeeds to avoid. The main characters are mostly believable and well-developed and both the 20-years-before story as well as the current storyline and interestingly (and rather subjectively) presented through some of the characters.The contrast between two of the protagonists, namely Rodger and Michael, works well for the book as do the similarities between two other characters (albeit the presentation of those could have been a bit more subtle). For me at least, this was a real page turner in spite of having to…

Die Weihnachtsliste by Sophie Kinsella
Book Review / December 7, 2012

Die Weihnachtsliste by Sophie Kinsella My rating: 1 of 5 stars Groschenhefte hatten mehr Inhalt und geistigen Tiefgang… Wer sich noch an die Groschenhefte von früher erinnert, die kurz, schmalzig, niveaulos und wenig intelligent waren, der wird es einzuordnen wissen, wenn ich hier feststellen muß, daß diese Ultra-Kurzgeschichte (zumindest verringert das den unweigerlich auftretenden Leseschmerz) tatsächlich eben diese Groschenhefte noch um Dimensionen unterbietet und dabei wesentlich teurer ist. Dieses “Buch” ernsthaft zu verkaufen, ist eigentlich eine Frechheit – es aber überhaupt geschrieben zu haben, ist der Autorin (wer auch immer diese Sophie Kinsella sein mag) hoffentlich inzwischen selbst peinlich. Sicher ist jedenfalls, daß ich nach diesem Wort-Friedhof ganz sicher keine weiteren Bücher von Frau Kinsella lesen werden. Glücklicherweise war dieses eBook gerade gratis, als ich es mir hier bei Amazon herunterlud, aber dennoch – eigentlich ist selbst geschenkt noch zu teuer. View all my reviews

The Third Day by Mark Graham
Book Review / November 27, 2012

The Third Day by Mark Graham My rating: 2 of 5 stars Unfortunately, this is another book I finished for two reasons only: a) I always finish a book. b) I felt a moral obligation to do so. The problem with “The Third Day” is that it tries to do/show a lot of things in parallel and doesn’t succeed in any. Take two people dissatisfied with their lives; a depressed agnostic widow and a faithful scholar. Their lives basically change over night due to a spectacular discovery; building the story up from this, describing the protagonists before their, let’s say, departure, is where the author succeeds – it’s believable and interesting. *** WARNING *** Spoilers ahead *** WARNING From that point on, though, things spiral down: The widow and the scholar basically exchange their roles and beliefs; while the former turns into a fervent believer, the latter becomes a fanatic closet-opponent. Even if we simply accept this process (which at least in the scholar’s case is not really believable at all), the means this is achieved by are ridiculously annoying – enter a time traveller. A well-known antagonist, disguised as a time-travelling scientist, tempts both our “heroes” and succeeds in…

And They Called Her Spider by Michael Coorlim
Book Review / November 20, 2012

And They Called Her Spider by Michael Coorlim My rating: 3 of 5 stars This is a nice, quick read and serves well as a (very short) introduction to the two protagonists, an engineer and a slightly flippant, well, whatever Bartleby is. Of course, this is a short story at best and I would have wished it to be a bit longer but it’s certainly entertaining even though it felt a bit like fast food – good but it leaves a tad bit to be desired and a slightly guilty pleasure. I might buy a complete anthology of James and Bartleby but certainly not individual stories – there’s just not enough substance to justify that if all stories are as short as this one. View all my reviews

Murder at the Ocean Forest by ROBERT ”DIGGER” CARTWRIGHT
Book Review / November 20, 2012

Murder at the Ocean Forest by ROBERT ”DIGGER” CARTWRIGHT My rating: 1 of 5 stars I really hoped to like this book because the author gave me the ebook for free. This was nice, Robert, and thanks for that again. Unfortunately, I really didn’t like this book for quite a few reasons. First of all, it starts extremely slowly – the entire first third mainly consists of annoying quarrelling between stereotyped characters: – The snobby English lord and lady,– the pious preacher,– the American adventurer and his suffering wife. One would expect to get to know them pretty well on more than 100 pages but, alas, they never rise above the cliché and don’t develop at all (which they won’t for the entire remainder of the book). At their destination, they’re joined by an elderly clairvoyant (more esoteric nonsense to follow), the obligatory ghostly figure and the hotel detective. Not only are those characters stereotyped but they immediately jump to all kinds of conclusions: The lord and his lady are quick to judge and as quick in coming to yet another wild idea about life, people and everything. The pious preacher hates them all (and, in a sideline of story…

Der Kindle Killer by Liv Olson
Book Review / November 1, 2012

Der Kindle Killer by Liv Olson My rating: 1 of 5 stars Schwacher Inhalt, schlechter Stil, vorhersehbar Vorab: Obschon ich zumeist eher Romane oder auch eine gute Novelle schätze, mag ich auch gute Kurzgeschichten. Jedoch ist es wichtig, daß letzteres Format sich wirklich auf das Essentielle beschränkt. Das ist im vorliegenden Fall leider nicht gut umgesetzt. Inhaltlich ist der “Kindle Killer” eher schwach – die Geschichte beginnt nett erzählt, muß jedoch überstürzt beendet werden, da der Autorin offenbar die Umsetzung der Grundidee schwer fiel. Sprache und Schreibstil helfen leider auch nicht, den “Kindle Killer” im Gedächtnis zu behalten (ich erinnere mich im krassen Gegensatz zu dieser Kurzgeschichte noch sehr deutlich an eine Kurzgeschichte von Ambrose Bierce, die ich vor über 20 Jahren einmal las); beides ist deutlich unterdurchschnittlich. Eine gute Kurzgeschichte sollte zudem nicht vorhersehbar sein, sonst verliert sie leicht ihren Reiz. In diesem Falle gab es leider nur einen denkbaren Ausgang und der trat natürlich auch prompt ein. Leider waren aber in der Tat nicht nur das Ende, sondern auch viele Einzel-Elemente der Geschichte altbekannt und somit in keiner Weise überraschend, neu oder gar aufregend. Erschwerend kommt hinzu, daß es wohl keinerlei Lektorat oder Korrekturen gab – das Buch…

Exherbo’s Patch Queue
Exherbo / May 5, 2012

Today, on May, 5th 2012, our patch queue on Zebrapig the Ugly did the impossible; it achieved re-floration! 😉   [05.05.2012 21:57:36] <Philantrop> !pl [05.05.2012 21:57:37] [Notice] -zebrapig to #exherbo- 0 patches in queue: is gone for good. Please re-submit your patches.
Exherbo / April 28, 2012 is gone for good. Please re-submit your patches. Here’s the list of affected patches: [28.04.2012 17:24:28] [Notice] -zebrapig- 13 matching patches in queue: [28.04.2012 17:24:28] [Notice] -zebrapig- ::sydbox (submitted by worr 161 days and 17 hours ago): [PATCH] Fixed race condition in sydbox [28.04.2012 17:24:28] [Notice] -zebrapig- ::kde (submitted by heirecka_ 17 days and 5 hours ago): [PATCH 1/2] Move stuff from qt-creator-scm to its exlib [28.04.2012 17:24:28] [Notice] -zebrapig- ::arbor (submitted by SuperHeron 11 days and 20 hours ago): [PATCH] app-shells/bash-completion[=scm]: /etc/bash_completion.d is [28.04.2012 17:24:28] [Notice] -zebrapig- ::x11 (submitted by moben 11 days and 8 hours ago): [PATCH 1/2] mesa multilib: Use multiunpack exparam [28.04.2012 17:24:30] [Notice] -zebrapig- ::arbor (submitted by keruspe 11 days and 1 hour ago): [PATCH] llvm: allow gcc 4.7.0 [28.04.2012 17:24:32] [Notice] -zebrapig- ::mawww (submitted by heirecka 8 days and 3 hours ago): [PATCH] Fix building of espeak [28.04.2012 17:24:34] [Notice] -zebrapig- ::arbor (submitted by SuperHeron 7 days and 4 minutes ago): [PATCH] dev-lang/python: Add .pc file into alternatives [28.04.2012 17:24:36] [Notice] -zebrapig- ::anderslm (submitted by Philantrop 6 days and 18 hours ago): [PATCH] dev-libs/dotconf: ::anderslm -> ::media [28.04.2012 17:24:38] [Notice] -zebrapig- ::kde (submitted by…

Die Insel by Richard Laymon
Book Review / February 27, 2012

Die Insel by Richard Laymon My rating: 1 of 5 stars Widerlicher Schund Lange habe ich nicht mehr ein solch widerwärtiges Buch gelesen. Ich hatte nur den Klappentext gelesen, der ganz nett klang, aber was dann kam… Brutalität – nun gut, wem’s gefällt.Sexismus – wer’s nötig hat…Humor – der Humor eines Pubertierenden ist intelligenter, aber gut, auch hier mögen sich die Geister scheiden. Sexuelle Gewalt gegen Kinder, brutalste Vergewaltigung eingeschlossen, ist aber extrem widerlich, verachtenswürdig und – auch in einem Machwerk wie diesem – unverzeihlich. Nach der Lektüre fühle ich mich beschmutzt und angeekelt. Der gesamte Tenor des Buches ist extrem menschenverachtend und ich kann nichts darin finden, was auch nur ansatzweise als Rechtfertigung dienen könnte. View all my reviews