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Showing posts from November, 2010

Atonement by Ian McEwan

I, in spite of my best intentions, saw the movie version of this novel before I read the novel. I usually go the other way - reading the novel before I see the movie because inevitably the book is better than the movie. The movie in this case was actually pretty good and fairly true to the book. However, the book itself was absolutely divine.

Briony is the youngest of the Tallis children. The year is 1935 - Hitler is a rising star but hasn't done much of anything yet.  The Tallis family lives on a tremendous compound in the English countryside.  Robbie Turner also lives on the compound - his mother is a chambermaid in the Tallis household.  Briony is 13 and very imaginatve - the novel opens with her completing a play that she had written for performance by she and her cousins - Lola (15), Pierrot and Jackson. It is readily apparent that she is an avid writer with an overactive imagination. Cecilia wants to fill a vase with water at the fountain in front of the Tallis house. She m…

The Town (previously published as Prince of Thieves) by Chuck Hogan

I picked up this book because I want to see the movie eventually and because Boston is one of my most favorite, if not my absolute favorite, American city. Four life long friends - Doug McRay, James "Jem" Coughlin, Albery "Gloansy" McGloan and Dez Eldon grew up on the streets of Charlestown in Boston, MA, in the shadows of the Bunker Hill Monument. Doug is the de facto leader of the group and sets up a hit on a local bank.  The robbery is successful but something unexpected happens - Doug falls hard for the manager, Claire, that he robbed during the course of the crime. He is pursued by an FBI agent that is dead set upon catching them.  The group is  made aware of an opportunity to rob Fenway Parkat some point.  This novel is about the crimes themselves and about the relationships between Doug, his friends, Clair and himself - his identity.

I had never read anything by Chuck Hogan, even though he is apparently a very talented mystery/criminal thriller writer. I, in …