Review: The Magician’s Wife

The Magician's Wife
The Magician’s Wife by Brian Moore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With this title, how can I not read it?

Not a bad book. Just not very exciting.

Based on a historical events, this is a story of an unhappy marriage and colonialism. Henri Lambert, famous illusionist, has been drafted by the French emperor to demonstrate the power of France to north African leaders, in hopes that they will be impressed and too afraid to fight back when France sends in its conquering troops. There’s some great description of French court life and Algerian architecture, and there’s a brief philosophical bit about conscience and complicity, but the tempo of the story never really picks up. Like Emmeline and Henri’s marriage, there’s just no thrill.

Loosely based on Robert Houdin.…

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Review: So, Anyway…

So, Anyway...
So, Anyway… by John Cleese
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The life and early career of wonderful John Cleese. Even though the stories he shares are not necessarily comedic, they bring a chuckle and a smile as they are all told in Cleese’s unmistakable, funny, voice. He teases the reader by only bringing us to the initial meetings and early collaborations of the Pythons-to-be, but treats us richly to a surprisingly sweet writing-partnership love letter to the late Graham Chapman. Well worth reading for this Python fan.

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Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A prickling of tears when Dobby makes his first appearance in Harry’s Privet Drive bedroom. A house elf of valor.

It’s good to remember that Harry and Ron actually do their own homework in the books. And that it was Ron who said “When in doubt, go to the library” (about Hermione). And Molly Weasley’s sage advice: “Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.”

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Review: Black Moon

Black Moon
Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not sure what to make of this book. The idea is brilliant. People have lost the ability to sleep. They’re still tired, but relief does not come. As days turn to weeks and more, the insomniacs scramble their syntax, become muddled, fail to recognize their children, and turn murderous. Those who can sleep must hide it or become the target of a deranged mob. A variety of characters are highlighted in rotating chapters. These characters are loosely connected, aware of what is happening, and can still rest. They leave home, make alliances, witness atrocities. That’s it. It’s a road trip zombie story. Calhoun does a great job of creating the dulled, desperate feel of overtiredness. I prefer a little excitement and resolution.

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