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PRIVATE CITIZENS: A Novel ~Tony Tulathimutte

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

  • An Amazon “Best Book” of Month
  • A Buzzfeed “Most Exciting” Book of 2016
  • A Flavorwire “Most Anticipated” Book 2016

I was so lucky to be sent PRIVATE CITIZENS for review for TLC BOOK TOURS.  We started off by getting the tour dates mixed up and this book arrived before May.  This was okay and we rallied around to find a new spot for it.

Here’s what it said on the book cover:
“ From a brilliant new literary talent comes a sweeping comic portrait of privilege, ambition, and friendship in millennial San Francisco.  With the Social Acuity of Adelle Waldman and the murderous wit of Martin Amis, Tony Tulathimutte’s PRIVATE CITIZENS is a brainy, irreverent debut “ – This Side of Paradise for a new era.

“Private Citizens is a freak of literature – a novel so authentic, hilarious, elegantly plotted, and heartbreaking that I’d follow it anywhere.  Tony Tulathimutte is a singular intellect with an uncanny 40/20 vision on the world.”  – Jennifer duBois, author of Cartwheel and A Partial History of Lost Causes

Tony Tulathimutte is a very smart fellow
“Tulathimutte has contributed to AGNI, The Three Penny Review, The American reader, Salon, The New Yorker on line, and other publications.  A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and Stanford University, he has received an O. Henry prize, a MacDowell Colony fellowship, and the Michener- Copernicus Society of America Award.  He lives in New York.”

Hilarious, authentic, intelligent were the words that truly captivated me and to learn about the privileged young people who graduated from Stanford University, I was totally ready to read this book.  Four friends reconnecting, yes!  This sounds very good indeed.  I set aside a whole afternoon to start the read.   After 4 hours at it, I realized I had slept 90 minutes of my time away instead of reading.  I am too old to find bowel track humor very funny any more, I could not find humor at all instead I found the style very distracting and the 4 friends pathetic.

On the second session of reading, I engaged a bit with Cory the social activist as she connected with a cultish self-help seminar,  I could identify as my wishes and hopes were not being met early after graduation either and I fell pray to something like this situation.  When I had 75 pages left to read, I jumped to the last chapter and finished PRIVATE CITIZEN’s. I have no idea why one character needed eye surgery.  I did not care.  I felt rather hopeless about recent graduates and a kind of despair sticks with me as I begin reading the next book on the list.

I did not like this book and thought the drug usage, sex, and alcohol consumption were too big a focus for these whiney characters.  Wow not funny, not smart, and I find it sad that PRIVATE CITIZENS is so anticipated and folks are so excited about it – worrisome to me. All that privilege and such weak outcomes.  I am concerned for our future.

Tony Tulathimutte Website
Tony Tulathimutte Twitter
Tony Tulathimutte Facebook

Related:
A Visit From the Goon Squad
How To Be Alive
Liar
Memory Card Full

FIXED IN BLOOD: A Justice Novel ~T.E.Woods

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

I could hardly wait to get a copy FIXED IN BLOOD and read it from cover to cover.  The fourth book in the justice series by Woods, I have reviewed each of the others and enjoyed each one.   Each book left me wanting to read more of Woods’ stories.

Alibi sent me an uncorrected advanced copy of the book for review on my blog and it arrived with perfect timing.   I was excited to open the copy and dive into this exciting read.

Dr. Lydia Corriger is a psychologist who works on the west coast of the USA and helps the homicide detective Mort Grant, of Seattle PD, profile the killers he is tracking down.  She is very pro-female needs and agendas; working to make the world a safer place for children, particularly those in foster care.  Her positive energy and understanding do create a positive energy for females and indicates someone is looking out for women and other victims.

Mort Grant is a fine detective, who has lost his wife to cancer and his daughter to dangerous adventure.  His son writes books about his father’s work and interesting cases.  The characters make for an interesting study of humans and their working efforts; they are very real and believable.

That the books take place in my neck of the woods is also very motivating.  They include details which actually happened in my part of the country and that have motivated some very big changes in our local justice system.   I like the details that are included from our area.  I am sure I know which building in town is Dr. Corriger’s office and where her favorite coffee shop is located.

The books are well written and a fast read for me and although the subject matter is not so easy to handle, the story lines are good and the hope of good resolution is satisfying.   We are on the I-5 drug smuggling corridor and that is very apparent in these stories, though I am not so sure about the Russian Mafia being so heavily involved.  This idea is very possible.

At the end of the book it says: “T. E.  Woods is a clinical psychologist and author living in Madison, Wisconsin.  For random insight into how her strange mind works, follow her: tewoodswrites.com, Facebook.com/TEWoodsWrites;  @tewooodswrites“

Related Reading:
The Fixer
The Red Hot Fix 
The Unforgivable Fix 

CERTAINTY:An Historic Novel ~ Victor Bevine

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

“The war had proved that much, if little else.  A sword of any kind was as likely to cut down the innocent as the guilty, no matter how many monuments man might build to the grandeur of his own self-importance.” (Page 324 of advance review copy without a final cover)

CERTAINTY is an interesting book to be reading during a mid-term election cycle in the US.  Although it is storytelling about a specific historic event and documented trial notes, it is about a witch hunt, stalking, name calling and just plain lying about other human beings and changing lives forever.  Bevine draws us into defining what is good and evil and whether or not an event will assist us in discerning a truth and finding value for the greater good.

William Bartlett is a young lawyer in 1918 practicing law with a firm in Newport, Rhode Island.  25,000 Naval seamen are in a holding pattern as WWI has ended and most will not be shipped out.  This is a huge population jump for such a small community and the prostitutes have arrived in huge numbers also a group of seamen are dying in the Spanish Flu Epidemic.  There is no space for the troops and nothing to do and a great deal of drinking and malicious activities occurring in the town center and the YMCA.  Reverend Kent is working on developing a Seaman’s Institute and sitting all night with the seamen who are dying, being a caregiver, when he is accused by the 3 Navy men of unseemly acts and homosexual behavior; preying on the men not praying for them.

The church would like Rev. Kent to plead guilty to a lesser charge and then to move him out of town with no fanfare and little publicity.   Bartlett and Kent decide to take a moral stand and bring the false accusations out into the open, because Kent is innocent and a very caring individual.  What is discovered is that a particularly fervent Naval Officer, who can identify homosexuals and deviant by their walk, sets up a group of 48 seamen to entrap the “fairies” in their midst who are causing all the problems.  An earlier round of McCarthyism goes into the history books and a great many men’s lives were altered forever.

“As the trial unveils more shocking secrets – secrets that shake Newport and reverberates all the way up to the federal government”- William  Bartlett could lose everything also. (Temporary cover of the advanced copy of the book)

CERTIANTY’s author Victor Bevine, a graduate of Yale University, discovered this trial and story when escaping a downpour by sheltering in a bookstore.  He first wrote a play about this event and now has turned it into a novel so that more people will be informed.  Bevine is an actor, screenwriter, director, narrator of audiobooks, and sports entrepreneur who resides in NYC.

Victor Bevine Facebook

TLC Book Tours  sent me a copy of CERTAINTY to review and I believe that readers who like historic based fiction and military fiction will enjoy diving into CERTAINTY.

Related:
The Lost Tribe of Coney Island 
Playing St. Barbara
Muckers
A Snug Life Somewhere

THE RED HOT FIX: a Justice Novel ~T.E. Woods

Monday, October 13th, 2014

“’ It’s no secret we’re looking for a prostitute.’ Mort didn’t share the DNA evidence. ‘Help me understand what kind of woman she might be.’
“’Do you mean what kind of woman becomes a prostitute? Or what kind of prostitute becomes a killer?’ Charlotte leaned back against the booth.” (at  8% into the uncorrected proof on my Kindle)


THE FIXER comes to life again in THE RED HOT FIX, book two in the Justice Series by Woods.  I so liked the first book TLC Online Tours gave me an e-copy to read and then put Book 3 on my schedule for reading and review also in October.  Am I lucky or what?  If someone had said I would enjoy murder mysteries a few years ago I would have said, “no way”.   Fooled myself!

I believe it is because the women are smart and capable in the books I have been reading recently and many of the stories are about changing perceptions about people and changing violent reactions in people.  The author does not treat the reader as an escape artist needing entertainment, but actually someone who likes to exercise her/his curiosity and think it through; enough plot twists to keep the mind guessing and stamping on assumptions.

The story only has moments in Olympia in the FIXER’S home and touching base with her coffee shop friend Oliver.  She is healing after her brush with death and she is remaking her life in one of those limbo moments before big change.  She does help her Detective friend Mort Grant in Seattle who is coping with a serial killer.  We learn a few lessons about kids on the streets, drugs and revenge.

The novel also includes the wealthy family who owns the local basketball team and the huge outdoor sport’s store.  There are the stars and the up and coming stars vying for the playoffs and dealing with racial tensions and competition and a controlling boss who doesn’t hesitate to make other’s lives miserable.  This book also takes us into the world of Whidbey Island, Mercer Island, libraries and junk dealers.  If that were not enough there is the stealth of uncovering a child pornography ring.    I dare you to put this story down before the last page.  Double Dare!

The FIXER started the progress on the bestseller’s lists and now THE RED HOT FIX is moving up the ladder to even greater heights and at a faster pace.   It held my attention and was a pleasing diversion, entertaining and relaxing.  I admire writing that just fits together and treats women with respect and honesty.

Thanks again to TLC online tours   for the gift of this book and to T.E. Woods for the great story.

T.E. Woods on Twitter
TE Woods on Facebook 

“T. E. Woods is as eager as her fans to return to the thrilling world of the Justice series. She’s busy writing the next installment and is developing a new series set in Madison, Wisconsin.” (from TLC On Line Tours)

Related:
The Fixer 
Supreme Justice 
The Beautiful Heist
The Garden Plot