TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT/ HEMINGWAY

Playing catch-up on some of my overlooked Hemingway reads.  To Have and Have Not is quick and worthwhile.  A classic example of the use of dialogue as the story telling vehicle.  Set in the Florida Keys and Cuba, so much a part of the Hemingway lifestyle. Little wonder he tells the story  so well. Smuggling is not a good business or a lifestyle with a future.  Few happy endings.

Enjoy this short fiction.  No more than a lengthy one or two sitting read.

Search gordonsgoodreads for other Hemingway classics. It is the most sought after subject on this blog.

 

 

 

POINT OF CONTACT/A JACK RYAN, JR. NOVEL/ MIKE MADEN

Author Mike Maden has stepped in to write the latest in the TOM  CLANCY series. Mark Greaney has written the majority of the books since Tom Clancy died in 2013. Greaney also co-wrote with Clancy LOCKED ON and THREAT VECTOR.

POINT OF CONTACT is right on target with the Clancy series timeliness. The story line incorporates North Korea and the illicit sale of technology and materials through the Chinese and other nefarious back alley characters including of course, Bulgarians!

As readers of this blog are well aware, I am a long time Clancy fan. However, POINT OF CONTACT is a little thin by comparison, but nonetheless, fans may wish to add it to their list. There is still plenty of action though you will find the gripping suspense a little lacking.

 

A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW/ A MUST SUMMER READ

A friend recommended Amor Towles first novel Rules of Civility. I loved the book. (See gordonsgoodreads). She then alerted me to the release of Towle’s second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow.  To say I enjoyed the book would be a gross understatement of my enthusiasm for this author.

It  would be an  injustice to the reader if I even attempted to steal Towle’s story.  Let me simply  place a prominent Russian Count from the world of former privilege under house arrest in the elegant Metropol hotel in the center of Moscow. Now, a few lines of Towle’s prose:

For several days, in fact, he had been fending off a state of restlessness. On his regular descent to the lobby, he caught himself counting the steps. As he browsed the headlines in his favorite chair, he found that he was lifting his hands to twirl the tips of moustaches that were no longer there. He found that he was walking through the doors of the Piazza for a 12:01 lunch.  And at 1:35 he climbed the 110 steps to his room, calculating the minutes until he could come downstairs for a drink.

Then, the girl in the yellow dress appears and the Count’s world changes forever.

Enjoy. I promise you will to the fullest!

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TRAJECTORY/RICHARD RUSSO/SHORT FICTION

Trajectory, Richard Russo’s latest literary offering,  is not what the reader might expect after reading Empire Falls, Bridge of Sighs or Everybody’s Fool.  In Trajectory Russo offers four separate works of short fiction all with unique characters in disparate plots. Of the four, I liked  Intervention best, perhaps because it is set in Russo’s familiar home state, Maine.

Short Fiction is an open-ended read as compared with the short story. Nice for Russo to demonstrate his talent in this genre but if I were picking up Russo for the first time I would  choose from among his stack of wonderful novels. (see gordonsgoodreads.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRISHAM/THE WHISTLER/ANOTHER SUMMER THRILLER

This may be the strangest whistle-blower case ever!  No problem for John Grisham in plotting THE WHISTLER. Lawyers(of course), rogues, Indian Casinos, and Florida.

A most worthy heroine pitted against a female corrupt judge.  The Florida Panhandle becomes the perfect setting for crime and corruption with a whistle-blower protected by tiers of wannabes in on the action of a big, big payout.   That’s enough  from me.  No one tells this tale better than Grisham.  Pair up with Grisham’s Camino Island ( see gordonsgoodreads.com) and you  can cover half the state of Florida and be off with two great fun summer reads.

 

CAMINO ISLAND/ JOHN GRISHAM/AUTHORS REPLACE LAWYERS

Again, John Grisham proves himself among the great storytellers in American literature.  CAMINO ISLAND fits the bill for a wonderful summer read and Grisham leaves the lawyers  behind and writes of authors, writers and the theft of  the original  F. Scott Fitzgerald  manuscripts from their safekeeping at Princeton University.  He is so compelling in his prose,  of course, you believe it may have  actually happened.

And so the story begins  and the twists and turns roll through the pages. As is my custom, I will allow you to discover the conclusion. The good news is that the novel m,reads so well you will arrive at the finish in four sittings or less.

A refreshing good read,  An enjoyable break from some heavier selections on your summer list.

 

 

 

A PIECE OF THE WORLD ” CHRISTINA’S WORLD ” A MUST READ NOVEL

Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train, has eclipsed that acclaimed novel with her latest, A Piece of the World.   This marvelous work of historical fiction is a priority read adding illuminating context to the story behind America’s most famous painting , Andrew Wyeth’s  Christina’s World.

I have been to the Olsen House  in Cushing on that spit of land on the Maine Coast. However, now that I have read  A Piece of the World, I will eagerly travel there again with a new perspective having met through this wonderful novel, Christina, the woman who Andrew Wyeth immortalized in his painting Christina’s World.

Once you read A Piece of the World you will be drawn into Wyeth’s painting as never before.  When  you visit the farmhouse in Maine the humanity that was once there will become very much among the living.

Also, visit the Wyeth family collection at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland.