2 sentence book reviews, part 1 (fiction)

i started something new with my book reviews earlier this year, and i liked it: 2 sentence book reviews. i allow myself one sentence as a summary of the book, and one sentence of opinion. it’s a bit like tweeting a book review, i suppose, though i’m not counting characters.

i was a bit behind on writing these, so have 22 books to review! i took a couple hours while on vacation in vegas last week to crank these out. so, while i know my blog traffic goes down when i publish book reviews, i’m giving this week to it anyhow!

today, we’ll start with 5 fiction books:

The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman, by Bruce R. Robinson
3.5 stars
Coming-of-age story of a young teen boy in England in the 50s, whose already dysfunctional family is falling apart around him. The cover is better than the book; but then, it’s an exceptional cover.

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
4 stars
Set in the future where most of life plays out in an immersive, online environment, a group of teenagers race to best an evil corporation in an MMOG with enormous rewards for a single winner. Way better than I expected it to be, I couldn’t stop reading this thing.

A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
4.5 stars
Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of stories with loosely interconnected characters, set across multiple decades and locations, revealing each character’s obsessions and longings. Brilliant in just about every way, but left me wanting a bit more of a plot at times.

Damned, by Chuck Palahniuk
5 stars
The perpetually bubbly pre-pubescent middle school daughter of wealthy celebrities finds herself in hell and wrestles with the realities of her new surroundings while trying to understand her place in her former world. Way, way, way beneath the extremely thick and garish brushstrokes of setting and context (which will both make you laugh and repulse you), Palahniuk delivers a surprisingly gentle story of a teenage girl individuating from her parents.

An Object of Beauty: A Novel, by Steve Martin
5 stars
The rise (and partial fall) of a charismatic, people-using young woman in the world of fine art auctions. Learn all about fine art collecting and auctioning while following an interesting storyline; but it’s really a morality tale about greed, motivation and priorities.

6 thoughts on “2 sentence book reviews, part 1 (fiction)”

  1. Just finished “Damned” myself – I loved it apart from a few pages where he got a little … um … detailed. But he is a genius as always!

  2. marko,
    have you read Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”? Pretty sure it’s the best novel ever written for middle school boys. if you haven’t already, go pick it up. takes about a day and a half to read and you will love it.


  3. Yes, Adam, fantastic book. I loaned my copy out a couple years ago and don’t get it back, and have considered buying it again just so I’d have it to loan out again!

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