Rob's Blog

Book ; ‘Burglars Can’t Be Choosers’ by Lawrence Block – February 19th, 2018

by on Feb.19, 2018, under Books

Burglars Can't Be Choosers (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #1)Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I do like Block’s writing very much, but as I wade further into his work, the plotting and core stories are proving the lack of an ability to construct a cogent story.

This was the first of a series involving a burglar who finds himself in larger stories than his choice of occupation. This first story is a surprise to start off with as I ended the book and looked back on a convoluted tale with tacked on characters. It all made sense when I read the postscript by author Block in the 1994 edition of the book, basically, explaining the ending came from a person he lodged with in his travels. Sounds like emotion got the better of reason and produced a ridiculous solution to a crime that no part of law enforcement could prosecute.

His characters are, again, top notch. They seem for real, despite many used just for window dressing.

Nevertheless, Blocks writing make the silly trip worthwhile again. I shall continue with his books for that reason only.

Bottom line:
I don’t recommend this book (Unless you want to read Block’s writing). 5 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘Burglars Can’t Be Choosers’ by Lawrence Block – February 19th, 2018

by on Feb.19, 2018, under Books

Burglars Can't Be Choosers (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #1)Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I do like Block’s writing very much, but as I wade further into his work, the plotting and core stories are proving the lack of an ability to construct a cogent story.

This was the first of a series involving a burglar who finds himself in larger stories than his choice of occupation. This first story is a surprise to start off with as I ended the book and looked back on a convoluted tale with tacked on characters. It all made sense when I read the postscript by author Block in the 1994 edition of the book, basically, explaining the ending came from a person he lodged with in his travels. Sounds like emotion got the better of reason and produced a ridiculous solution to a crime that no part of law enforcement could prosecute.

His characters are, again, top notch. They seem for real, despite many used just for window dressing.

Nevertheless, Blocks writing make the silly trip worthwhile again. I shall continue with his books for that reason only.

Bottom line:
I don’t recommend this book (Unless you want to read Block’s writing). 5 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘The Sins of the Fathers’ by Lawrence Block – January 17th, 2018

by on Feb.19, 2018, under Books

The Sins of the Fathers (Matthew Scudder, #1)The Sins of the Fathers by Lawrence Block
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Why on earth tag the title of your book with the outcome of the story? I kept trying to push the title out of my head to enjoy the book, but kept realizing where is all was going to lead. Especially when I read that a minister was involved. At the time of this book those heads of churches had been used as the bad guy a lot in all types of media. But nothing compared to what was to come in the 1980s. By now it’s such a trite literary devise. If the book was written today I’d carve a fractional star, but will set it aside due to it’s publication date.

What saves this book from it’s nominal mystery factor is the usual extraordinary writing of Block. He creates such lively characters and story, it’s fun to wander through a book just to see how he twists a phrase or deftly describes a doorknob. It’s just superb.

Bottom line: I recommend this book. 7 out of ten points.

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My Projects in Progress: Bears and fish! – February 15th, 2018

by on Feb.15, 2018, under Cartooning, Illusration

This is a piece for a coloring booklet that will be available free at March 3rd & 4th’s Florida SpringsFest at Silver Springs State Park. There are 16 pages in all and I’ll post a few more of these images before the event. I’ll be there “signing” the booklets with your favorite critter. Hope to see all that can come to the Festival!

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Book: ‘Frenchman’s Creek’ by Daphne du Maurier – February 14th, 2018

by on Feb.14, 2018, under Books

Frenchman's CreekFrenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m becoming more and more a fan of du Maurier. This is another tale so very well written and enthralling.

One thing I really like about du Maurier is her writing of characters. All are distinct and most very memorable. Her tales are pretty simple is the characters and the setting and dialogue that raise the book above simply plotting.

Much like Frank Slaughter she does a terrific job of creating the backdrop of her literary theater. Her writing of period London, Cornwall, Frenchman’s Creek, the ship and homes are well constructed and you can place yourself and, more importantly the characters in the scenes. You can almost hear the echo as the main character enters her Cornwall home at the beginning of the book.

This is a very romantic tale and conjured up memories of Barbara Cartland. Though far better written.

A side note: I love the cover by one of my favorite illustrators, Charles Geer.

Bottom line: i recommend this book. 7 out of 10 points.

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My Friday Drawing! A bear in a swing! – February 9th, 2018

by on Feb.09, 2018, under Cartooning

Here’s this Friday’s drawing! Terisa Glover left a comment of a park. Here’s a bear and squirrel pal on the swing of a children’s park.
 
If you’d like to join in for next Friday’s drawing, leave a favorite animal, place or something you like to do. I’ll nab a few of the various answers and post the drawing here next Friday. If you’d like the original drawing, I’ll do my best to get it to you somewhere down the road.
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A peek at 1 of my finished pieces this past week. – February 8th, 2018

by on Feb.08, 2018, under Cartooning, Illusration

Finished an editorial illustration this past week. This is a part of the color piece.

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Book: ”Gaters, Skeeters, and Malary: Recollections of a Pioneer Florida Judge’ by Judge E. C. May – February 4th, 2018

by on Feb.04, 2018, under Books

'Gaters, Skeeters, and Malary: Recollections of a Pioneer Florida Judge‘Gaters, Skeeters, and Malary: Recollections of a Pioneer Florida Judge by Judge E. C. May
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

E.C. May’s book of his life is a wonderful view of life, specifically in the last half of the 19th century in the South. Unlike the fantasy conjured up today via radical political winds, May knows nothing of what will become and wrote what was. What was, as May illustrates, counters so much posted in the headlines of Southern history.

His writing leaves a lot to be desired. Considering he assembled this without aid of editors and the like, it is still a remarkable book. The layout of stories is linear, which makes following each much easier. Dates are also well placed.

Of course, this book is for someone wanting to learn south Georgia or Florida history. Others would become very lost about what he wrote about and it’s significance. As usual, a map would’ve been nice to have included somewhere for all to follow.

Bottom line: I recommend this book. 7 out of ten points.

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My projects in progress: Manatee! – February 4th, 2018

by on Feb.04, 2018, under Cartooning

This is just another drawing of the set of illustrations that will be part of a booklette at our annual Florida Springs Festival, March 3rd and 4th, at Silver Springs State Park. One page of the booklette will be just for me to create a personalized drawing per your request. The booklettes will be free for you and yours!

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My projects in progress: Pencils for a coloring booklette I’m working on. – February 2nd, 2018

by on Feb.02, 2018, under What's New?

Let’s keep me drawing and revisit fun we had a couple months ago.

Post either a favorite animal place or something you like to do.

Next week I’ll post what I do with some of them. You can either pick up the original from me or I’ll try to deliver it.

We can repeat this next Friday!

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Book: ‘Dead Man’s Road’ by Randy Denmon – February 1st, 2018

by on Feb.01, 2018, under Buddies

Dead Man's RoadDead Man’s Road by Randy Denmon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Author, Denmon obviously has a great handle on the mechanization of the railroad business and well presents it here. He even crafts a decent story around it. It’s the rest that stinks.

Let me begin with the very good part: Denmon does an exemplary job of writing the construction of the rails and the physical, mechanical and governmental needs. The engineering part of it all from the plans to the trusses needed for a bridge are very accurately written into the story.

I find almost all types of music,TV, movies, books, etc. created in the past 20 years has elements of the Valley Girl in it. I was surprised to find elements of the Valley Girl in a western novel by a man. but it’s very much there. The use of superlatives is ridiculous. Just the last two pages include: amazing, magnificence and totally.

The dialogue is presented as if all have had some fine education. Even those described as being illiterate. The indians sound as if they attended primary school in New York. This is the worse element of the book. It’s one of the good guys that curses more than any other character. The bad guys are written with rather gentle dialogue and then written with very rough action. Most of the characters are written in narrative and dialogue very similarly.

Denmon also approaches the opening of chapters the same way. Seemed to me each opening had some color involved to describe the setting. Denmon did his best to include a solid setting, but it read as very mechanical.

The good guy was very frustrating and I had trouble liking the character. As much as he was written like the others in dialogue, Denmon included a lot of inner thought that didn’t match with the dialogue.

I could go on. I believe this book is just another example of a contemporary book missing a good editor who would’ve pegged so many obvious troubles and could be straighten out.

The overall book is fine, though pretty predicable.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 5 out of 5 points.

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