Book Review - Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fascinating book. A look inside the first 100 days of the white house illustrated by chaotic, and sometimes combative events between opposing factions, all fueled by a President who is completely incapable of managing it all.

What surprised me the most from reading this book was how the various events that we have all seen play out in the news mostly derived not from maliciousness, but rather pure ineptitude. The who event played out continually like a "Parks and Recs" episode of stupid decision after stupid decision, often times made out of what appeared to be pure spite for another individual. This all led to the bewildered state for the reader that these people operating in the white house seem to have no idea or no care about the broader implications of their actions on the country as a whole. It is like a soap opera where they only care about their own personal standing and position with other people inside this weird close nit circle.

The books is well written, entertaining and paints at the very least, a fun story of what was happening in this white house. It is amazing, a year later, that names mentioned in the book, like Michael Cohen, are now making their way to the headlines in current news cycles.

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Book Review - Burial Rites

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very well written book read by an extremely good narrator. The dialect and accent on the spoken passages in Icelandic seemed spot on in the audio-book and really brought the reader into this world.

This book is heavy and dark. The premise is depressing at best, and the entire mood is heightened by place, in the grey, cold reaches of Iceland. As a reader, you have an idea of where this book is going to end right when you come into it, but it is the journey through the final months of the main character's life that really drive this book home.

The characters were very well written, with the young priest being the exception. His place in the book was largely not necessary and I never felt he was critical to the story or the development of Agnes through her final days.

I would not consider this to be a light read, and in fact, was a difficult one to get through when the weather was so pleasant out in the spring and early summer. This is the type of book you read on a rainy October Sunday in front of a fire with hot tea and some cookies. You are going to need those tea and cookies because they are the only thing that are going to make you feel good while you read this. Agnes is almost the stereotype of a tragic character. Almost everything that could have possibly gone wrong in her life has, and there is a deep sense of depression painted around her. The reader receives only the briefest moment of melancholy relief when her story finally ends.

In some ways I am at a loss for how to wrap up this review. This book is written beautifully. The writing is almost poetic at times and the attention to detail with the use of the Icelandic language was masterfully done. That detailed use of language though is also what makes the book as deep and as heavy as it is. This isn't the type of book for everyone, but it has all the markings to become a "classic" that is still recognized decades from now.

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Book Review - The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a "heavy" book. The subject matter, the style of writing. All of it carried a tremendous amount weight to it and you felt as if you were carrying that weight with you all the way through the book. Every plodding step that our characters took was just as painfully dragged along with you as the reader.

The writing style of this book was the most profound thing that I noticed. The structure was very "pointed" and succinct. Sentences were punctual with very little punctuation.

The story overall was very well written and I can see why this has won so many awards. The subject matter and style of the writing sets this apart as a "work of art" in terms of literary writing. While I did enjoy this book, I somehow did not find myself emotionally attached to it. Perhaps it was because of the impending doom that we all knew coming at the end, but the conclusion of the story here left me neither emotionally engaged, nor hopeful. Perhaps that was exactly what McCarthy was going for, a story that reflected the insignificance of its importance in the world that it was written in.

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