Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday Reviews: 2 Books

I read through a couple of books this past week. On the left of this blog, toward the bottom, I am keeping a running list of the books that have been read so far this year and I put them in order from top to bottom of my favorites to my least favorites (Judd asked for a list). Anyway, here are the two reviews for the week:

Hiroshima by John Hersey (historical nonfiction)

Story Summary in about 30 words: This book is about the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It focues on 6 different individuals from the day the bomb went off to the year after and then it fast forwards to 30-40 years later and how the bomb affected their life, their families and their city.

Rate of Interest: 32.0 pages per day (160 total pages)

Best Thing about the Book: Just learning the history about the devastation and the absolute resolve of these individuals on picking up the pieces and trying to put their lives back together again. The stories are often heartbreaking though the courage they showed and the support they gave to others in the community is pretty terrific.

Worst Thing about the Book: I wanted more examples and more stories of other people. This focused on the 6 individuals, but I would have been very interested in reading of more people and how they got through. Of note though--this book was actually a series of newspaper articles back in the late 1940s, so it took up enormous space and it is understandable that the scope was not even wider.

Overall: It is a pretty terrific book. You read how, just a day or two after the bomb, there were only 2 doctors per 10,000 patients (the majority of the doctors in the city had died). You read how the city was literally on fire even in places that were miles away from the actual detonation of the bomb. You read of how the doctor community there and abroad knew so very little of the effects of the bomb and the radiation. It wouldn't hurt to read up a little bit on the bombing before you read this book as the book really does only focus on the individuals and it rarely branches out from it.


Flint's Law by Paul Eddy (Spy thriller fiction)

Story Summary in about 30 words:

Rate of Interest: 17.6 pages per day (352 total pages)

Best Thing about the Book: The double-crossing and international spy aspects were interesting. It was also interesting to see two friendlies (US and Britain) have feuds and issues with each other.

Worst Thing about the Book: Confusing. There are so many players, so many storylines, so much backstabbing that you begin to lose track and often begin to not care about the main character, Flint, or her support. It left me wanting to hurry and finish the book, not so much because I enjoyed it, but so that I could begin another book.

Overall: Not my favorite. The plot is interesting enough but the story bounces around with too many characters and too many things happening with little background on it.

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