Treasure Island

Treasure IslandTreasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You would have to search long and hard to find anyone not familiar with at least the names that have been ingrained in the culture regarding pirates, buried treasure and the like, if not perpetuated at Disneyland or the Las Vegas strip, by the book itself, with a story that has timeless appeal. It had been many years since I first read this story, and it was a pleasure to reaquaint myself with the adventures of young Jim Hawkins.

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The Slave of Silence

The Slave of SilenceThe Slave of Silence by Frederick Merrick White
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At the outset, this seemed like this would be quite an interesting story; a self-betrothed woman marrying a repulsive-albeit rich man in order to save her father from disgrace and ruin. The psychologial impact of such an arrangement on a woman would have been a fascinating study, if not abhorrently depressing. It looked to be a microcosm of how women of a certain class in England were treated around the turn of the century, likely not wholly different from the way American women of the same class were treated. That’s not what the story was about at all.

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813

813813 by Maurice Leblanc
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A tale of incredulity, buffoonery, naivete’, comedy, stupidity, iconoclasm, icon worship, self destruction, conceit, and staggering inefficiency, none of it intentional. What promised to be a ghastly detective story just turned out to be ghastly.

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Riders of the Purple Sage

Riders of the Purple SageRiders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The cover of this books states that it is the book that established the traditional western. I would agree with that assessment. A campy tale of epic proportions. And it was epic, and must have been particularly so when it originally came out, but years of Purple Sage wannabe books and movies might make this seem like a corny western. It wasn’t; the pretenders were corny.

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The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley

The Strange Case of Mortimer FenleyThe Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley by Louis Tracy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A stunning whodunit that was solved in one day! (Note the sarcasm). Two of Scotland Yard’s finest have been summoned to solved the ghastly murder of one Mortimer Fenley, a rich guy-and banker to boot, and you know how shady those guys can be. The detectives were depressingly one dimensional, the French Forneaux in the mold of a brilliant buffoon, and his boss Winter, a lumbering lug with a personality to match. Together they set out to solve a ridiculously improbable crime like another day at the office.

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