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Customer Comments

Jeffrey Bluhm has commented on (38) products.

The Dinner by Herman Koch
The Dinner

Jeffrey Bluhm, April 2, 2015

This book is a relatively quick read, and actually delivers on the promise (on the back cover) of an escalating conflict and dramatic climax. The author does an outstanding job of pacing the slow reveal of the underlying natures of his protagonists, and the reader's growing familiarity with their personalities and motivations greatly enriches the evolution of the story. No one is going to hold any of these folks up as models of laudable behavior, but then that's what makes them interesting, isn't it?
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The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian

Jeffrey Bluhm, March 29, 2015

Most authors will say (and I concur) that there is no such thing as a perfect book. OK, then let's call this one merely flawless. There are moments where the mathematical calculations our hero is making are eye-crossingly complex, but those are balanced with scatalogical sophomoric humor and everything in between. Throughout, the author keeps the reader riveted by one man's struggle to survive alone on Mars, alternating with the efforts of the Earth-bound scientists and his fellow astronauts to aid him. There's few books I recommend without reservation; if you're a fan of science fiction (with this more akin to near-future fiction), you should enjoy this book immensely.
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Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy #1) by Jeff VanderMeer
Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy #1)

Jeffrey Bluhm, February 22, 2015

This review is for the entire series, as I read, and cautiously enjoyed, the first two books, in great part with anticipation for revelations and a conclusion(s) in the final novel. Unfortunately, that never occurs. Characterizations are, at best, impersonal, and the writing sporadically clear, then muddled. The intent of the author seems to be to describe humanity's encounter with another culture so alien that we can't communicate with it or understand its intent/purpose, and while that prospect is intellectually plausible, given the myriad ways in which life could evolve in another time/place, the lack of meaningful interaction between the characters and whatever that Other is, deprives the story of interest and prevents it from coming to any comprehensible conclusion. Of all the questions that are posed or develop over the course of the three books few, if any, are answered coherently. The concepts are not without merit, and much promise is hinted at but, ultimately, the series fails to deliver.
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Southern Reach Trilogy #3: Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer
Southern Reach Trilogy #3: Acceptance

Jeffrey Bluhm, February 22, 2015

This review is for the entire series, as I read, and cautiously enjoyed, the first two books, in great part with anticipation for revelations and a conclusion(s) in the final novel. Unfortunately, that never occurs. Characterizations are, at best, impersonal, and the writing sporadically clear, then muddled. The intent of the author seems to be to describe humanity's encounter with another culture so alien that we can't communicate with it or understand its intent/purpose, and while that prospect is intellectually plausible, given the myriad ways in which life could evolve in another time/place, the lack of meaningful interaction between the characters and whatever that Other is, deprives the story of interest and prevents it from coming to any comprehensible conclusion. Of all the questions that are posed or develop over the course of the three books few, if any, are answered coherently. The concepts are not without merit, and much promise is hinted at but, ultimately, the series fails to deliver.
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Authority (Southern Reach Trilogy #2) by Jeff VanderMeer
Authority (Southern Reach Trilogy #2)

Jeffrey Bluhm, February 22, 2015

This review is for the entire series, as I read, and cautiously enjoyed, the first two books, in great part with anticipation for revelations and a conclusion(s) in the final novel. Unfortunately, that never occurs. Characterizations are, at best, impersonal, and the writing sporadically clear, then muddled. The intent of the author seems to be to describe humanity's encounter with another culture so alien that we can't communicate with it or understand its intent/purpose, and while that prospect is intellectually plausible, given the myriad ways in which life could evolve in another time/place, the lack of meaningful interaction between the characters and whatever that Other is, deprives the story of interest and prevents it from coming to any comprehensible conclusion. Of all the questions that are posed or develop over the course of the three books few, if any, are answered coherently. The concepts are not without merit, and much promise is hinted at but, ultimately, the series fails to deliver.
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