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Jeffrey Bluhm has commented on (24) products.

The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall by Christopher Hibbert
The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall

Jeffrey Bluhm, October 23, 2014

A very good history of the rise, tenure, and fall of northern Italy's Medici family. Appropriate emphasis primarily on the earlier representatives of the family, with less, but still adequately detailed, focus on the less interesting, less accomplished latter family members. I would have loved to see some photos/pictures of paintings/busts, but as preparation for a trip to Florence, this book gave me an excellent overview of the personalities and politics of the times (1400s and 1500s).
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Reamde by Neal Stephenson

Jeffrey Bluhm, July 7, 2014

Can a book that clocks in at just over 1000 pages be a riveting page-turner? In this case, the answer is an emphatic "Yes!" Stephenson intertwines the sagas of several main players, all uniquely characterized, in a novel that spans the globe from the US to China. Drug smuggling, Russian mobsters, charismatic terrorists, virtual reality computer gaming, international spies, computer geeks, money-laundering - they're all there and they all combine to form this highly entertaining novel. Precise detail never detracts from the non-stop pacing of the story, and a book that at first looks to be a massive undertaking all to soon approaches an ending that is disappointing only because it means the end of this superlative accomplishement.
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The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore
The Serpent of Venice

Jeffrey Bluhm, June 28, 2014

Pocket, the fool from "Fool", returns in this mash-up of Shakespeare's Othello and The Merchant of Venice. It's a typical Christopher Moore book, which is to say highly entertaining, well-plotted, humorous but with moments of genuine pathos, all told in language both witty and profane. Good things happen to the good guys and bad things to the bad guys (eventually), there's a bantering Chorus and, of course, a ghost. Great fun and over all too quickly.
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Johnny and the Bomb by Terry Pratchett
Johnny and the Bomb

Jeffrey Bluhm, June 21, 2014

Author Terry Pratchett brings the Johnny trilogy to a fully satisfying close with this final book. A thoughtful protagonist you can't help rooting for, quirky supporting characters, witty dialogue, and solid plotting (including time travel!) showcase Pratchett's full talent. Though often categorized as Young Adult/Children's literature, these books, increasingly as the series progresses, absolutely can be enjoyed by adult fans of Pratchett (ala the Tiffany Aching series). One reads slower as the end of the book approaches, knowing that, at least for now, this is the last of a very enjoyable series.
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Johnny and the Dead (Johnny Maxwell Trilogy) by Terry Pratchett
Johnny and the Dead (Johnny Maxwell Trilogy)

Jeffrey Bluhm, June 21, 2014

This book continues the saga of Johnny, from "Only You Can Save Mankind", and his misfit group of friends. While the first book seems tentative, in this one author Terry Pratchett's signature style is more fully on display, with an interesting plot and relevant, intertwined subplots. If "Only You Can Save Mankind" was the appetizer, this book, though a quick read, is neverthless a satisfying main course.
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