Magnificent Marvel Supersale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

Customer Comments

Robert Loy has commented on (6) products.

King David by Kyle Baker
King David

Robert Loy, December 27, 2009

This is a retelling of the story (mostly from the books of Samuel in the Old Testament) of King David, his struggles with Goliath, King Saul, the Philistines as well as his own human frailties. Baker does mix direct Bible quotes with a lot of slapstick and borscht-belt comedy, which may not be everyone's cup of tea -- works for me, though. Actually what bothers me about this story has nothing to do Kyle Baker. It has to do with how David was idolized for being basically a mass murderer. "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands" was what the Israelites said of David and it made Saul feel inadequate. And it's only after he falls in love with another man's wife, impregnates her and -- of course -- kills the husband, Uriah the Hittite, who for my money is the real hero here, if there is a hero in this book -- that he falls out of God's favor. Which seems to lay the groundwork for our whole ultra-violent, sexually repressed modern Christian American society?
Or am I reading too much into this?
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



The Wishbones by Tom Perrotta
The Wishbones

Robert Loy, December 27, 2009

've enjoyed every Tom Perrotta book I've ever read, and it's a testament to how good a writer he is that not a lot happens in his books and still you keep turning the pages because he makes you care about his characters. In "The Wishbones" 31-year old Tom Raymond is still living with his parents, still playing in a band that's going nowhere except to the Holiday Inn for another wedding reception, still delaying growing up. One night he proposes to his long-time girlfriend almost by accident and immediately starts trying to sabotage it when she accepts. To me, this boook had a lot to say about love, growing up and music's ability to keep you young. My favorite scene in the book didn't involve the main characters but Buzzy, the happily-married, possibly-alcoholic bass player. Realizing he's never going to make it as a rock star but unwilling to completely relinquish those fantasies he tosses a 13-inch television out of his bedroom window, in a suburban homage to Keith Moon et al's hotel escapades.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Mr. America: How Muscular Millionaire Bernarr Macfadden Transformed the Nation Through Sex, Salad, and the Ultimate Starvation Diet by Mark Adams
Mr. America: How Muscular Millionaire Bernarr Macfadden Transformed the Nation Through Sex, Salad, and the Ultimate Starvation Diet

Robert Loy, December 27, 2009


Don't feel bad, I had never heard of Bernarr Macfadden before either, but every American who lived in the first half of the 20th Century knew who he was. He was the more muscular of those turn of the century health reformers like Kellogg, Post and Graham, although like them he was obsessed with his bowels -- he even used to eat sand, figuring if it was good enough to clean glass bottles, it ought to be good enough to clean his innards. In addition to basically inventing American body building and strength training directly -- through his long-running magazine Physical Culture, his Healthatorium -- and indirectly (he inspired among others, Charles Atlas, Joe Weider and Jack LaLanne) he also can law claim or take the blame for creating tabloid journalism (his New York Evening Graphic, where Walter Winchell got his start is widely considered the worst newspaper ever) and inspiring reality television -- although it was reality magazines at first; Macfadden published True Story and True Confessions among dozens of other magazines. He was a millionaire, a mover and a shaker, friend of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, but he died broke and -- as you know -- is today largely forgotten. His obscurity is undeserved however. I don't read a lot of biographies but this one was fascinating. The author ever guinea-pigged himself out with some of Macfadden's more bizare health and fitness regimens with mixed (but often hilarious) results.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



B Is for Beer by Tom Robbins
B Is for Beer

Robert Loy, December 27, 2009

A new book from Tom Robbins is always cause for celebration. I can honestly say that his works -- notably "Jitterbug Perfume" and "Still Life With Woodpecker" changed my way of thinking on a what-looks-like-permanent basis. So, that is why it pains me to say that "B is For Beer" did not do it for me. I applaud him for trying something different --- in this case a grown-up book for kids -- but kids are not Robbins's natural audience, and a lot of his trademark digressions -- usually the best parts of his books -- came off as kind of cutesy and therefore annoying. There were several clever turns of phrase, and if you know nothing of beer history or how the alcoholic elixir is created, you can learn a thing or two. Otherwise, you'd be better off rereading "Jitterbug."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



I'm a Believer: My Life of Monkees, Music, & Madness

Robert Loy, December 27, 2009

The back cover blurbage on this book irks me every time I pick it up. Particularly this sentence: "Whilst grateful for the success he has endured, on the whole he (Dolenz) would rather have been a physician." What irks me about this sentence? Well, besides the attitude and the ego, there's the word "whilst". What kind of archaic, crepuscular word is "whilst"? I don't think I've ever seen anyone other Dolenz and some of the more florid Victorians use that word non-ironically. Then there's the word "endured". You endured your success, Mickey? Somehow managed to survive the money, the parties and the groupies? What a testament to the human spirit. Anybody who got rich and famous with no more than that thimbleful of talent you possess should be more grateful for that success. And whilst millions of music-lovers might wish you had become a physician instead, it's most unbecoming of you to cry about how tough it's been enduring your good fortune.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



1-5 of 6next
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.