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Ron Beasley has commented on (9) products.

There's a House in the Land: (Where a Band Can Take a Stand) by Shaun D. Mullen
There's a House in the Land: (Where a Band Can Take a Stand)

Ron Beasley, October 8, 2014

This is not a book for everyone but if you came of age in the 60s and 70s it's for you. It is about a house not a commune in 1970s Pennsylvania where a group of eclectic individuals live most of which are running from something. It is not a linear novel but a collection of short anecdotes that often seem to be barely related and seem to jump around in time. But the novel weaves those anecdotes together into a fine tapestry you may not be able to see until you are finished. It is an easy and fun read for those of us who lived during that period. Shaun Mullen does an excellent job of painting a picture of the assorted characters, both the bad and the good. I'm 68 and for me it was like stepping into the way-back Machine. After decades of gray pinstripe suits it reminded me of simpler and happier times.
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The Trust
The Trust

Ron Beasley, July 17, 2012

It's not easy writing a review for a mystery novel and The Trust by Norb Vonnegut is no exception. I can't say too much without being a spoiler but I'll try.

Successful investment manager Grove O'Rourke receives a mysterious call from his wealthy mentor, Palmer Kincaid and suspects something is wrong. The next day Kincaid's body washes ashore an apparent accidental drowning victim. O'Rourke is contacted by Kincaid's daughter to get the family's financial affairs in order. He suddenly finds himself in charge of Palmer Kincaid's charitable organization, The Palmetto Foundation. One of the first issues involves The Catholic Fund and a mysterious priest, Father Frederick Ricardo. The Catholic Fund has given 65 million dollars to the Palmetto Foundation and Father Ricardo now wants to dictate where that money goes. O'Rourke is suspicious and that is only reinforced by attorney Biscuit Hughes who has discovered that The Catholic Fund is the owner of a Sex Superstore in Fayettville, North Carolina. At the same time O'Rourke's investment firm in New York is being taken over Morgan Stanley and the FBI is asking questions about him. O'Rourke himself is contacted by the FBI but agent Torres has lots of questions but few answers. Then Palmer Kincaid's widow is kidnapped and O'Rourke is forced to join forces with agent Torres to save her.

If you like mysteries this is a great read that includes murder, a kidnapping and financial shenanigans. It is often hard to separate the good guys from the bad ones.
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Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation by Deborah Davis
Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation

Ron Beasley, May 8, 2012

A great history of the USA 30+ years after the Civil War. Mini biography's of both TR Roosevelt and Booker T Washington followed by an event that changed their lives - TR invited Booker T to dinner at the White House. This was too much for the Southern States and the reaction was was quick and vapid while the reaction in the North was for the most part positive. That dinner haunted both men for the rest of their lives. It is a relevant thing subject to look at with the first black man in the White House and a good study of how things have changed and how much they haven't.
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The RX Factor by J Thomas Shaw
The RX Factor

Ron Beasley, May 7, 2012

Dr Ryan Mathews discovered a cure for ovarian cancer. His company did not have the resources to do the human testing so he sold out to a large pharmaceutical company. Human testing commenced and the results were not good �" it didn't work. Ryan's wife came down with ovarian cancer and she was part of the human testing. When the testing was canceled Ryan stole the last two doses his wife required. He was caught and fired from the large pharmaceutical. All of the tests indicated his wife was going to die within months so the decision was made to move to the Bahamas for the last few months of her life. His wife and children were killed in a plane crash on the way to the Bahamas and Ryan spent the next few years drinking in paradise. One day Ryan met another medical researcher there to spend some time with her aunt and uncle. When relatives ship was blown up Ryan partnered with her to find out what was going on and the adventure began. Many murders and attempted murders in addition to many surprises. It came to Ryan's attention that his drug had worked and the results had been tampered with. But why �" the big pharmaceuticals don't want to cure people. Well people don't buy drugs. More adventures and murders and an ending that unearths an even more sinister plot.

A really great read that I had trouble putting down and the ending was a shocker.
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We Heard the Heavens Then: A Memoir of Iran by Aria Minu-Sepehr
We Heard the Heavens Then: A Memoir of Iran

Ron Beasley, April 3, 2012

We Heard The Heavens Then by Aria Minu-Sepher is the story of the last few years of Shah’s Iranian monarchy and the revolution that brought it down as seen through the eyes of a young boy who's father was a powerful general in the Shah's air force. The author has had decades in the United States to think about what happened and presents us with a measured and fair account of social-political reality that led up to the revolution.

There are several characters in this story both family members and others. Aria Minu-Sepher grew up in a privileged world. As we might say now he was part of the one percent. His mother is mentioned but it is rarely a flattering picture. She was proud of the fact she was part of the aristocracy. His father, “Baba,” plays a key part in the narrative. A very competent pilot and General who adores his son and attempts to mold his son in his own image. In a way this book is a tribute to his father. The rest of the authors extended family represent an eclectic mix of Iranian society. The household staff also plays a part but none more than the housekeeper “Bubbi.” She is a very conservative Muslim, a classic member of the Iranian 99%. She is offended by Western influence. She objects to serving wine, shrimp and ham. She objects to automobiles and thinks the F14 fighters the General commands are straight from the devil. We get the impression that she represents a lot of the 99%.

The author paints a picture of an Iran that is not just divided along 1% - 99% line but also on a secular �" pious line, but there is a great deal of overlap. Much of Iran was not enjoying the miracles from the west but they didn't want to. I think that we can see some of the problems we are having in Afghanistan �" a majority who simply don't want to be forced into a secular world.

Normally this subject matter would be rather dry but this book is an enjoyable and easy read because it is made up primarily of personal anecdotes. I highly recommend this book.
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