Bosch is Back

Y’all. Season 5 of Amazon’s Bosch is now streaming! Since its beginning I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the adaptation of Michael Connelly’s most popular character.

The show avoids the common shortfalls so many crime shows seem eager to embrace.

Harry is relentless in his pursuit of justice for every one of the victims he’s forced to investigate because in his view everybody counts or nobody counts.

Last year I got my mom to watch and we went through the first four seasons as fast as possible. And she was always wanting to keep watching when we’d stop.

Now go watch!

A Kinda Sorta (Most Definitely) Review of Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep

Spoilers ahead (but who cares, it was published 80 years ago.)

It happened again. I may need to lay off books published before 1970 because clearly I have issues with just about every one I read.

I decided to read this after playing around online and looking up detectives I’d never read before. It didn’t hurt that Raymond Chandler is something of an icon in mystery circles. But, oh boy.

Philip Marlowe is a PI in LA. The book was published in the 1930s, so I guess the assumption is that it takes place during the same period. There are a number of mentions of prohibition. He’s hired by a rich guy who’s getting blackmailed.

I’m going to start with some of the positives:

NONE.

I’m not exaggerating or trying to be silly. There is nothing I can point to in this book that I really enjoyed. But don’t get me started on the negatives.

The writing style made me want to claw my eyes out. How many times can one person say “you’re cute” in a single work? My goodness. No creativity whatsoever.

There are two women who have prominent roles in the story and both of them (they’re sisters) separately are throwing themselves at Marlowe. Ugh. But he’s got the moral compass of Jesus and takes neither of them up on their offer.

Multiple times during the story he slaps women across the face.

There is absolutely no action throughout the story. I kept thinking at some point something would have to happen. Nope.

Twice he went into bad situations without a weapon of any kind against fully armed guys. And twice he got out just fine. Okay, fucking Zeus.

His wit and humor are awful. He’s not funny. Clearly he influenced later detectives, but they’re much better written.

Everyone was smoking the whole book. I have cancer now.

I rated it a 2 star read, and it was just above 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. Honestly, it was shaping up to be a 1 star rating from me until the last 5 pages or so.

Definitely do not recommend to any reader, ever. I can come up with several modern detectives much more intriguing than this bozo.

Another New To Me Author

I started my 10th book of the year last night and it’s by another new to me author. It’s the 4th one so far this year. There’s no way I can stay on that kind of pace of reading new authors. Can I?

I get in my head a bit because when I start a new book I’m excited, no matter what. But when it’s written by someone I’m not familiar with there’s an extra level of intrigue. But there’s also the thought of “what if I don’t like something everyone else seems to love”. I know it’s silly, but I’m not the only one thinking it. I mean, there are plenty of titles coming to mind as I write this I simply did not enjoy.

How often do you start reading a new author for the first time?

There’s A New Sheriff In Town

AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA!

I sincerely hope you’re aware of the meme that I’m referencing. If not, you’re lost. Oh well.

Very rarely do I write anything that resembles a book review. Today is one of those rare days.

Yesterday I finished LA Requiem by Robert Crais. I’m not going to get into the plot very much because if you find this interesting I would love for you to give the book a chance rather than just read spoilers here.

The story follows PIs Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. A friend and former lover of Joe is missing and they’re tasked with finding her when the police find her body first. Her father has powerful connections and the two of them get to operate within the investigation while unaffiliated with the LAPD.

That’s my synopsis, which is fairly similar to what you’d find on the back of the book.

I want to tell you about the title of the post before anything else. I’ve read more crime novels than I can remember. This one was the absolute best one I’ve read, and now that I’m thinking about it I may upload a page on here of my top reads ever that I can update as time goes along. This is likely top 5 for me. Let me tell you why.

Joe and Elvis have known each other a long time. Both are former military. Joe was LAPD for a time. They’re not friends and they’re not family. Whatever comes above that is what they are. Their care for each other goes beyond words and actions. This is the first in the series (since book 1) that highlights their relationship. Think of the people in your life who you would do anything for. Maybe there are quite a few and maybe there are none, but at least the idea of it is there. That’s Elvis and Joe. The importance of those relationships and people in our lives is something we generally can’t describe or put into words because we know deep within ourselves that we’d put ourselves in harm’s way to protect who we hold so dear, even if we can’t explain why.

During the course of the story Joe is in some serious trouble, and Elvis makes it his mission to protect him at all costs, including putting his life on the line if he has to. This exaggerated plot line happens quite a bit in movies, on TV shows, and in books. But never in my 27 years has it been so well done. Elvis and Joe are fictional characters created by who I believe is an exceptional author. But they’re not. They’re every single one of us.

This book wasn’t about solving a murder. It wasn’t about what happens when someone has connections. It wasn’t even about the detectives involved. It’s about what it means to be human and to put everything on the line for who we love. And though most of us will never have to do it, I believe it’s something we can all related to.

This was my tweet immediately after I finished.

What Got You Hooked?

I wrote yesterday about first being drawn to books and reading in general by mysteries, and even more specifically detective stories.

Didn’t even cross my mind to ask what it was for you all. What originally got you hooked on books? Was it a certain book or genre? Or maybe a teacher or library you frequented? I’m curious.

But I remember checking books out of my middle school library every one in awhile. In high school it was largely the same because I started using the public library once I realized there were these places that kept ALL the books and all I needed was a ride to get them.

So tell me!

DON’T BELIEVE HER

Sue Grafton is one of the most respected authors today. She’s written the Kinsey Millhone series of books set in California. I’ve read five or six books in the series, which I found underwhelming. And now she’s making THESE statements? No.

“…I’d like to remind you that a book is a perfect gift.”

“One size fits all and no calories…”

BOOKS ARE NOT THE PERFECT GIFT. NO MATTER WHO SAYS SO. And signed books are meaningless in today’s world. The only positive from this post is that the books are free, but even then I wouldn’t force any book onto any other person.

Ugh. I’ll keep saying it until I no longer can. Books are terrible gifts. THE END. Especially books that have been on bookstore shelves for more than a year.

2016 Reading Challenge: The Burning Room

This won’t contain any spoilers.

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time it’s highly likely you’ve read something about Harry Bosch. I’ve written about him more than just about any character, even KATNISS!

He is the epitome of who and what I think a fictional detective should be. This was the 17th book in the series I’ve read, and to me it was the best one yet. No matter the character being written, an author who can keep the reader interested in a single character over two decades is one of those rare jewels in literature. Michael Connelly is right there with the likes of Sue Grafton and Robert B. Parker.

Harry Bosch has never become stagnant or boring. His stories have never escaped the realm of reality. And he’s never forgotten his mantra that “Everybody counts or nobody counts”.

This book satisfied the requirement of my 2016 reading challenge to read a crime novel.

Now TOMORROW I will post an update on my progress! Stay tuned!

Also, the first book in the Harry Bosch series is The Black Echo. Just saying. 😊