Zero Cool by John Lange

June 1, 2011

Zero Cool by John Lange aka Michael Crichton is the author’s fifth published book. In this novel he returns to the simplicity of his other John Lange works. In Zero Cool radiologist Peter Ross is on vacation in Spain when an unknown man comes up to him and warns him that if he performs an autopsy he will be killed. Peter, being unqualified to perform an autopsy at any rate, dismisses the man as crazy. That is, until, Robert Carrini and his “relatives” come up to him and tell him that if he does NOT perform an autopsy for them they will kill him. Caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place Peter reluctantly agrees to do the autopsy where the heart of the deceased is replaced with a strange metal box. As events grow more and more complicated Peter is stuck between two rival groups each eager to obtain the contents of the box. With only the beautiful Angela Locke, who peter is not even sire weather or not he can trust, as a companion, Peter enters into the battle in order to try to escape with his life.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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I’M BACK!!!: Wave 4 finished, Wave 5 tommorow

May 31, 2011

After a long hiatus I am back with another update. Wave 4 which was finished long ago with the Angels & Demons film review, will be followed up tomorrow with wave 5 which will cover Michael Crichton‘s 5th book Zero Cool which was written under the pen name John Lange. See you tomorrow.

Angels & Demons directed by Ron Howard

December 4, 2010

The film adaptation of Angels & Demons has both its pros and cons. On the pro side the movie does an excellent job of capturing the urgency of the situation by showing cars racing through the city form one church to another in an effort to find the antimatter before time runs out and it explodes violently. Another pro was that instead of having the location of the antimatter being revealed by what is apparently a divine revelation there is instead a new clue that points them to St. Peter’s Tomb. On the con side however this change and others means the Carmerlengo‘s heel revelation comes completely out of nowhere with no foreshadowing what so ever. Also Cardinal Strauss‘s (Cardinal Moriati in the novel) position against warning people about the threat comes off not just as suspicious but downright reckless and uncaring which is quite a break from character for him in both the book and the later parts of the movie. however one can not help but love all the symbolism at the end of the film, and this is where the film, for all its faults, shines the brightest.

Overall Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

November 26, 2010

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown is the first book of his Robert Langdon series. As in most other books in this series the sheer amount of coincidences make for an unlikely tale, and as in all 4 of his first 4 books if you have read one of them you can guess who the villain is in the other 3. However the book has good points as well. For example, in the talks about how a benevolent god can exist within the harshness of the world, and how science can at TIMES be hypocritical; for example killing the unborn in research designed to save lives. But religion can also be misused or misconstrued for example refusing medicine for your dying kid because it is against your religion, is a prime example of  both how the right to swing your fist, i.e. practice your beliefs, stops at the next persons nose, i.e. when it negatively impacts someone else, and is an example of not using the brain god gave to you. Finally I feel a note of caution is in order, as unlike most authors works where you can tell where the fact ends and the fiction begins, Dan Brown has a  habit of presenting fiction as facts, so care should be taken not to take all of the background information literally. Overall though it is a solid thriller and pleasure read.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Wave 3 of reviews finished, Wave 4 on its way

October 27, 2010

With reviews posted for both A Case Of Need and its film adaptation The Carey Treatment wave three of reviews has been finished. Wave four will consist of both book and movie reviews for Angels & Demons.  I also hope to finally get episode 2 of the podcast out, HOPEFULLY before the end of the year.

The Carey Treatment directed by Blake Edwards

October 26, 2010

While the film adaptation of Micheal Crichton‘s A Case Of Need, directed by Blake Edwards is for the most part a faithful adaptation of the book, there are a few jarring changes. First off, the names of almost all of the characters whose surname isn’t Randall have had their names partly or completely changed from what their names are in the book. While this is a relatively minor detail, it can be jarring to those who first learned the story through the novel. Secondly and more importantly are the additions of a romance subplot and several action scenes. There was no romance in the book because the main character, John Barry, Peter Carey in the film, is married whereas in the film he is single.  The romance and action scenes add nothing to the film and in fact even detract from it, and leave one with the felling that the producers insisted, in a case of executive meddling gone wrong, that the scenes be added to in a n attempt to attract extra audience members. However the worst case of this is the last added action scene which changes the final plot point of the book, in a failed attempt to add more drama. While the story as a whole was solid these changes are striking enough to detract a great deal from the film.

Overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars

A Case Of Need by Jeffery Hudson

October 25, 2010

Looks like I got this review posted later rather then sooner, and for that I apologize. Anyways, on to the review. A Case Of Need tells the story of John Barry, a pathologist at a Boston hospital who learns that his friend, Art Lee has been implicated in the death of Karen Randall, daughter of prominent Boston heart surgeon J.D. Randall. Karen died 0f blood loss because of a poorly done abortion (please note that this book was written and published in 1968, 5 years before the Roe v. Wade case). My thoughts and opinions on abortion aside (I feel this is neither the time nor place to discuss it), A Case Of Need is a well written mystery novel, that delves into more issues then just abortion. Other issues covered are medical politics, for example if doctors were to report every bar room brawl they treated, as required by law, they would spend a bigger percentage of their time testifying in court, and less time practicing medicine; and racial politics Art Lee being part Chinese being the prime example. These smaller, but nonetheless important issues brought up by A Case Of Need are too often overlooked by those seeking to promote or condemn the main issue of the novel. All in all, A Case Of Need, is a well written mystery dealing with hot topic issues of the day, both then and now. It truly deserves its Edgar Award.

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Wave Two of reviews finshed

August 13, 2010

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown being the sole component of Wave Two of reviews. For Wave 3 expect reviews of Jeffrey Hudson aka Michael Crichton‘s A Case Of Need, and its film adaptation, The Carey Treatment. Hope to be back sooner, rather then later this time.

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

August 13, 2010

The 2nd member of the previously mentioned Big Four of thrillers is Dan Brown. While he is best known for his Robert Langdon series, Digital Fortress is Dan Brown‘s first published novel. Digital Fortress features Susan Fletcher, head cryptographer for the NSA. She is called into work on the weekend unexpectedly due to an emergency. That emergency is the existence of a code called “Digital Fortress” that even the NSA’s code-breaking super computer cannot break. This code, created by the now late Ensei Tankado would, if released, cripple US Intelligence. As Susan struggles to unravel the mystery, she will come to doubt almost everything and everyone she has ever believed in. What makes Digital Fortress (the book) so great is that it shows the need to balance two very important needs. The need of the government to gather intelligence, and the need for individuals to keep secrets from said government. The hair-raising pace of the climax, and the deep ethical issues raised by the book makes it one of Dan Brown‘s finest masterpieces.

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars

sorry about the delay

July 17, 2010

Sorry about the delay, folks! I was hoping to get the 2nd podcast episode out sooner then this but with any luck it should be out tomorrow.  Also my original plan was to finish wave one of the podcasts before moving on to wave two of the reviews, but given how long episode 2 of the podcast taken, I intend to change that and get to work on wave 2 of the reviews as soon as possible.