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onceacurmudgeon

To all the pages I've read before

Currently reading

The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving-Kindness
Pema Chödrön
River of Smoke: A Novel
Amitav Ghosh
Alif the Unseen
G. Willow Wilson
Half of a Yellow Sun
Taoist Qigong for Health and Vitality: A Complete Program of Movement, Meditation, and Healing Sounds
Sea of Poppies
Amitav Ghosh
AyurVeda: The Science of Self-Healing
Medicine Buddha Teachings
Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: The Spiritual Classic and International Bestseller
The Fault in Our Stars
John Green

The Year of the Flood

The Year of the Flood - Having a hard time knowing how to take this book.This is the second book of the MaddAddam trilogy (and I just noticed that is a palindrome), of which Oryx & Crake was the first.And really, it feels more like an addendum to O&C than a novel proper. As it is Atwood, it is a very well written addendum, but it feel slight in comparison. And really, that is not fair, as this is really about the human toll of the scientific madness from the first, but I dare say I found that just so much more interesting.Oryx & Crake felt like a warning. One that would eat society whole if we took no heed of it (alas... we have not). This is more of a 'here are the effects' that not heeding that warning. And this should be vibrantly scary thing, as a global plague wipes out near all of humanity, only Atwood sprinkles in quite a bit of hope though out and it becomes hard to see the horror of humanity's decimation. She focuses on the people in a strange religious group/cult called the gardeners. They have rejected the conspicuous consumptive ways of modern society, living on cast offs and their own gardened fruit. She has Adam1, the leader of the sect, recite a sermon and a song to frame each chapter. And after the second one, I learned to just skim these, as they were not my bag in the slightest. But it takes at least a third of the book to really humanize them, but she clearly does, as you root for them all to have been spared from the plague, knowing of course this can not be.Atwood writes at least 493 leagues better than me, so it is hard to suggest improvement from her, but this just seems a slight read in comparison to O&C. And perhaps that is because while O&C was the creation of a dystopic world, this is about the survivors. And while very strange, also about utopia, both from the gardeners attempts to create it for themselves at the beginning of the book and in the realization that the surviving few must actually create it to keep going.Also, why do I enjoy dystopia over utopia? hmmm...

Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel

Super Sad True Love Story - Gary Shteyngart Abandoned and forsaken.I tried going back to reading this today. It made me feel worse than I had remembered.This is a book that is more an infection than a novel. And keeping with the themes of the book, we will say an STD in written form.The characters are just awful and seem to have nothing to live for, and thus go on and on and on about things they wish mattered to them. I can see that at one point in time this would have been a book I enjoyed from a watching people be miserable and fall further into despair. So what I can thank this book for is that I now know I am no longer the kind of guy who gets off on this. Dreary, uninspiring fiction, please kindly find someone else to glimmer upon.

Neuromancer. Roman.

Neuromancer (Sprawl Trilogy, #1) - William Gibson, Reinhard Heinz I am of two very different minds on this after this reread.When I first read it nearly 25 years ago, it was one of those books that totally and completely changed my perspective of what is possible. It was like living in a world with only G rated movies and then all of a sudden watching a David Cronenberg film fest. Yep, head split right open.Everything I had dreamed possible now felt like past tense, and now the possible was at least nine or ten horizons away.Needless to say, this was an amazing important book for me.Only, upon rereading it, it felt slight and a bit tired and often it was a bit hard to follow along.Now I know there are a great number of books out there that I have liked, some I have even loved, that owe so much to Gibson and this book. I was unprepared for just how much further they had taken his ideas and whatnot.I get that technology and such has accelerated by near nth degree exponents; thus, this might feel dated in that way, but it still feels like a near future, but the ideas seem stuck at a dos prompt. And in fact, that is because this is far more a crime novel than scifi epic. Sure the setting is a nihilist Armageddon future, but the story is a crime gang getting together for the biggest score of their lives. And somehow I missed this, before, or promptly forgot it, as the future etched on teflon eyes element was a far stronger draw. The crime element is interesting, but not hugely compelling. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 20 crime novels I would rather read. And in fact Gibson muddles the story a bit by glazing over bits of this element of the book by embellishing his cyberpunk monochromatic hue. I am pretty surprised that I remember reading this with ease as a wee teenager, as I found myself having to reread and then go back pages to ensure I was following along. Part of me also worries that this is a sign of my mental acuity slipping, as it is no longer easy to follow what once was.Overall, I am reminded by that quote that I paraphrase now, 'it is better not to meet your idols'. I feel like I sort of ruined this book for me, as I can gush with the praise of my wide eyed reading, but could never do so without adding "But.....". I have refrained from reviewing this because I was not sure what to do with a clear favorite book of my that has slipped in my estimation. But I have decided to leave the five star & favorite rating, as it really was a huge deal way back when. And even though I may have slightly spoiled it for me, I can not erase how just the name Neuromancer causes my brain to churn at a faster rate at the ever expanding possibilities it made sure I was aware of.It is still a classic, just one that has been bettered over time.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Tell the Wolves I'm Home - This book is simply put: Amazing.I finished it last week, but a day has not gone by without me thinking about it and wanting to know what happens to June now.I'd say this was a contender for best book I've read this year if I did not know this was assuredly the case. It may even be the best book I've read in the past five years.Brunt is a master narrator. She has crafted the most amazing voice of a 14/15 year old girl, June. June's voice resonates with such authenticity as she struggles to find where she fits in the world that mostly confuses her in its modernity. She is a girl who disappear into a forest so she can imagine it is the middle ages, as long as she does not look at her shoes, at least until her uncle gets her boots from the renascence fair.The same uncle who is the only one that understands her. And since the book is framed with him dying of AIDS, well you can imagine the turmoil this breeds in June's life. Only, the way Brunt presents it, and the way June tells it, it is far more heartbreaking than pretty much what you could imagine. And it is so much better a book for it.And while this is June's story, it is also a book about secrets, lost opportunities, jealousy, and responsibilities. These themes are brought up and challenged by the characters, but even more they are sifted through the filter of love and the obligations it requires, and Brunt weaves this tapestry - one so rich it would be able to hang at the Cloisters, a favorite location of June - magnificently and ever so beautifully. There is much loss and heartache, but it never feel melodramatic, even from June's sister, who basically injects melodrama into a character she is playing on stage. So very highly recommended. And now I begin the eagerly awaiting period for Brunt's next book.

The Other Side of the Island

The Other Side of the Island - Allegra Goodman This started off quite promising, but ended with far more sputter than luster.When I noticed I was 3/4ths of the way done, I had no idea how this was going to be wrapped up. I really should not have worried, as it simply was not. It ended on essentially a cliffhanger, but unlike nearly every other YA book needing to be a trilogy, Goodman writes at the end, in an author's notes section that she likes ambiguity, ending with more questions than answers. To this I say "hmmm" and "phfft".To me this is easily a part one of a much greater story, but for whatever reason Goodman leaves it up to you. (Did she only get a one book deal? Was she worried that it would not be successful and was hedging her bets? Does she just like to taunt her readers?) I found this as lazy as her 'deus ex machina' style reveal of the, well for lack of a better word, rebel leader. I might nor have minded it so much if things did not seem so rushed at the end, as it made her writing fall apart. What was once crisp, clear, effective prose, becomes fragmented and spotty. Like many other YA novels, this is a story of oppression and how a young adult figures out how to overcome it, well at least it trends that way, with the lack of an ending, you are not quite sure if she did overcome it. And that is the main problem. To her credit, Goodman creates a compelling world on a drowned earth with only a few island land masses left. And I initially fell into reading this quite swiftly. That she opted to sandbag her story by stopping it rather than ending it really interfered with that enjoyment.

Salvation City

Salvation City - Sigrid Nunez This was really disappointing. I loved the idea of dystopic fiction in an evangelical community. It would seem to add layers to a oft traveled road. I was unaware that those layers would be boring and creatively lacking. But, that is just what happens here.Towards the beginning I had to google if Nunez was an evangelical as I was worried I was trying to be indoctrinated. But as the book goes on, her prose detaches a bit from what seemed to be a near glorifying account. But still some of the beliefs presented, while spot on, were hard to read and I kept thinking, she is trying to preach here. Not. A Fan.The basic development of Cole, the main character, was stunted by a device she used to explain why he had a hard time remembering things. The big story arc here is that he begins to find his own footing and path in the world, but as he recovers his memories and gets in touch with his past, well... wouldn't that happen anyway?Nunez's prose is sparse. And this is not something I would normally take an ounce of issue with, but I found myself having to read passages over and over again as they were very muddled. Still puzzled how she managed to do that. Not. A. Fan.Needless to say, not recommended.

Vinegar into Honey: Seven Steps to Understanding and Transforming Anger, Agression, and Violence

Vinegar into Honey: Seven Steps to Understanding and Transforming Anger, Agression, and Violence - At some point when I was reading this I realized that this was a self-help book. I may or may not have shuttered a lot upon that realization. But it is. And that is not a bad thing. The premise foe self-help books is solid. Many books that populate that area of the library, well since they are books it is hard to call them immaterial, but damn it they are. This is not. This is an amazingly relevant book to anyone who regularly breathes and/or thinks. This is important reading. I know many people rarely get angry. This book is still for them. I personally know many people who get angry all the time if not in a permanent state of being pissed off. This book is for them. As stated in the book, even the Dahli Lama admits he gets angry. None of us are immune. It is universal. The real issue is how one deals with their anger. And this book is a guide to recognize how anger can take hold of you, the numerous recesses of self that it can hide in, and how to adapt through the mind/body to find positive outcomes when anger strikes. Leifer presents seven steps one can take to better understand and deal with your anger. He regularly comes back to three questions you should ask yourself either after anger arises or when you notice it arising: "What did I want that I was not getting?What was I getting that I did not want?How did I feel about myself?"They seem very simple, but even as I was reading and reassessing some previous bouts with anger they brought an amazing amount of clarity. He brings his experience with Buddhism and psychotherapy with him in every step and through every example, yet somehow remains amazingly readable, clear, and concise. He never once falls into jargon where you feel you need a postgraduate degree to understand - an amazingly welcome development! He also links anger, aggression, and violence to other symptoms of psychiatry: depression, anxiety, stress, etc. And while he makes clear that they are not always linked, one can often become one due to undressed issues with anger et all. Saying "I am depressed" or "my life is so stressful" have become socially acceptable where "I am angry" draws ire. I really can not recommend this book enough. Its amazingly clear language really make this an enjoyable read and encourages you to take on the difficult project of confronting the roots of your anger and helping to transform them to help make you into a more compassionate person. And really, who would not want that?

Among Others

Among Others - Jo Walton What a fantastic love letter this is to those who grew up loving books far more than the people who populated the tiny ripples of their shallow aged pond. Walton surely shows her knowledge of the subject, but she also warmingly shows that the world and the people in it have quite the capacity to get better as one gets older and those ripples grow and one's pond seems bigger.Walton also deftly shows how well read in SF/fantasy books of the era, which could easily have felt like name dropping, but the way she writes Mori/Mor it comes off far more that this is the way she relates to the world. And it seems Walton does or at least did. She easily weaves words, phrases, and dialogue from these books that seem far more real than the world Mori/Mor lives in. And this does not seem trite or cheating, but makes her seem far more genuine.I also have to presume Walton uses a stick/cane, or did in the past, as she captures the essence of life with a 3rd leg so well. In fact, I found myself highlighting pieces of her text every time she discusses it because it is so spot-on. I will make no hesitation quoting her in the future along these lines because she makes the case so perfectly, without ever seeming to put effort into it - which I am sure is the exact opposite the case, but I still marvel at her exacting prose here.I would be far more impressed with her writing if I found out she never needed to use a stick. As someone who does, and can not get around for more than 4 or 5 steps without one, this is amazingly impressive writing going on.As for the story, it is written in diary entry form. This nearly put me off from reading it, as I find this to be far overused literary device, and far too often not used well. But I am not sure Mori/Mor's story could be told without at least some journal entries, as this is really about her learning how she actually shimmers in the real world the same colors and hues that she finds so enjoyable in her books.The real challenge within the text is filtering out what is real, what is story, and what is simply metaphor. It is a story about magic, but is this magic true or her coping mechanism? And at the end of the day, how much does this matter. Walton quotes Vonnegut, or at least uses a few of his words/phrases and this leads one to wonder just how much Billy Pilgrim is in Mori/Mor and how much Slaughterhouse-Five is in Among Others. But one thing Walton does is leave Vonnegut's corrosive "so it goes" cynicism out of this book. At first I was unsure why, but then realized as much as an obvious literary crush she has on him, this is a book about coming of age in hope and seeing Vonnegut's positive elements (ie. Karass) as points of focus.And when that hit me, this book really came together as far more than the story of a lonely book lover finding her karass and finally feeling as if she fit in the world to being a call to others to seek out that which they find their magic in, to embrace it, to plant roots in it, to see beyond the reality that seems overly harsh and unaccepting and rise like a hope filled phoenix to rewrite how life seems to how you want to live.And for as often as this is a sad book, this message resonates and overtakes it and like magic makes into something new.This is also a book about what makes a family. Perhaps that was evident in Walton using Vonnegut's karass, but outside the hope that resonates as each of her ripples in the water get larger this is about the realization of who you are, where you come from and where you are going can be as tied together, weaved like platted hair, as strongly or loosely as one wishes. Family clearly has a biological/genetic definition, but Walton uses Mori/Mor to show that relations do not have to be familiar and/or familiar to be family. And while it may not exactly be an accurate comparison I could not escape thinking about I Kill Giants as I read this. Both are stories about one dealing with an absent/missing mother, but from very different fondness. And anything that gets me thinking about I Kill Giants is perfectly alright with me. It is quite interesting that they nearly tell the inverse of each other's story, but with much the fulcrum of their story's dependent on a mother and the world they populate to deal with issues each mother's bring.Highly recommended.

Shards of Honor (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)

Shards of Honor (Vorkosigan Saga, #1) - Lois McMaster Bujold This was far better than I expected it to be. As previously mentioned the cover is crapity crap crap and does not leave one with high hopes. Bujold really excels her at world building in very simple brush strokes. I can only assume that the series gets better, as it gets more complex, but this was a very simple, very too the point story filled with action and adventure, but it never felt like i needed to worry about brain cell loss while reading, even though it is not what anyone would call cerebral scifi.As an aside, I noticed this was published in 1986, the same year Star Trek: TNG began. I noticed some parallels and am absolutely sure there was some talk of Bujold's novels in future seasons writers' rooms.I plan on reading the next book, if not rest of the series, but unlike some series, this did not compel me to read the rest before i started anything else, and as it is some 19 or so books long, I am ever thankful for that.

Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber

Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber - It is right there in the title, you know it is coming, Treya's death. You are pretty sure you will be ready for it, but it hits you like a typhoon, and you can not even stand for a long while after you read it. You know if it was a real typhoon, you would have drowned. SO yeah, this is an intense book, a very meaningful, intense book.And before I sing it's praises, I must say I recommend this to anyone with a chronic illness or those caring for someone who has one. If this describes you: MAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS.And if you are at all curious about confronting the fears you might have towards death: READ THIS BOOK.In one of the late chapters of this, they (even though this is credited to just Ken Wilber, it is written by both he and his late wife Treya, and at times it is hard to tell whose voice is speaking) relate to meditation as practicing for death. I can not argue that in the slightest. And this whole book is both a love story between two people who obviously love each other more than the characters do in all the romantic comedies you have ever read/seen combined, but it is also practicing for dying. And this is really something to read. Something you clearly do not see much, if any, of in other books. Imagine 10 days after marring the man of your dreams, starting chemo for the breast cancer they discovered. This is Treya's story. Rather than sunning herself in Hawaii she has her breast removed and begins a rigorous round of chemo. That seems a pretty remarkable story in and of itself, but she uses "cancer as a prompt to 'change those things in your life that need changing.'" And this is where the real story of healing and growth comes from.As you can tell from the title, here healing is not the same as being cured. She never fully expels the cancer from her body, and it finally consumes her, but... she makes it extremely clear that cancer did incredible things for her, helped her grow and become a more fully realized person. A complete person.And for anyone that may say her healing was incomplete, she confronts that very well: "I sometimes feel that those around me will judge my success or failure depending on how long I live, rather than on how I live. Of course I want to live a long time, but if it's short, I don't want to be judged a failure." And she certainly was not a failure, in her five year battle she begins to practice something she calls passionate equanimity: "to be fully passionate about all aspects of life, about one's relationship with spirit, to care to the depths of one's being but with no trace of clinging or holding, that's what the phrase has come to mean to me. It feels full, rounded, complete, and challenging."And while you read about her embracing the joy all around her, even as tumors are causing her to go blind and when she can no longer walk up the stairs or even stand, you know there is something remarkable about this healing. It may not have been perfect for her body, but it sure was for her mental and emotional health. As I said before, this was an incredibly hard book to get though. The passages about the chemo forced me to walk away quite a few times. But by the end of the book, while I was sobbing at the pitch of a flash flood, I was far more able to read and be present with her death, as I took away some lessons about passionate equanimity from her. It is a horribly sad story, but she and Ken embrace it with such joy, even the darkest hours.I would love to be doing this better, and I think I may be just a bit too close to this illness to, so just read it instead.

Open City: A Novel

Open City: A Novel - Teju Cole Not gonna lie, I really wanted to like this more.Julius, the narrator, takes detachment to a whole other level. He makes Paul Auster characters seem like they drown in there attachment to others, even as they starve on in alley ways or petrify inside small apartments they refuse to leave. At first, this was not so distracting, and quite interesting, but to novelize this behavior seems a bit much. For a 40ish page story this would have worked marvelously. At nearly 200 pages, it drags on and makes you feel caught in his aimlessness, his tangential meanderings. I took so long to finish this because it basically made me agoraphobic, as Julius walks continued, the more I wanted to stay rooted, and see him rooted as well. I get that this was his coping tool -- one gets that by page 20 I'd say, but I became far more interested in what it was that he felt he needed coping from. And while he does discuss this, it always seems to be as a expository piece to get him on a journey. The writing itself is absolutely wonderful, and really what kept me going long after I felt bowled over by the meandering plot. Cole can write, there is no question. His words at time even feel like footprints. They are a melody of Julius's walking. But, even this could not save this book from feeling slight and far too detached, in fact it echos the detachment within too well perhaps.I am quite curious what he comes up with next, but I do walk away disappointed by this.

Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing

Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing - Some books fall into your hands at the exact right moment. This sure did.Even a year ago, I would have easily been turned off by a lot of the language within this. There is a lot of God talk, that at one time made me want to drink bleach rather than confront. Now I have gotten to the point that while I am not ecstatic when I see it, I do not have an immediate negative reaction.And truthfully, that only works in my favor here, as this book has been beyond helpful in creating a path to healing, where I take control of what needs to happen and I take the responsibility rather than creating a relationship where I can blame someone/thing else if I do not heal.And this is truly a gift. A gift. A gift. A gift.Myss really shows how much of our world and our lives are dominated by energies. How much we are actually energy. IF this sounds amazingly new agey, she does not really approach it that way, but in a you need to eat good to get energy to do things. And if you do not eat food, you will have no energy. Then applies this though out. It makes sense.She also discusses how when we give up energy or lose it, how we can be adversely effected by that: "If a person is able to sense intuitively that he or she is losing energy because of a stressful situation - and then acts to correct that loss of energy - then the likelihood of that stress developing into a physical crisis is reduced, if not eliminated completely."This is basically a guide book to living a far healthier life. And while I took pages of notes and quotes away which I hope to use in helping me restore my health, the best part of this is that she has 10 questions after each chapter which force you to confront issues that most of us bury as deeply as possible.And while I am done with the book, I am just beginning to answer those questions. And as difficult as most of them are to answer, they feel like shedding old self destructive patterns and habits. They feel like yanking away the lies we tell ourselves, thinking they make each day easier, only to create mass confusion and pandemonium.It is not the easiest thing to read. I found myself reading some passages up to 8 times, and often having to mouth the words, just to ensure my mind was open to the plethora of new ideas. And I have plans to go back and review it in some months time, to ensure I am putting it all into action.I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to create a more healthy space to exist in, or you know anyone sensible and who enjoys life and wants to ensure they live it to the fullest.

MAP OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD

Map Of The Invisible World - Tash Aw I kept waffling back and forth between a 4 and a 5 on this one, as it really did start to come on strong towards the end. But, the lackluster characterization in the beginning simply does not allow a 5.This is a much better book then the Silk Factory though. And Aw really has the chance to become one of the pre-eminent writers going today if he continues to improve in such ways in the future. I eagerly await his next book and highly recommend this one.

Kundalini & the Chakras: Evolution in this Lifetime

Kundalini & the Chakras: Evolution in this Lifetime - This is a rather frustrating book.Frustrating in the fact that Paulson clearly thinks anyone who picks this up will have an advanced degree in both Kundalini and chakras. Only, it did not start off this way. She begins this quite brilliantly actually. She walks you though the process and builds off what she has already established quite well. And knowing that she is a teacher of this, this makes a grand amount of sense.Then somewhere in the 5th or 6th chapter she goes completely off the rails. It is like she forgets she is laying the foundation for someone to recognize and develop and understanding of their chakras, where they are and how they work, and starts talking as if one can go from struggling to understand the location of specific ones to having something akin to the force in an ability to control them.So, yeah.... frustrating. Super effing frustrating...Even more so, as it is more than just slightly apparent that she can converse and write about these things clearly and for an introductory audience. She just does not.My only guess is that this was adapted from a few manuals she teaches from at her meditation/wtfever center, and she did not feel the need to adapt them to initiate level. Alas....That said, I can tell there is quite a bit of value here, and I will return back to this book after some further investigation of this, as it seems like her method to activate one's chakras would be more than a slight boon to work with.I only hope I can get there soon.

Johnny Come Home

Johnny Come Home - Jake Arnott This is a book wholly concerned with release. And naturally, the characters are all at odds with how to exactly achieve that in damn near every avenue of their lives. This is a compelling portrait of six people flailing about trying to make sense of the urgency of the early 70s, which has woken up to a type of nihilism that seemed repressed by the naivety and utopian dreams of the 60s.Every action that takes place within can only be seen through the prism of the suicide that takes place on the second page. Even though all the characters do not have direct dealings with O'Connell, the deceased, their every thought and movement seem to seep out of the storm his death brings, they all have to navigate through the debris field of a life exploded well before its expiration date. Arnott captures O'Connell's life amazingly effectively though only memory and the single act of his taking his own life. It is the other characters, the ones that actually breathe, that while mostly actualized, seem to exist in a stasis of looking for any kind of release that makes up this novel.From prior reviews, I was expecting some graphic sex as the living beings floundered around seeking a release into purpose. Alas, where there is indeed sex throughout the novel, it is far from graphic, unless, I guess, you think gay sex is graphic by nature.Amazingly, Nina, the only fleshed out female character, does indeed seem to conspire to finally fall into herself through sex, only she instantly sublimates her pleasure for a cause, a cause she does not even wholly support.Needless to say, the releases everyone is looking for, and that all find - at least momentarily, are explosive and shatters lives. The happy endings in falling into their release are not to be found here.Arnott chronicles this age far too well for his years, for something he witnessed only through the eyes of a school boy. I was unfamiliar with him before, but he is now on my radar for the future. Though, I would be far more interested in a less tragic novel, but as he makes succinctly clear, this was a tragic time and those who lived there could do nothing less than inherit the tragedy.

Paris Trout

Paris Trout - This is a near perfect example of a precise, exacting, clinical exercise in writing. Dexter uses words like a surgeon would use a scalpel. I read this my 1st year in college and was mote than a little blown away by it and equally in awe of it. Sadly, this second reading does not leave the same impression.Granted, the technical skill remains. In spades. But this time, this overshadowed the story and caused me to enjoy this far less.I picked this up again mainly because I remembered it being a tremendous example of using multiple narrators. I remembered it quite different than it was. The book is set up with chapters that relate to different characters, but the narrator remains constant and stable. I won't lie, I had hoped to learn something from this, but sadly the way I remembered it and the way it is actually is extremely different. Alas...As for the story. It is harsh. Intense. Hard not to look away from. Dexter understands the innate racism of the south extremely well. The kind that normally trails from statements such as: "I'm not racist, but....." And he does not dress it up in the slightest to make it mote presentable. It is ugly. And he allows the spectacle of it to bloom naturally and suffocate everything in sight.His task is not pretty, but he chronicles it well. I found the need to stop reading quite often, fearful that the disturbed reality he presented would envelope mine. The star of this book is clearly dexter's style. Though it is suffocating in its own right, as one might feel shameful in a sterile room full of chrome and glass with nary a fingerprint anywhere to let you know you were not the first person ever here.