Friday, August 28, 2015

Alien vs. Debbie

Alien vs. Debbie: An Erotic Adventure (F*ck All Monsters, Book 2)Alien vs. Debbie: An Erotic Adventure by Emma Steele
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not even a nuclear blast can contain Debbie's insatiable lust! After the events of Debbie Does Monsterland, Debbie finds herself adrift in deep space until the crew of The Pastrami bring her aboard. Will Debbie finally find her release on the Pastrami?

When this came up for free, I decided I'd make it my yearly foray into Monsterotica. In this outing, Debbie is normal sized instead of 50 feet tall but still has a the libido of a giantess. Much like Debbie Does Monsterland, Alien vs. Debbie is a bunch of hilarious naughty fun. It is both a parody of Monsterotica and (probably) some of the best Monsterotica ever written.

Ever wonder about a gang bang featuring Alien, Predator, Jabba the Hutt, ET, and many others? Wonder no more! Debbie does the aforementioned foursome and several others.

Three Monsterotic stars. I'll keep my eyes open for the third volume, the Debbie Centipede.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders (National Audubon Society Field Guides)National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders by National Audubon Society
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders is a guide detailing North American Insects and Spiders.

First, the good points. The photographs in this book are superb and the guide is fairly well organized. It's also small enough to fit into a largish pocket.

Now, the not so good points. There weren't nearly enough entries, specifically regarding the spiders. While the organization was good, there were small parts that seemed illogical.

However, the litmus test for a field guide is its usefulness and fortunately, I've taken quite a few photos of insects and spiders. Here come the bug pictures!


Rabid Wolf Spider:

Robber Fly:

Periodical Cicada:

Question Mark:

Red Admiral:

All photos courtesy of Dantastic Photos

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Is Wrestling Fixed?

Is Wrestling Fixed? I Didn't Know It Was Broken: From Photo Shoots and Sensational Stories to the WWE Network, Bill Apter's Incredible Pro Wrestling JourneyIs Wrestling Fixed? I Didn't Know It Was Broken: From Photo Shoots and Sensational Stories to the WWE Network, Bill Apter's Incredible Pro Wrestling Journey by Bill Apter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Is Wrestling Fixed is the autobiography of Bill Apter.

I got this from Netgalley.

When I was a fresh-faced young lad between the ages of 7 and 32, I was a big fan of pro-wrestling. Back in the pre-internet days, when you wanted something more, you bought wrestling magazines. The photographer on most of those magazines was Bill Apter.

Apter covers quite a bit of his life and all of it has to do with wrestling and the wrestling business, from his days wrestling his brother or the neighborhood kids, to taking photographs for wrestling magazines, and various points in between.

Apter tells some hilarious stories, like defending the Championship Office Wrestling belt at work against co-workers, and some not so hilarious, like Randy Savage being mad enough to threaten to kill him.

All in all, it's an above average wrestling book. Apter's writing is engaging and he knows how to tell a story. However, a couple things lessened the experience for me. For one thing, the stories aren't in chronological order so the book winds up feeling like a collection of blog posts. My other main gripe is that it feels like he's barely scratched the surface. 4 decades in the wrestling business should have yielded more material than this.

At the final bell, I'm giving this a 3. What's there is really good but it could have used some organization and more content.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes

The Girl with the Deep Blue EyesThe Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes by Lawrence Block
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When private eye Doak Miller goes undercover to catch a woman attempting to hire a hitman to murder her husband, he doesn't count on falling in love with her. There's just the little matter of getting her husband out of the way...

When you get home from work to find a mysterious package containing the upcoming Lawrence Block book on your doorstep, you drop what you're doing and get readin'.

The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes is a modern take on the classic noir tale of a man falling for a woman and then bumping off her husband, only to be consumed by madness and guilt. Doak Miller is a former cop and a lady's man who finds himself face to face with his fantasy girl. How will he attempt to bump off her husband?

Block's writing is as crisp as ever and there's a lot of sex in this book. It's like Lawrence Block ripped a page from the James M. Cain playbook and thrust it repeatedly into one of his early smut novels. Not only does The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes read like a sexualized modernization of Double Indemnity or The Postman Always Rings Twice, the character of Doak adds some additional wrinkles I won't give away here. As more is revealed of Doak's true nature, you have to wonder if anyone will make it out alive.

The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes is a worth addition to the Hard Case Crime Series and everything I've come to know and love about Lawrence Block's Hard Case novels. Four out of five stars.

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Little Men

The Little MenThe Little Men by Megan Abbott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Penny, a Hollywood makeup artist, moves into a low priced bungalow, she gets more than she bargained for. Will she find out what happened to the former tenant before the same thing happens to her?

I got this from Netgalley.

This short story from Megan Abbott is a tale of madness and suicide. Since it's really short, I'm going to skip over the nuts and bolts of the plot. Suffice to say, the Megster ran wild on me yet again, serving up misdirection and possibilities, before kicking me in the groin with the ending. My appetite for more Megan Abbott has been whetted so I really hope she's got another novel simmering.

In this short tale, Megan Abbott proves that she can pack a lot of noir into a short story. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The World of Poo

The World of Poo  (Discworld, #39.5)The World of Poo by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When young Geoffrey goes to Ankh Morpork to stay with his grandmother, he quickly develops a fascination with poo. Hilarity ensues.

The World of Poo started out as a book Sam Vimes was reading his son in Snuff. Smelling an opportunity, Old Pratch squeezed out this nugget before his final days. When it popped up on Netgalley, I had to pinch it.

The World of Poo is the tale of one young man's poo obsession, leading to him visiting various Ankh Morpork locales and collecting fragrant specimens for his poo museum. As well as being amusing, The World of Poo contains many interesting poo facts, the straight shit on feces, as it were.

In addition to real life poo, Geoffrey also collects specimens from gargoyles, dragons, and various other creatures. I think it would be a lot of fun to read to kids or any adult you know with a fixation on feces.

In conclusion, The World of Poo is not the slightest bit crappy. Four out of five stars.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

The Fold

The FoldThe Fold by Peter Clines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When DARPA scientists create a wormhole device in the California desert, why is New England schoolteacher Mike Erikson tapped to investigate the installation? Because Mike Erikson has an eidetic memory and is one of the smartest people on the planet! Can Mike find out what's really going on at the installation despite the secretive scientists?

I got this from Netgalley.

On paper, this book sounded right up my alley. What's not to like about Sherlock monkeying about with some kind of wormhole device? Still, I have a mountain of unread books lying around the Dan Cave. However, after having a few fellow reviewers gush over this, I had to take a closer look. Fortunately, it was still up on Netgalley and I was happy to take the plunge.

The Albequerque Door, named after a Bugs Bunny episode, folds space to transport people and objects between two gates in an instant. Or does it? Mike feels a sense of wrongness when he arrives and things get wronger by the moment. I had a pretty good idea what was happening but it was still a delightful ride getting there.

The ride started slow, like pretty much every time I have to ride somewhere with my parents these days. However, Mike Erikson was interesting enough to keep me hooked until the really crazy stuff started happening. I rarely say this about science fiction and fantasy books but I dearly hope this is the first book in a series starring Mike. He's that damned fascinating.

Anyway, I loved the way things unFolded and the truth behind the door was very cool. When will scientists learn that squamous horrors lurk in pretty much every undiscovered reality? The ended was pretty damned sweet and while it wrapped things up, things were open-ended enough for a string of sequels.

That's about all I have to say. If you like Sherlock, parallel universes, and things of that nature, you won't want to miss The Fold. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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