Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

REVIEWS ... DOC says ...


The Lost Sister ... When we last left J. McNee (“Steed” a nickname from the old Avengers Show), the bones in one of his hands were nothing more than Rice Krispies, he’d killed a man in self-defense and had come close to killing another and a good friend was left paralyzed for being a good friend. This go he’s reluctantly back on the trail of a missing girl with links to the Scotland underworld badass, David Burns, an evil man for which McNee has nothing but a searing hatred (and with good reason). Russell McLean’s character development of his McNee is what struck me first in this wonderfully told tale of obsession, emotional pain and the cost of wanting to believe in the best of people. McNee is a more fatigued man this round; he’s cursing more, he’s having to restrain himself more and he’s showing the anxiety he’s experiencing at the worst (most dangerous) times. The memory of his lost love continues to haunt him (the accident that killed her he continues to blame himself for) and he’s struggling to do the right thing and never assume the worst in people (although he knows he knows better).

No spoilers here, amici, but this is a very highly recommended read, especially for those respectful of good crisp writing, character development and an ability to tell a tale with spot on dialogue and writing skill.

The Laird of New Jersey was more than pleased with The Lost Sister.

Amy Bloom ... her latest, Where The God Of Love Hangs Out, was recommended to me by someone I trust in all things literary (Svetlana Pironko). I was blown away by the writing in this masterpiece of stories about relationships and the things that sometimes happen between people, their families and friends. A tale of two couples was nothing short of mesmerizing as finally a fat guy (an unhealthy fat guy) gets the woman. But when the woman has to deal with his passing and the loneliness that ensues, it is equally as intriguing as the affair that started it all. Another tale puts stepmother and stepson in the same bed almost immediately after the father/husband passes and how much that one night (that one mistake) costs each of them over time. There’s also the tale of a daughter who has suffered the indignities her father heaped upon her mother, herself and her brother and how she deals with the loss of his wife and later his diminishing mental acuity. There’s a lot of leaning on alcohol and lovers as foils in these stories and they’re all masterfully handled. Another highly recommended read.

Temple Grandin ... the HBO movie starring Claire Danes is very much worth the time to watch. Had someone told me this story, I would never have believed it. An autistic child, who through perseverance and the non-stop efforts of her parents and some key teachers, becomes a legend.

You won’t believe it from here anyway, so either do the research with the links provided or see the HBO movie. Claire Danes is wonderful as Temple Grandin. Temple Grandin is an amazing person and a national gift.

Bill Maher ... TK isn’t a big fan of Maher, but every once in a while we think his gut feelings seep through the bullshit (and he forgets he's doing comedy to a collection of blind faithers who will laugh at anything anti-conservative) and he lets go of a line we particularly enjoy ... his season debut featured this one: “Both parties are the same” ... and then went on to sarcastically (to those on the Democratic left) discuss (albeit briefly) Ralph Nader (“I know he’s a monster and he cost Gore the election, blah, blah, blah) but the point was, maybe it’s high time we reject both major parties and give somebody else a chance. Like TK always says to those on the Democratic left (which we classify as the fugazy left), regarding Nader v. Gore-Bush ... yeah, Bush went to war ... but with way too much Democratic support (including our current Secretary of State--who didn’t bother to read the intelligence report) to believe for a second Iraq and Afghanistan were Ralph Nader’s fault (who, by the way, was against both wars).

Notorious B.I.G. ... once again, TK watched Notorious (the movie) and enjoyed it. So much so, in fact, it’s the ugly one’s new name around Casa Stella ... no, not Notorious ... just BIG ... or maybe HUGE.

Oy-vey ... listen to my rhymes, yo.

Okay, so I don’t understand what he’s saying either ... but he looks good!

Speaking of looking good ... for the guys (some more) and for the ladies, Jon Stewart?

Then there’s this version ...

Next week the New Jersey States Powerlifting Championships ... can the ugly one defend his fat, old man crown? Well, let’s face it, only if no other fat old men show up ...

Where’s the shaving cream for my back when I need it?


Before DOC has his say, Publishers Weekly on Johnny Porno ...

"Set in New York City in 1973, Stella's vibrant seventh crime novel catches the cadence and daily grind of organized crime grunts … Stella tosses an eclectic cast of characters into the mix … admirers of Elmore Leonard and George V. Higgins will be happy." —Publishers Weekly

And the DOC says ...

Yo, Huge,

I think you stepped over the line on this one.
There are things we knuckleheads put in your realm of expertise:

- Literature
- Opera
- Drums
- Power Lifting
- Street finance

On the other hand, there are subjects we would prefer you shy away from:

- Football picks
- Diet tips
- Fashion critiques
- Rap music reviews

Let's face it bro, the only people in the universe who are whiter than you are me, Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Winter and six million Swedes.

Back away, Buddy-Boy.