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Die Schattenhand
Agatha Christie
Blauer Mars (Mars, #3)
Kim Stanley Robinson

Das Böse unter der Sonne

Das Böse unter der Sonne - Ursula Gail, Agatha Christie In England gibt es ein kleines Eiland in dem, ein Hotel. Viele berühmteste Personen kommen dort hin, zu erholen. Davon sind Hersule Poirot und Arlena Marshall, die reiche Schauspielerin. Die letztere wurde fast von allen Männern maniakalisch angehimmelt weil sie super hübsch war. Das Wetter und die Sonne da sind schön, alle genießen sie. Und jedoch hat Poirot die Vorahnung dass das Böse vorhanden da ist. Es versteckt sich immer unten menschlicher Natur, lustigen Zeitvertrieb und Schönheit. Es wartet nur eine günstige Gelegenheit ab…

Poirot hatte Recht. Irgendjemand würgte Arlena Marshall zum Tod am Strand. Die örtlichen Polizeibeamten helfen Poirot bei der Untersuchung der Sache. Der erste Verdacht fällt über ihren Mann, Kenneth Marshall. Er hatte sie mit einem anderen Mann reden sehen. Ausgehend davon dachte die Polizei erst einmal dass er sie aus Eifersucht und der Ehre getötet hatte weil er auch sehr gottesfürchtig ist, und sie benahm sich völlig gemein. Aber da kommt der Poirot und bewies, es ist diesmal nicht der Fall. Nicht Kenneth ist der Täter. Vorläufig weiß er nicht, wer er ist.

Inzwischen fand die Polizei in der Höhle neben dem Verbrechensort, ein Schachtel mit kleinen Büchsen, gefüllt mit dem Heroin darin. Dies bracht die Polizei auf einen Gedanken dass der Mord von Arlena Marshall etwas mit dem Rauschgiftschmuggel zu tun hat. Dass sie ermordet wurde weil sie zufällig erfuhr wo die Drogen waren. Aber diese Theorie war von Poirot abgelehnt weil fast alle Gäste und Angestellten vom Hotel von den aristokratischen Familien waren. Auch der Kenneths Tochter aus seiner ersten Frau, Linda, verdächtigt ihn. Aber sie verbirgt es bei sich.

Wer denn eigentlich ist der Mörder? Die Frage war für Poirot deshalb schwieriger zu beantworten da er zuerst dachte dass der Mörder ganz allein wirkte. Deswegen kannten Poirot und die Polizei ihm nicht verfolgen. Aber als er das Beweismaterial fand dass der Mörder mitsamt einem Mittäter arbeitet hatte, kam alles in Ordnung. Er erfuhr, ein Patrick Redfern tat so, als ob er mit dem Opfer plaudern wollte, lud es zum Strand ein und dort ermordete er Arlena Marshall. Bei dem Mord hilft ihm seine Frau, Christine. All diese Fakten wiesen Poirot hin, dass möglich diese Leute woanders ein Verbrechen oder ein Mord begingen. Und, ja, sie brachten mit derselben Methode die arme Alice Corrigan um.


Es war schön zu lesen!

Dreizehn bei Tisch

Dreizehn bei Tisch - Otto A. van Bebber, Agatha Christie Mir gefiel dies Buch sehr wohl! Insbesondere meine ich die Methode mit der die Verfasserin die Krimiereignisse nach und nach beschrieb. Die Sache fängt mit einer sehr wunderschönen Schauspielerin, namens Jane Wilkinson oder Lady Edgware an. Sie ist hübsch, und leider auch geldsüchtig. Eines Tages hatte sie einen reichlichen Herzog kennengelernt. Aber jetzt erscheint ein ihr ungeahntes Problem. Er ist sehr katholisch und sie war schon aber verheiratet mit einem Lord Edgware. Und wir wissen dass die Katholiken mit den geschiedenen Leuten nie verheiraten. Aber ob die Person die Witwe oder der Witwer gewesen wäre?

Also, was tun? Jane Wilkinson entschied sich ihren Mann zu ermorden, um hierauf mit dem Herzog zu heiraten imstande zu sein. Sie geht zum Haus ihres Mannes, den sie infolge seiner seelischen Besonderheit überhaupt hasste, tötet ihn, und arrangiert alles so, dass niemand etwas Geringstes ahnen könnte. Aber das gilt nicht für Hercule Poirot. Aber am Anfang an müsse er ihr gegenüber das Beweismaterial sammeln. Im Lauf des Buches werden Sie einsehen dass es die sehr schwierige Aufgabe für ihn geworden war.

Im allgemeinen brachte sie drei Personen um. Zwei andere sind Carlotta Adams und Mr. Ross. Diese vormochten ihre Verbrechen aufzudecken. Carlotta tötete sie weil die der Hauptteil ihres Spiels war und nach dem Carlotta, ohne das zu wissen, unnütz und gefährlich würde. Und da Ross zufällig eine ihrer unvorsichtigen Bemerkung bezüglich Paris, welche ihr entlarven könnte, hörte, so entschied sie sich auch ihn zu töten. Mit Sorgfältigkeit und Eifer analysiert die Dinge Hercule Poirot und seine grauen Zellen brachten ihn zur richtigen Spur.

Durchaus empfehlenswert! 5 von 5!

Riddley Walker

Riddley Walker - Russell Hoban The language style (not writing but language) is very peculiar and unusual. This was done purposefully by the writer to show the future, long after the nuclear wars when there're left no social and cultural prerequisites to speak grammatically correct. So it may cause some confusion while reading but if your English is good enough you'll do fine.

Children of Dune

Children of Dune - Frank Herbert Not that captivating like the first Dune but not that bad.

Loop

Loop - Koji Suzuki, Glynne Walley Wherever I had been I was hearing -Stephen King, Stephen King! Try Koji Suzuki. you'll not regret it. His Ring trilogy is really "bad to the bone"-like horrors and I think it's far better off than some of the King's books. The reason I give 4 now is that it was a tad slow read. Mark, Not that you are going to sleep well at night. The curse of a dying girl in a well awaits you there ...

Three Men in a Boat

Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome Nice comedy.

Собор Парижской Богоматери

Собор Парижской Богоматери - Victor Hugo Очень душераздирающая книга. Хотя у меня было мало времени, но я старался каждый день по 70-80 страниц прочитать. Что можно сказать, не буду же я всю историю Квазимодо, Эсмиральды, Архидьякона здесь приводить. Применительно к этому готическому роману это не серьезно! К тому же наверняка многие уже прочитали его или смотрели фильм.

Очень изощренная борьба добра со злом. Причем гениальность Виктора Гюго обнаруживается там, как он описывает зло, в лице архидьякона Клода. Дьявол принимает облик священника, с одной стороны он проповедует доброту, он растит уродливого Квазимодо, дает ему кров и защиту. Но с другой стороны, он при виде Эсмиральды вожделеет. И это кончается плачевно для всех... Такая тонкая и искусная переплетения доброты и зла указывает на мастерство писателя.

Новый романс

Новый романс - Henri Lopes Если кто интересуется жизнью, бытом, социальными нравами и краткой новейшей историей Африки, может прочесть эту книгу. Особенно примечательно демонстрация положения женщин африки. Их явная неравенства и трудовая эксплутация. Автор пытается со всех сторон привить чувство социальной справедливости.

История начинаеться с молодого футболиста по кличке Румба, он чемпион Африки по футболу. Все его любят но у него есть мягко говоря слабости. Он бьет свою жену, изменяет ей на каждом шагу. Вали его жена все это терпит.
Румба устраивается на работу в Белгийском посольстве. Помогли связи с очень старым президентом который ему из-за его футбольных заслуг очень симпатизировал. Но все равно. Он бьет жену, не дает ей учиться и не хочет чтоб она вылечилась от бесплодия. Врачи обещали ей это. Но страсть к праздному времяпрепровождению сделали свое дело.

Он спутываеться с какой то девкой, отец которой знал посла. С этого начались эго большие проблемы и возможность для Вали избавиться от него. Вали хочет учиться, иметь детей и муж который, вместо нее, уделяет свое время проституткам ей не нужен. Подруги Вали согласны с ней. Она его бросает и посвещает себя освобождению африканских женщин от гнета и вообще борьбе против расизма.

В книге очень много левых тенденций. Не обращайте на это внимание. Возможно из-за этого книга имеет хороший и красивый твердый переплет с офсетнами белыми страницами сохранившийся с 1985-го года.

Dreamsnake

Dreamsnake - Vonda N. McIntyre 4 of 5! It's science-fiction, all right. But the technological drive is less expressive and challenging. if after reading a sci-fi book a boy/girl doesn't become inclined into physics, chemistry or biology (of course, one can list humanitarian sciences too) the book is more fiction than SCIENCE fiction. that's why 4 stars. That's my speculation, anyway.

On Writing

On Writing - Stephen King The King of horrors shares his views about writing. Some of what he says is cliché though. But describing why a good writer must be a voracious reader I really loved. He says a good writer can be cut out of a competent one by hard working, but you can never make a GREAT writer from a good one by any means. A great writer is born with it. It’s inherited thing. One can’t make changes in your genes.

How much bucks he earned from selling Carrie viz., $400.000 shouldn’t have been there. It looks like showing off. Well, he can always say it’s for stimulating newbie writers to work. Especially when someone like Dean Kuntz whom he described as a good imitator, would say something like: “you know, there’s always a bigger fish (not meaning himself), so don’t brag off”.

Here is the list of books “that worked for Steve”, but by NO means are essential for becoming a good writer, I don’t consider him a great one, you know. You might pick up some of them to read in the future. I will.


Abrahams, Peter: A Perfect Crime
Abrahams, Peter: Lights Out
Abrahams, Peter: Pressure Drop
Abrahams, Peter: Revolution #9
Agee, James: A Death in the Family
Bakis, Kirsten: Lives of the Monster Dogs
Barker, Pat: Regeneration
Barker, Pat: The Eye in the Door
Barker, Pat: The Ghost Road
Bausch, Richard: In the Night Season
Blauner, Peter: The Intruder
Bowles, Paul: The Sheltering Sky
Boyle, T. Coraghessan: The Tortilla Curtain
Bryson, Bill: A Walk in the Woods
Buckley, Christopher: Thank You for Smoking
Carver, Raymond: Where I’m Calling From
Chabon, Michael: Werewolves in Their Youth
Chorlton, Windsor: Latitude Zero
Connelly, Michael: The Poet
Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness
Constantine, K. C.: Family Values
DeLillo, Don: Underworld
DeMille, Nelson: Cathedral
DeMille, Nelson: The Gold Coast
Dickens, Charles: Oliver Twist
Dobyns, Stephen: Common Carnage
Dobyns, Stephen: The Church of Dead Girls
Doyle, Roddy: The Woman Who Walked into Doors
Elkin, Stanley: The Dick Gibson Show
Faulkner, William: As I Lay Dying
Garland, Alex: The Beach
George, Elizabeth: Deception on His Mind
Gerritsen, Tess: Gravity
Golding, William: Lord of the Flies
Gray, Muriel: Furnace
Greene, Graham: A Gun for Sale (aka This Gun for Hire)
Greene, Graham: Our Man in Havana
Halberstam, David: The Fifties
Hamill, Pete: Why Sinatra Matters
Harris, Thomas: Hannibal
Haruf, Kent: Plainsong
Hoeg, Peter: Smilla’s Sense of Snow
Hunter, Stephen: Dirty White Boys
Ignatius, David: A Firing Offense
Irving, John: A Widow for One Year
Joyce, Graham: The Tooth Fairy
Judd, Alan: The Devil’s Own Work
Kahn, Roger: Good Enough to Dream
Karr, Mary: The Liars’ Club
Ketchum, Jack: Right to Life
King, Tabitha: Survivor
King, Tabitha: The Sky in the Water (unpublished)
Kingsolver, Barbara: The Poisonwood Bible
Krakauer, Jon: Into Thin Air
Lee, Harper: To Kill a Mockingbird
Lefkowitz, Bernard: Our Guys
Little, Bentley: The Ignored
Maclean, Norman: A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
Maugham, W. Somerset: The Moon and Sixpence
McCarthy, Cormac: Cities of the Plain
McCarthy, Cormac: The Crossing
McCourt, Frank: Angela’s Ashes
McDermott, Alice: Charming Billy
McDevitt, Jack: Ancient Shores
McEwan, Ian: Enduring Love
McEwan, Ian: The Cement Garden
McMurtry, Larry: Dead Man’s Walk
McMurtry, Larry, and Diana Ossana: Zeke and Ned
Miller, Walter M.: A Canticle for Leibowitz
Oates, Joyce Carol: Zombie
O’Brien, Tim: In the Lake of the Woods
O’Nan, Stewart: The Speed Queen
Ondaatje, Michael: The English Patient
Patterson, Richard North: No Safe Place
Price, Richard: Freedomland
Proulx, Annie: Close Range: Wyoming Stories
Proulx, Annie: The Shipping News
Quindlen, Anna: One True Thing
Rendell, Ruth: A Sight for Sore Eyes
Robinson, Frank M.: Waiting
Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban
Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Russo, Richard: Mohawk
Schwartz, John Burnham: Reservation Road
Seth, Vikram: A Suitable Boy
Shaw, Irwin: The Young Lions
Slotkin, Richard: The Crater
Smith, Dinitia: The Illusionist
Spencer, Scott: Men in Black
Stegner, Wallace: Joe Hill
Tartt, Donna: The Secret History
Tyler, Anne: A Patchwork Planet
Vonnegut, Kurt: Hocus Pocus
Waugh, Evelyn: Brideshead Revisited
Westlake, Donald E.: The Ax

The Female Man (SF Masterworks)

The Female Man (SF Masterworks) - Joanna Russ Now is not the 16th or 17th century, but the 21st. Feminism has deep scientific, political, sociological, economical and psychological roots. It could very hardly have happened in the beginning of the medieval times or in the Renaissance period. In those feudal times people worked minimum 12 hours a day to earn a living. Books had not been cheap, but they became so, after Gutenberg’s discovery of type-printed books.

Only 19th, 20th, and now 21st century’s scientific discoveries brought a lot of aggregate and surplus social products. Science mechanized heavy labour which men alone usually were proud of doing before. Now machines and robots do it. The only thing that needed is an ape’s intellect to push a button. Yes, biologically and statistically men are physically stronger, but science neutralizes it (gradually).

In short, in very short that leaves alone only the psychological differences of sexes. For the reasons that I will not go into details now the army prefers mostly men and young boys over girls and women. I’m sure in the future this element too will be scientifically adjusted. To tell the truth I like the term gender equality, not feminism. Feminism, I heard, have some radical wings whereas “gender equality” sounds peaceful and smooth to me.

To Your Scattered Bodies Go

To Your Scattered Bodies Go - Philip José Farmer 1972 Hugo Winner!

Contact

Contact - Carl Sagan This book will be mine! I said. when I first spotted it. Fantastic read. The agency called SETI, Search for Extraterrestrial intelligence, after many years of active looking into the space at last found aliens on the Star, Vega. The scientists checked thousand times. They made no mistake. They ARE extraterrestrials.

The way the aliens presented themselves shocked many people. They showed us the 1938 German Olympics Opening ceremony by Adolf Hitler. Some even claimed that Hitler is alive! he’s living in the distant star Vega. And He’s going to return to Earth and make things right with the help of aliens’ military technology…. But the scientist explained that it’s just the 1938 first TV broadcast from Germany that reached the Vega and Veganians after 25 years of running from Earth with the speed of light.

The Veganians just caught the TV signal, analyzed it and thought there’s an intelligent life in Earth so they broadcast it back to Earth to let us know that they exist in Vega and they are intelligent too. They didn’t know of course what a bad guy Hitler was.

With the broadcast came a message, to be exact a code, how to build a space machine so that we could visit their world. The scientists from the USA, USSR, Japan, Europe and India started to build that machine. At least, of sheer curiosity, just to see what happens. The 5 scientist from every participant country were in the machine when the time has finally come to activate it.

The moment it activated these five scientists travelled through space and time. Aliens showed them almost the religious miracles. They saw their long dead relatives. They knew that in universe exist a lot of intelligent civilizations. They are making and building galaxies. They use black holes like we use screwdrivers. They learnt that there was a super intelligent civilization that lived even before Big Bang.

Stand on Zanzibar

Stand on Zanzibar - John Brunner Strong story. Mostly political nuances are analyzed here. I liked a thing about how slavery still exists in the world of the future. A slave had chains, but today a modern person in no way can consider himself free. Instead of chains there’re other people. Rivals, competitors, who press you, who want the same thing you want, a decent job. Al your life and your power are directed towards finding a place under the Sun. Well, Homo homini lupus est -said a Roman thinker.

Also the book stresses some psychological sides of humans. It reminds us that under every face, however beautiful and cute it can be, there is a skull, an ugly thing, a Devil who is egomaniac, thinks only of himself when endangered. How one can feel him? It’s very easy, just don’t eat and drink six hours. Your every cell in your body will face his power over yourself.

A good book!

The Ophiuchi Hotline (Sf Collector's)

The Ophiuchi Hotline (Sf Collector's) - John Varley I personally disliked this book. Everything counts. Style, lack of scientific imaginations, “extravagant” sexual lives of characters etc. So I will not write about it much. What should I say? How Lilo, a main heroin had intercourses with nearly everyone and every creature? Ridiculous.

There lives a higher intellectual race. They say they evolved gradually, from the step where they were primitives in thinking to the higher level when they use no tool like humans, but they are telekinetic race. They say every race will go through those phases eventually.

AND at the same time, they prohibit humans to evolve. They don’t consider us thinking beings.

“There are levels of intelligence in the universe. On top are Jovians and Invaders. One step below are the dolphins and whales. Humans, bees, beavers, ants and corals are not considered intelligent.”

We fight them but they are very strong. At long last we found a compromise, a way out.

Startide Rising

Startide Rising - David Brin For aught I know books should be relaxing and therapeutic in case you are under stress (exclude those of Adolf Hitler and Marquise de Sade). This book was boring. With turtle speed I forced myself to finish it. What can be more boring than talking dolphins? Some of them hate humans. Others love us. The third group is obeying us. We humans are considered to be their patrons, the race that uplifted the dolphins. There are also the Progenitors that are our patrons. These lived many billion years and eons back.

A ship Streaker found in space a derelict fleet. They suppose they belonged to the Progenitors. They took a corpse of a Progenitor from there. But the ship needs resources and metal so it lands on a planet Kithrup. The planet abounds with metal and minerals. Army fleets were chasing them secretly. They were lucky. The fleets began to fight each other to capture Streaker and what it learnt from the corpse about the Progenitors.

Streaker consisted of hundreds of clever dolphins, six humans and a chimpanzee also uplifted to be a sentient. Among the dolphins was a traitor, vice-captain Takkata Jim, a dolphin. He organizes a plot against Streaker’s captain, Creideiki. Takkata Jim wanted to give the corpse to the winning fleet above the planet to save his life. Creideiki with the help of some humans overpowered him. As to the fleet, they performed a brilliantly made evasive maneuver to escape.

Well, as I said boring and depressing. But generally it's a good SF with lots scientific stuff. So 4 of 5 only for the sake of the genre.