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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them. The blog, however, will continue, and if you've got a good first line to share for TwitterLit please do so here.



  
From a random review:

  

« Carrere, Emmanuel: The Adversary | Main | Hall, Parnell: A Clue for the Puzzle Lady »

Straub, Peter: lost boy lost girl

  

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Random House © 2003, 304 pages [amazon]
4.5 stars

Fifteen-year-old Mark Underhill and his friend Jimbo Monaghan are, ostensibly, the kind of kids who are going nowhere--baggy-clothed and skateboard-appendaged, they slouch around their run-down neighborhood and say "yo" more often than their fathers would probably like. But beneath the attitude, the boys are surprisingly thoughtful and nobly loyal to one another, and Mark, at least, is intelligent, capable of using "dyad" in a sentence: 'Look, there's another cop!' Mark said. 'They come in, like, dyads.'" His intellect is a plus, since Mark has a lot to figure out in Peter Straub's tense and exceedingly creepy--don't read it if you're alone in the house creepy--lost boy lost girl.

But beneath the attitude, the boys are surprisingly thoughtful and nobly loyal to one another, and Mark, at least, is intelligent, capable of using "dyad" in a sentence.After his mother's suicide (an instance of overkill, as it were, as the method she adopted was thrice effective), Mark's attempts to understand what happened to her land him in the thick of a family mystery and on the trail of a serial killer or two. His obsession leads Mark in particular to investigate an abandoned property directly behind his own house, a building every bit as creepy as Norman Bates's Victorian manse. The creepy goings-on in the house will have you almost screaming at Mark to get the hell out of there.

Part murder mystery, part ghost story, the book is actually diminished by its spectral nonsense, which renders the story less genuinely scary. The book's ending in particular is too unbelievable to be satisfying. Straub's novel nonetheless is well worth the read. Just remember to have a buddy with you when you crack it open.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.