The Ax ( Donald E Westlake)

Wanted: Middle management for the oversight of an assembly line in an industrial paper factory. College degree and experience a must. Homicidal maniacs welcome to apply. Burke Devore is a typical middle-aged guy with a steady job, a wife and two kids. When he gets laid off he spends 2 years looking for new employment and realizes that there are too many people with more education and experience looking for similar work. Donald Westlake wrote this in 1997, but his publishers missed an opportunity during the last economic bust to reissue this book with great fanfare because it’s even more poignant now. There is not a single dull moment in the entire novel and to top it all off, the ending is even more brilliant.
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Gateway (Frederik Pohl)

gatewaynovelThis first novel in the Heechee Saga won no less than 4 awards, and its easy to see why so many judges were impressed. Despite the fact that most of Freud’s methods and theories are no longer used by competent psychologists, the use of his theories in this book does not detract from its quality. Generally, it just feels quaint. Pohl’s ability to manipulate large amounts of plot arc at a surgical level is incredible and he creates vivid, realistic seeming worlds with real, living characters – none of the Isaac Asimov cardboard men here. [Read more…]

The Water Babies (Charles Kingsley)

charles kingsleyGive this book a go if you are interested in 19th century satire. It does read similar to `Gulliver’s Travels’ because of this social commentary and the fantastical world created. If you have always been curious about this story and what it has to offer, then I would definitely recommend dipping in and out to fully appreciate what Kingsley is trying to say. The second half does meander too much though and my interest did wander off. [Read more…]

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