Monday, December 10, 2012

Sons of the Pope

My good friend Dan O'Connor's novel Sons of the Pope is out this week (Kindle version available now, physical version ships 12/12).

I just finished the book today and it's really terrific, I am not just saying that because I've know Dan of more than 35 years, it's the truth. Brief review below:

"In Brooklyn, before the murders, before the miracle, before the 1940s were gone forever, there was a tree. If only they let that tree alone. If that sycamore tree had been allowed to stand, then maybe Biaggio Falcone never would have been the head of the Campigotto crime family. Perhaps little Joey Salerno would not have been born like that. Joey's father, Sal-just home from World War II-probably would never have gotten involved with the New York underworld, and his wife Mary wouldn't have to spend her entire life caring for an eternal child. There may have been no reason, four decades later, for that desperate pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. No need for Pearl Gholston to venture across those tracks, or for anyone to call upon the one known only as The Diabolist. Experience the richness of a story that spans half a century. Love and hatred. Devotion and betrayal. Murder and miracles. If only they let that tree alone."

While some may see the obvious market for this book is the Sopranos  Godfather, and other mob stories type audience. True enough, if that genre appeals to you, this book is a must read but there is more depth to this novel (and some of those other titles/shows/movies). The imagery is vivid and describes a time and place I have familiarity with and it does so with amazing clarity. The characters are well developed and often surprise the reader both with the level of emotional involvement you have with them and by the things they do.

Most interesting is the role of the popular music of the time to weave the story lines, personalities and time frame. O'Connor has proven that story telling in the modern age of hyped up trilogies and over thought, over produced, over sold run of the mill can still come from the heart. I'm certain you will find something special about this book and I for one, can't wait until his next book.

If you click on the BUY FROM AMAZON link on the appropriate graphic, at least 4% of your purchase will be donated to the ER-D Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. (Note: Kindle edition cost $5.99)

Physical Edition                     Kindle Edition

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton

As a student I find, if I attempt to access them, my resources are almost infinite! I have a school library that has too many books to count in. Yet I only read something if it truly interests me.

I have had no prior philosophical education (apart from indenting the first few pages of the works of Plato, and failing on an epic proportion!) So I decided to pick up this introduction and have a very brief flirtation with philosophy. Let me state this book is very accessible but one must be willing to devote time and mental energy or else be willing to give up in the tedious sections. 

It represents the best philosophies and their theories; it is very useful for reference as it is in chronological order from Socrates to Singer. Each philosopher has more or less a chapter with the exception of Kant and a few others claiming more. The ending chapter is devoted to Peter Singer, as a vegetarian I found this particularly interesting as it tells us of animal rights. 

Selling complex ideas to the learned public is a hard job, and despite not doing it with the sexiness of Brain Cox it manages to fit it all in there.

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