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I will be on vacation from August 8-14th. Blog updates will resume on August 15th.

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Reviews:
Air Disaster Volume 1 by by Macarthur Job and Matthew Tesch
Astonishing Splashes of Colour by Clare Morrall
A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar
Big Work Machines by Patricia Relf
The Blue Day Book by Bradley Trevor Greive
Dame Edna Everage by John Lahr
A Day in the Jungle by Pat Patterson
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
Divided by a Common Language by Christopher Davies
Follow the Zookeeper by Patricia Relf
The Golden Fury by Marian Castle
Hide-and-Seek Duck by Cyndy Szekeres
Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
How Things Grow by Nancy Buss
I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven
I Spy Mystery by Jean Marzollo
Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime by Barbara Park
The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham
Marine Aquariums by Warren E. Burgess
Melanie Mouse's Moving Day by Cyndy Szekeres
Morris and Boris at the Circus by B. Wiseman
My Very First Book of Shapes by Eric Carle
One Fine Day by James Marshall
A Parrot in the Pepper Tree by Chris Stewart
So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane
Storage by Jennifer Lisle
Tiger with Wings by Barbara Esbensen
Trains by Byron Barton
Uncle Elephant by Arnold Lobel

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The Dead Zone: 11/14/06

The Dead Zone

I enjoyed reading The Dead Zone, enough so to stay up to finish it. It's quite a page turner and it is an interesting comparison between the political atmosphere of the 1970s to that of today. As with then we have a war (that isn't "officially" a war), corruption in politics and a president of questionable merit (I'm being generous).

The book also shows a young author still playing with different methods of story telling. The Dead Zone has about five different voices as the story John Smith, everyman, psychic and martyr is unfolds. Some of the techniques used work better than others with the strongest pieces being the first two thirds of the book and the most experimental pieces being in the last third.

Here is my BookCrossing review:

I can see why this book was turned into a television series. The story lends itself to that format with its episodic nature and strong visual descriptions. I have the same problems with the book now as I did with the miniseries that launched the show: the pacing between the sections of the book is rather jarring as it jumps from book to book. The first third of the story builds slowly, almost too slowly as Johnny discovers his gift and then suffers his accident. The second part where Johnny wakes up and solves the first crime is paced just right; it reads like a nice quick mystery-thriller and has a compact ending. Then the book speeds through a third section that is really two more stories: Johnny sees the future and saves some lives and Johnny sees the future (or thinks he does) and decides to end a life before that person can become the next Hitler. I really don't like the last piece in either the book or the miniseries because it's too much of a change in personality for Johnny. He rapidly transforms from a hands off, let the word do its thing, to a one man super hero / martyr without even blinking.

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