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[Ben]:Recent Reads Discuss This [3 comments so far] View Comments
In the past two months, I've read (in no particular order) Prelude to the Foundation, Zodiac, Scope of Justice, Confirmed Kill, In the Presence of Mine Enemies and Havana.

Let's see if I can't give each of these a brief review. This time I'll go in the order I read 'em:

In the Presence of Mine Enemies
This is an alternate history that follows the lives of some crypto-Jews in Berlin during modern times after the Nazis won WWII. This book was something like 300 pages of building up to a few pages of rather weak ending. It wasn't that it was a bad book, it just wasn't very interesting.

Herein, Earl goes to Havana to hunt Castro before he becomes a major political leader. Not a bad book, but I enjoyed the previous Earl Swagger books better. It didn't help knowing how things were going to turn out.

Scope of Justice
A fun little read. A couple of Army snipers are tasked with killing someone near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan and things all go to hell.

Confirmed Kill
The same couple of Army snipers are tasked with killing someone in a small section of Indonesia called Aceh. Predictably, things all go to hell.

Prelude to the Foundation
Took a bit to get my bearings, but it turned out to be a great read. A mathematician tries to escape from the overbearing empire as he attempts to formulate a practical method for using psychohistory - the ability to predict future events based on a given set of parameters. I figured out one of the big secrets right away and suspected another of the big secrets after a bit. The last big reveal at the very end I didn't really see coming, but I mean ... come on! Seriously? A girl robot?

A different sort of environmental activist fights serious polluters in Boston. Based on the description, you'd think it would be your typical load of horsehockey, but I love this book. As with most of Stephenson's stuff, it is absolutely top-notch. It pokes fun at the stupidity of much of the environmental movement and points out the seriousness of some of the issues. The book was written in 1988 so there are some things that no longer fit (for instance, in 1992 Spectacle Island was covered over and turned into a sort of park ... something that the protagonist - Sangamon Taylor - expected. Anyway, an excellent book.
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