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December 12, 2009

Joe Schreiber's No Doors, No Windows

I admit that I haven't read a ghost story in a really long time. This really too bad, because a good creepy psychological thriller/ ghost story is worth it's weight in gold. Joe Schreiber's No Doors, No Windows is one of those thrillers.   As these types of stories usually do, it starts out normal enough. After many years away, Scott Mast has come home to small town New England for his father's funeral. It's a little awkward being home after all these years, trying to rebuild his relationship with his alcoholic brother Owen, and help take care of Owen's young son Henry. Scott's high school aquaintances are still floating around town, and he can't help but drive past the old theater that took his mother's life in a fire 15 years ago.

When Scott finds his father's unfinished novel manuscript, he becomes obsessed with finishing the story about a young couple who live in a strange old house. When Scott finds the actual building, Round House, that inspired his father's tale, he immediately moves in with high hopes. He explores the large home, and finds other artistic ventures by other family members – paintings, theater posters, other manuscripts. All unfinished, they involve horrific happenings in and around Round House, and Scott is hauntingly drawn to each of them. Can he unravel the Mast family curse before the curse unravels him?

Reading like an extra long version of your favorite Twilight Zone episode, or a better scripted and developed version of The Ring or The Grudge, No Doors, No Windows is a classic ghost story/ psychological thriller with twists and turns to spare. Even better, we're spared the blood and gory details. It's only as bloody or gory as you imagine it to be, and let me tell you have I got a imagination.

I absolutely devoured this book in two days. As the second evening came on, I only had 50 pages to go and I'd be finished. It was dark outside and I was getting ready to climb into bed. Turn off most of the lights and read the book in bed, or wait till the sun was up to reach the conclusion? As much as I hate to put down a good book, I was going to make sure I finished this book when the sun was high in the sky.

December 07, 2009

A good Heist

a) I just adore those Ocean's 11 movies. I love a good heist story. cool stuff gets stolen, but no one gets hurt

b) I'm trying to read more non fiction. Just for kicks.

Was at the library the other day, trolling the new releases, and The Art of the Heist leapt off the shelf and into my hands. Its by a dude named Myles Connor, who recently got out of prison. for stealing stuff. like Rembrant paintings.

no kidding.

So in those Ocean's 11 movies, and stories like that, stuff gets stolen, no one gets hurt, hardly anyone gets caught, and no one goes to jail, at least not much.

Myles went to jail. Like, a lot. An avid art and weapons collector, he would do anything to get certain peices for his collection, including stealing them. and there are some bank robberies too. It sounds kind of glamourous, until you realize that Connor and his buddies are packing heat, and although Myles doesn't want to hurt anyone, his cohorts aren't so chivalrous. Great parts about this book involve Connor disguising himself as an art professor to worm his way into museum's back rooms, and his detailed plans for heists. Not so great parts include how he killed time in jail, his horrible character judgement of other people, and the fact that this man is a criminal trying to glamorize what he's done.

so is he a guy who got a bad rap for loving art and weapons too much who deserves a book and a book tour? or is he a spoiled loser who never learned to respect the property of others? not sure.

I haven't read much true crime, or books of this type, so I'm not sure how to digest what I've read. It was a morbidly fascinating read, and Myles Connor is some kind of genius and magnificent actor to get away with the things he's gotten away with. but should it be glamorized? if you can't tell, I'm torn on what to think.

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