Tag Archive | "book review"

Brief Review: The Mirage

What interests me secondmost to the overall conceit of the book, which is too large and complex to discuss in a brief review, are the artifacts mentioned in Saddam’s war room. As is often the occasion, the smallest items in a novel bear the biggest significance. Small items must have significance to warrant mentioning; otherwise, […]

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Brief Review: Freedom

TIME Magazine really wanted Jonathan Franzen to be the Next Great American Author. I wanted to buy into it, too, before I had read any of his books. As you can imagine, that set me up for disappointment. Franzen is a vibrant, skilled author and, as he will admit, not quite on par with the […]

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Brief Review: The Alchemist

This was definitely my favorite book in high school, and it’s probably still in the top ten today.  The novel discussed the language of the world and how it interacted with a Santiago’s search for treasure in the Pyramids of Giza. If you haven’t read the book, you have still likely heard one of its […]

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Brief Review: The Giver

The Giver frustrates me because it has high school themes at a middle school reading level. In high school, the rebels start to show their mettle. The things you talked about doing in middle school you do or do not do in high school.  Everything feels as confusing and new as it did to Jonas. […]

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Brief Review: The Things They Carried

So much of my literate history involved the discovery of truth and falsehood. The plot reveal of who was lying and who wasn’t made the story what it was. Characters developed to the extent of how often they told the truth and what that truth looked like. Then along comes The Things They Carried in […]

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Brief Review: Tender Is The Night

When you read the Great Gatsby chronologically backward, you get Tender Is The Night. Dick Diver started off successful; Gatsby started as nothing; they went their respective ways. One might assume that means these are the same book; one would be wrong. The story focuses on the life and times of the Divers, Dick and […]

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Brief Review: The Harry Potter Series

There has to be some other explanation for the Harry Potter success besides “It was about witches and wizards”. You know how those guys who played Dungeons and Dragons got more tail than professional athletes? You don’t know that? It must be true, because this wizarding franchise is cool to the tune of billions of […]

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Brief Review: Their Eyes Were Watching God

I’ve read a bit of African-American literature, but not enough for Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to Skype me. I’ve seen a few black movies, but not enough for Spike Lee to give me a fist bump. I clarify myself because any time a white man endeavors to make a “Best Of” list for black art, […]

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About the Author

Chris O'Toole (Colorado State '12, Chapman '15) recently finished a Screenwriting MFA. He has written for Livestrong, CBS, and other publications. Love, hate, and job offers can be sent to: otool102@mail.chapman.edu