The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson
Paperback: 600 pages
Publisher: Vintage Crime / Black Lizard (June 23, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0307454541
ISBN-13: 978-0307454546

Every year, Henrik Vanger received a framed pressed flower from his niece Harriett; then one year Harriett disappeared and the flowers stopped only to start up again the following year.  Like clockwork the flowers arrive, but Vanger cannot locate his niece and assumes that someone, presumably the killer of his missing niece, is messing with him.  He hires a journalist in an effort to find out what happened to her. 

Disgraced journalist Carl Mikael Blomkvist is facing the prospect of jail time after being convicted of libel.  He is contacted by a wealthy Swede named Henrik Vanger and offered asylum at his property in exchange for Blomkvist’s help in discovering what happened in the disappearance of Vanger’s niece over 30 years ago.  The only catch is that Blomkvist is to disguise his investigation under the guise of writing the Vanger family history.   In return, Vanger promises Blomkvist details of his past business dealings with Hans-Erik Wennerström, the man Bloomkvist is accused of libeling.

Before extending the offer, Vanger has Blomkvist investigated by the Milton security firm; the assignment is given to Lisbeth Salander, a young, anti-social, orphan rebel who likely suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. Lisbeth is a ward of the state, and she has her finances entrusted to a trustee.  Her familiar trustee, with whom she finally had reached a good working relationship dies, and her new trustee is not so kind.  He sexually abuses Lisbeth in order to control her and her access to her money.  Eventually Lisbeth reaches a working relationship with him, but in a totally unexpected way. 

Eventually their paths cross and Blomkvist and Salander work together to solve the disappearance of Harriett.  All signs point to a member of the Vanger family, but there just doesn’t seem to be any solid evidence.  Blomkvist’s daughter happens to solve the mystery of a series of numbers, the only thing that seems to tie Harriet’s disappearance to a string of murders going back decades before Harriet disappeared.  Soon the pieces begin to fall into place, and dark Vanger family secrets are revealed.  Fearing that the family secrets will get out, Blomkvist is captured, tortured and about to be killed to keep him silent; Lisbeth races to rescue him. 

Genre/Subgenre: Adventure/Thriller/Suspense/Mystery

Evaluation: 4-stars.

The Coral Theif: A Novel by Rebecca Stott

The Coral Thief:A Novel
by Rebecca Stott
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (May 4, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385531486
ISBN-13: 978-0385531481

Would you trust the word of a beautiful woman who stole your most important possessions?  Can you trust a thief when she says she will return your property, but then suddenly goes silent? Will you risk your career on her word? Find out what Daniel Connor does when faced with the formidable Lucienne Bernard in The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott.

Set in post-Napoleonic Paris, Daniel Connor is on his way to study and work at the Jardins des Plantes under the tutelage of Dr. Cuvier, one of the leading naturalists in Paris.  Daniel was bringing with him some coral specimens and a manuscript from his previous professor Jameson.  On the coach ride into Paris Daniel meets a fascinating and educated lady named Lucienne.  Making the mistake of falling asleep, Daniel’s belongings go missing; he can only assume they have been stolen by Lucienne.

When he reaches Paris he attempts to locate her, when he is unable to do so, he reports the theft to the Paris police.  So fascinated by his story, the chief inspector Jagot takes up his case personally. He warns Daniel that Lucienne is a dangerous woman and he must report any contact with to him immediately.

Lucienne does eventually reach out to contact Daniel in order to arrange to return his things; however, their meeting is postponed for an urgent matter takes Lucienne away from Paris.  Just when he is about to give everything up and admit failure Lucienne contacts him again.   She returns just enough of Daniel’s belongings to get him back into the good graces of Dr. Cuvier, whom he has been putting off for over a month by saying he is ill.  Daniel begins work at the Jardines and continues to see Lucienne without a word to Jagot. 

Later Daniel learns of the history between Jagot and Lucienne and what sort of danger Lucienne is in.  Jagot is blackmailing Lucienne and threatening to kidnap her daughter, Delphine if she does not break into the Jardines and steal the Satar diamond.   Together with Lucienne’s friends, Daniel and Lucienne plot a way to secure a safe passage for Lucienne and Delphine out of Paris. 

Throughout the story we are treated with a look into the goings on of post-Napoleonic Paris as the treasures once stolen by Napoleon are returned to their rightful owners, to the debate between evolutionists and naturalists in this revolutionary time of science, and to a diary-like accounting of Napoleon’s own exile.

Genre/Subgenre: Historical Fiction/Science/Romance

Evaluation: 4-stars.

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

The Stupidest Angel:A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror
by Christopher Moore
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; Enhanced edition (November 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0060842350
ISBN-13: 978-0060842352

When Joshua Barker sees Santa murdered the frightened boy is worried Christmas has been ruined.  When an angel appears to grant a Christmas wish to one child, Joshua has the opportunity to make things right – he wishes for Santa to come back to life.  Find out the terror that ensues when Joshua’s wish is granted by the stupidest angel.

Pine Cove is a small bedroom community, with its eccentrics, its gossipers, and its share of domestic disputes.  Even the warmth and good tidings of the holidays can’t bring this dysfunctional town much sense of normalcy.  What young Joshua Barker believes to be Santa being murdered is really Lena Marquez accidentally killing her ex-husband Dale Pearson, dressed as Santa, in an act of self-defense.  Joshua runs home where he is visited by Raziel, an angel sent to Earth to grant the Christmas wish of a child; thinking Christmas is ruined, Joshua wishes for Santa to be alive again.  Meanwhile Lena receives help burying Dale’s body from an eccentric, if not insane, helicopter pilot Tucker Case, who has been flying the local area for the DEA looking for marijuana farms. 

In a Gift of the Maji twist, the local sheriff Theo, a pot head, has been growing marijuana to be able to afford a real Asian sword for his former B-movie star wife, Molly; in order to save money to buy Theo the best bong ever, Molly has gone off her medication, and has begun to hallucinate that she really is the B-movie Warrior Babe.  When Theo figures he might be on to something, Tucker, with the treat of exposing Theo’s farm, blackmails Theo into not pursuing Lena as a suspect in Dale’s death.

Unaware, the rest of the community is preparing for the holiday singles party to be held at the local church.  Soon after the party starts, Joshua’s wish is granted.  If only Raziel had been more clear about who he was raising from the dead…

Genre/Subgenre: Humor/Holiday/Christmas

Evaluation: 3-stars.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
by Christopher Moore
Paperback: 444 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; First Perennial edition (February 4, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0380813815
ISBN-13: 978-0380813810

Have you ever wondered what happened to Jesus between the story of his birth and when the story picks up around 26AD when he his baptized by John the Baptist?  The missing Gospel is finally available, and it’s been written by Levi (also known as Biff) Jesus’ childhood friend.  See what Jesus was like as a teenager and find out how he came to understand that he was to be the ultimate sacrificial lamb.

The Bible seems to leave out much of the story of Jesus’ life after about the age of 12 up until the time he is around 26; the lost Gospel that fills in the gaps is finally available.  As a teenager, Jesus is not feeling much like the messiah he is supposed to be.  In Lamb we find out about Jesus’ early and teenage years as he and his childhood friend Levi (who is known as Biff) travel the Orient to track down the Three Wise Men to help Jesus come to understand his true mission.  Biff’s telling of the tale makes Jesus more human than we can ever imagine; "Don't you go believing the messiah never hit anyone.” We learn the origins of why Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas, how the Easter Bunny becomes associated with Easter, and why Jesus feels so strongly about “knock and the door will be opened to you.”  (Luke 11:9 and Mark 7:7)

Genre/Subgenre: Humor/Historical Fiction/Christianity

Evaluation: 4-stars.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
by Aimee Bender    
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0385501129
ISBN-13: 978-0385501125

 At age 9 Rose Edelstein bit into a piece of lemon cake and she felt all of her mother’s sadness. Food is now ruined for Rose, all taste has been replaced with emotion, many of which leave a bitter taste is Rose’s mouth.

At age 9 Rose Edelstein bit into a piece of lemon cake and she felt all of her mother’s sadness. Rose’s new found “skill” has let her in on the secrets and emotions of the world.  It is through the taste of her mother’s cooking that she finds out secrets about her family, including the affair that her mother is having.

The “gift” makes food more of a pain than a pleasure for Rose. She relegates herself to a life of junk food for the uniform and industrial taste of it all.  Her senses are so keen that Rose is eventually able to pick up the terroir  of the ingredients that come together to make up the food she eats.  Her curse or her skill (reader’s choice) follows Rose through adulthood, where she finally finds a way to make some peace of it by learning the art of  cooking from a French couple who own a restaurant and take Rose under their wing.

There is a parallel story about the unusual “gift” her brother Joseph possesses as well, one that has nothing to do with food.  His story seems out of place and extraneous to the novel, except in the sense that the family each has their own gift.

Genre/Subgenre: Fantasy/Magical Realism

Evaluation: 1-star.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods
by Neil Gaiman
Mass Market Paperback: 624 pages
Publisher: HarperTorch (April 30, 2002)
ISBN-10: 0380789035
ISBN-13: 978-0380789030

What would happen if the mythological gods of old got into a war with the gods of the 20st-century? Would Oden, Loki, Eoster and Anasasi lie down and make way for the new American gods -- Television, the Internet and other media? Follow Shadow on his journey to the ultimate battle.

The story follows the journey of Shadow, a recently paroled convict as he works as a body guard for Wednesday. Wednesday is going across the state to meet up with some of his old friends, Mr. Nancy, Whiskey Jack, Eoster, Mama Ji, Mr. Ibus and Mr. Jackal. 

The reader is taken across a journey of the American landscape, many of the places are real, such as the House on the Rock, Chicago, Lebanon, KS, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Seattle; other’s are not.  Shadow’s sworn allegiance to Wednesday brings him into trouble many times. He is hunted by the new gods and taken captive so that they can get to Wednesday, only to escape with the help of his dead wife Laura. Shadow continues to be haunted by his dead wife Laura throughout the trip.

Shadow is put at risk again when, unbenounced to him, Wednesday sequesters him away in a town with a serial-killer god making sacrifices of children.  His ultimate test comes when he must hold vigil for Wednesday after the new gods succeed in killing him. Shadow is hung from the world tree, just as Oden was in the original myth. The story culminates is a battle for superiority between the new gods and the old.

American Gods is filled with Norse mythology and is an allegory for the loss of faith in the gods that the immigrants to America brought with them in favor of the new gods of America.

Genre/Subgenre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

Evaluation: 3-stars.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge      
by Elizabeth Strout
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 30, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0812971833
ISBN-13: 978-0812971835

 A collection of short stories about life in a small town in Crosby, Maine; the stories are strung together by the common thread of a local resident Olive Kitteridge.

The novel is a collection of short stories all linked by the common thread of Olive Kitteridge, a retired school teacher, living in Crosby, Maine.  It is through these stories that we learn about the residents of Crosby, but we also learn about Olive. The novel delves into the Olive’s relationship with her marriage to her husband Henry, and later how she copes with his life after a stroke.  We find out about her strained relationship with her son Christopher, his first wife, and about the family he builds with his second wife and Olive’s grandchild, so far away from the home she and Henry built by hand for him. 

In the first chapter of the novel Olive warns us that as a pharmacist, Henry knows all of the town’s secrets and how important it is not to spread it as gossip; ironically, the novel feels a bit like we are doing just that, reading about the town’s gossip.  As the chapters pass, we learn there is trauma in the lives of the town’s people of Crosby, and tragedy in Olive’s personal life as well.  This is a novel not just about the human condition, but about life, sanity, insanity and redemption.

Genre/Subgenre: General Fiction/Short Stories/Pulitzer Prize Winner

Evaluation: 2-stars.

Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich

Plum Lucky: A Stephanie Plum “Between-the-Numbers” Novel
by Janet Evanovich
Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 6, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0312377649
ISBN-13: 978-0312377649

What would you do if you found a bag of money at the end of a rainbow? Stephanie Plum’s Granny Mazur says finders keepers losers weepers and runs off to Atlantic City. The only problem is the money belongs to a Jersey mobster, Lou Delvina.  Can Stephanie keep Grandma safe and return her home in time for dinner?

In this “between-the-numbers” novel, we get to meet Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter, and her colleagues, Lula, Connie, Diesel, and Ranger as they track down what happened to Stephanie’s grandmother, whose gone missing after running across a mysterious bag full of money.  Shortly before her disappearance Stephanie sees her grandmother being attacked by a small man in green pants, could he be a leprechaun?  Stephanie and Lula save grandma from the attacker, who escapes in the process. 

Stephanie and the gang, and the man in the green pants find grandma at a casino in Atlantic City.  We find out that Snuggy (the man in the green pants) had originally stolen the money from mobster Lou Delvina. Delvina is now holding Snuggy’s horse for ransom, but grandma won’t give up the money.  Delvina comes to Atlantic City looking for his cash and winds up with Grandma Mazur instead. Stephanie and the gang have less than a day to come up with the money, or a way to rescue both grandma and Snuggy’s horse.

Genre/Subgenre: Mystery/Humor

Evaluation: 2-stars.

The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustan Thomason

The Rule of Four
by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Dell; First Edition edition (June 28, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0440241359
ISBN-13: 978-0440241355

The ancient text Hypnerotomachia Poliphili has left scholars baffled for years. It has brought on rivalries, ruined lives and careers.  This time, however, it has brought two Princeton students together; Paul is a ravenous scholar of Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and Tom is the son of one of the works’ former obsessed scholars.  Can these two finally crack the mysteries held inside?

Tom grew up in the shadow of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, an ancient text many scholars believe hold mysteries tight within its pages.  Tom’s father was a scholar of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili for many years, until a rival scholar defamed him in an attempt to discredit his work; Tom’s father died shortly after in an accident that may not have been a true accident.  After the accident and understanding what the depths of his father’s obsession did to their family, Tom swore off the book.  It wasn’t until his freshman year when Paul Harris tracked him down at Princeton and brings the book back into his life.  Paul’s senior thesis is all about Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and the book seems to be taking its toll on Paul too.

In their senior year, as Paul seems to be coming closer and closer to finding out the truth, strange things start to unfold. A student, and close friend of Paul’s, is murdered shortly after he provides Paul with what might be the missing link to finally cracking the code.  Tom, Paul and their roommates Gil and Charlie are swept up in the mystery of trying to find out who the murderer is and they must also keep themselves from becoming the next victim. 

Genre/Subgenre: Adventure/Historical Fiction

Evaluation: 4-stars.

"B" is for Burglar by Sue Grafton

“B” is for Burglar
by Sue Grafton
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (November 29, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0312939000
ISBN-13: 978-0312939007

Private Investigator Kinsey Millhone is back again is this second novel of mystery and intrigue; this time she’s investigating the disappearance of a rich widow, Elaine Boldt, who abruptly and out of character, left early for her summer home in Florida.

Kinsey is hired in what seems like an ordinary and easy case of tracking down Elaine Boldt to sign some legal documents.  Elaine’s sister, Beverly, is unable to find her and the reaches out to Kinsey, a local P.I. to do the leg work.  When the case turns out to be more difficult than Kinsey suspected, and it is beginning to look like Elaine might be the victim of foul play, Kinsey suggests that Beverly file a missing person’s report.  Beverly decides against it and tells Kinsey not to pursue the matter further.  Not one to let a case go unsolved, Kinsey continues to poke around.  The trail doesn’t lead Kinsey to any solid conclusions, rather deeper into the mystery.  The suspect list is growing larger.  Could Elaine’s sister Beverly be involved? Could Elaine’s disappearance have anything to do with her being a witness to a violent murder the night before her departure? Who is the secretive Pat Usher, the woman staying in Elaine’s Florida condo, and how is she involved?  Kinsey Millhone’s dogged persistence takes us on a wild ride of clues and suspects until we finally find out the real story behind the disappearance of Elaine. 

Genre/Subgenre: Mystery

Evaluation: 3-stars.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback; 1st Thus. edition (May 5, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385341008
ISBN-13: 978-0385341004

Annotation/Flashtalk:After six months of nothing to eat but potatoes and turnips would you risk being caught eating a smuggled pig? Would you be able to think on your feet in the face of the German occupying forces who caught you out after curfew? What is a Potato Peel Pie? Find out how the members of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society came to be in this heart-warming novel by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows.

Summary:It is through a bit of serendipity that author Juliet Ashton becomes acquainted with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Juliet is contacted after one of her former books winds up in the hands of Dawsey Adams. Dawsey contacts Juliet to learn more about the book’s author Charles Lamb and to ask for the name of a London bookshop where he might obtain more of Mr. Lamb’s writings. Dawsey feels a kinship to Mr. Lamb after what he and the other literary society members went through during the German occupation. Set just after WWII’s German occupation of the British Channel Islands, this epistolary novel tells the tale of how a British author befriends a group of people, who themselves only came together under the ruse of a lie to survive the hardships of war.

As the tale unfolds we learn about the island, the occupation, and the story of how Dawsey, Booker, Isola, Ameila, Elizabeth, Eben, Clovis and Will became the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The common thread in all of their stories is the quick-thinking Elizabeth who saved them by inventing the literary society as their excuse for being out after curfew. Elizabeth, now gone from the island, is not missing from the hearts of the society members, as they take turns raising Elizabeth’s daughter Kit until she can return.

Genre/Subgenre: Historical Fiction/Epistolary

Evaluation: 4-stars.

Tell No One by Harlan Coben

Tell No OneBy Harlan Coben
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Dell (August 25, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0440245907
ISBN-13: 978-0440245902

Today, Dr. David Beck received an email message that could have ONLY come from his dead wife Elizabeth…but…she has been dead eight years, the victim of a serial killer, in an attack that left David unconscious. How could she be alive? David’s elation and confusion are cut short by the shocking news that the local sheriff thinks he is a suspect in the murder of two recently-discovered bodies, also from eight years ago, found near the place where Elizabeth disappeared. David’s story of that fateful night just doesn’t seem to add up. Follow Dr. David Beck as he trys to clear his name, and find out if Elizabeth is still alive or if someone is setting him up, in Tell No One by Harlan Coben.

I created a book trailer; it can be found at:


David Beck and Elizabeth (Parker) Beck were childhood sweethearts; they met at summer camp at Lake Charmaine. Each year they celebrate the anniversary of their first kiss by returning to the summer camp and adding a notch to the tree where they first carved their initials so many years ago. On the night of their 13th kiss anniversary, their lives changed forever. That night, David was knocked unconscious and left for dead and Elizabeth was kidnapped, only to be found five days later, the victim of a serial killer.

Fast forward eight years, and a series of events leads David to question all he has known. Two bodies were recently discovered near the lake where David was assaulted and Elizabeth was kidnapped. The police suspect David may be involved in the murder of these two men, because his story about the night of Elizabeth’s disappearance just doesn’t add up. Earlier that same day, David receives an email that could have only come from Elizabeth. The coincidence is just too unnerving. Following the instructions in the email, David is taken to a website that links to a street-level camera, and for a brief second, he sees her – but it can’t be Elizabeth, can it?

With the help of his sister’s girlfriend, and an attorney, David attempts to fight the charges against him so that he can remain free to find out if Elizabeth is really still alive. His search pits him against the police, the FBI, and a couple of henchmen set on keeping him from learning the real truth.

Genre/Subgenre: Adventure, Thriller, Suspense/Mystery

Evaluation: 3-stars.

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

Sh*t My Dad Says
by Justin Halpern
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: It Books (May 4, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0061992704
ISBN-13: 978-0061992704

Crass at times, humorous always; Halpern recounts some of his dad’s most…well…let’s just say his dad’s advice, for example:

On My Interest in Skydiving
“You won’t go do that, I know it…Son, I used to wipe your ass, I know you better than you know you…Fine, Mom used to wipe it, but I was usually nearby.”

What started as a bored and back-living-at-home, 28-year-old Justin’s posting on Twitter for the folly of his friends, turned into mega-following in less than a month.

Halpern has turned some of his funniest, if not fondest, childhood memories about some of life’s most unexpected lessons he learned though the expletive-laden wisdom of his father, into a hilarious set of short-stories punctuated by more of his father’s brutally honest wit.

The book has spawned a TV series of the same name, written by Halpern.

Genre/Subgenre: Humor/Non-Fiction

Evaluation: 3-stars

The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle

The Tortilla Curtain
by T. C. Boyle
Paperback: 355 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books; First PB Printing edition (September 1, 1996)
ISBN-10: 014023828X
ISBN-13: 978-0140238280

Meet the Mossbachers, Delaney, Kyra, and Jordan.  They are healthy vegetarians and nature lovers who live in the LA suburbs.  Meet the Rincons, Candido and America. They are illegal immigrants eating out of trashcans and living in the valley behind the Mossbachers neighborhood. Only in Los Angeles can two families living in such close proximity live such different lives while trying to live the American Dream.

 T.C Boyle brings to literature the long-held, yet timely still, debate about illegal immigration in Southern California.  Boyle contrasts the typical suburban lives of the American-born Mossbachers to that of the immigrant Rincons working to scrape by getting work where they can find it, living in a makeshift camp in the valley behind the Mossbachers’ suburban neighborhood and the depths of desperation they will go to even eat. 

Boyle uses walls and coyotes to symbolically further the debate of illegal immigration. He compares the effectiveness of walls for keeping out coyotes to that of the border keeping out illegal immigrants.  He also likens the coyotes’ desperation for survival to that of the illegal immigrants and their quest to survive doing every that is necessary to live and eat and survive in hopes of eventually getting the chance to live the American dream.

Much like the existing debate, there seems to be no easy answers and neighbors are pitted against neighbors in this controversial question.

NOTE: Seems like it would make a very good book discussion

Genre/Subgenre: General Fiction

Evaluation: 3-stars.

More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon

More Than Human
by Theodore Sturgeon
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books Ed edition (December 29, 1998)
ISBN-10: 0375703713
ISBN-13: 978-0375703713

Personal Note: I found the book a difficult read, one that I just had no interest in finishing; therefore the annotation and summary presented here are from other sources (as noted).

Annotation/Flashtalk: A group of remarkable social outcasts band together for survival and discover their combined powers renders them superhuman.  (


Homo Gestalt

How does a superman act? what does he do with his superhuman powers? Divided into three sections, this novel examines the growth of seven people who make up the organism which is to be man's successor -- Homo Gestalt. A telepathic idiot is its head -- and give way to a ruthless, unmoral boy; a telekinetic girl is its translator, nerve centers and torso; a Mongoloid idiot baby, its computer and brain; two colored girls, teleports, are its arms and legs; and a maturing soldier-engineer, its conscience.  Their adventures, their growing realization of their power and its responsibilities, aided by a poetic moving prose and a deeply examined raison d'etre, make this, with "the Demolished Man," and "The Space Merchants" one of the best science fiction novels of the year.

(From the November 22, 1953 New York Times review by Villers Gerson in the Spaceman's Realm column, p.34)

Genre/Subgenre: Science Fiction/Classic

Evaluation: 1-star