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Book Review

Book Review: by Lang Reid

The top 14 books

After the editor’s exhortation to incorporate 14 into the columns, this being the 14th anniversary of the Pattaya Mail, I went to to see what were the favored 14 from their shelves. I have printed them out below, and I think you will find it very interesting. Remember that these are the 14 titles most ordered from Amazon. A very brief review (or rather, opinion) was also quoted from Amazon’s reviewer, and has been included.
1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “Someone said this book should be required reading for the entire human race. I agree.”
2. The Stand (The Complete and Uncut Edition) by Stephen King.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “Long book, but rewarding by the end.”
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “The classic, American novel.”
4. It (Signet Books) by Stephen King.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “Another long, but great and scary Stephen King novel.”
5. The Green Mile : The Complete Serial Novel by Stephen King.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “The book is better then the movie!”
6. H.M.S. Unseen by Patrick Robinson.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “A thrilling submarine novel!”
7. Dreamcatcher by Stephen King.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “I was debating buying the book, and I’m glad I did.”
8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “The main character (McMurphy) must be one of my favorite characters of all time.”
9. The Giver by Lois Lowry.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “One of the only good books I read during middle school.”
10. Executive Orders (Jack Ryan Novels) by Tom Clancy.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “Also very long, but a great book about a CIA agent turned President.”
11. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “Absurd and hilarious, yet very thought provoking.”
12. Hearts In Atlantis by Stephen King.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “A different Stephen King book, but still excellent.”
13. Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “Also hilarious, this is another one of Kurt Vonnegut’s best.”
14. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
Amazon’s reviewer says: “Everyone should definitely read this book.”
Looking back at that list, it is significant that there are four titles by Stephen King and two titles by Kurt Vonnegut (released in 1963 and 1990). It was also interesting to see J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye included. This is now 56 years since its release and it has been one of the most banned books of all time, and one of the most studied books of all time. If for some reason you have not read this book, you should correct that. An amazing piece of literature.
Looking again at Stephen King, the author of more than 200 books, he too has written on the torture of the teenage years. Critic S.T. Joshi also stresses that, despite his flaws, King almost unfailingly writes insightfully about the pains and joys of adolescence.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) was also followed by the hugely successful movie of the same name (1975) starring Jack Nicholson. Quality and talent rewarded.