‘Fever Dream’: This time it’s personal for Special Agent Pendergast (Book review)

“Fever Dream,” the latest Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child novel, opens with FBI Special Agent Pendergast and his wife, Helen, hunting a lion in Africa. I thought, “Uh oh, I don’t really want to read P&C’s take on ‘The Ghost and the Darkness.’

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‘Star Wars’ veteran Allston gets his writing groove back in ‘Fate of the Jedi: Backlash’ (Book review)

Aaron Allston became my favorite “Star Wars” author when I read his first book, “X-Wing: Wraith Squadron,” back in 1998. Allston, taking the “X-Wing” baton from Michael Stackpole but running faster with it, demonstrated and executed the two keys to good “Star Wars” writing: 1, new characters of the author’s invention, and 2, humor.

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Joe Schreiber mows down zombies in a galaxy far, far away in ‘Star Wars: Death Troopers’ (Book review)

If you’re in the right mood, movies about some guy mowing down a bunch of reanimated corpses — Peter Jackson’s “Dead Alive” comes to mind — can be quite amusing and entertaining. But in book form, the same storyline can wear a little thin.

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A lot more than 7 great words in George Carlin’s autobiography (Book review)

I wouldn’t be capable of starting a successful religion; I don’t have the requisite charisma, ambition or ability to deceive. But I do have my own private religion, and I call it Carlinism, based on the idea that happiness is found by emotionally removing yourself from the human race and viewing it all as entertainment. Another tenet is that if you don’t vote, you preserve your right to complain; if you DO vote, you helped caused the problem, and you have no right to complain.

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6 ways J.D. Salinger influenced modern pop culture (Book commentary)

Like everyone, I think “Catcher in the Rye” is a brilliant book. I think J.D. Salinger’s other three books (actually compilations of his magazine short stories and novellas) range from very good to OK — “Nine Stories” has a couple gems (but also a couple duds), “Franny and Zooey” is readable and, well, I haven’t plowed all the way through “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction” yet.

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5 random questions for which I have no good answer (Commentary)

1. In “Return of the Jedi,” when Luke and Leia swing to safety, what is the rope attached to? It can’t be attached to the barge they are blowing up, because then it would snap when they are in mid-air, right? Even if was securely attached to the barge for the duration of the swing, there’s no way it could provide the arc needed to swing to another vehicle, especially since the duo doesn’t get a running start.

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