The Internet Takes Distance Away: A Strange Way to Write a Book Review

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The online world is a whole different place.  There is no sense of distance.  Friends in New England, Florida or California might as well be as close as my neighbors.  We get to talk, laugh and learn from each other in places that didn’t even exist a few years ago.

We’re creating whole new worlds and I for one am enjoying the heck out of it. 

And still, there are new surprises all the time.

I joined MySpace a few months back.  Took me forever to do it because I just didn’t see the point.  Now that I’m back in touch with a whole group of lost high school friends, I totally understand.  What took me so long?

I’ve also made some new friends there.  When people I don’t know ask to be friends, I check out their profiles to see if I can get a clue about what made them choose me.  Maybe we’re from the same town or have friends in common.  Sometimes it’s people I already know online, just with a picture or name I wasn’t used to seeing. 

But one guy wrote me with a friend request.  He said he saw that I liked reading Ken Follett (my favorite author) and thought we’d like to share talk about books.  I scanned his profile quickly, saw we also shared an interest in Japan and wrote him back, babbling about books. 

Later I went back and read his profile more in depth.  The man himself was a published author, and I felt kind of silly about going on about who I liked and what books I’d recommend.  I know that shouldn’t have bothered me at all, but it kind of did.  I wished I’d already known his work or recognized his name. 

Rain FallHe wrote back laughing, said it was OK, sometimes he couldn’t believe he was really an author either.  Yep, I like this guy.

So I ordered four of his books and started reading.  And you know what?  They are GOOD.  Not just good because, “Hey, I know this guy,” but good because they drew me into the story and had me identifying with a character that is about as far from me as you can get. 

I like these books enough to tell YOU about them. 

The author is Barry Eisler and the first book in the series is Rain Fall.  His character John Rain is a paid assassin working in Japan.  His descriptions of Japan are so rich I feel I’m there.  The tech toys are good enough to make even Jeff Turner sit up and pay attention.  Rain is a remorseless killer, and yet I like him and worry about him when he’s in a tight spot.  I suppose his flaws make him interesting, but there’s more to it than that.  I like him in spite of himself.  Barry Eisler is GOOD.

Even though the books are very different, his series reminds me of John Sandford’s Prey series.  If you like those books (Boomer) then I think you’d probably like these as well. 

If you use the internet and social networks wisely, the world becomes a beautiful place where we’re all close enough to be friends.

And Barry, if you have Google Alerts on your name -- Hey, how you doing? 


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Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Sarah - put this post in the AR Book Club pretty please!

I love this genre of book, so I'll have to check them out. I love a book that just draws me in so that I don't want to put it down.  And I love these kinds of msysteries, too.  Bear loves to read even more than I do, so I may have to get these and have Santa deliver them!!  ;-)

I still find myself thinking of myspace, and some others, as a place for kids.  I know you've had good experiences there as have others.  I just may have to adjust my way of thinking.....


Dec 17, 2007 10:57 AM #31
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes
Will have to check out the book. Thanks for sharing the information. All the best for this holiday season.
Dec 17, 2007 11:52 AM #32
Kathleen West
Trademark Realty Group of Palm Coast - Palm Coast, FL
Flagler County & Palm Coast Realtor


 If you like books and also like social networking . . . is a great place to be at.  Checkout the bookshelf widget on my profile.


Dec 17, 2007 01:08 PM #33
Kathleen West
Trademark Realty Group of Palm Coast - Palm Coast, FL
Flagler County & Palm Coast Realtor


 If you like books and also like social networking . . . is a great place to be at.  Checkout the bookshelf widget on my profile.


Dec 17, 2007 01:09 PM #34
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production
Cool....this is exactly what I'm looking for.  I need a new great read.  Thanks.
Dec 17, 2007 01:23 PM #35
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Thanks for showing some of the creative potential in social networking. It really does erase the distance between us, and when you make the right contacts it's an amazing experience.

Dec 17, 2007 04:40 PM #36
Joeann Fossland
Advantage Solutions Group - Tucson, AZ
Master Certified Coach to Motivated Agents
Great story! I am reading The World is Flat and this is an example of a flat world..... :>)
Dec 17, 2007 05:35 PM #37
Boomer Jack Boardman & Carl McIntyre, the Codgers
Noted Curmudgeons - Saint Paul, MN

Sarah:If you like those books (Boomer)…I thought I heard my name somewhere in cyberspace—that Rainman just better not come to the Twin Cities, ‘cause Lucas Davenport WILL get him!


I'll check the series out—now, if I can just find some time to read


Dec 17, 2007 07:43 PM #38
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI
I had to go check out your link after reading this, and I must say, he has some high praise!    A Rainman vs Lucas Davenport book?  Great idea Boomer!

Sarah, the internet does make the world a whole lot smaller doesn't it?  How wonderful for all of us.  I would never have "met" you without it :-)
Dec 17, 2007 09:22 PM #39
Brian Wilson

Always enjoy reading recommendations from fellow bookworms. Thank you, Sarah.

Brian Wilson, 

Dec 18, 2007 02:07 AM #40
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

The internet is an amazing thing.  I developed a friendship a few years back with a lady who lived in California that was amazing because of how unlikely it would have been to have ever met one another in any other way, yet we had sooo much in common!  


Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

Dec 18, 2007 03:14 AM #41
Wow, Sarah, thanks for picking up the books and for the kind words!  Really glad you had fun with Rain Fall and I hope you'll enjoy the others at least as much.  Thanks too to everyone who's commented here, having either enjoyed the Rain books or expressing an inclination to give 'em a try.

For all you MySpacers here, feel free to stop by my MySpace page and say hello.  Or, if you like, visit my website discussion board.  It's a fun forum with a lot of interesting people talking about writing, the Rain books, politics, single malt whisky, and anything else that strikes people's fancy, and we do a monthly chat on writing, too, so if you have a chance, stop by and say hello.  It would be good to see you there.

Dec 18, 2007 05:56 AM #42
Bill Blair
Coldwell Banker Realty - Covington, GA
Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes

Sarah.... Thanks for the tip on the books.  I already love the Prey series, so I'll try Barry's series for sure.  Also a fan of Japan and the people since I've been fortunate to travel there a number of times.  In fact, I love all of Asia so much that some of my Asian friends call me an "egg."  You know... yellow on the inside, white on the outside!  lol

Have also been meaning to join MySpace for awhile, and just never gotten around to it.  I'll make a more concerted effort now.

Dec 18, 2007 06:22 AM #43
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes


What a nice thing you did for Barry - I like that type of book but whose got extra time for reading. :-) lol

Dec 18, 2007 06:25 AM #44
Josette Skilling
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Bethesda, MD

Thanks for the new author!  I love this kind of book and love the Sanford books.  And how fun to have him come on and join us here...

Dec 18, 2007 09:45 AM #45
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results
Sarah - There is a certain male member of this household (named Barrie) that also loves to read Ken Follett's works if you like both I shall have to buy him at least one of Barry's books
Dec 18, 2007 09:54 AM #46
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699
Sarah, thanks for sharing that. I wish I had known and purchased a few of them before my trip. What's even nicer is that you are helping to share him with all of us. Loved how you didn't know he was an author...I'm sure many of us were in your shoes at some point in our lives. It sounds as though he was gracious about it.
Dec 18, 2007 03:30 PM #47
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing
If you ever join Facebook, you can download an application called iRead.  Let's you post what you are reading now and any reviews you write.  If you friends have the application, you can see what they are reading and what books they liked/didn't like.  Anyone who views your profile can see this information about you.  It is really cool.  Maybe MySpace has this application too, not sure?
Dec 19, 2007 12:40 AM #48
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re
I read a book last year called The world is Flat. Talking about how small the world is today and how we are all interconnected. We are flattening the real estate world every day. Thanks for your post.
Dec 19, 2007 03:02 AM #49
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Sarah - I included this post in the Week in Review for this week.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 23, 2007 01:57 PM #50
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