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Sandra Brown's "Play Dirty"--loved it...
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4224
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:09 am    Post subject: Re: Sandra Brown's Play Dirty, and older books Reply with quote

Lindareads wrote:
...And even better is still enjoying books by an author that I read in the early 80's and still read today. There was a time when I didn't really enjoy some of Ms Brown's books but I'm glad I kept trying them anyway.

Yes, she's an author whom I too never quit reading, Linda, although there were times when I thought so, based on some of her recent books. She still has the technique; but in trying to appeal to a wider audience, there appeared to be something missing in her stories. Perhaps she's found her stride.
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Lindareads



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 93
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:08 pm    Post subject: Sandra Brown - Play Dirty Reply with quote

You said it so well, Tee. For years, and more years than I care to confess to, Sandra Brown was an auto-buy for me. Even during the years when I wasn't doing very much reading, if I ran into one of her new books at the pharmacy while picking up a prescription, I'd buy it. Then, when she went to HB, the cost of the book made me think twice or more about the quick purchase. Eventually I'd get around to picking up her books again by buying them at the USB and I didn't necessarily find them Keeper material. But, every once in a while, one would stand out and I'd keep trying her work when the next new book was released. And then ENVY came out. I loved that book so much. And now Play Dirty will join my list of all time favorite books too. But now I have to wait a while until the next one comes out!

Linda
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Diana



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1044
Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: Play Dirty by Sandra Brown Reply with quote

Lindareads wrote:
Thanks Diana for bringing up audio books. Looks like I may have to dig deep in my pockets for some extra money. I have only listened to one audio book, and it was bought at a library book sale. I didn't really like it so I never tried another. Since Envy (and now Play Dirty) was such a special book, and my DH loved it too, I may have to buy the audio version. And especially since it's been recomended by someone who also liked Envy and Play Dirty. I'm going to check our local library system and see what they might have available.


Linda A.


I got hooked on audio because it allows me to do other stuff -- you know, like laundry and cleaning out closets -- and "read" at the same time. Go through what your library has to offer first before you buy. You'll find that the reader(s) can make all the difference. Some readers grate on my nerves while others are sublime. I love Victor Slezak (Sandra Brown), Davina Porter (the Outlander books), Joyce Bean (Linda Howard), and Susan Erickson (In Death books) to name a few.

I buy from Brilliance Audio and a couple of eBay vendors. I've settled on the MP3-CD format which requires a specific player or you can download to an iPod. It's become an expensive habit for me, but hey, I don't play golf or any have any of those costly male hobbies. Laughing

One not to miss -- Linda Howard's Kiss Me While I Sleep.
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mamaofthree1963



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really enjoyed this one. I haven't read many of SB's stories but have enjoyed all I've read.

Am wondering---Play Dirty choked me up a few times, made it hard to swallow and made my eyes moist. Anyone else get a lump in their throat during a couple of passages?
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4224
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mamaofthree1963 wrote:
Play Dirty choked me up a few times, made it hard to swallow and made my eyes moist. Anyone else get a lump in their throat during a couple of passages?

Yes, as I mentioned early on, I thought there were some very tender passages throughout the book. In spite of the idea of the book, Griff showed himself to be quite the considerate man.
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braxa22



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: re: Sandra Brown's "Play Dirty"--loved it... Reply with quote

I’ve read Sandra Brown off and on for years.
Last year I caught up with some of SB’s most recent works (“Hello, Darkness“, “Chill Factor” , “Ricochet“) and now “Play Dirty“.

I’m sorry, but I did not like this book for a variety of reasons:
1. I agreed with Tacilija. The villain is completely over the top. I could almost see him twirling his mustache à la Snidely Whiplash.

2. I actually watch football (preferably college, but some professional as well).
I wanted to know what made Griff such a special ball player. Did he have the poise of Tom Brady?, patience of Peyton Manning?, gunslinger mentality of Brett Favre/Tony Romo?, running ability/athleticism of Michael Vick/Vince Young?
I don’t know and Brown doesn’t tell me. She wants me to believe that Griff should be thought of along with Staubach, Unitas, et al., but she doesn’t give me enough to make me believe it.

3. PD reminded me far too much of Envy.
- The heroines from these two novels were much too similar -- and way too passive for me
- the “hooker with a heart of gold” cliché (Marcia here, exotic dancer in Envy)
- phrasing obliquely to avoid spoilers: what happens to Laura at the coach’s house - reminded me of a situation in Envy. Those who’ve read both can probably connect the dots.
- Foster's similarities to both lead males in Envy
I can definitely see why posters who said that they loved Envy loved this book, but I found the similarities distracting.

4. I didn’t buy the romance.
- I can believe Griff was sexually attracted to Laura. He also felt sympathy (maybe empathy) for her after finding out how Foster was injured. Later SB establishes that the sexual attraction is mutual. But, they don’t even have a real conversation for 3/4ths of the book.

5. Brown just couldn‘t resist the need to sanitize Griff at the end.
Diana wrote:
She didn't sugarcoat her hero here and he wasn't easy to like -- he didn't cheat but he did take the money

Sorry Diana, but I respectfully disagree with you.
Brown makes it clear that Griff cheated (by betting on games), both in college and during his professional career (the Atlanta game for one). Why was it necessary to waffle about it at the end and muddy the waters regarding the Redskins game?

Pete Rose bet on baseball as a manager. Do you think the baseball Hall-of-Fame is going to give him a pass (and let him in) based on whether or not his teams won or lost most of those games?

Last comment:
The few things I liked in this book - Bolly (the sportswriter) and his son Jason, Hunnicutt (guy who was incarcerated at Big Spring when Griff was there), McAlister (Hunnicutt’s lawyer), and Griff’s own ex-friend/lawyer all rang true.

Sadly, they were not enough to make me appreciate this book
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4224
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:57 am    Post subject: Re: re: Sandra Brown's "Play Dirty"--loved it... Reply with quote

braxa22 wrote:
I’m sorry, but I did not like this book for a variety of reasons:
1. The villain is completely over the top.
2. I wanted to know what made Griff such a special ball player. Did he have the poise of Tom Brady?, patience of Peyton Manning?, gunslinger mentality of Brett Favre/Tony Romo?, running ability/athleticism of Michael Vick/Vince Young?
3. PD reminded me far too much of Envy.
4. I didn’t buy the romance.
5. Brown just couldn‘t resist the need to sanitize Griff at the end.

No reason to be sorry, braxa22. We either like a book or we don't and no apologies. All the things you mention as bothersome to you in this book were no problems for me at all.

1. The villian is okay.
2. I got enough of a feel of the kind of football player Griff was--enough, that is, to enjoy the story (and I, too, understand and follow football easily).
3. I can't remember Brown's book Envy, although I know I read it. (Memory challenges can be an asset at times, just as long as it's minimal. Very Happy )
4. I loved the romance, because it was subtle and you know there was still much for both of them to explore in the future.
5. Yeah, a bit of sanitizing for Griff was okay with me. I still think she kept him soiled and vulnerable enough. I liked the whole package.

I really did enjoy the book a lot, as you can see. It's okay also that you did not. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It really is fun hearing differing opinions.
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braxa22



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: Point #02
Perhaps, I could have agreed with your opinion if Brown didn’t name Griff in the same breath with six Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks (Unitas, Staubach, Marino, Favre, etc. -- all of whom have disparate styles) and then NOT tell me what Griff has in common with them besides being a “unique biologic specimen“.
Sorry - I’m crying BULLSH*T here.


Brown tells us that Griff is a successful high school/college quarterback - leading his teams to state and (I think - don’t have the book in front of me now) national championships.

I can only say that the number of successful high school/college quarterbacks (some of whom excelled in multiple sports) who DON’T even get a sniff at playing pro football OR who are BARELY A BLIP on the pro football radar must be legend by now.

Off the top of my head I thought of: Buck Belue, Ryan Leaf (a major disaster), Chris Weinke/Eric Crouch/Jason White (Heisman Trophy winners - no less, but backups or busts in the NFL), John Navarre (Michigan standout who was a bust in pro football and pro baseball), Antwaan Randle El (converted to receiver) and Major Applewhite.

IMO, Brown simply needed to do a better job of fleshing out this dimension of the story.

-B
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4224
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

braxa22 wrote:
Re: Point #02 Sorry - I’m crying BULLSH*T here.

Oops--when I said I followed football, I meant more the game and plays, rather than know so many individual players and their stats. Now, of course, I'm aware of some players because I enjoy their performances; but I definitely don't know them as well as you appararently do. And, unfortunately, I spout names from a ways back because I don't watch football now as I once did. If I say Lynn Swan was one of my very favorites, you could probably pick the era I'm talking about (and even 10 years before that).

So, under those circumstances, I can see why you would find fault with the comparisons in Brown's book. With most anything, it's all about the details; but which details and their values will differ from one person to another.
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mamaofthree1963



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand braxa's points because i've felt similar thoughts when reading other books, books i couldn't get into for one reason or another. but it didn't bother me that brown didn't go into detail describing WHY our hero in PD was such a great player because i was enjoying the fiction, the forward progress of the story. if an author's got me hooked on her tale, if her writing's good enough to involve me in the story and make me care about its outcome and its main characters, i take it for granted that what i don't see or hear melds with what i DO...if that makes sense?

guess what i'm saying is that if i care for the people in the story and the writing's good, my mind fills in the blanks automatically. if i don't like the writing and nothing's working for me, i see all kinds of holes, like braxa with this one.

rob
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mamaofthree1963 wrote:
guess what i'm saying is that if i care for the people in the story and the writing's good, my mind fills in the blanks automatically. if i don't like the writing and nothing's working for me, i see all kinds of holes, like braxa with this one.

Yes, mamaofthree1963, that is basically what I was trying to say also. Details in and of themselves are important; but as the reader, we decide which ones are more or less meaningful to us in a fiction book. In a non-fiction story, it's an entirely different matter. Now I don't want obvious lies or similar things; but if the story is written well enough, some blanks will be filled in, as you said. But if a book isn't working on a couple of levels, then certain things will stick out like sore thumbs. I think it's safe to say that this was a book that just didn't work for braxa22 and that's okay.
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Not Quite Nicole



Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a football fan, so I wasn't bothered by the hows and whys of Griff's success. I was more upset at the revelation that instead of him being guilty throwing the game, he actually missed the ball and felt so guilty about the gambling that he went to jail anyway.

I hadn't read SB in a long time, and I definitely liked her earlier RS better.
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Diana



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Braxa, for a long time Envy was my favorite SB so that may explain why I really enjoyed Play Dirty. And you're right when you say he did cheat -- yeah he bet on his own games and did 5 years for it, but what I should have said was that he didn't throw the game he was villified for. I'll admit I don't know beans about football -- in fact most of what I know about pro football I learned from SEP and the Chicago Stars, not to mention Bobby Tom Denton's football quizzes. And you can't live in Washington and not be aware of the Cowboys/Redskins (please please please change that name, Dan Snyder) rivalry, but that's about all I know.

I like SB's new direction and have really enjoyed White Hot, Ricochet, and Play Dirty. They're meaty books with intricately developed suspense plots IMO. I had some affection for her oldies but when I recently reread Slow Heat in Heaven and Best Kept Secrets, I found the heroes smug and overbearing and simply not very appealing. The recent batch of heroes show respect for their women and seem to know how to act like a man in love. Cool And I still adore Envy's Parker Evans, the brilliant southern bad boy novelist who behaved very badly.
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 688

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:20 pm    Post subject: Play Dirty in comparison to other Sandra Brown books Reply with quote

I just finished Play Dirty at 3.30am this morning - I made the mistake of starting it "just before I lay me down to sleep". I really liked it, and I think it's one of Sandra Brown's better books. For some reason, I can hardly remember Ricochet, Chill Factor, or her other newer ones. I can't remember such a fallen hero as Griff - he was guilty and served time, and it was heart-breaking to see him shunned by people who were once great fans of his. And he really was a bit of a sociopath - selfish, unpleasant and unlikeable - but somehow, you grudgingly grow to like him a little bit more at a time as the book progresses. Only Sandra Brown can pull off a hero like this, on top of the bizarre plot. The only thing that disappointed me was the showdown in Ithaca. It was rather melodramatic and improbable. But the ending was perfect. The heroine is rather too controlled, and almost hard-headed, though - but somehow she fitted Griff.

I think the last Sandra Brown book I had such good vibes about was Fat Tuesday, or maybe The Switch (that's some time ago). I still think she does romantic suspense very, very well.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Play Dirty in comparison to other Sandra Brown books Reply with quote

msaggie wrote:
For some reason, I can hardly remember Ricochet, Chill Factor, or her other newer ones. I can't remember such a fallen hero as Griff - he was guilty and served time, and it was heart-breaking to see him shunned by people who were once great fans of his. And he really was a bit of a sociopath - selfish, unpleasant and unlikeable - but somehow, you grudgingly grow to like him a little bit more at a time as the book progresses.

Me, too, msaggie. I know I've enjoyed some of her recent books (not all), but I can't really remember them. But I remember Griff and the plot to this story. And, like you, I thought he would be unlikeable; but the opposite was true as the book went along. I mentioned in some earlier posts that I liked his subtle dark humor that showed up at times. I really can't recall Brown doing much of that before or maybe I just wasn't paying attention. Now try to go back and catch up on your sleep.
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