Thursday, February 19, 2009

Revolutionary Road- Yates (Book #19)

I feel like giving a standing ovation after finishing this book. What an amazing classic I missed out for all these years! A friend said that she does not read books that inspired movies if she watched the movie, but this book is a perfect example of how, no matter how wonderful a movie adaptation may be, most times (exception: Atonement) the movie pales in comparison to the book adding strokes of depth and texture that a movie simply cannot for it cannot directly take us into the minds of the characters as has as it may try.

Having seen the wonderful movie, I walked away shaken. This is a story of a young couple with two children wanting more from their life than the boredom of the suburbs. They decide to uproot and move to Paris. She'll work as a typist and he can find himself. The perfect plan until flaws emerge within it and then ultimately larger flaws unravel like the thread on a nice cuffed sleeve and threaten to perhaps tear apart their entire marriage.

The book is very well written, you read it effortlessly, and though not a great deal happens in the book until the very end, you read it with your heart in your throat regardless.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Diary of a Bad Year- Coatzee (Book #18)

An unusually written book chronicling the happenings of an elderly writer along with his ruminations on a variety of topics that he is compiling for a German book. Each page is split in three parts with 1) his thoughts on a particular topic (some of which I found powerful, the later ones I found myself skimming through) 2) His thoughts in his daily life as he interacts with Anya his typist and neighbor 3) Anya's thoughts and her conversations about him with her boyfriend Alan who has duplicitious designs on his bank account. Overall I think it was an interesting read, though towards the end, I was beginning to tire of the format in which it was written.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao- Diaz (Book #17)

A book in a league of its own, is how I would term this book. Junot breaks all the rules I'm to stick by as I write my own novel with his un-italicized reversions to Spanish, and his lack of quotes for any spoken dialogue. The book is told in street slang and goes over the lives of more than just Oscar, but his entire family, and the curse they believe afflicts them. As he writes, he teaches us as only narratives can, the horror that Truillio inflicted on the people of the Dominican Republic by showing us its effect on people we can imagine to be real. I think some knowledge on Spanish is helpful as he does fall in and out of Spanish, and the context clues are not always enough to get by. I liked this book but it took some getting used to because it is written so unconventionally.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Skipping Christmas- Grisham (Book #16)

A friend who loves sharing humorous novels with me told me to check out this book, a departure for Grisham's usual legal thrillers. Grisham writes well and I enjoyed this story about an empty nester couple who decides to take a cruise to the Caribbean instead of celebrating Christmas the year their daughter is out of the country. The neighbors and their community take this quite badly, and hilarity ensues. I thought that the book was clever and cute. I don't celebrate Christmas so there was the matter of not being able to relate to a lot of it, but I'm sure for those who do celebrate Christmas, this was doubly humorous.