Sunday, February 26, 2012
This book was painful to plough through. A story about a sociopathic head hunter for a company in Iceland and his difficulties as an art thief. Perhaps things were lost in translation but it was a truly terrible book with unlikeable characters and an awful ending. Period.
I wanted to like this book. I paid full price for this hard-cover. I regret it very much. This book is an awful representation of what it is to be an American Muslim and the fact that its getting so much praise for showing what it is to be just this disturbs me more than I can properly articulate. Outside of this, the characters are one dimensional and flimsy. The main character is unlikeable and nothing much happens to him as much as happens around him. Most of this book was simply a soap box for the author to let out what seems like years of angst. Absolutely awful.
Wow. Just. Wow. TC Boyle is easily one of my favorite writers and this book certainly sealed the deal for me personally. This is a jarring novel about identity theft and just how badly it can affect someone's life. The story follows a thirtysomething woman who is deaf and is arrested for crimes committed under her name. She and her boyfriend are determined to find out the man who did this and make him pay. The story is told from the perspectives of herself, her boyfriend, and the criminal in question. I found it very difficult to put this book down and was overall quite satisfied with the ending.
This is a science fiction book about slavery and time-travel. Yes, really. Dana travels back and forth through time when summoned by her great-grandfather Rufus, a white slaveowner's son to save his life. Each time he is near peril she is swept back into the era of slavery and each time she falls into peril there she is swept back to her life in the current contemporary world she lives in with her white husband. I found this to be a very jarring novel detailing what happened in the time of slavery, a topic I haven't really thought about since high school and for that I very much appreciated it. There were definitely things I didn't like about the novel such as character motivations, etc, but overall this is a great book that makes you think.
I wanted a light breezy well-written novel and hoped that this book would live up to fit the bill. It began very interesting and I enjoyed reading about how the young attorney got caught up in a political scandal, thrown under the bus by her boss, and then headed to Guthrie, Georgia to fix up her family's old fixer upper and in the process fixed up herself. While the bare bones outline of this story is good enough, I just didn't really connect with the protagonist and her love interest and thought the author fell a little too in love with the details of fixing up a house. While not a bad book, it wasn't a great book, one that I ultimately skimmed quickly at many parts, and felt I missed nothing as a result.
A lovely book about a young orphaned girl Flavia growing up in a creaky old mansion in a town in which nothing much happens until a dead sparrow with a suspicious postage stamp affixed to his beak winds up at their doorstep followed by a red haired man breathing out his last breath as the eleven year old Flavia looks on determined to solve the mystery of exactly what is going on. The story is earnest, light hearted, and well written. I do wish it had been edited a bit as the history of postage stamps went on a touch too long, and the ending was drawn out longer than I would have liked, but I very much enjoyed this debut novel and will certainly keep an eye out for others Bradley writes.
Sunday, January 01, 2012
After reading Ann Patchett's beautiful epic novel Bel Canto I immediately set about finding her other books to quickly devour. [Warning: small spoilers may follow] Patron Saints of Liars does not disappoint to a certain extent as her debut novel does have a similar beautiful writing style, an easy way with sentences and character creation that makes you lose yourself completely in the story. I liked this story for the most part but I had a really difficult time understanding the percipitating event that led to everything in this novel. I have a hard time believing not loving your kind husband is enough of a reason to run away and leave behind everyone including the mother who desperately loves you and who you also desperately love in return particularly when Rose knows that her mother would help her and support her through a divorce if she wanted. Taking on the life she took instead makes zero sense to me. I also really wish the author hadn't divided the novel into three sections one of Rose a woman leaving behind a loveless marriage and heading to an unwed mother's home to give her baby away, the second of Son the man she meets at the Home, and the third the story of the daughter she gives birth to. I will say that this is another one of her novels that makes me think and that leaves characters who stick with me for some time to come, so I'm glad to have read it, but it was a library read, not one that I should have purchased.