Book Count (since 1 January 2012)

Book Count (since 1 January 2014): 30

Friday, 19 February 2010

The Great Lover by Jill Dawson

Based on the life of Rupert Brooke, the fiction is entwined with his poems and letters as well as facts about his life. Unfortunately, his life was not very interesting and his poetry was average. It was fairly interesting to understand that he was not really a war poet and that he struggled with mental illness and homosexuality. But the narrative is too disjointed and frankly he is portrayed of a but of a twat.

I did learn that Rupert Brooke died of a blood disorder following a mosquito bite rather than in action. But it isn't worth reading the whole book to find that out.

Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie

A storey of 2 entwined families beginning in British India at the end of the Empire and ending in modern day New York. One family is upper-class English/Ameriacan and the other is Japanese/Indian. The novel begins in India during the riots and moves on to Afgahnastan during the wards. The relationships tells of divided loyalties and betrayals.

The characters are likeable and well-developed. The story is well written and intreguing.

Definitely worth reading.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

A young hopeful writer finds a book and follows a thread to try and understand the life of the author. It is very well written with some lovely language. The characters are believable and the story is very interesting. But, it is not instantly engrossing and you do have to work at the reading.

Objectively, an excellent book but for some reason I did not 100% engage with it.

The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams

A family of moth scientists live in an old mansion. The younger daughter is wilfull, the older mentally ill, the mother a violent alcoholic and the father an unaware workaholic. The family fall apart as a result of lies and murder.

The central character's narrative is a bit difficult to engage with and not very consistent so it is hard to relate to her. The story is well woven and interesting.

Overall, fairly well wirtten and enjoyable but not very memorable. Doesn't have lasting impact.

A Quiet Belief in Angels by R.J. Ellory

Very well written, very gripping and excellent characterisation.

The story is dark and follows an American boys deep South upbringing during a period where a killer stalks his home town. He moves away to New York and the killer apparently follows.

The tragedy in this novel is a bit over-blown and unrealistic but also extremely touching. The standard of the writing means this novel deserves to be more widely known. Definitely worth a read.

Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason

Easy read thriller.

An Icelandic detective tries to get to the bottom of an apparent suicide. He discovers an illicit affair and an emptional manipulation which leads to a women's murder. The detective also investigates an old missing persons case and discovers a tragic accident involving lakes and ice and idiots driving thereon.

A fairly engrossing but not exactly a classic.

The Other Hand by Chris Cleave

This book is billed very well. The text on the back page is intreguing, promising a book about which you will want to rave but giving nothing away.

The novel itself does not live up to this excellent marketing. It is very good but over-selling leads to disappointment.

In summary, a middle class couple trying to rescue their marriage holiday in Nigeria and meet with violence on a Nigerian beach. One girl survives a massacre by local oil thugs and her life becomes entwined with the couples with significant results.

It is a fairly well written book but not very thought provoking nor does it have the impact you might expect. For some reason, it is difficult to connect with the characters and it feels like there is a barrier somewhere.

Worth reading but not brilliant.

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

And the third.....

Losing interest at this stage.

More vampires, more werewolves, fewer humans, more ridiculousness.

I am getting increasingly irritated with myself. My head says this book is silly and boring. My heart loves it. Weird.

New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

The second installment.

Even more ridiculous than the first as we are introduced to a werewolf family. Of course when dealing with vampires and werewolves one has to suspend disbelief but I suppose there are limits to everone's willingness to do so. And this book streached the limits of my willingness.

But, of course it is not meant to be taken too seriously and it is entertaining.

You can get through this in a few days and overall it is worth the effort.

I am still not sure I can get as excited about this as I feel is socially acceptable but perhaps I am missing a metaphore.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

First in the series following the romance between a vampire (obviously) and a troubled high school teenager. There is something very compelling about the characters who are very likeable if not very realistic. The book has suffered somewhat from being so well known since all readers arrive with a basic knowledge of the plot and as a result none of the pre-discovering-Edward-is-a-vampire narrative is particularly engaging.

The whole thing is increadibly silly but despite my best endeavours I was drawn in.

Don't, under any circumstances, watch the film.