Book Count (since 1 January 2012)

Book Count (since 1 January 2014): 30

Monday, 30 May 2011

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

A good fun read. This book doesn't have a plot as such. There is a lot of chopping and changing over time periods and between different characters, all of whom have a connection - tenuous or otherwise. For this reason, the book is very slightly disjointed but the writing style is very good which makes the novel flow a lot smoother than it might otherwise have done. Overall, I do think the patchwork style prevents the book from having a particularly strong impact on the reader because there's no real 'message' but this is still an enjoyable read.

Monday, 23 May 2011

The Shipping News by Annie Proux

I enjoyed this book. It is a good story and I liked her characters.

I didn't particularly enjoy the style of writing. Lots of sentences. Very short ones. No pronouns. Bit like how I speak when very pissed off. I understand that this was intentional as it replicates the journalistic style, but it I thought it created a barrier between the reader and the characters as it is very impersonal and difficult to read.

Despite this slight hurdle from my point of view, I did like the book a lot as the plot is fun and there is some great descriptive writing. Definitely enjoyable and worth reading, if you can get past the staccato style

Trespass by Rose Tremain

I didn't really enjoy this book. It is very easy to read and the plot is quite good but it is a bit 'between genres'. It tries to be very deep and literary but it doesn't quite make it, and the plot is a bit too ponderous to make for a great mainstream/holiday novel. In my opinion, there are too many narrators, so the reader's viewpoint keeps switching which makes it difficult to really engage with any of the characters. Whilst the book is fairly enjoyable, there is definitely something missing which prevents this from being excellent.

Tiger Hills by Sarita Mansanna

This is a really enjoyable book. The plot is very pacy and exciting, with realistic and well written characters. It is about a rural Indian family pre-first world war. It is not particularly political but focuses very much on the characters with an exciting plot. This is one of those books which very much captures your interest, although I have to say that it doesn't necessarily stay with you one it's finished. Easy to read, well written and with a good plot, this is a fantastic holiday read.

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

A slow burner. The first hundred or so pages were a bit of a struggle as the main character starts off pretty uninspiring and insipid. But, once this gets going, the plot is really quite gripping and the characters do become more interesting (and less cowardly). The writing is good and it is worth getting through the beginning for a more entertaining middle and end. I thought this was better than Cloud Atlas but personally I not in love with David Mitchell's style so whilst I did enjoy this novel, it is not my favourite on the long list.

In A Strange Room by Damon Galgut

This book is about a South African man and follows three separate journeys he makes in three different countries. It's one of those novels in which nothing significant happens, which is really terribly clever. There is ample opportunity for critics to discuss syntax and language and metaphor etcetera. Whatevs. If you are a recreational reader, the last journey is best because it involves someone other than the irritating South African and there is an actual event. Overall, a great book if you are a proper critic who wears black all the time and smokes thin French cigarettes. Not so good if you enjoy a plot.