A novel about an obese man who takes to his bed and the impact this has on all his family. An enjoyable and thought provoking book with excellent writing. The plot is a little slow but in my view the writing makes up for this. I can see how others may find this book a bit frustrating as the characters are a little indistinct and it is a bit of an unusual story. I liked the slightly quirky-ness of this novel so I think it is worth a read. Probably a 'Marmite' novel.
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
An exciting, holiday thriller with lots of punching in the solar plexus and descriptions of glocks. Hugely unrealistic but good fun. It is about a couple who are attacked one evening at a remote lakeside cabin - 8 years later, what really happened starts to unravel.... This book teaches us that one's relationship is as nothing unless you have a set of code words for use in an e mail sent after your death to warn your partner about a violent gangster conspiracy. My husband and I have now agreed on a code sentence - I won't tell you what it is but it includes the word "obvious".
I didn't enjoy this book. It follows three sisters whose father is a Shakespearean academic in Ohio. The writing is very jarring and doesn't flow well. The three sisters are unrealistically drawn - a kooky one, a bimbo one and a staid one - so it is very difficult to get excited about any of their stories. The Shakespeare quotes are shoehorned in, in an attempt to give this book some weight but it fails miserably. I found this boring and more than slightly irritating.
Set in World War Two, this novel follows a Jewish family and their Aryan nanny. It is excellently written and the characters are realistic and likeable. The book is unusually balanced in it's portrayal of Nazi members. The plot is very good, although fairly gentle, but it is the narrative writing that really lifts this novel. One of my favourites on the long list so far.
I didn't really enjoy this - a fairly average beach read. It's about a brother and sister who live in a large house in Highgate and their various, varied housemates. It is darker than your usual chick lit but it is still very thin and so not especially memorable. There is nothing offensive about this novel but nothing particular to recommend it.
A great holiday read. This is a novel about a family who grow up in London and relocate to the countryside. The plot is pacy, exciting and well written. There is something a bit false about the characters and the plot is a bit too 'perfect' to be realistic but it's still worth packing in your suitcase. Probably not enough here for anything more than a light read though.
A French novel about a young girl who writes a school paper about homelessness and becomes friends with a teenage runaway in the process. Thought provoking and with a good, if predictable, plot this is a good read. I did find some if the writing a little stilted at times but the characters, especially the narrator, are well drawn and realistic. Worth a read.
A fun, uplifting novel. It is hard to describe what this novel is about. In brief, the main character is a middle aged woman whose relationship falls apart as she befriends an eccentric elderly neighbour. But it is a much better, deeper book than this description makes it sound. I found this funny in lots of places but also enjoyed the realism and the main character is very likeable. I expect this is a novel which will appeal more to women (sexist, I know) and I would recommend it as a slightly more substantial holiday read.
This is a novel about domestic violence so it makes for very difficult reading. The writing is good, the characters well defined and it tackles the subject matter very sensitively but it is still hard going and so difficult to review. It is definitely a good read but be mentally prepared and maybe watch a nice film with Julia Roberts in afterwards (not Pelican Brief - her later work).