14 July 2017

Book Review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I bought this book new because it was on my Goodreads TBR. I don't remember who recommended it or why I put it there. But from the very beginning, I could tell there was something different about it.

In fact, this is one of those books where at first you have a sense that you're missing something important about the world you've fallen into. Then as you go on, a vague chill catches you as you think you understand what's happening. When the characters finally come out with it in blatant terms, the fact that you were right doesn't soften the blow.

The author does this all very well. He meanders through the entire story with some pretext that the narrator Kathy is meant to be with her friend Tommy but their relationship is more or less sabotaged by the manipulative friend Ruth. This plot distracts you from the main theme and from the something amiss I mentioned earlier.

What I liked about the novel: the author's ability to weave a tale and theme together is superb. I can't say I would have read a book with this "moral of the story" had it been advertised as such.

What I disliked: in his ability to keep these characters as real as possible, the language is sometimes vulgar and sexual topics are thrown around without much shame. Nothing was graphic, thankfully, but the main character's sexual relationships are discussed freely.

Overall, I would rate this book well because it made me think. That might not have been what I was looking for when I bought it, but it became one of those books that's haunted me a bit. I can't say that about very many books, to be honest. Perhaps: The Boy In The Striped Pajamas and The Book Thief, though the context was different. Similarly, the movie Gattacca.

22 May 2017

Gracie - 100 Word Short Story

This week's 100 word short story got an honorable mention. I'm happy with that; there were a lot of entries much better than mine:

I accidentally set Grace on fire; it took her a year to forgive me. A lifetime when you’ve 7.

We were friends when I stole the money her Pa gave her for tithe.

Best friends when I undercooked the scrambled eggs.

Dating when she caught me kissing a zenlike hippie.

Married when I flash a haughty grin toward the passenger seat. You won’t escape, Grace. Not this time.

But, maybe I congratulate myself too early – I see her determined glare as I slam the coffin closed. 

30 April 2017

Book Review: Mirror Image by Danielle Steel

I'm not actually sure what I was expecting from this book. I got it cheap at a thrift store without even paying much attention to the description. I had never read Danielle Steel before and thought she must be pretty good because you see her books all over the place.

I can actually be kind of hard on authors that are new to me. And this book was wildly outside my usual realm of interest (this seemed literary rather than plot-driven, historical, as well as somewhat romantic). But I found it very interesting anyway. Some parts were a bit predictable to me but I found myself caring enough about the characters that I didn't mind. Well, I should say I cared a lot about Olivia and was curious about Victoria, whom I couldn't relate to as easily as I could Olivia. Overall, this was a pretty good book and mostly a clean read though with some sexual references etc. I won't be opposed to reading more from this author.