Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Current Reading - Books best thread

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Heh. Far from it Sam. Its called retirement

    Comment


      Something I'll probably never get to experience.

      Anyway: finished The Quiet Fan this afternoon, and I know we're obliged to say this and I know we're obliged to say 'I'm not just saying this because I have to,' but it's dead good and I heartily recommend it for everyone's reading pleasure. Thanks very much for writing it, imp.

      Later on I'll be getting stuck into The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.

      Comment


        In my late twenties and early thirties I read maybe six or seven Thomas Hardy novels and thought he was a genius. Currently re- reading The Mayor of Casterbridge and remembering why.

        Comment


          I'm halfway through the second of the Barchester Chronicles. It's not caught me quite as much as the first one. The new characters are just a little too grotesque.

          The first one has an incredible section about newspapers.

          They're about real sorts of people, and about real sorts of events but handled so lightly and with so much fun.

          Comment


            Finished Parable of the Sower and onto Parable of the Talents because what we need in life is more apocalyptic doom.

            Comment


              Chasing The Boogeyman-Richard Chizmar. The author is well known in horror circles through his creation of Cemetery Dance magazine which has led to collaborations with Stephen King. Throughout the book deliberate comparisons are also made to Ray Bradbury. The cover firmly proclaims the book is a novel which in retrospect acts as too big a spoiler-Chizmar almost manages to convince that his tale of a serial killer in his small town is true crime fiction. Authenticity is further provided by a series of photographs dotted throughout detailing victims,crime scenes & familiar town locations. Chizmar places himself at the centre of events as they unfold in the summer/autumn of 1988 and until the final denouement the blur between fiction and non-fiction is maintained. While the conclusion feels hasty and tacked on overall there is enough style to recommend a reading.

              Comment


                https://twitter.com/rid9way/status/1436290027462463490

                Comment


                  The Great Mistake-Jonathan Lee. Got this on basis of admiration for author novel High Dive based on IRA assassination attempt on Thatcher at Brighton. Understood from blurbs that again it a novel based on historical events though not one this time familiar with-Andrew Green being the protagonist or historically The Father Of New York. As it happens the great historical events of which he is associated which while alluded to-creation of Central Park,NY public library among others-are not the fulcrums on which the book balances. Likewise the introduction of Samuel Tilden into the narrative. A google search is required to establish the full story of his standing in US history. As is the murder that opens the story and runs throughout the narrative. It therefore a character driven story & one in which the novel works better when it is not Green himself but those who float around the events of his life-the detective working his murder, the madam who inadvertently causes his murder, his housekeeper,his brother,even his father.

                  Comment


                    Throw Me To The Wolves-Patrick McGuiness. Another novel read on basis of admiration of earlier work-Last Hundred Days detailing collapse of Ceausescu Rumania. And this is an excellent tale. A mish mash of buddy cop partners Gary & Alexander/Ander dealing with their age differences (9 years but that matters. Gary sings Brexitland to tune of Soft Cell Bedsitter while Alexander wonders how he could have could have heard or known it being a baby when it released) and class differences (Alexander went to public school and is therefore Prof. Gary didnt. Alexander relates tales of iniquity including a truly haunting recall of trial by classroom peers conducted by a teacher along with standard bullying & sexual abuse both open and covert. Gary muses that despite for all that his school never produced ministers of state, captains of industry etc). It all coalesces around a murder for which a teacher of Ander school becomes the prime suspect & develops into a state of nation novel which satisfies neither of them. Ander is part of the British Light Entertainment generation which had a hand down the nations paints. Gary has seen hipster bars and food shops expensively replace the lifestyle he is familiar with. Social media also takes a battering although in end secures justice is done. Sort of.

                    Comment


                      Finished The Vanishing Half last night. One of the best novels I've read this year. It's publicised as the story of twin Black sisters who leave the tiny Louisiana town they grew up in and who lose contact after one of them decides to 'pass over' and live her life as a white woman. But It's far more wide-ranging than I'd expected from what I'd read about it beforehand, and has twice as many main protagonists as that description suggests.

                      I've started Nudibranch, a collection of short stories by Irenosen Okojie, a British-Nigerian writer I've not come across before. Very strange so far. I'm enjoying them a lot.

                      Comment


                        I read the Diane Cook novel referenced above (The New Wilderness), and it really did feel like a years-long trek through the fucking wilderness. It was like one of those Netflix series that drags on about 50 episodes too long. She should stick to short stories. Highly lauded in the press and short-listed for the Booker, and I have no idea why except that no one dared pan it because environmentalism is the main theme.

                        Comment


                          It's one that I recommended (I think) at the time, but now I've got some distance from it (I checked my handwritten list and was slightly surprised to find I read it earlier this year, as it feels like longer ago) I have to admit I won't be rushing back to re-read it. Not that I rush to re-read anything, because my head is always turned by a book I've not read yet, but you know what I mean. I still say it's decent but would certainly agree it could have been quite a lot shorter. (It's possible I thought this at the time; I've not gone back to check.)

                          Comment


                            The Girls-Emma Cline. One from the pile that more often end up neglected & ignored the further the distance from release. Think the attraction at the time was an award-Shirley Jackson one maybe. Anyway its a riff on the Charles Manson tale (all names are fictionalised) seen through the eyes of 14 year old Evie during a disaffected period of her life-summer of 1969 awaiting education at private boarding school while parents marriage collapses. The attraction is more for the young girls who are in thrall to the charismatic Manson figure although this doesnt get in the way of her being sexually abused by either him or the Brian Wilson substitute in the tale. Evie never convinces as part of the cult-and appropriately she doesnt merit any kind of mention in the subsequent decades worth of media attention on the events. Nor are many of the characters more than one dimensional-mother getting into New Age hocus pocus in effort to generate new relationships while dad has run off with the younger model nearer to Evie in age. And in the few years since book release Tarantino has produced a screen version of the ranch that makes the one described here just looking tame and lacking depth or resonance.

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X