Sunday, February 24, 2008

Vertigo by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac

Pierre Boileau
Thomas Narcejac
1956, 1997, Bloomsbury, London

Set in France, Vertigo revolves around two men and a woman. Gevigne hires Flavieres to follow his wife Madeline who he feels is in danger of committing suicide after her great-great-grandmother committed suicide at the same age.

A real psychological story - a bit of a slow-burn thriller which really picks up the pace in the last few pages. And a twist I, for once, didn't see coming.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Jack Finney
1954, 1989, Fireside, New York

Small town Mill Valley, California becomes the centre of an alien invasion, whereby the inhabitants of the town are slowly being taken over. Dr. Miles Bennell discovers this plot and attempts to thwart it.

This is a fantastic book! I love the slight parody tones it gets at times - great for something written in the 1950s. It was a very lineal story which is a relief from the overly-complicated stuff I've been reading lately. A nice 'string-of-pearls' plot. I know at the start of the book the author says not to read it if you don't like open endings, but in my opinion it didn't leave too many questions unanswered.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Eddie's Bastard by William Kowalski

Eddie's Bastard
William Kowalski
1999, Black Swan, London

Story of Billy Mann, who, as a baby, was left on his grandfather's doorstep in a basket with the note "Eddie's Bastard". He grows up in seclusion with his grandfather in the small town Mannville which his family used to own. The story tells of Billy's childhood and of his ancestors story.

This is a fantastically woven tapestry of a story. It reminded me a bit of To Kill a Mockingbird. It is funny at times at utterly heartbreaking at others. I loved the slight supernatural themes to the story, and the prose was beautifully written. I didn't want it to end.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dogs Don't Tell Jokes by Louis Sachar

Dogs Don't Tell Jokes
Louis Sachar
1991, Random House, New York

This is the story of Gary W. Boone, a kid who doesn't quite fit in and tries to compensate by being the class clown. When the school is to hold a Talent Show he decides to enter to show everyone that he is funny even though they think he is just a 'goon'.

I thought this was a great book! It was funny and poignant. I could really empathise with the main character. And the jokes weren't half bad either.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Foreign Foes by Dave Galanter and Greg Brodeur

Foreign Foes
Dave Galanter and Greg Brodeur
1994, Pocket Books New York

The Hidran and the Klingons are long-time enemies, when they meet on a neutral planet to negotiate, two ambassadors end up murdered, and the Enterprise crew is caught up in the middle.

This had an interesting premise, although I found there were too many story threads. I liked the idea of the non-organic grain, even if it was a bit easy to see coming.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Metal Fatigue by Sean Williams

Metal Fatigue
Sean Williams
1996, HarperCollins, Sydney

A future-set science fiction novel in which a Great War has brought civilization to its knees. One city (Kennedy) in the old United States of America remains isolated by choice from the rest of the world. Phil Roads, a detective working in Kennedy, is on the case of an ingenious thief when an envoy from outside Kennedy comes knocking on their door.

This was an intriguing storyline. I liked the issues it explored about computer intelligences and AIs. However, I found a lot of the 'political' side to it a bit tedious, especially as these chunks of plot were written in the 3rd person past tense style.

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