Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

The Illustrated Man
Ray Bradbury
1952, 1991, Heinemann, London

A man meets another man who has 'illustrations' all over his body - these illustrations move and tell stories of the future.

More great short stories from Bradbury. These were terrifying and horrifying stories of what's to come. My favourite was 'The Rocket'.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Jules Verne
1864, , Wordsworth Classics,

On discovering a parchment from an Icelandic explorer which claims that the explorer had travelled to the centre of the earth, an eccentric scientist and his nephew embark on their own journey.

As always, Verne is superb. He is my favourite author, yet I've never read this book in full before. It's such an adventure!

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi
2003, 2008, Vintage, London

Auto-biography of an Iranian woman told in graphic novel form. Marjane grew up in the time of the revolution and the war with Iraq.

I liked the way the reader got a feel for Iranian culture through the telling of the story. Marjane was not a really likeable character - at times you just want to slap her, but I think because this is a tale of growing up, stuff like that is going to be in the book and it's great that she didn't leave it out or gloss over it. It's a very honest book.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Tower by Richard Martin Stein

The Tower
Richard Martin Stein
1973, 1974, Pan Books, London

The book on which the movie The Towering Inferno is based. A new skyscraper bigger than the World Trade Centre is built in New York City. At the opening, a bomb explodes leaving 100 people trapped on the top floor with fire burning below.

A bit of a sombre read considering what has happened in the meantime. The cover art is especially poignant. The story itself was interesting - not at all what I was expecting. It's more of a philosophical little book, rather than an action adventure.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

Guns, Germs and Steel
Jared Diamond
1997, Random House, London

This book discusses human history and the evolution of different societies in the world. It attempts to answer the question of why Europeans dominate the modern world, rather than Australian Aboriginals or Africans.

A very heavy read, but interesting topic. I found it a bit repetitive once the basic facts were established. One tiny annoying thing was the author's assumption that the reader was North American.

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