Friday, December 5, 2014

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Oryx and Crake
Margaret Atwood
2003, 2013, Virago, London

Set in a post apocalypse world, we follow Snowman - a lone human - as he interacts with the Crackers, human-like, but not quite human, and journeys to the places of his past, the places of the pre apocalypse.

Margaret Atwood never fails to disappoint. I enjoyed the soft flow of this story, and the genetic science behind the premise.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami
2011, Vintage, New York

My review of this book is as follows: Haruki Murakami. That is all.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Missing reviews

There are some missing reviews here, not sure why they didn't post.

Strange England, a Dr. Who novel and Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch
Donna Tartt
2013, Amazon Kindle e-book
no isbn

A young boy and his mother are inside a New York art museum when a bomb goes off.  In the ensuing chaos the boys accidentally steals a painting called 'The Goldfinch'.  His fear of getting into trouble precludes him from going to the authorities, and this fear remains as he grows up.

 It is not often that I read a book I know nothing about (from a plot point of view), but this is one of them.  I really enjoy discovering everything as I'm reading.  As a fan of the author's other work (namely Secret History), I thought I'd give this novel a go.  Tartt is really good at getting 'voice' right.  There are a few voices in this book as the narrator Theodore grows up and changes, and she nailed all of them.  I felt let down by the overly-philosophical ending, I thought the author had done a good enough job of getting her point across through narrative without having to resort to holding the reader's hand at the end.  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Nothing to Fear by Karen Rose

Nothing to Fear
Karen Rose
2005, Headline, London

A deaf boy and his interpreter are kidnapped from a holiday house by a woman who is seeking revenge.

The story has a solid premise but is let down by one-dimensional characters and just plain terrible sex scenes.  I did finish it though (and it's a long book), so it wasn't unreadable.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

0.4 by Mike Lancaster

Mike Lancaster
2011, Egmont, London

Young adult novel set in a future where there are many digital advancements but not a lot of knowledge of history.  History seems to have been lost in one, possibly cataclysmic, event.  This book is the transcript of some old recorded tapes which purport to explain what happened.

I sat down and read this in a couple of sittings, it it written really well.  I loved the story - post-apocalyptic is one of my favourite genres and this story had a dark yet understated foreboding which was maintained throughout the whole book.  I liked the characters, the setting, the premise, the style.  It's just very well crafted.

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Make Death Love Me by Ruth Rendell

Make Death Love Me
Ruth Rendell
1979, 1982, Arrow Books, London

Bank manager, Alan Groombridge, dreams of stealing money from his small branch in order to have a year of freedom away from his tedious life.  But then, his branch is robbed for real and he is caught up in a scary and dangerous situation.

I've never read Rendell before, I quite enjoyed this little novel.  A lot of crime books don't put the effort into developing characters, but Rendell does a great job.  I felt empathy for poor Groombridge and his desire to leave his 'normal' life.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

On the Beach by Nevil Shute

On the Beach
Nevil Shute
1957, 1974, Pan Books, London

Nuclear war takes out the whole of the Northern Hemisphere, leaving the fallout to slowly creep down the Southern Hemisphere and kill the remaining people.  This is set in Australia and tells of the last few months of a few individuals.

Emotive, moving story.  Simply heartbreaking.  These characters are written so well ... these people are my uncle, my father, my sisters, and my friends.  I know all these people.  This book is so eerily accurate - I read a fair bit of post-apocalyptic stuff, and this has got to be by far the most accurate as to what would actually happen, how people would actually behave.  And it made me cry.  Quite a bit.

"This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but with a whimper." - TS Eliot

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorpe

Nothing Lasts Forever
Roderick Thorpe
2011, Amazon Kindle ebook
no isbn

The novel the movie Die Hard is based on.  A group of terrorists take over a building on Christmas ... you know what, you've seen Die Hard, and if you haven't, get off my blog and go see Die Hard.

That said, it does vary a little from the movie in that the main character is the father not the husband, and the terrorists' motivations are different.  Also, different people die, but I won't give it away.  Needless to say, being a huge huge fan of the movie I was shocked when it happened!

This is a very 'boy's own' book.  Lots of action scenes and macho emotional stuff.  Yes, macho emotional is a thing.  I just made it a thing.  The characters are well rounded; because the main character in the book is not the main character from the movie, I thought I may have trouble accepting him, but he is written really well.

Overall, I found this novel to be a little underwhelming - it's ok, but lacks the humour of the movie.  I guess it's just a different style.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Deadpool, Vol 1: Secret Invasion by Daniel Way and Paco Medina

Deadpool, Vol. 1: Secret Invasion
Daniel Way and Paco Medina
2009, Marvel

Marvel superhero Deadpool battles an invading army of aliens and goes on a mercenary mission to a zombie infested castle in this collection of five stories.

This was my first introduction to Deadpool and I really like him.  He's a bit of a crazy asshole, but he sure gets the job done!  This is a good first read as there's a lot of backstory contained within.  

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Snow People by Marie Herbert

The Snow People
Marie Herbert
1973, 1974, Book Club Associates, London
unknown isbn

The author, her husband, and their baby spend over a year living with Greenland Eskimos to document their lives through film.  This book is her account of what they experienced during their time there.

Now I want to go to Greenland!  The conditions are so harsh (although, this book was written in the 1970s so perhaps things have changed a little), but quite enticing.  The story was a little rambly, and could have done with some editing to make the narrative flow more smoothly (I'm talking end-paragraphs here, just basic stuff).  However, the adventures they had were amazing - the fact that they took their baby along even more so.  

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