Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Biggest Lie-Luke Brown

My Biggest Lie-Luke Brown

the facts
satisfaction: side
pages: 288
gender: M
nationality: UK
year: 2014
novel

A literary agent finds his whole life in tatters and runs away to Argentina.





Well, I don’t regret reading it but it felt a little like something I didn’t really want to do? It was all so melodramatic and so silly in terms of plot that I really didn’t particularly care. The prose was so polished that I ended up finishing it anyway but I didn’t really find it funny in a way that really made me feel amused. It wasn’t really for me despite the general well written nature of both plot and character I guess.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Narcissus is Dreaming-Rose Mambert

Narcissus is Dreaming-Rose Mambert

the facts
satisfaction:  up/side
pages: 141
gender: F
nationality: USA
year: 2014
novel

A shapeshifting alien falls in love and falls in the hands of a government organization.

I don’t read a lot of science fiction but I think I ought to read more. This was fascinating. The different species of aliens (shape shifters, spiritual healers, etc) were differentiated and really fascinating foils to human beings. There’s something unfinished about this novel-it’s disjointed, I ended up not being sure who was who/what/etc, there may have been 3 novels in this 1 rather short novel-but I felt the bones of this gritty and tragic novel to be well done. There were parts so well written in terms of prose and pacing that I fell in love. I’m definitely not going to tell you that everyone ought to read this but I found enough to really enjoy.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wolf-Mo Hayder

Wolf-Mo Hayder

the facts
satisfaction: side
pages: 410
gender: F
nationality: UK
year: 2007
novel

A family is terrorized in their country house by a duo of men.




Ok, I ended up feeling little about the book. I don’t know if I’m just desensitized from too many Austrian films or something but I found little to truly react to. I must say I did like Caffrey-there’s something about such a tortured man as a full detective that was enjoyable. But the plot...I felt a bit too much like I was reading Funny Games. This is totally unfair to Hayder though since she did stray from that particular trajectory but I felt like it went into another tired trope that I’ve also seen before (also in Austrian cinema, yes). I feel like I’m doing the book a bit of a disservice since it is genuinely twisted and disturbing (with just enough humor to make it entertaining), there was just something that failed to get under my skin. I found enough to enjoy that I’m actually looking to read a different book from Hayder.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

John Dreamer-Elise Celine

John Dreamer-Elise Celine

the facts
satisfaction: down
pages: 203
gender: F
nationality: UK
year: 2014
novel

A bunch of people end up in a white room filled with personalized chairs. A guardian tests them and then fulfills their dreams.




This had such an interesting and promising premise but it ending up being a bit too pat in execution. The prose was so tell not show that there felt like there was no characterization and no real plot. I cared so little about these people that their ‘traumas’ and the situations they overcame to fulfill their dreams impacted me not one bit. I didn’t care or want these people to get their dreams fulfilled because they were utter strangers. And then the people we did get to know a little better, the main character, and her insta-lover were such cliches that it was difficult to imagine that the others were not as well. I think it was really a combination of completely uninspired writing style and the too-lightness of the book. The ending was, quite possibly, the sappiest I’ve read this year. I mean, the book had promise-I detected influences of Willy Wonka (in the Guardian) and the NY trilogy but it fell so short. I was also a little irked by the lack of connection of the photographs (which were nice ones) to the text which also made it lose a lot of potential.