06 June 2011

Lost In A Good Book ~ Jasper Fforde

* LIKE *

A Thursday Next Novel
You can’t help but say “And now for something completely different!”

Jasper Fford’s sci-fi detective novels are completely insane. They are peopled by strangely named characters (fav from this one was Aubrey Jambe) and plotlines are just plain weird. They are littered with literary references and are a fun, rollercoaster of a ride.

This was the second “Thursday Next” novel that I have read (have also read one of the “Nursery Crime” series) and have “Shades of Grey” downloaded on the Kindle.

I had to stop myself from jumping straight from “Lost In A Good Book” to downloading the next “Thursday Next” ... a bit like Chinese takeaway ... really enjoy it but leaves you wanting more shortly afterwards.

Suspend all beliefs and have some fun

05 June 2011

State Of Wonder ~ Ann Patchett

** OK **

Tournament of Books : 2012

Weak characters, weak ending let down the narrative.
Lack of believability in behaviours let down the narrative.

Have had her previous bestseller, “Bel Canto”, sitting on the shelf unread so downloaded her latest release “State of Wonder” onto the Kindle.
Good read? .... Well, yes with reservations. I will certainly read “Bel Canto” when we get home as I like her writing style.

Her writing is very descriptive so she established a good sense of place (the dense jungle of the Amazon) with the heat, humidity and bugs. There was an interesting array of characters thought sometimes I found them a little underwritten and their actions lacking believability.

I suppose my main reservation was the lack of believability in the ending. Don’t mind a book ending with questions still unanswered for your to ponder on but “State of Wonder” seemed to leave the story incomplete. (Can’t say more without spoilers).

04 June 2011

The Gentlemen’s Hour ~ Don Winslow

< OK >

Follow up to “The Dawn Patrol”
If you like lots of surf-talk lingo then it’s for you

Have been a big Don Winslow fan ever since “Power of the Dog” but it may be time to give him a rest.

This is a follow on from “The Dawn Patrol” with the same characters. The story is set in San Diego with a set of crimes that PI Boone is investigating knitting together. I didn’t really find it page-turner crime and there seemed to be many passages of exposition needed to give background and explanation and move the plot forward.

If you are into books with a strong surf culture background, then maybe it’s for you.

(If you haven’t read “Power of the Dog” by Don Winslow, it is a Must Read!)

03 June 2011

A Visit From The Goon Squad ~ Jennifer Egan


Winner : Pulitzer Prize 2011
Winner : National Book Critics Circle Award 2010
Tournament of Books : 2011 (Winner)

Cool! Unusual!

I really enjoyed this because it kept you on your toes mapping the relationships, remembering who was who. There was virtually no narrative. It was a series of different stories, in different voices, in different formats, in different times. Characters featuring in one story may have had a fleeting role in another and may appear in another story in a different time. The stories are not chronological ... in fact, not anything-logical.

First Tuesday Book Club

02 June 2011

The Last Werewolf ~ Glen Duncan


Reviewed on First Tuesday Book Club (but had found it first)
Schlock Horror of high quality

Alphie had read this before we left home on the There & Back Again Tour and even though I have loaded up my Kindle with 40 odd books (Pulitzer, Booker, Poe, Dagger etc winners plus pop fiction plus past classics), I started with this “hard copy” of pulp horror fiction. And so glad I did A plus was the lovely quality of the paper and print ... for even though I am being won over by the Kindle, there is something about a “good book”.

I enjoyed it ... for schlock horror it was well constructed and well written. The literary and popular references were cute (“Dear Reader, I ate him.”). The story kept an even pace with plenty of action, romance and mayhem (ok, gory werewolf violence and physically explicit sex).

While not my fav of the genre this year (definitely “The Passage” by Justin Cronin followed by the two “Sandman Slim” novels by Richard Kadrey) it was a good read and I wish I had brought “I, Lucifer” with me.

First Tuesday Book Club

Hell’s Bells ~ John Connolly


Round 2 of Samuel Johnson V The Devil
Fun follow up; Young Teen Fiction

Connolly does “dark & creepy” so well for adults but also for children.

This is well pitched with good fun thrown in with the dark and creepy. This is a good follow-up to “The Gates” and there is book #3 in the pipeline.

aka "The Infernals"