07 January 2013

06 January 2013

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk ~ Ben Fountain

***** FAVOURITE *****

Winner : National Book Critics Circle Award 2012
Tournament of Books : 2013

Astute and wry observations about a raft of topics

05 January 2013

Bring Up The Bodies ~ Hilary Mantel

** OK **

Winner : Booker Prize 2012 
Tournament of Books : 2013

 Now I remember why I put aside Wolf Hall

04 January 2013

HHhH ~ Laurent Binet

 ** OK ** 

Finalist : National Book Critics Circle Award 2012 
Tournament of Books : 2013

cliche ridden, creative non fiction
trivial impositions of an egotistical author who did the research, had the passion, but had no idea how to narrate a story so producing an
an interrupted narrative 

03 January 2013

Beautiful Ruins ~ Jess Walter

 *** LIKE ***

Tournament of the Books :  2013

Hollywood blockbuster aka soap opera
A beach and bath read

Right towards the end we meet a bit player, a walk on character in this broad-brush drama, who carves tiny sculptures from soap.  How ditzy!  How pseudo-creative!  How perfect! This narrative is a melange of tiny soapy sculptures.

Not that I didn't enjoy it!  Who doesn't enjoy a soak in the bubbles? Immersion in a not-too-deep, froth-filled bath?  A little bit of soap never hurt anyone!  Relaxing, distracting, escapism.  Just what this book provides.  (I admit to a guilty pleasure in the lightweight escapism of "Revenge"!)

But really, I did enjoy it!  Just not as a 5 star read.  I didn't object to the large cast of characters, the changes of locations, the jumps on the timeline, but I didn't find the characters came to life or that the locations were finely drawn.  This was an entertaining read that kept your interest by maintaining a fast pace and a sense of fun as fate and destiny played out with the various characters' lives.

I am not sure what the purpose of the long rambly tying-up-loose ends bit was towards the end where we find out what happened to all the bit players in the novel.

Now I can just sit back and imagine the author making a pitch to Hollywood ...