10 January 2015



So far I have read the ones that show a rating ... so I have a few to go before March kickoff
A very "meh" reaction.  Many that weren't my CoT (Cup of Tea), some that were ok but not terrific, some that I enjoyed but doubt they will linger in the Good Read file of my brain, some grew in my memory after I finished and some that diminished.

08 January 2015

04 January 2015

Silence Once Begun ~ Jesse Ball

*** LIKE ***

Interviewer : Why did you like this?
Reader : It was provokingly different.

There is something enigmatic about this that keeps you interested.  The writing is very stylised in the form of interview transcripts and recorded statements. The language is sparse and controlled but produced an air of fatalistic melancholy.

The unusual construction ultimately got the better of the plot.  I didn't mind the gimmicks or contrivances of the parts but I wanted more satisfaction from the whole.

03 January 2015

The Farm ~ Tom Rob Smith

*** LIKE ***

The very best of "unreliable narrator"
Secrets, lies & the psyche

Is this a brooding crime novel or study of a mental breakdown?
Is Tilde a delusional conspiracy theorist? 
Are there dark secrets being covered up by the community?

The Farm keeps you guessing and keeps you turning the pages even when the voice becomes a little stilted and a little contrived and a little long winded.   Tilde's "evidence" seemed a lame, not really supported by hard evidence, but more the suppositions and imaginings of the unreliable narrator.   While I wanted to believe her, it was too easy to see her as delusional.

There is great sense of location.  The bleakness of the farm in Sweden and the liveliness of the social events were well written.  The characters and plot have a flatness that fits the retelling of events that Tilde is reconstructing with her items of evidence. 

I didn't mind the ending - I thought it was a wrap up that fitted and was fair to the characters and storyline.

01 January 2015

A Brief History Of Seven Killings ~ Marton James


I remember school days toiling over my Latin translations ... 
didn't enjoy it ... and it all came back to haunt me with this!

If patois is defined as : a form of a language that is spoken only in a particular area, then I am not going to rate myself as a "fail" for not enjoying the struggle to read this!  In fact, I didn't enjoy it so much that I didn't finish it!

The pigin dialect being used, the constant jargon of the language, was a struggle.  And to further fracture the reading, the story itself jumped between points of view and the timeline.  And close to 700 pages of unstructured language and plotline.

Clever?  Maybe.
A struggle to read?  Totally.

I can see myself writing The Great Australian Novel, cockkers with the vernacular!  
But I will just start with this review (in the Great Australian Vernacular ... and at least I provided a translation): 

Crikey, chinas! Thought I'd need the ambo! I was a cot case.  At first I thought, she'll be apples.  I'll give it a burl!!  But then I realised my noggin was cactus!  I was cheesed off and about to do my lolly.  Fair crack of the whip! I had buckleys of sussing out the lingo! Thought I was a drongo!  A no-hoper! But stone the crows!!!  This was a stinker for me as a reader! A write off!

Good heavens, mates!  Thought I'd need an ambulance!  I was done in.  At first I thought, it'll be all right.  I'll give it a go!!  But then I realised that my brain was broken!  I was annoyed and about to get angry.  Ease up! I had no chance of understanding the language!  Thought I was a stupid person!  An incompetent person! But wow!!!  This was objectionable for me as a reader!  A total loss!