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Friday, October 25, 2019

Two more shockers!

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is in the Best Sellers at the moment. I have absolutely no idea why, I found it unutterably tedious. 1/10

The Woman on the Stairs by Bernahrd Schlink was yet another book where I dutifully turned every page and struggled to even follow the plot. I had no interest in the characters or storyline at any stage. I couldn't really tell you what it was about. 1/10

Let's hope things get better!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Everything Under

I dutifully turned every page in Everything Under by Daisy Johnson and tried my hardest to follow it. But I found it difficult to understand the plot, dialogue or characterisation. This was in the best sellers section and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Hats off to anyone who can read it and enjoy it. 1/10

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Girl Reading the Way Inn

Two new fiction books brought to the end of a group of general fiction bookcases. The first was Girl Reading by Katie Ward. I didn't understand this book at all, it was about a series of women who posed for paintings. The whole purpose of the book completely escaped me and it gets 1/10.

The second was The Way Inn by Will Wiles which was a Kafkaesque story about a hotel. The protagonist was on a course at a nearby conference centre but was unable to attend it any more and became trapped in the hotel's increasingly complex world. A parody of the corporate world we live in. This is a book I would have loved in my student days, my tastes have changed slightly since then but it still gets 8/10.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Book 110 again

I thought I was up to 110 books but it was actually 108 so now I have read 2 more and am up to 110. They were both fiction, and it is proving hard to pick out books by authors I want to read.

First up was The Queue by Vladimir Sorokin, about my fifth attempt for its case. It was an unusual novel being 100% dialog, not bad, a bit weird, but it managed 5/10.

Then came Missing Fay by Adam Thorpe, set in my native Lincolnshire. This again had an unusual structure, with a chapter for each character. I like the way it painted the picture. But ultimately there was very little story, and I felt a bit cheated. Not bad though. 6/10.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Book 110

The Flawless Place Between by Bruno Portier has to be one of the worst books I have ever read. It's supposed to be like The Alchemist, but it's not even in the same league. A woman dies in a traffic accident and some mystic guy from the mountains appears to advise on her afterlife. Utter nonsense and cliched rubbish 1/10


Friday, May 10, 2019

Girl Unknown

Girl Unknown by Karen Perry is a simple idea, a girl who turns up (in the first chapter) claiming to be a daughter from an old relationship. The shadowy girl increasingly begins to disrupt the father's lives and eventually the rest of his family. The book is all about relationships, nearly all of the characters have relationships, and few of them have happy ones. Those in relationships sometimes have fault lines, which others can expose.

The problem for me with the book is that the author has had a good idea, but she's constrained by literary conventions to have a climactic ending and the obligatory twist or two. This book never quite makes it from a good first half to a satisfactory conclusion and the ending, and the events leading up to it feel contrived. Like the relationships it details, it would be better of stuck in the middle somewhere and without the need to have a finish. 7/10

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Mark and the Void

Book 108 The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray is quite an unusual book, very original in the way its structured, being a book about writing the very book you the reader are reading. It's a romantic comedy set during the financial crisis in Ireland. In places it is very funny, but I did find all the charcters blurred together and there were times where my interest was flagging, only to resurface a few dozen pages later. Not a bad read. 6/10.