I loved this book. It has a narrative that moves seamlessly between the dystopic present and not too distant past of a cast of fascinating characters.I loved this book. It has a narrative that moves seamlessly between the dystopic present and not too distant past of a cast of fascinating characters. I cared about each one of them -- no mean feat. ...more
While I don't think Maddaddam is a good stand-alone book, it is a fitting end to the MaddAddam Trilogy. And allthough Atwood does re-cap the first twoWhile I don't think Maddaddam is a good stand-alone book, it is a fitting end to the MaddAddam Trilogy. And allthough Atwood does re-cap the first two books, I think any reader diving straight into this third book will lose much of the complexity and back stories of the characters by doing so.
This book is as much about storytelling and preservation of history through myth and legend as it is an actual account of what transpired after the first two books. As always, I love Atwood's dry, sardonic humour sprinkled throughout the narrative - mostly as told by Toby to the Crakers. In my head, I heard Atwood's real voice as Toby patiently explaining basic words to the Crakers and coming up with explanations on the fly. Her explanation of the expletive, F**k! is hilarious. And it's not what one would normally think.
Recommended for those who have read the first two books in the trilogy.
(I've come back and re-rated this from 4 to 5 stars based on the deftness of Atwood's storytelling and her ability to fill in the gaps and questions left by the first two books.)...more
Pure Munro. I loved this collection of stories. Like her previous works, there are always one or two stories that stay in my mind for days after the iPure Munro. I loved this collection of stories. Like her previous works, there are always one or two stories that stay in my mind for days after the initial reading.
Knowing her age, I keep wondering how much longer she can keep this up....more
This is not your daddy's western. If it weren't for the California gold rush setting and guns-for-hire subject matter, I wouldn't cI loved this book.
This is not your daddy's western. If it weren't for the California gold rush setting and guns-for-hire subject matter, I wouldn't consider The Sisters Brothers a western at all. Take the same story and characters, update them into a present-day setting - or back to medieval China - and I think it would still work. That's because the brothers - especially, Eli - are so well written.
The Sisters brothers are Charles and Eli, two gunmen employed by the Commodore. The Commodore has sent them to track down and kill a prospector that wronged him. Charles, the older brother, needs no other reason. It's a job - pure and simple. Eli, the younger brother and narrator of the story is more introspective and, in the course of their travels, comes to the conclusion that this is not the life for him. He decides that this will be his last job for the Commodore.
Eli is a big, overweight, teddy bear of a man with a lethal temper and stubborn loyalty to his older brother. Charles is the cold-blooded leader. The details of how they became the feared Sisters Brothers unfolds slowly through Eli's narrative. His language is slow, formal and surprisingly intelligent and insightful. He is neither apologetic nor boastful about their deeds, but a tinge of remorse surfaces from time to time when he ponders why things had to unfold the way they have. The violence and brutality are described matter-of-factly - sometimes in minute detail - but never gratuitously.
In many ways, this book reminded me of the Clint Eastwood/Morgan Freeman film, The Unforgiven -- lethal gunmen doing what they do well. Not proud of it, but not necessarily ashamed either.
I feel the story took me on a very personal journey with the Sisters brothers. I've read some reviewers who thought the ending was anti-climactic and unsatisfactory. I disagree. I thought it was the perfect ending.
I've tried reading Beautiful Losers four times. Each time, I would get a little bit further along, but never past much more than one-third. Each time,I've tried reading Beautiful Losers four times. Each time, I would get a little bit further along, but never past much more than one-third. Each time, I would put it back on my shelves, thinking, maybe I'm just not in the right mood, maybe it's not the right time, maybe next time I'll love it. (This technique of re-shelving and trying later has worked for other books - e.g. War and Peace). But now, I've finally capitulated! I have truly and completely abandoned it.
From time to time I go through my bookshelves to weed out the "must keep" books from the "meh, I don't care books". Beautiful Losers definitely fell into the latter category. Never mind that I thought - as a Canadian - I was being a wee bit sacrilegious giving up on Canadian icon Leonard Cohen. But enough is enough . I sent it to the local thrift shop on my last donation run.
The spot on my Canadian lit shelf where it once resided -- between Wayson Choy and Robertson Davies -- is now vacant.
Family Matters was a bittersweet read for me. It is a stunningly, at times, achingly honest portrayal of family. From the petty arguments, parental prFamily Matters was a bittersweet read for me. It is a stunningly, at times, achingly honest portrayal of family. From the petty arguments, parental pride, acceptance/revulsion of caring for an aging parent, to coming to terms with past perceived wrongs, Mistry captures all the love/hate, push/pull of everyday life. It’s all set within a backdrop of Indian politics, multiculturalism and religious tension. Yes, it is about a Parsi family in Bombay, but it could be any family struggling with aging parents, disagreements over religion, money and politics.
Though not as bleak as A Fine Balance, there is still no happy-ever-after or even clear-cut resolution to the story because this family, like all families, is ever-evolving; their future, yet to be determined by whatever circumstances come their way.
Family Matters is an excellent book. If you loved A Fine Balance, you will love this.
I wish we could give 1/2 stars on Goodreads because The Sentimentalist was not quite four stars, but better than three. Therefore, 3 1/2 stars would hI wish we could give 1/2 stars on Goodreads because The Sentimentalist was not quite four stars, but better than three. Therefore, 3 1/2 stars would have been just right.
It was, in many ways, an infuriating read. At times, it was poetic and lyrical. At others, it was just plain wordy - pretty words for the sake of pretty words - not really adding to the story. There were times I wished Skibsrud had had a more ruthless editor. That being said, it was a good, if not great read. ...more