I bought this book from a second-hand store in Paris. I'm French-Canadian but my French has become rusty over the years, so I've dedicated myself to rI bought this book from a second-hand store in Paris. I'm French-Canadian but my French has become rusty over the years, so I've dedicated myself to reading more books in what is supposed to be my first language. And where better to start than Paris?
But I can't really review this book. This is the first French title I read in eight years, so I don't yet feel qualified to comment on its translation due to my eroded French. It's not that I didn't get it, as I'm still quite fluent. It's just those little undertones, nuances, and symbology that make language such a delicious little indulgence have perhaps flown over my head a little, even though I did start to settle into them after reading about two thirds of the book. A lot of words simply escaped my understanding, and I'd only really *get* them after some serious consideration.
And how best to comment on a translation, anyway? Do I praise the writer or the translator? Hmm. This will be something to hash out once I get a better handle on mon français....more
This book was just lovely. I think I enjoyed it more than The History of the Siege of Lisbon, although I gave it the same rating.
Death With InterruptThis book was just lovely. I think I enjoyed it more than The History of the Siege of Lisbon, although I gave it the same rating.
Death With Interruptions is divided into two sections: first we discover that death has abandoned a country, and we get to observe the way in which a government and its people deal with this phenomenon; second, the story is described from death's point of view when she is unable to kill a certain cellist and falls in love with him instead.
Although I'm very much a rookie in regards to Saramago's writing, I imagine this book is more satirical and ridiculous than his others, certainly more so than The History of the Siege of Lisbon. I love the way Saramago challenges our cultural notions surrounding death, as demonstrated by the polarized attitudes that present themselves when eternal life becomes the norm. Then playing with the concept of death falling in love was something that was just so enjoyable to witness, something that made the book truly original.
I'll be taking a break from Saramago for a while yet, but he's fast becoming an author I can rely on not to disappoint. ...more
The Time in Between is a sad book. All the characters are longing for something they can't have, and each of them reacts to this in their own ways. ItThe Time in Between is a sad book. All the characters are longing for something they can't have, and each of them reacts to this in their own ways. It was heartbreaking to watch these people tirelessly search for something they can't possibly find, because what they want is so abstract that it doesn't exist or only exists in the "time in between". Half of them don't even know what they're looking for yet they feel incomplete without it. The book is constructed around this theme, and sadness seems to permeate through each carefully built sentence, the tone in each line of dialogue.
This was my first David Bergen, and I wasn't disappointed. You would think the depressing content would weigh heavily on the reader, but there is an ease with which he writes that lightens the load. Heavy content, effortless narrative. He's totally mastered this combination, and as a result the eye glides over the text without stumbling.
I'm thinking I'll read The Retreat next, I've heard it's even better....more
1. Gemma. GET OVER IT. Yes, your best friend "stole" your boyfriend (not EVEN), but it happened TH2.5
Mildly entertaining, but I HATED the characters.
1. Gemma. GET OVER IT. Yes, your best friend "stole" your boyfriend (not EVEN), but it happened THREE YEARS ago. And don't even get me started on Gemma's mother. What an IDIOT. I can understand being devastated after your husband of thirty-five years leaves you for a younger woman, but to make your idiot daughter take care of you for MONTHS as if you're terminally ill? GIVE ME A DAMN BREAK.
2. Jojo. I actually liked Jojo. I didn't have a problem with her affair with Mark, and I liked her ambition. Every time I reached a Jojo chapter, I breathed a small sigh of relief at having been done a ridiculous Gemma one.
3. Lily. OK, she was kind of sweet. But what an idiot with money, and she was such a WIMP. Reading a Lily chapter was like watching a train wreck, and then it just got old.
Marian Keyes, I will give you ONE MORE CHANCE, and then I'm calling it quits. Oh, and by the way, your novels DO NOT need to be this long. ...more
Comfort Food for Breakups doesn't disappoint. As its title indicates, reading this book is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket while chowing downComfort Food for Breakups doesn't disappoint. As its title indicates, reading this book is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket while chowing down on a favourite childhood dish. Bociurkiw intermingles memory and food in such savoury language that you really taste her words, smell each described dish, and feel each emotion bubbling up from the pot. I'd recommend picking this up on a lazy, winter day--but not if you're on a diet!...more
This was HILARIOUS! I love the puzzle that is an Oscar Wilde play, with all the misunderstandings between characters and fraught interactions. I loveThis was HILARIOUS! I love the puzzle that is an Oscar Wilde play, with all the misunderstandings between characters and fraught interactions. I love the little smirky contrasts in his dialogue, too, because they make his characters all the more ridiculous. I've never enjoyed reading someone's plays more....more
If this review had a title, it would be "Fiona Doesn't Care."
And that's saying a lot. It's Sri Lanka, mid-90s, civil war, brutality of the wSeriously?
If this review had a title, it would be "Fiona Doesn't Care."
And that's saying a lot. It's Sri Lanka, mid-90s, civil war, brutality of the worst kind. And I STILL didn't care what happened. Because while people are being tortured and beheaded, their heads displayed on sticks for all to see, the main characters are bumbling around the country with some skeleton named Sailor, trying to find out where he worked at the time of his disappearance. I understand that Ondaajte is attempting to whittle down the war's horrors to their smallest form, but in doing so he has managed to strip all meaning from larger-scale events.
The ONLY reason this book gets two stars instead of one is because of the last 70 pages. Most of this portion focuses on Gamini, the book's most interesting character -- a war doctor on speed. Funny thing is, he's a secondary character. Anil was a shadow to me, a mere figment. I didn't come away knowing her at all.
So yeah, don't understand why Ondaatje is worshipped as one of Canada's all-time literary treasures. I'll give him one more chance with In the Skin of a Lion, but after that I am DONE. ...more
I won't add to the mass amount of detailed reviews for this book, but rather just say that I was deeply moved by Aminata's story. Lawrence Hill did anI won't add to the mass amount of detailed reviews for this book, but rather just say that I was deeply moved by Aminata's story. Lawrence Hill did an amazing job of captivating one story of slavery among the many true accounts of the atrocities of such a trade. Story aside, what I enjoyed most of all was reading Hill's afterword regarding the many texts he consulted to shape Aminata's story. He consulted a number of types of books during his research: memoirs, diaries, historical documents, historical narratives, etc. He researched even the smallest aspects of the story, straight down to how slave women wore their hair when making the long journey to the coast of Africa where slave vessels were waiting to take them away to the United States. It overwhelms me to think about how Hill used all those bits of information to shape the story of one woman, one slave, one person who reclaimed her freedom....more