I can't believe it has taken me so long to get around to reading one of the classic vampire novels, considering my teenage fascination with Anne Rice...moreI can't believe it has taken me so long to get around to reading one of the classic vampire novels, considering my teenage fascination with Anne Rice and all things vampire. I really enjoyed reading this. The letter/diary style writing made everything seem very personal and thrilling, and it was interesting to see diary entries from different characters, as they gave an insight onto the other characters. While there have been many adaptations of Dracula (many resulting in a rather cheesy story), there is a certain originality to this novel that makes all those known overused cliches (garlic, bats, etc) exciting once again. Well worth reading.(less)
It is so much harder than it appears to write clever humour, and write it well. And, really, this book is a must-read simply because of how absurdly f...moreIt is so much harder than it appears to write clever humour, and write it well. And, really, this book is a must-read simply because of how absurdly funny it is. Not to mention how much of Hg2g has permeated modern society (babel fish, deep thought, and 42 anyone?).
This is inspired lunacy at its best, timelessly entertaining. I can understand why some people would find it whimsically annoying, but I challenge them to write something more light-heartedly humorous and simultaneously deviously clever than this.
And, for the true hardcore fans, you should try the text-adventure game of H2g2. It'll take the rest of your life for you to finish it.
I'm not much of a mystery-reader myself, and even less so when reading in another language, but I really enjoyed reading 10 little Indians in Italian-...moreI'm not much of a mystery-reader myself, and even less so when reading in another language, but I really enjoyed reading 10 little Indians in Italian--clearly a sign of how great a book it is. Thrilling, suspenseful, and unexpected.(less)
I won this via the Goodreads first reads system. My initial impression (from the cover and back page blurb) was “eugh, romance, not in the mood”. Then...moreI won this via the Goodreads first reads system. My initial impression (from the cover and back page blurb) was “eugh, romance, not in the mood”. Then one day I picked it up, read the prologue, and just didn’t stop. This is beautifully written, intimate, heart-breaking, and so very human. Reading it creates an almost painful happiness; there is an honesty to the story that carries you through even the most painful tragedies, and makes you want to reread each line so that you too can bear witness to the bravery, keep those characters alive one moment longer.
Sometimes when you read a book you become one with the main character, and you feel like you can stand between them and their destiny, or at least help them in their plight. Not so with The Postmistress. Here you stand alongside the story, and as much as you ache for the characters all you can do is watch and bear witness to their struggles.
This may explain why something that would generally annoy me — the point of view sliding between characters — did not bother me at all. Not only was it smoothly done, but it felt right to be able to know each character intimately. After all, this is not some murder-mystery with plot twists to conceal; this is real. Every person counts. Pay attention.
I’ll admit, it’s not an easy read. The parts that really hit me the most were Frankie’s — reading about London being blitzed, people hiding in tube stations, people dying…. The young boy who goes home and finds his house gone, only the front door standing…. Then Frankie travels throughout Europe, on the refugee trains, seeking for the truth and just trying to get the news out to America, to tell people to pay attention, but no one does. It made me cry.
Which brings me to the writing. You know when you read a paragraph that’s so right but you can’t pinpoint why, and you just have to re-read it a couple times to savour it? That’s how I felt reading this book. I think it’s the small details; Blake captures the little things in life that matter without us realizing they do. And on the second read it has only gotten better as I’m noticing the interwoven subtleties. I want to write like this. I want my words to have this effect on someone, someday.
Even the ending, which so often disappoints me in a novel, is somehow right. I really cannot think of anything to improve on. It’s gripping, enthralling, emotional, insightful, and best of all the characters are real people. There are no heroic knights or distressed damsels. There are only people — people like you and me — living through very difficult times.
In sum, this is not the kind of book I thought I would like. And I am so very happy that on that day I looked left instead of right, and requested a copy via Goodreads, because it’s the best book I’ve read in a long, long time.(less)