I picked this book up at a charity book sale two years ago for $1, the other day when I was looking for something new to read I thought it might have...moreI picked this book up at a charity book sale two years ago for $1, the other day when I was looking for something new to read I thought it might have potential, I have never read anything else by Ishiguro. I do own The Remains of the Day but I hate starting out with a book by an author that is supposed to be really good since it makes the ones afterwards disappointing.
As soon as I started reading I found Ishiguro's storytelling pretty engaging, and the different aspects of life in Shanghai and London I always find interesting. I was developing my own ideas of what might have happened to Christopher's parents and near the end I was actually mad because I found the book to be so predictable but then WAIT! That's not what happens!
Ishiguro had everything that I look for in a really entertaining read, and I can't wait to read some more by him.(less)
As I am not particularly an 'academic', few books make me think about certain themes, and meanings behind what normally I might consider mundane aspec...moreAs I am not particularly an 'academic', few books make me think about certain themes, and meanings behind what normally I might consider mundane aspects to a book. This though, was one of those books that had me thinking throughout it, which of course I like, because it makes me feel like I might contain above average intelligence! :)
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, even though the prologue (don't skip it!) tells you what the climax of the novel is going to be, you still find yourself wondering, is that what's going to happen? Really?! No, they wouldn't! The relationships between the characters are odd, endearing and down right creepy.
Throughout the novel there really isn't any mention for what period of time this story is taking place in except for one offhand remark. Dr. Roland (Richard's boss) says that he drives a 10-year old '98 Buick - which says 2008! Yes Emily you have figured it out. This is the one thing that really bothered me though because Tartt makes many references to pop culture, for example...
- Judy Poovey says that she is out of shape and needs to start doing her Jane Fonda again - While Richard and either Charles or Francis are at the bar they are watching 'Sally Jesse Raphael' - which made me laugh
These are minor glitches but they really stuck out to me, maybe because when this book was written I was in second grade?
The names of the six main characters I found interesting as they are all names of royalty... Henry, Charles, Camilla, Francis, Richard, except for the outcast of the group, Bunny. Charles and Camilla are twins that have an underlying sexual tension (this was the creepy part), I don't know if they were named intentionally or if it is just a coincidence, either way, nice work. I also made the royalty connection as it seems as though the characters view themselves as above the law, they don't seem to think that their actions should have any legal implications, or if they do, that they will never be found out.
Well, that is just my two cents. This book was a really quick read for being over 500 pages long, and very different from anything else I have read. Now I' wondering if I should go pick up Tartt's second novel, The Little Friend though I have heard that it is nowhere near as good as her first.
As a Pulitzer winner and member of the 1001 list this book has been on my tbr list for quite some time. I found the family dynamic fascinating and dis...moreAs a Pulitzer winner and member of the 1001 list this book has been on my tbr list for quite some time. I found the family dynamic fascinating and disturbing but also beautifully written. I still have Moo by Smiley on my shelf at home and hope that I find it as enjoyable as this one.(less)
I picked up this book because I remembered multiple family members raving about it. I was expecting to be blown away by Quoyle's problematic life, and...moreI picked up this book because I remembered multiple family members raving about it. I was expecting to be blown away by Quoyle's problematic life, and maybe I went into it hoping for too much, I don't know. Either way, I was left wanting more.
Quoyle, unlucky in life and love, marries Petal, a woman who continuously cheats on him - in his own house, with him there! Maybe there are some self-loathing people out there who l would tolerate something like that, but I am sure not one of them! After Petal is out of the picture, Quoyle moves to Newfound land with his aunt and his daughters, Bunny and Sunshine (poor girls), where all of a sudden his life gets better, like magic. Before, his friend Partridge had to rewrite all of his stories, and now he is a decent journalist, maybe I am supposed to believe that Newfoundlanders have low expectations? From there, Quoyle goes on to live his life, etc, blah blah blah.
Basically, my problem with this book was two things. One - the book was very anti-climactic, when I was done reading, I was confused, I felt like I just read The Life of a Self-Loathing Journalist With Two Little Brats. My second problem was that it seemed like this book was written purely to be made into a movie, which it was, with Kevin Spacey as Quoyle (I have a whole other problem with that, but I won't get into it.) I know I am supposed to suspend my belief in reality when reading a novel, but I don't. And there was one part (I won't say because I don't want to ruin it for anyone) that just would NOT happen. Actually, there was more than just one part, but this one was the icing on the cake.
So overall, I'm not saying it was awful and nobody should read it, I just would have liked a reality check every once in a while. But from a designer's standpoint, I really liked the fact that there was a different knot shown at the beginning of each chapter from The Ashley Book of Knots, I do love a good visual!(less)
First of all, Billy's family and friends have gathered in a Bronx bar for the first 24 pages of the book - thats it! Then they go to the widow's house...moreFirst of all, Billy's family and friends have gathered in a Bronx bar for the first 24 pages of the book - thats it! Then they go to the widow's house for a few chapters, and the rest of it is a bunch of flashbacks. Secondly - Billy was a romantic? A romantic? Billy was a lousy drunk whose family continually tried to get help for him which he threw back in their face.
The majority of this story is told from the point of view of Billy's cousin Dennis' daughter, whom is never named, as she is relaying what happened at the funeral to her husband. I think. Since Dennis' daughter is the one telling the story, Dennis is involved in most parts making me think the title of this book should have been Patient Dennis.
The book really isn't that long, but I felt like it was taking me forever to read! Especially the parts narrated from Billy's widow, Maeve's house. To me it felt like there was a severe lack of emotion that you would expect to be there during a funeral. McDermott drops a bomb in the beginning of the story regarding Billy's first love, Eva, that just doesn't seem very realistic - maybe because I figured it out all on my own? The whole thing made Billy seem pathetic (more than I already thought he was). I didn't find any of the characters particularly likable in this novel, except for Dennis, throughout the years Maeve had called Dennis every time (almost every night) that Billy was too drunk to handle - making both her and Billy seem irresponsible and childish. While Dennis was saintly enough to come over and help, he was really a catalyst in Billy's drinking because of it.
The bright side of this story for me was that Maeve and Billy lived in Bayside, Queens - where I live! But that was it. McDermott didn't give any details about any of the locations on Long Island or Queens that would make you think she had ever even visited the area. Don't get me wrong this wasn't the most horrible book I have ever ready, but I don't feel any better for reading it, thats for sure.(less)
I finally finished Go Down, Moses by the infamous William Faulkner, and really, I wanted to like it but I didn't. The book consists of short stories t...moreI finally finished Go Down, Moses by the infamous William Faulkner, and really, I wanted to like it but I didn't. The book consists of short stories that are put together to create a novel. Each short story is about a different member of the McCaslin family, as one reads through the stories, you can put a general family tree together, though it is difficult as a lot of the family members have the same name. Of course I found this family tree online after I finished the book... always helpful.
I've always heard that Faulkner was difficult to read, but last year I tackled The Sound and the Fury in a day and a half and absolutely loved it, so I thought that this one would be a piece of cake. Now maybe I didn't find this book to be gripping because I am not an avid bear-hunter, or hunter of any kind for that matter. I doubt that though, Faulkner's tangents that he would go off on about what? I don't even know, is really where I got lost. Where previously I found his stream of consciousness a breath of fresh air, here I found it overused and boring. While he describes the wilderness in great detail, I struggled to find a basic description of most of the characters.
And to top it all off, the copy I have of this book I picked up at a Library Sale without realizing that someone had written in it and underlined all over the place. So while I was reading I was wondering why this person was underlining sentences that seemed so unimportant to me... Am I missing something? Should I reread this sentence? This paragraph? I'll just move on.
So, overall I am giving this Faulkner a thumbs down sorry to say. But I still have Light In August sitting on my bookshelf, so it won't be my last.(less)
I really was looking forward to reading this book since I had really liked the other two in the Wicked Years, especially Wicked. At the beginning, I t...moreI really was looking forward to reading this book since I had really liked the other two in the Wicked Years, especially Wicked. At the beginning, I thought it had some potential since there are so many ways an author could go with the backstory of the Cowardly Lion - but this book felt more like Maguire was just trying to fill in some gaps before he started writing the fourth installment in his series. I didn't find myself really caring about Brrr [Cowardly Lion:] because he was such a flat, selfish character, but I kept on reading hoping that it would pick up and really amaze me. No such luck.
After thinking about it, I think the reason that Wicked worked so well is because everyone knows the original story of the Wizard of Oz and it is interesting to hear from the protagonist's perspective. Son of a Witch was still somewhat interesting because it still contained pieces from the original. In the third installment he has stepped far away from the Oz we know and has left me wishing he had just quit after the first book.
Needless to say, I will probably still read the next one that comes out if he continues, just because I will feel I have to.(less)