elena ferrante truly has a handle on the emotionally dark and twisty natures people possess. humans are complicated and difficult to fully know, whileelena ferrante truly has a handle on the emotionally dark and twisty natures people possess. humans are complicated and difficult to fully know, while at the same time one's own identity can be inconsistent and confusing. ferrante's style, through this translation, is sparse and compelling. but even with this sense of sparseness in the writing, there is depth and so much to think about with nearly every sentence. ferrante also gives such a strong sense of place in her stories, something i really enjoy in fiction. i read this over a few hours and it felt right for this work, which - though memories of the past are interspersed - mostly takes place over a 24-hour period of time.
i did not quite love this as much as the The Neapolitan Novels, but it is still a strong work from ferrante, and i liked going further back in her work. i also quite liked some of the same themes being explored here as in her later books.
this book is pretty damn awesome! i got so much enjoyment out of becky chambers' novel - i found it smart, insightful, entertaining, and emotional. itthis book is pretty damn awesome! i got so much enjoyment out of becky chambers' novel - i found it smart, insightful, entertaining, and emotional. it really packed a terrific reading punch.
i am not well read in the scifi realm... but i dabble a couple of times a year. so i don't know much about the sub-genres or the tropes, or have, really, any expectations beyond hoping for a good story. and this novel is such a good story.
it's very character-driven, and i love the cast chambers has given readers. each is so distinct (and i mean this beyond the fact so many different species are presented in the novel). chambers also manages to brilliantly weave in some politically charged galactic issues. i loved that, and how it reflects back so perfectly on us puny humans. another aspect of the book i enjoyed very much was the fact that inter-species relationships were written about, non-binary gender roles exist, and same-sex relationships are presented. there are some wonderfully kick-ass women in the novel - if you are a reader who loves books to pass the bechdel test... this is a great book for you! it passes with flying colours!
i recommend this to pretty much everyone -- if you think scifi isn't your thing, give this book a try. i feel like you will be won over by the long way to a small angry planet. i was so won over, i got teary at a couple of different moments during the story. there's a strong heart here, but not in a schlocky or cloying way.
that this is a debut novel is kind of making me go WOW even more. one reviewer (for the guardian, i think, called the book 'profound and humane', and i really cannot argue this at all. it is both of these things! this is an open-hearted book for our times. )
but, beyond all of these excellent things, the book is just a whole lot of fun. i came to it through the fact it was longlisted for the baileys women's prize for fiction. and i am SO glad it landed on my reading radar because of the award. i shall now impatiently wait for the next book in the series (or, i think they are saying the next book is a "stand alone sequel") - A Closed and Common Orbit. i only have to wait until october, 2016. i can do that. i think. :)