Another fantastic debut by a Nigerian author I'd never ever heard of.
This novel is told through journal entries by the progtaginst Lola, a young Nige...moreAnother fantastic debut by a Nigerian author I'd never ever heard of.
This novel is told through journal entries by the progtaginst Lola, a young Nigerian girl living in London until her world is turned upside down and she is dragged back to live in Nigeria. Once there, she and her close brother are separated and her father disowns her for his second family.
Lola details all her troubles and struggles whilst being sexually abused by family members, physically abused and starved before going to the lows of living on the streets...after disowned and thrown out by all the family members that she knows. Her father having no involvement in her life at all.
This is not a feel good book. Poor Lola goes through hell when she get's back to Nigeria. Her father ditches her with her family who don't seem to want anything to do with her and make her life a misery. She thinks things get better before they all come tumbling down all over again, this is a cycle that happens many times and I believe that people in Nigeria like Lola do exist, going through this hell in their daily existence...
Its such a sad novel but an outstanding one, I absolutely couldn't put it down. Lola is so well drawn alongside her bastard of a dad and abusive family members, you really feel as though all of these events are taking place right in front of you and that you could if you wanted, scream for it all to stop, to leave Lola alone...sadly not the case but it feels so very real. Probably because as I say, so many kids go through this kind of crap over there and over poverty ridden countries where food is the only thing that matters.
If you are interested in a young girls journey, a hard journey at that, into the depths of hell to come out truimphant, then this book is for you. Remember it's told in journal form however, so if that'll put you off, don't bother but I think that is what makes this novel so devastating and real.
I will pick up the next book by this author without a doubt.(less)
I find the subject matter and the constant debate about who Jack the Ripper was, fascinating and therefore try and read whatever comes up about the s...more
I find the subject matter and the constant debate about who Jack the Ripper was, fascinating and therefore try and read whatever comes up about the subject. However, this is such a dull read I can't be bothered to continue. It's not even got to the stage where various authors discuss their theories of who is the most likely suspect, it's a constant rehashing of the murders/autopsies and evidence, which is rehashed several times - so much so, I feel as though I know each individual death by heart.The initial section is the work of the editors yet I don't see any evidence of editing. I can only imagine the rest of the book is extremely unedited and boring so off I go to find a Ripper book actually worthy of my time. This isn't it!(less)
Okay, so here I go. To attempt to review the singularly best book I have ever read in my whole life.
I cannot convey what a sheer piece of awesomeness...moreOkay, so here I go. To attempt to review the singularly best book I have ever read in my whole life.
I cannot convey what a sheer piece of awesomeness this book is so seriously, although I'll try, you really need to pick it up for yourself to fully understand my thoughts and feelings behind this book.
A couple of months ago, my mom told me she was going to India for three weeks (and go she did) but I remember thinking at the time why? It just doesn't seem to me a place I could emphasise with visiting. Just didn't appeal. Indian slums are well known and so is the overpopulation and therefore to me no appeal whatsoever. My stepfather gave me this book on his return, he hadn't had chance to read it. As busy as they'd been but said it was highly recommended.
This book has changed my whole perspective of never wishing to visit India for starters! I now feel fully enthused to go... Gregory James Roberts and his amazing work has prompted my change in perspective.
Firstly. About the author. He is a real life crook, having really escaped from an Australian prison and really having lived in India, therefore I would argue, more often than not this book is at least semi biographical if not more so.
So that explains his reasons for being there and so begins his long stay in India, ten years if I recall correctly and during these ten years ''Lin' as he calls himself goes through every imaginable disaster. Fires, murders, disease epidemics and war and I think that may just cover it. Other reviews say that Lin seems very over the top and not very plausible and therefore over exaggerates his experiences, I doubt that very much and would describe Lin as many things but certainly not full of himself. In fact quite the contrary, very honest about his faults and his crimes therefore quite humble.
The other characters including Prabaker his best friend are equally humble, honest and likeable. In fact Prabaker is after Lin, my favourite character in the book and so very funny, certainly had out loud at some points which is very unlike me, I generally don't find humour in books that funny but this is unintended, this is Prabaker's character and I could almost say I loved him dearly!
This book is very character and plot driven. Given the fact that a book is usually one or the other and not both, the author does a fantastic job of doing both.
Considering the guy is a criminal, or was, he can write so spectacularly. His writing is almost like poetry at times, very enjoyable to read, I think the author is a born writer not a self made one like so many crappy ones put there today.
The descriptions in the book are what made the book for me with the characters. I felt as though I truly was living in India for all the time Roberts did, I could almost smell the slums in front of me. So very very vivid.
An absolutely beautiful book. One I will undoubtedly read again and again over time.
Pick this book up, you'd be doing yourself a grave injustice if you don't.(less)
A Child Al Confino is set in Europe of which is on the brink of war....the Nazi's beginning to take control and the Germans beginning t...moreBrief Synopsis:
A Child Al Confino is set in Europe of which is on the brink of war....the Nazi's beginning to take control and the Germans beginning their racial hatred campaign against the Jews later to result in the devastating Holocaust.
Eric Lamet was a real boy living in war torn Europe during this time but contrary to what you may think, unlike most Holocaust related books, this is not set in Germany, nowhere near in fact. Its actually set in Italy and focuses on Mussolini's gradual but eventual change into facism turning Italy into a facist state to rival Hitler's Germany...
Therefore this book is not a stereotypical Holocaust by all means and is all true, all based on fact and backed up by photographs which are shown sporadically through the book of real places and real people that Eric encountered during his personal struggles during this difficult time period...
This book was different. When I read a synopis which mentions the word Holocaust, straight away rather stereotypically, I think set in Nazi Germany because let's face it..........
This book, is in essence, simply a memoir written by a Chinese American mother about her use of Chinese parenting and how it impacts and effec...moreSummary
This book, is in essence, simply a memoir written by a Chinese American mother about her use of Chinese parenting and how it impacts and effects her kids both negatively and positively. She also compares it to Westernised methods of which she constantly critiques throughtout the book, always criticising it as a worse approach to take to raise kids than her own Chinese way.
The first thing I need to make clear is that I really did NOT like Amy Chau, I'd even go as far as to say I detested her. Amy comes across throughout the book as a complete control freak, with compulsive and obsessive tendencies as regards mistakes her kids had made. I felt that even in some cases that she was particularly cruel to her kids and that I couldn't imagine talking to someone like that if they were my mother and treated me like that. In fact it was rather predictable that one would rebel despite her insistence this was one off behaviour with Chinese kids.
Just because I totally detested and violently disagree with Amy's parenting views and critiques of the Western styles of parenting, didn't mean I didn't enjoy this. I enjoyed it for a fairly quick, light and easy read of which gave an interesting insight into another culture. For that reason I rate it highly, had I rated it based on personal opinion of the author, there really would not be enough minus stars to do it. I really detested her.
Always been interested in this period of history, I decided to pick this up.
Similar to Anne Franks diary in that it recounts through memoir form, the...moreAlways been interested in this period of history, I decided to pick this up.
Similar to Anne Franks diary in that it recounts through memoir form, the stories of three holocaust and more specifically Auschwitz survivors. Not a book to enjoy by any means but an interesting look at further perspectives into the war against the Jews.
Also serves as a horrible reminder as to the true extent of the ability for humans to act in a truly horrific and evil manner.
If you are interested in this period of history, I would recommend you pick this book up but it is certainly not a light or easy read by any means.(less)
This book was pretty good and I did end up enjoying it in the end despite initial reservations.
The story is told through two viewpoints; the first a d...moreThis book was pretty good and I did end up enjoying it in the end despite initial reservations.
The story is told through two viewpoints; the first a doctor who works in a mental institute and who is assessing patients to see whether they can be put back into the community, the main focus of his studies is; Rosemary who the other viewpoint is told from. She is writing a secret journal about her life and this intermingles quite nicely with Mr Grene's [the doctor:] case book that he is compiling.
Although very slow at times and going off on a tangent sometimes [whether irrelevant or just plain uninteresting:] the book was extremely readbable and the pages turned quickly for me towards the end when the pace sped up a bit.
The use of imagery in this book is amazing. The author really did transport me to the times and places that he wrote about, his use of it was very effective and added another reason to like this book.
So, all in all I liked the book. But certainly not one of my favourites.(less)
This was an absolutely amazing book. A definite favourite of the year and I would even go as far as to say that I would consider it to be in my...more Wow!
This was an absolutely amazing book. A definite favourite of the year and I would even go as far as to say that I would consider it to be in my top twenty of books.
Originally when I started, I wasn't initially keen on the writing. The fact it was wrote in letter form didn't bother me, it was just that the author seemed to be so long winded and irrelevant about everything. After a few chapters though, I grew to love it, I found her writing rich in detail and extremely compelling.
I can honestly say that I loathed most the characters. I couldn't comment on Celia- a rather minor character whom wasn't that all developed.
Starting with Kevin, well what is there to like? It's clear that from an early age he has issues of some kind of which result in a constant show of outright hatred towards mom whilst playing happy families, rather deviously, with dad. It's hard to say whether Eva's reluctance to have a child may have impacted him but I would say Kevin seemed to be a royal @&£?! which as in bred, was there in the first place. I'm of the view he was born fucked up. Eva was indifferent at times but really did try to get to know Kevin for it all to be thrown back in her face. So it's not as though Eva neglected Kevin or didn't try to develop a relationship of some kind.
On the subject of Eva, nasty character number two. A very selfish, conceited human being who seemsto only care about her self- Franklin at a stretch but indeed, no one else. She spends a lot of time wringing during her pregancy with Kevin, mostly because she is concerned she won't be able to fly across the world to work, drink her several glasses of wine a night, during a period where most people would be purely interested in the child's well being. As I say, a very selfish individual but I did find I did have a little bit of sympathy for her because it seemed everyone including Franklin liked to lame Eva for everything Kevin related and it seemed unjustified.
Franklin comes after Kevin, I hated him almost as much. Seriously, how blind can you be? Your child clearly has issues and you ignore them, blaming everything on your wife even going so far as to advise her to see a 'shrink' when it's the child who needs to see the shrink.
Despite the fact that all characters were mostly unlike able, I was still not put off. The way in which the letters are wrote is great and perhaps helped me feel something for Eva.
This book is definitely not a feel good book, it is very dark and disturbed but still, an excellent book at that.
I will be rushing out to grab some mo Lionel Shriver books, I think!(less)
Not keen on child abuse stories..I fail to see the entertainment factor that you get from reading books in these type of books. And had a few too many...moreNot keen on child abuse stories..I fail to see the entertainment factor that you get from reading books in these type of books. And had a few too many uncomfortable moments for me tbh.(less)