I loved Oryx and Crake and the Year of the Flood, and had very high expectations of this book. Unfortunately this is a mere shadow of those books. TheI loved Oryx and Crake and the Year of the Flood, and had very high expectations of this book. Unfortunately this is a mere shadow of those books. The only really compelling storyline was Zeb's backstory, but the way it was revealed tended to stall the progression of this novel. I had two major problems with the book. The poor characterisation meant most of the major characters morphed in this book into one dimensional husks - Toby smallminded and obsessively jealous, Jimmy unconscious and then basically a non-event, Ren and Amanda effectively eliminated from any meaningful part in the story. Even the Painballers were absent. And the way it sped through storylines in the final third to tie all the loose ends up and complete the trilogy read more like a newspaper summary than the excellent narrative journey we might expect from Atwood. Both the climax and conclusion were massively muted and lacking in any emotional substance. If you're a fan you will read this, but I suggest keeping your expectations low!...more
A great idea and a fast paced, exciting read. Nolan's writing is not great though - the characters are a bit patchy, and quite one-dimensional. Scene-A great idea and a fast paced, exciting read. Nolan's writing is not great though - the characters are a bit patchy, and quite one-dimensional. Scene-setting is very abrupt. The sex scenes are poor, made me feel grubby even reading them - although they get far worse in the sequels. Overall I enjoyed the concept, and the execution was good enough for a quick read, but not to whole-heartedly recommend....more
Very ordinary. I struggled to finish this book. The first of the series is imaginative and well paced, if not particularly well written. By this book,Very ordinary. I struggled to finish this book. The first of the series is imaginative and well paced, if not particularly well written. By this book, Nolan has run out of ideas and attempts a rehash of the first story, with extra aliens, alternate universes and telepathy. He shouldn't have bothered....more
Depression and rejection drive this great novel which was nominated for a booker this year. Levy has packed a lot of emotion into her characters, andDepression and rejection drive this great novel which was nominated for a booker this year. Levy has packed a lot of emotion into her characters, and the tensions between spouses, friends, families and a disturbed stalker who both depend on and despise each other brilliantly bubble over a peaceful but hostile Mediterranean background.
The story depicts a tumultuous week in the south of France revolving around the dysfunctional relationships between Joe, a famous English poet on holiday with his not-quite-but-practically estranged war correspondent wife, his 14 year old daughter who both loves and despises him, and a beautiful young visitor/stalker, Kitty. Kitty bursts onto the scene skinny dipping in the pool of their holiday villa, and becomes the fulcrum of the story - both as a very disturbed and depressed person, and in turn disturbing the already fractured relationships between each family member with her desperate need to be in contact with Joe. Kitty is both vulnerable and domineering, alluring and terrifying. She is an absolutely unpredictable character, and as a result the story takes several turns before a final, totally unexpected climax.
I really enjoyed this book. It will stay with me for some time, particularly the disturbing Kitty Ket and her favorite poem... it's raining. Highly recommended read, but probably not one to attempt if you are feeling a bit down....more
Tormented, jealous and grief stricken. Sid Griffiths is an ordinary person caught up in an extraordinary time with the freakishly talented HieronymusTormented, jealous and grief stricken. Sid Griffiths is an ordinary person caught up in an extraordinary time with the freakishly talented Hieronymus Falk. Jazz players in the same band, Hiero is "the kid", a genius everyone except Sid recognises, until the chasm between their talents becomes blindingly obvious.
This story flicks between Germany and Paris in 1939/40 and Europe in 1994. It's a heart tearing story of selfish betrayals mixed with real tenderness. These complicated people are so alive, and it is so well written you can almost hear the soulful music blaring from the kids horn, the crunch of the Boots marching past, of their terror.
Sid's horrible secret stays so until a climactic finale. I actually gasped when I learnt what his desperation to be part of something real, something beautiful, something that will live forever drives him to do.
Great book, recommended for anyone.
Armstrong’s voice got real gravelly, real deep and soft, like a pelt carpet. ‘There is a whole lot of talents, Sid. You a mighty fine rhythm boy.’ ‘But I ain’t got the stuff.’ ‘You know what you got. Ain’t no one tell you otherwise.’ I shook my head in disgust. ‘It don’t matter much bout all that anyway,’ Armstrong added. ‘You think it do, but it don’t. A man ain’t just his one talent. Little Louis needs you. And Jones look to you like you his brother. You got the talent of making others your kin, your blood. But music, well it’s different. I reckon it got its own worth. But it ain’t a man’s whole life.’
Aw, hell, Louis, I thought. Ain’t nothin else I want...more