A superb book, littered with wonderful turns of phrase and passages that you have to read twice just to take in the beauty of them.
Page to page not a...moreA superb book, littered with wonderful turns of phrase and passages that you have to read twice just to take in the beauty of them.
Page to page not a lot happens while you're reading, but you slowly get the sense that, for the characters, the whole world is shifting - which is a stunning achievement. While you're happily absorbing each page, people's lives are changing in the background.
You never feel pressured to read on by the story - but you do because of the descriptions, the observations, and the thoughts of the characters.
I can see myself reading it again a few years down the line, and I don't imagine it will be any less joyful.(less)
I read this as I love the film, and figured I should have a go at finishing a Michael Chabon book after failing miserably at Kavalier &...moreVery enjoyable!
I read this as I love the film, and figured I should have a go at finishing a Michael Chabon book after failing miserably at Kavalier & Clay, which just wasn't for me. I also needed a 'getaway' book for holiday that was just plain fun, and this filled the hole nicely.
The characters are nicely portrayed and make a bit more sense than in the film, as their motives are sometimes better explained - the exception being James, but that's his secretive character to a tee.
What was also a pleasant surprise was the 80-odd pages in the middle, that weren't in the film, detailing the Jewish dinner at Grady's in-laws. It's a series of scenes that could have really dragged, but they fitted in nicely and added a bit more depth to his failing relationship.
Additionally, I much preferred the tying up of several storylines in the book, which seemed a bit thrown together in the film - presumably for time reasons. I also love the use of the tuba in the book, almost becomming a character itself.
I still love the film, with its fantastic soundtrack, and can see why they made the changes necessary for film translation, but it was nice to see where it all came from. I'm actually glad here that I saw the film first, which is at odds to normal.
Books are better than the film they inspired - it's pretty much a given fact. But if you forced me to choose a film that was better than its book - if...moreBooks are better than the film they inspired - it's pretty much a given fact. But if you forced me to choose a film that was better than its book - if I had to give one on pain of death - I would say that 'Jaws' was it. So what happened Spielberg? Why did you butcher this so? What happened in those twenty years?
I wasn't expecting anything great from this sequel, really, as it came out rather quickly on the high tide after the first film did so well, but I was actually surprised by how much of a worthy sequel it actually is. Whereas in the film we find ourselves on the island within the first ten minutes, the book takes its time a bit more, setting the background as to why we are heading there over the first hundred or so pages. And even when we arrive Crichton explores the island in his own time, not rushing to get on with the dinosaur attacks, which is admirable in a sequel of this kind - where generally people want excitement from the off.
What then follows is a very enjoyable extension to the story. Sure there are times when you can't understand the motives behind the character's actions, but it's all pretty much excusable - they're under some stress after all.
The only other gripe I'd have with the writing is that the word 'frond' is used to excess, particularly in one early section of the book - which becomes tiresome, and the 'gunning' of engines which happens often towards the end.
Otherwise, if you enjoyed the first book then you should find this a reasonable continuation of the story. It's not as good as Jurassic Park, as you wouldn't expect it to be, but enjoyable never-the-less.
Just don't judge the book on the film. It is, after all, an entirely different beast.(less)
I didn't know what to expect with this book - even in its physical form - I ordered it up and always thought 'Hmm... an anti-war book with slaughter i...moreI didn't know what to expect with this book - even in its physical form - I ordered it up and always thought 'Hmm... an anti-war book with slaughter in the title - this is going to run to 800-odd pages and be a really heavy read'.
Yeah, so I was wrong on all counts. What a funny little book! I breezed through it in a couple of sittings (a rarity for me, book size irrelevant) and thoroughly enjoyed it. For some reason that I can't entirely put my finger on Billy is really easy to connect with, despite him being more than a little fantastical. He reminds me of Billy the Smartest Kid on Earth which maybe more than a coincidence, since both Billys are, essentially, loners, despite other characters around them.
The book does lose it's humour towards the end (which is to be expected really) and some of the fun dies when it gets to the meat of the story. So it goes. But Kurt Vonnegut has shot up my list of writers to explore further... Not least because I'm currently reading High Fidelity and Rob keeps Kurt in his Top 5 Authors of All Time list - a coincidence that will surely affect my basket next time I head toward Amazon!
On the whole, a superb read, and one of those books that everyone should read at least once.(less)
Kyril Bonfiglioli is a sad loss to works of fiction. His way of telling a story is absolutely without fault. Sadly he died whilst still writing this o...moreKyril Bonfiglioli is a sad loss to works of fiction. His way of telling a story is absolutely without fault. Sadly he died whilst still writing this one, so no more Mortdecai books are to come. Sad face.
As always the end of the story is a bit (well quite a lot actually) on the rubbish side, but as mentioned it's his way of telling the story, and not what happens at all that makes his books a real joy. Sure, I would've liked more Jock in the story (I always do), but it matters little, really.
If you've read other Mortdecai books you'll have a good idea of what you're in for and you won't be disappointed; if you haven't this probably isn't the best place to start to be honest. Try the trilogy first.(less)