I like the premise of this book - set in the late 18th century, an American anatomist, Dr. Silkstone, comes to London to work with a blind mentor.......moreI like the premise of this book - set in the late 18th century, an American anatomist, Dr. Silkstone, comes to London to work with a blind mentor.... outside of Oxford, a young Lord dies from a painful, mysterious cause. His body, one week later, is too decayed for two local doctor's to perform a postmortem, seeing as the death is now viewed as suspicious and not due to the pox.... Dr. Silkstone is recommended to the sister of the dead man to discover the reason for the death..... The plot carried me through the book and was a good enough "escape" piece, but the overload of similes, simple repetition, and stating the obvious got to be comical. (less)
over the past handful of years, I have been trying to read all of Christie.... I do like mystery stories and hers are good.... this set of short stori...moreover the past handful of years, I have been trying to read all of Christie.... I do like mystery stories and hers are good.... this set of short stories had a connecting theme of the twelve labours of Hercules, which Poirot thinks will be a fitting coda to his life's work towards the end of his career.... Having a fondness for Greek mythology, and not knowing the tale of Hercules all that well, I enjoyed the references and the analogy to a modern criminal twist....(less)
I have to give this book five stars. It was a book that surprized me. It was a book that disturbed me. It was a book that had my throat in its grip as...moreI have to give this book five stars. It was a book that surprized me. It was a book that disturbed me. It was a book that had my throat in its grip as it slowly squeezed the breath out of me.... Not a book for the faint hearted or those overly Pollyanna about civilization and civil behaviour.(less)
I saw the movie version first and was intrigued by all the actors - even some of the more minor ones - playing multiple roles in six not-so-disparate...moreI saw the movie version first and was intrigued by all the actors - even some of the more minor ones - playing multiple roles in six not-so-disparate stories strewn across time and space.... Since reading the book, I am even more intrigued - if I could have given the book 4.5 stars, I would have (goodreads really should give us half star options) because this novel manages to create levels of meaning and suggest multiple interpretations, keeps my thinking twisting about what exactly my understanding of the piece is - what seems to matter, what seems to have been said. I appreciate that there are few books that even attempt this kind of task, or do well when they do.....
I do love the complexity and interlocking nature of the tale. The contexts/settings are the events from an American's journal of a cross-Pacific trip in the mid nineteenth century that ends in O-Hawaii and that a British composer finds ripped into two pieces, the second of which he finds much later, delaying his avid devouring of this tale, that same composer living in Bruges and writing letters to his friend back in England during the 1930s as he works as an amanuensis to an aging composer, those letters being in the pocket of his friend decades later and found by a reporter who asks for the remaining letters from the man's daughter to find out what happens to said composer, that American reporter, in the 1970s, on the trail to expose a corporation's unethical - and murderous - practices - that turns into a thriller tale that ends up being a manuscript that a current day book publisher reads in London as he finds himself in trouble with both gangsters and his brother's deception - his own story ends up being made into a farce that a clone watches in future Korea, a film that is interrupted by forces dedicated to her destruction but which she later requests out of archives to finish; this clone's declaration of rights becoming the basis of a tribe's religion - a tribe living about 3 centuries in the future, living in what is now called Ha-Why.
Trust me, this is an easier read than it sounds - and compelling.
There are many other things I appreciate about this book - one of which is its great love of - and play with - language; each section has a very distinct and unique style. I have read that some have referred to this aspect as Nabokovian, and there is something to that....
Mitchell should also be applauded for his ability to fully realize settings, characters, past, present, and future, with such detail and - in many ways - love.
I give this four stars for what it does with the genre it belongs to rather than as a book in-and-of-itself; i.e. if I was rating it among all other b...moreI give this four stars for what it does with the genre it belongs to rather than as a book in-and-of-itself; i.e. if I was rating it among all other books, I would give it 3 stars.
Beukes definitely gives a new twist to the murder mystery genre - a serial killer who manages to evade capture because he can disappear into another time period, his home base opening up to multiple time periods between 1930 and 1993.... I enjoyed not only this plot device but also Beukes' structure (the murders may take place in order for the murderer but not in order for the rest of us as he visits time periods out of order) and her ability to create sympathy for his victims given that they do not get as much page time.... (less)
Mister Wonderful is my first graphic novel. By Daniel Clowes, the guy who also wrote Ghost World, this story is about a man who is waiting for his bli...moreMister Wonderful is my first graphic novel. By Daniel Clowes, the guy who also wrote Ghost World, this story is about a man who is waiting for his blind date at a cafe, his first real foray into the dating world a handful of years after his divorce, having been set up by one of his friends. That night's events are presented mainly through the main character's internal dialogue with himself, his hopes, his fears, his attempts at being funny and cool, his desire not to come off as a creep or a loser.... For such a short tale, there are plenty of twists and turns..... (less)
I hate to give a book that actually uses lines from Austen or that takes her dialogue and presents it in statement form a 2 review, and of the three A...moreI hate to give a book that actually uses lines from Austen or that takes her dialogue and presents it in statement form a 2 review, and of the three Austen based books I have read recently, this is the better one (although that is not really saying much).
I had wanted to like this book.
Yes, there were a couple of laughs along the way and an interesting development with Charlotte and crazy scene with Lady Catherine, but I did not feel that the writer really fleshed out their version of Austen's world. Austen is so good at delineating character, at representing manners, that if you are going to take her on, you should at least attempt to do the mash up justice. The additions seemed like afterthoughts - as if just added in for the sake of being able to say that this was now a "new" work. And in shortening the Austen parts of the text, a lot of Austen's humour, observation, wit, and irony were cut out too.... So it was neither Austen enough nor new enough to work for me....(less)
The plot of The Sherlockian alternates between Victorian England and contemporary New York. Following his "murder" of Holmes in the 1893 story "The Fi...moreThe plot of The Sherlockian alternates between Victorian England and contemporary New York. Following his "murder" of Holmes in the 1893 story "The Final Problem," Arthur Conan Doyle does not find the respite he had longed for because the whole of England is mourning the death of his creation and angry with Doyle for ending the popular tales. I believe that Agatha Christie had a similar feeling of hatred towards her Belgian detective and his grey cells....and while she kept giving the public what they wanted, more Poirot stories, she finally kills him off in "Curtain." How much did she hate him? She'd written his swansong 30 years before its publication.
For Poirot, there was no chance of coming back as Christie died herself the next year. For Holmes, there was "The Hound of the Baskervilles" in 1901 set before Holmes' death followed by a story that lays out the Falls death as a ruse to trick Moriarty's minions in "The Adventure of the Empty House" in 1903.
We follow Moore's Doyle in the crucial months at the end of 1900 before he restarts the Holmes stories after nine years absence. He escapes from a letter bomb sent to his home labelled "elementary" that sets him on the trail of a man who murdered his bride in the East End of London. Doyle's diary for these crucial months has been missing for 80 years until at the annual conference of Sherlockians in New York city a member claims that he will reveal the contents of the diary in his keynote speech. Unfortunately, predictably, he is murdered the night before his revelation.
So I've been left with a couple of mysteries: a naked woman found strangled in a bathtub in London's East End in 1900 with her white wedding dress laid carefully nearby with Arthur Conan Doyle on the case and a British eccentric said to have located Doyle's missing diary found strangled in his hotel room, his shoes neatly to the side with the shoe lace of one wrapped tightly around his neck, literary scholar Harold White eager to use Holmes' strategies to solve the murder, find the missing diary, and finally find out why Doyle brought his hated creation back to life. As White crawls around the room before the police arrive, inspecting the carpet and walls for clues, uncovering a message written in blood in one obscure corner, I find that, as for any well-written mystery, I wondered: "what happens next?"
Unfortunately, I was more interested in the Victorian sections and more impatient with the current London sections - I did not feel the atmosphere of today's London nor care much about Harold White. Even in the Victorian sections, there could have been improvements; for one, Doyle's Watson - Bram Stoker - was a throw-in: so underused. I thought this novel had promise but had some bum notes. I wish that half points could be given at Goodreads as I would give this a half point more: 2.5. (less)