"I spent the afternoon musing on Life. If you come to think of it, what a queer thing Life is! So unlike anything else, don't you know, if you seThis:
"I spent the afternoon musing on Life. If you come to think of it, what a queer thing Life is! So unlike anything else, don't you know, if you see what I mean. At any moment you may be strolling peacefully along, and all the time Life's waiting around the corner to fetch you one. You can't tell when you may be going to get it. It's all dashed puzzling. Here was poor old George, as well-meaning a fellow as every stepped, getting swatted all over the ring by the hand of Fate. Why? That's what I asked myself. Just Life, don't you know. That's all there was about it."...more
I felt so gleeful as I began this. The book's premise and genre intrigued me in a way The Casual Vacancy did not (I suppose I'll read TCV...someday),I felt so gleeful as I began this. The book's premise and genre intrigued me in a way The Casual Vacancy did not (I suppose I'll read TCV...someday), and the opening chapters delivered some moments that reminded me of Rowling's skillful character building and wry humor. I think I actually chortled aloud with happiness to be back in her imagination. Cormoran Strike appeared to me as a young Mad-Eye Moody.
This is a straight-up genre mystery. I'm fascinated that J.K. wanted to try her hand at writing one, and I'd love to know what hardboiled detective novels she's read over the years. Cormoran is a great character, but what stands out here, appropriately, is plot, plot, plot. The middle of the book bogs down a bit under the weight of so many details, and may try the patience of readers not interested in detective procedural work, but the ending was definitely surprising and satisfying.
Will there be more Cormoran Strike books? Goodreads librarians have marked this book as #1 of a series, but I'm not sure if that's just optimism. Having gotten her masterpiece off her chest, it seems Rowling is now just enjoying experimentation and storytelling. I hope she tries a Western or a romance or a science fiction thriller next!...more
I can't remember the last time I felt fear, honest-to-goodness, throat-clenching fear, while reading a book. Actually cringing away from the page, orI can't remember the last time I felt fear, honest-to-goodness, throat-clenching fear, while reading a book. Actually cringing away from the page, or covering up an adjacent page, because I didn't want it to taint me too quickly. And yet nothing could have stopped me from turning pages, and now I'm sad that it's over. Explain that! I am admittedly a wuss - I stay away from horror films as a rule. What this book brings to life is how crazy scary an idea can be. You don't need carnage or gore or monsters. Just an idea. Or an unknown. Our minds often play far more twisted tricks than anything we encounter in life.
Some status updates I thought of writing, but couldn't tear myself away from the book to write: p. 464: Don't go down there. Oh man, you're going down there. p. 476: Omgomgomg, this is Messed. Up. p. 527: Dude, finally. Yes, yes you are!!!!!!!!!
I'm taking the five-star plunge with Night Film. This book took some serious skill - the intricate plotting, the careful pacing, the character building. I cared about the narrator so quickly and enjoyed his voice so much, that I was annoyed when his sidekicks showed up. But then you come to care about the sidekicks, too. They are a wonderful little posse.
Very beautiful. I'll have to mull this one over for a while for its many layers of meaning. I certainly had to take my time reading it, largely becausVery beautiful. I'll have to mull this one over for a while for its many layers of meaning. I certainly had to take my time reading it, largely because I often found myself crying quietly on the bus as I read it on along my commute, and one just isn't always in the mood to cry quietly on the bus. McCann's style creates an almost meditative reading experience, and the cry moments sneak up on you!...more
This book must be so satisfying for any novelist who has ever been asked, "So what was truth and what was fiction?" Kris Jansma is clearly having so mThis book must be so satisfying for any novelist who has ever been asked, "So what was truth and what was fiction?" Kris Jansma is clearly having so much fun playing with storytelling as his unnamed and unabashedly unreliable narrator baldly lies his way around the globe, trying on new identities at every stop. The fun is infectious, even though the characters are often quite miserable. In one chapter there is a novel within a story within the novel. Or something like that. After a while, you'll stop worrying about what's true and false and let the storytelling wash over you, because something honest can be discovered within a lie. While flexing his writerly muscles, Jansma manages to keep the heart and truth of his antihero in the same place as a parade of made-up names and settings marches by.
An exercise in meta and loaded with literary references, this book is a reader and writer's playground, but the message extends far beyond bookish folks. As we tell the stories of our own lives -- even if just to ourselves -- how many lies do we tell?...more