Can't say I really grasped the meaning of this book. I AM sure, though, that one of its major themes is authenticity. And the lack thereof. Faking aut...moreCan't say I really grasped the meaning of this book. I AM sure, though, that one of its major themes is authenticity. And the lack thereof. Faking authenticity as an artist when the artist himself fears there may indeed be no authenticity. Or is there?
Also, a book that plays with language as a tool, as a source of misunderstanding, as a vehicle. It displays the potential and limits of living in a foreign language. The air of enigma. The brain's tendency to fill fragmented, possibly meaningless language with meaning.
In the end, I am not entirely sure how much of this book is just an illusion of meaning and depth, and in how far that is exactly what the author intended it to be.
And don't ask me about the Spanish politics involved. Being clueless on that matter, I merely took it as another thesis on authenticity, choosing sides and being clear (or intentionally fuzzy) about oneself.
Let me add that I thought the protagonist was a selfish, spoiled, spineless, lying, weak prodigy who didn't deserve being a scholar. Which made it difficult for me to like this book, even if Adam was intended to evoke that kind of antipathy in the reader.
Interesting, but somewhat beyond my grasp and not eventually my cup of tea.(less)
Eine sprachgewaltige Komposition von einem Roman. Ein sich leise steigerndes Drama über Freundschaft und Liebe. Zeiners Roman ist intensiv, hat intere...moreEine sprachgewaltige Komposition von einem Roman. Ein sich leise steigerndes Drama über Freundschaft und Liebe. Zeiners Roman ist intensiv, hat interessante Charaktere und vor allem eine Sprache, die begeistert, herausfordert, manchmal zu viel des Guten ist. Wo Formulierungen so eindeutig und übersteigert komponiert sind, dominiert das Konstrukt über die Geschichte und sorgt für Distanz. Manchmal zuviel Distanz zu den Figuren, die ihrerseits manchmal zu sehr konstruiert wirken. Manchmal.
Alles in allem ist DIE ORDNUNG DER STERNE ÜBER COMO mit seiner Sprachlast, seinen Bandwurmsätzen und seinem emotionalen Crescendo aber ein Erlebnis. Wer leises, intensives Drama liebt und das kunstvolle Gestalten mit Wörtern, Syntax und Semantik, ist bei Monika Zeiner gut aufgehoben. Zurecht ist der Roman auf der Shortlist des Deutschen Buchpreises 2013 gelandet.
Wrong expectations. That's the best explanation I have to justify my dissatisfaction with HELP FOR THE HAUNTED. I'd expected a mystery/horror novel. W...moreWrong expectations. That's the best explanation I have to justify my dissatisfaction with HELP FOR THE HAUNTED. I'd expected a mystery/horror novel. What I got was a coming of age story with a half-hearted shudder and a mystery that solved itself out of the blue.
I couldn't really latch on to any of the characters. The demystification of Sylvie's parents was well done and her search for the truth led to unexpected findings far removed from supernatural ongoings. The term 'haunted', through the course of the book, took on a different meaning.
The writing - while fluidly readable - felt unspectacular to me. The characters, despite Mr. Searles efforts, didn't fill in for me enough to think of them as compelling.
Great books haunt me, in a good way. This one, unfortunately, won't. (less)
An almost classic detective story. Lots of dialogue, legwork and putting the puzzle pieces together. Ms. Rowling has written a crime story that is wat...moreAn almost classic detective story. Lots of dialogue, legwork and putting the puzzle pieces together. Ms. Rowling has written a crime story that is waterproof and adds up beyond any doubt. Add to that an impressive main character - the bulky, fearsome Cormoran with a heart of gold inside - and his smart, effective, enthusiastic assistant Robin.
The writing is tidy and straightforward, here and there surprising the reader with insight and literary quality.
THE CUCKOO'S CALLING is nothing for the impatient or fleeting reader. The many, many witness accounts and interrogations can get tiresome and one has to be attentive not to miss any details so the conclusion makes sense.
Not a book that'll keep you on edge and knock your socks off, but a pleasant crime read with likeable main characters. (less)