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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 124

post #1846 of 1967

Wow, CD is such a celebrity.

 

^^

post #1847 of 1967
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

Wow, CD is such a celebrity.

^^
post #1848 of 1967
11 VOICES A REYKJAVIK MURDER MYSTERY by Arnalldur Indridason
post #1849 of 1967
54. If I Stay Gayle Forman 2009

A gifted young cellist is in an horrific accident and is the only survivor. The book centers on her thoughts about choosing to stay alive as she wanders around the hospital in spirit form. And then, when she is too weak to do so, in her bed.

More YA fiction- but another upcoming father daughter movie with an aspiring cellist of my own smile.gif.

Highly recommended.
post #1850 of 1967
32. The Orphan Master’s Son

The Orphan Master's SonThe Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I cannot recall having read any other novel about contemporary North Korea, and this one both captures the reality of life in a repressive dictatorship whilst also humanising the character of the dictator. Johnson avoids the temptation to portray Kim Jong Il as a monster; his Dear Leader is all the more threatening and chilling for the thin veneer of calculated benevolence that Johnson gives him.

The eponymous hero of the novel is a man with no real identity. A nameless orphan and indentured farm worker, he is drafted into the army to work as a kidnapper and a spy. Eventually he is assigned to work on a fishing vessel, eavesdropping on the Americans’ radio traffic. While there, he overhears the night-time musings of an American girl on a solo rowing journey, lost in the vast expanse of the ocean. He is tattooed by his fellow crewmen with the face of Korea’s favourite actress, Sun Moon, an action that will determine his fate. At the end of Part One, the orphan has been attacked by a shark, accused of spying and finds himself in deep trouble.

The second part of the novel is a strange whirl of plots, shifting identities and impending doom. The orphan is now known as Commander Ga, Sun Moon’s husband. The narrative voice shifts between that of the first part, to that of an interrogator having a career crisis and to the daily propaganda broadcasts that retell the story as a cautionary moral tale for the citizens. The orphan and Sun Moon warily circle and gradually reveal themselves to one another inching towards the inevitable fate that awaits them with the Dear Leader’s displeasure.

The Orphan Master’s Son is a complex and highly original novel, a very different kind of love story, and in some ways could lay claims to being a modern version of 1984.



View all my reviews
post #1851 of 1967
List (Click to show)
1. All Tomorrow's Parties
2. Undivided: Part 3
3. High Fidelity
4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
5. Polysyllabic Spree
6. Armageddon in Retrospect
7. South of the Border, West of the Sun
8. What we talk about when we talk about love
9. Norweigan Wood

10. The Master and Margherita

11. The Fault in Our Stars

12. Of Mice and Men

13.Fade to Black

14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

15. Watchmen

16. Captains Courageous

17. A Brief History of Time

18. The Trial

19. Wind up Bird Chronicle

20. A Visit from the Goon Squad

21. Neuromancer

22. Count Zero

23. Shadowboxing

24. Hell's Angels

25. Anansi Boys

26. Steelheart

27. A Hero of Our Time

28. Mona Lisa Overdrive

29. The Complete Collection of Flannery O'Connor

30. The Last Blues Dance

31. Gularabulu

32. The Glass Canoe

33. The Lies of Locke Lamora

34. Handmaid's Tale

35. Girt

36. Museum of Innocence

37. Neverwhere

38. The Ghost's Child

39. Picnic at Hanging Rock

 

39. Picnic at Hanging Rock

 

Incredibly bland story about a picnic gone wrong. While on a trip, three schoolgirls and a teacher go missing. All the characters are disinteresting and boring. There are a few moments where there is potential for tension and for character development are wasted. Bland, boring and utterly forgettable.

 

PS - pissed me off that Macedon was described as 'the bush'. FFS.

post #1852 of 1967
Whoah, that's a shame...the movie is pretty incredible....very atmospheric. I had no idea it was a novel.

Is the movie a thing in Australia? Here, it is known only to cineastes, pretenders, and fans of the Criterion Collection. biggrin.gif
post #1853 of 1967
Quote:
Originally Posted by noob View Post

Whoah, that's a shame...the movie is pretty incredible....very atmospheric. I had no idea it was a novel.

Is the movie a thing in Australia? Here, it is known only to cineastes, pretenders, and fans of the Criterion Collection. biggrin.gif

It is indeed “a thing” here; it’s considered one of the great Australian films. In a way, Matt has nailed it; Peter Weir’s direction lent an aura of unreality and mystery that you just cannot capture on the printed page. Joan Lindsay’s novel is also considered a classic, but it just does not have that same ethereal moodiness. Mind you, Matt is being a little unfair; the novel is set in 1900, when Macedon really was “the bush”. Still, we can’t expect too much from a teacher who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “disinterested”. smile.gif
post #1854 of 1967
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

It is indeed “a thing” here; it’s considered one of the great Australian films.

Oh, well that's good to hear. I just can't make these kinds of assumptions anymore, not after a few vital mishaps -- the best probably being the German exchange student I met who was just really heavily into *America's greatest novelist*, Mark Twain -- he was happy to be discussing him online, or even with his fellow grad students, but was just so stoked to finally be able to go right to the source, to really dig in and get a native's POV from an informed populace who cared very deeply. Man was he ever disappointed.

A similar fate awaited a friend who taught in rural France for a year, convinced that everyone he met was just like, aching to discuss The French New Wave, holy shit!. laugh.gif
post #1855 of 1967
10 Roseanna The Martin Beck Series by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo perfect grey cold noir weather for it in Canberra.
post #1856 of 1967
55. Where She Went 2011 Gayle Forman

Sequel to if If I Stay...chronicles the continuing story of couple Mia Hall (cellist) and Adam Wilde (punk musician).

I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

IMO both books will be put together in the movie due out in August.
post #1857 of 1967
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Clockwise counting 52/50: Robert Harris - Imperium (2006)
  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The first novel in what will eventually be a trilogy about Roman power politics during the time of Cicero. Here, through the memoirs of Cicero's slave / private secretary Tiro, we follow the great orator's rise to the highest power of the republic of Rome. This is a novel about conspiracies and power struggles and it is excellent entertainment for anyone interested in ancient history.

The second novel called Lustrum in the UK and Conspirata in the US is just as good. I accidentally read part 2 before part 1. I am now eagerly awaiting the publication of the final instalment, hopefully later this year.

 

 

I read both of Imperium and Lustrum a few years back and really enjoyed them and, like you, I'm eagerly awaiting the third instalment. 

 

Have you read any of Cicero's translated works? I don't know if Penguin still does, but they used to publish a version of some of his collected works. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post
 

 

Yes, you do!

 

List (Click to show)
1. All Tomorrow's Parties
2. Undivided: Part 3
3. High Fidelity
4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
5. Polysyllabic Spree
6. Armageddon in Retrospect
7. South of the Border, West of the Sun
8. What we talk about when we talk about love
9. Norweigan Wood

10. The Master and Margherita

11. The Fault in Our Stars

12. Of Mice and Men

13.Fade to Black

14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

15. Watchmen

16. Captains Courageous

17. A Brief History of Time

18. The Trial

19. Wind up Bird Chronicle

20. A Visit from the Goon Squad

21. Neuromancer

22. Count Zero

23. Shadowboxing

24. Hell's Angels

25. Anansi Boys

26. Steelheart

27. A Hero of Our Time

28. Mona Lisa Overdrive

29. The Complete Collection of Flannery O'Connor

30. The Last Blues Dance

31. Gularabulu

32. The Glass Canoe

33. The Lies of Locke Lamora

34. Handmaid's Tale

35. Girt

36. Museum of Innocence

37. Neverwhere

 

37. Neverwhere

 

With signature whimsy, imagination and weirdness, Neil Gaiman's book Neverwhere follows an incredibly average protagonist - Richard - as his life is completely reshaped after a Good Samaritan moment. Richad is thrown into London Below, a place where all the forgotten people and things that have fallen through the cracks end up.

 

The narrative is quick, witty, easy to read and enjoyable. It's refreshingly straightforward, and the characters are all relatively unique (relative to each other) and interesting. I can't help but feel there's a Gaiman way of writing that is almost becoming formulaic, but I suppose that's true of all authors to some extent.

 

Has anyone here read any of Russell Hoban's books? 

 

When I first read some of Gaiman's works, he reminded me of Hoban. Some of Hoban's books - Kleinzeit, The Medusa Frequency and Riddley Walker as examples - are odd, eccentric but deeply interesting and enjoyable. 

post #1858 of 1967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post

I read both of Imperium and Lustrum a few years back and really enjoyed them and, like you, I'm eagerly awaiting the third instalment. 

Have you read any of Cicero's translated works? I don't know if Penguin still does, but they used to publish a version of some of his collected works. 

Yes, many years ago I read some of Cicero's speeches from a collection. I remember being surprised at how accessible they are, and obviously clever. Should read more after now having read the Harris' books with a better understanding of the politics of the time. It's great that Harris has done meticulous research and essentially tells a true story.
post #1859 of 1967
List (Click to show)
1. All Tomorrow's Parties
2. Undivided: Part 3
3. High Fidelity
4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
5. Polysyllabic Spree
6. Armageddon in Retrospect
7. South of the Border, West of the Sun
8. What we talk about when we talk about love
9. Norweigan Wood

10. The Master and Margherita

11. The Fault in Our Stars

12. Of Mice and Men

13.Fade to Black

14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

15. Watchmen

16. Captains Courageous

17. A Brief History of Time

18. The Trial

19. Wind up Bird Chronicle

20. A Visit from the Goon Squad

21. Neuromancer

22. Count Zero

23. Shadowboxing

24. Hell's Angels

25. Anansi Boys

26. Steelheart

27. A Hero of Our Time

28. Mona Lisa Overdrive

29. The Complete Collection of Flannery O'Connor

30. The Last Blues Dance

31. Gularabulu

32. The Glass Canoe

33. The Lies of Locke Lamora

34. Handmaid's Tale

35. Girt

36. Museum of Innocence

37. Neverwhere

38. The Ghost's Child

39. Picnic at Hanging Rock

40. Submarine

 

40. Submarine

 

I've seen the film (directed by Richard Ayoade) and loved it. Numerous times. So I figured I'd pick the novel up.

 

Oliver Tate is a teenager whose parents (especially his father) are bland, almost passionless and going through the motions. Oliver decides to try and re-invigorate their lives, along the way he also picks up (and loses) a girlfriend, confronts his mother's ex-lover, causes a lot of shenanigans and is incredibly weird and awkward the entire time.

 

There are some genuinely masterful moments in this story, but I felt that is was entirely inferior to the movie. Oliver himself is incredibly difficult to relate to and there are many times I was legitimately wondering if he was supposed to be Autistic. His father is quite likable, and the minor characters are very well crafted. It lacked the constant wit, balanced humanism and feircly well executed humour of the movie (which is much more of a liberal adaptation than I realised, cutting a lot of the book and adding in many scenes, twisting almost every part of the story into something much more potent without losing the essential teenage weirdness and drama of Tate himself).

 

If you enjoy coming of age films that are neither unrealistic, overly showy or bizarrely obnoxious I would recommend the film with as much gusto as possible. I would probably pass on the book, which I felt was bland, despite the competent writing of Joe Dunthorne. Unsurprisingly, the film has gained much acclaim, which the book still languishes in obscurity.

post #1860 of 1967
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post


It is indeed “a thing” here; it’s considered one of the great Australian films. In a way, Matt has nailed it; Peter Weir’s direction lent an aura of unreality and mystery that you just cannot capture on the printed page. Joan Lindsay’s novel is also considered a classic, but it just does not have that same ethereal moodiness. Mind you, Matt is being a little unfair; the novel is set in 1900, when Macedon really was “the bush”. Still, we can’t expect too much from a teacher who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “disinterested”. smile.gif

 

I've tried being disinterested, it just doesn't work for me.

 

I might dream of louchely reclining in the Riveria, smoking a cigarette and snidely watching the world go by, only to retreat into a mess of sex, drugs, smoking and blase critiques of my contemporaries, but I just get too puppy like about pretty much everything for such an affected sense of distance.

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