or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Entertainment and Culture › 2014 50 Book Challenge
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 134

post #1996 of 2322
Your capsule reviews are hard to read Geoffrey. Are those books good?
post #1997 of 2322
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Your capsule reviews are hard to read Geoffrey. Are those books good?

I'm on my 8th book in the series at present not read in order. If you like intelligent well written and entertaining spy fiction with touches of contemporay events added to the mix then I would highly recommend them. The characters are all well fleshed out and not stereotypical cutouts. The stories have have elements of a good police procedural, intrigue and emotional depth which does drag you in, the narrative unfolds at a good pace and there is enough in the stories to keep you guessing about what happens next.

At times the blood flows more so than in a LeCare soy novel, I've haven't read much since the Smiley trilogy to be honest, however in age of the War on Terror where the stories unfold this is par for the course.

What i find attracitve is the main character's professional life outside of the spy arena as it provides an interesting counterbalance to wounds inflicted by his professional activities.
post #1998 of 2322
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

41. Name of the Wind

42. Wise Man's Fear

43. A Million Little Pieces

44. The Promise

45. Father's Day

46. Swan Book

47. Red Seas under Red Skies

48. Republic of Thieves

49. Labyrinths

50. Carpentaria

51. Snow

 

51. Snow

 

Orhan Pamuk's novel is essentially three parallel narratives that converge in this story. The first is the main story: Ka, an expatriot Poet returns to Turkey, and to the bleak and cold city of Kars, ostensibly to find out about the 'suicide girls' - a group of girls who have been committing suicide rather than take off their headscarves as encouraged by the rabidly secular Turkish army/establishment, but he is really in the town to find Ipek - a girl he believes himself in love with, but whom he does not really know. The second main story is that of a factionalised and disparate Turkey: where cultural influences, hard-fought beliefs, violence and instability force a modern 'European' secular liberal viewpoint at ends with an Islamic and old fashioned viewpoint, with most people sitting in the middle wishing it'd all be over and done with. Ka, as a confused and somewhat spiritual character fits in neither world, yet understands both, to some extent. The third narrative in this novel is that of Orhan discovering information about Ka - it's a self-aware, almost magic realist form of writing in parts.

 

This book was exceptionally good: Ka is a character that borders pathetic, but manages to have enough humanism and appeal to not become totally despicable and dull. Ipek is canny and aloof, beautiful and torn. The context is almost cloyingly oppressive: cold, dank, brutal, washed out and unwelcoming. The minor characters are absolutely fascinating: young fanatics who are honest and curious, old fathers trying to avoid the world, suicide girls who, the book suggests, committed suicide to demonstrate that they had power and agency and were not tools of anyone's agenda but their own.

 

The writing does become a tad dull towards the final part of the novel, but the changes keep it relatively lively and interesting.

 

In many ways, this text reminds me of Murakami - not in the writing - but in the way Pamuk is nearly whimsical in his treatment of the everyday routine, the progress of life, the middle-aged male becoming something of an interesting narrator as an insightful, if observant and somewhat detached, protagonist. The writing's not as magical, optimistic, or bright as Murakami's, and there's no fantasy here, the minor characters aren't quite as strange, but nevertheless, I felt there were definitely some similarities (and this is also how I felt reading 'Museum of Innocence') - Murakami's a lot more fun, but they share a common ground - Pamuk just much more MIddle Eastern.

 

It's like a depressed, more down-trodden, political, cynical and Arabic Murakami - which I know makes them sound quite different, and maybe Im just grasping at a vague notion that I felt while reading, but the cloyingly humane aspects of the text, the everyday routine not being monotonous, but comforting, the irrestibly quirky minor characters, and the random way the context tumbles the main characters around all remind me, very much, or the Murakami novels I've read.


Edited by LonerMatt - 8/27/14 at 5:03pm
post #1999 of 2322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post

I'm on my 8th book in the series at present not read in order. If you like intelligent well written and entertaining spy fiction with touches of contemporay events added to the mix then I would highly recommend them. The characters are all well fleshed out and not stereotypical cutouts. The stories have have elements of a good police procedural, intrigue and emotional depth which does drag you in, the narrative unfolds at a good pace and there is enough in the stories to keep you guessing about what happens next.

At times the blood flows more so than in a LeCare soy novel, I've haven't read much since the Smiley trilogy to be honest, however in age of the War on Terror where the stories unfold this is par for the course.

What i find attracitve is the main character's professional life outside of the spy arena as it provides an interesting counterbalance to wounds inflicted by his professional activities.

Seconded. I read them all last year or the year before, and I thought they were all excellent...His 700 pager (which is the worst of the lot) cost me 120 books for the year...
post #2000 of 2322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

Seconded. I read them all last year or the year before, and I thought they were all excellent...His 700 pager (which is the worst of the lot) cost me 120 books for the year...

From The Heist which I'm making my way into
"With his handmade Savile Row suit and plentiful grey locks, he cut an elegant if precarious figure, a look he described as dignified depravity. At this stage of his life, he could strive for nothing more."

By the way what is the title of the 700 page tome?
post #2001 of 2322
It was either the Mark of the Assassin or The Unlikely Spy. I have long since sold it. It had a yellow cover.
post #2002 of 2322
81. The Master Mind of Mars 1927 Edgar Rice Burroughs

An American soldier in WW I dies and wakes up in Mars. He meets an odd old man who swaps brains in and out of bodies for bucks. Truly banal bunk.
post #2003 of 2322
41. Dept. of Speculation
Dept. of SpeculationDept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Reading Dept. of Speculation made me a little wary at first. There have surely been enough novels written about arty-farty young New Yorkers going through angst in their relationships. My wariness only increased as I discovered that the characters are not named but are referred to as The Wife, The Husband, The Philosopher etc. Pretentiousness alert!

For all that, this is a book that I surprised myself by enjoying. Sure it’s ploughing some well-trodden ground, but it has the benefit of being written in a brief, crisp and to-the-point manner, never boring the reader. Offill plays with language cleverly; for example The Wife, who is a literature teacher, sometimes seems to be critiquing the novel she is appearing in. There is some wry humour, and I did laugh out loud a couple of times. A quick read, well-written, what’s not to like?



View all my reviews
Edited by California Dreamer - 9/9/14 at 3:58am
post #2004 of 2322
60 The Heist A Gabriel Allon Thriller by Daniel Silva

Great read be interesting to see where he goes next. ISIL perhaps?
post #2005 of 2322
61 The Laughing Policeman A Martin Beck Thriller by Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo

A great series and highly recomended I'm reliant on the library for these as none of Canberra's (diminishing) second hand book stores have any in stock. Tried one of the chains the other day and no luck, my bookshelves are overflowing as it is.
post #2006 of 2322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post

61 The Laughing Policeman A Martin Beck Thriller by Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo

A great series and highly recomended I'm reliant on the library for these as none of Canberra's (diminishing) second hand book stores have any in stock. Tried one of the chains the other day and no luck, my bookshelves are overflowing as it is.

You can always get these as eBooks, from Amazon et al.
post #2007 of 2322
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

You can always get these as eBooks, from Amazon et al.

I'm not an eBook person I read PDF's, other work/ learning material on an iPad.

I enjoy the tactile experience of books.
post #2008 of 2322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post

I'm not an eBook person I read PDF's, other work/ learning material on an iPad.

I enjoy the tactile experience of books.

You can read Kindle books on the iPad if you want to, but each to his own. I read both formats; ebooks so that I always have something handy to read of standing on the train, stuck somewhere for a while, etc.
post #2009 of 2322
I am doing 2/3 prints (always purchased, never borrowed, I am a materialist with a budget for more bookshelves) and 1/3 Kindle books on iPad. I enjoy both ways of reading. Prefer actual books but then require very good reading light, which is not always available in my gloomy environment.
post #2010 of 2322
The problem with books is their patient they sit quietly on bookshelves and wait then once they start breeding they don't stop. You think you have enough shelf space. Their nature compels them to seek out any available space and colonise it, and the cycle starts anon. So you start thinking containment, ha more fool you. You'll never win, why do you think it was called the Gutenberg revolution?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Entertainment and Culture
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Entertainment and Culture › 2014 50 Book Challenge