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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 141

post #2101 of 2115
84. The Empty Land 1969 Louis L'Amour

A marshal cleans up a brand new mining town, plants 8 guys, and gets 1 of 2 girls.

One of the better L'Amour books I've read.
post #2102 of 2115
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Could be. You’re right about his obscurity; not one single book of his in our entire library chain. Out of curiosity I hopped onto Amazon and bought The Search Warrant.

I had Modiano's Missing Person incoming from Amazon, had ordered it before the Nobel Prize. Estimated delivery date was October 10. Then I receive a message from Amazon saying that my package, which included a few additional books, had been returned to Amazon since the freight company had been "unable to deliver to my address". Now this book is no longer available to order. I have had lots of deliveries from Amazon over the years and never once has it not been possible to deliver to my address.

I suspect the package was recalled by Amazon and that a sinister conspiracy is the only reasonable explanation. Did you get your Modiano delivered, CD? If not, it strengthens my suspicion. If you did, you are likely part of the conspiracy. smile.gif

It's a pity there are no Modiano books available to purchase.
post #2103 of 2115
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

52. Straw Dogs

53. Wrong about Japan

54. Wish

55. Monkey's Grip

56. The Plains

57. Wild Abandon

58. The colourless Tsukuru Tazaki
59. Homage to Catalonia
60. Oliver Twist
61. Trilobites and other stories

 

61. Trilobites and other stories

 

Breece D'J Pancake writes a series of gritty, almost tangibly real stories set in West Virginia: a highly engaging reading experience. Written in (at times) impassable slang, each story centres not around an event, per se, but more a character's grim and silent reality and their Hemmingway-esque response to the world around them. This is not a dramatic, bombastic, or high-octane collection, instead each story casually meanders through the wreckage of poverty, disappointment, debt and repetition that characterises the experience of living in West Virginia (at least from Pancake's view!).

 

Almost all stories (at those that I can remember) end not with a conclusion of events, but with someone continuing on with their lives - the stories feel like a thoughtful sigh that occurs before the main character buckles down and just gets on with it.

post #2104 of 2115
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Did you get your Modiano delivered, CD? If not, it strengthens my suspicion. If you did, you are likely part of the conspiracy. smile.gif

I ordered the digital version, so no such issues.

I’m sure there will be a few Modiano publications hit the bookshelves in short order.
post #2105 of 2115
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

I ordered the digital version, so no such issues.

I’m sure there will be a few Modiano publications hit the bookshelves in short order.

I see, then you are obviously not part of the conspiracy. I will wait for some Modianos to be published in print versions. The two I have read (in Swedish translation) were very good - easy but with depth.
post #2106 of 2115
68 The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis

Just picked it up after reading a couple of favourable reviews it tells the story of a confrontation between victim and denouncer forty years after the fact due to a chance encounter.
post #2107 of 2115
46. The Rosie Effect
The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2)The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


After the global success of The Rosie Project nothing was surer than that Graeme Simsion’s sequel would be a runaway best-seller, and so it is.

The first book was one my favourite reads in 2013, so I was quick to get hold of The Rosie Effect. In this sequel, Don and Rosie are married and living in the USA; Don works at Columbia University, where Rosie is also studying. The scene is set when Rosie announces to Don that she is pregnant. Soon after, Don’s philandering friend Gene shows up, having been kicked out by his wife. Can Don handle the pressures of impending fatherhood, whilst also solving the Gene Problem?

The Rosie Project was a captivating and original rom-com, with a unique narrative voice in Don, seemingly a highly-functional Asperger’s sufferer. Having married off his main characters, Simsion has to follow another route this time, and he chooses to make Don the centre of a farce surrounding his fears about his readiness to be a father. As Don tries to educate himself and help Rosie, he just sinks further into a mass of confusion. This is a road that has been travelled many times before however, and limited laughs can be milked from such an unoriginal idea. Don is as awkward as ever, but Rosie is pretty much reduced to a cypher compared to her presence in the first book. The reader is very much with Don in this one, sometimes at Rosie’s expense, and you may find yourself getting angry at his treatment at the hands of others.

The ending is just a bit pat for my tastes, but I suppose that’s a feature of the genre. Having invented a couple of great characters in his first novel, I can’t help but feel that Simsion has failed to let them shine as well this time.



View all my reviews
post #2108 of 2115
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

46. The Rosie Effect
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

 

 

I realise that the writing style is doubtless different, but the plot sounds very similar to some early works by John Irving (The Water Method Man, The 158-Pound Marriage) and John Updike (the "Rabbit" series of novels).

 

Are the "Rosie" books worth purchasing, or is it better to borrow them from the library?

post #2109 of 2115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post

I realise that the writing style is doubtless different, but the plot sounds very similar to some early works by John Irving (The Water Method Man, The 158-Pound Marriage) and John Updike (the "Rabbit" series of novels).

Are the "Rosie" books worth purchasing, or is it better to borrow them from the library?

I wouldn’t compare Simsion to Updike; they are not in the same league.

I got both of the books from the library. You’d probably have a long wait on your hands though.
post #2110 of 2115
47. The Scent of the Night

The Scent of the Night (Montalbano, #6)The Scent of the Night by Andrea Camilleri

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is the first Inspector Montalbano book that I’ve read, although it’s not the first in the series.

The Scent of the Night sees Montalbano dealing with the mysterious disappearance of a financial conman, and the mess left behind. It’s not Montalbano’s case, but he pursues it because he doesn’t trust his Mafia-obsessed colleague. Given his own team of inarticulate Cat, bureaucratic Fazio and the absent Mimi, you have to wonder what makes him think he can do better.

Camilleri has Montalbano obsessing a lot on little things like a jumper and an olive tree. He never quite justifies his hero’s extreme reactions on these matters. The writing is pacy and easy to read, and is laced with humour (although I winced at his translator’s pastiche of rustic Italians). As I was reading it, I felt the book was pretty inconsequential, but the ending changed my view. Despite the light touch, Camilleri references Faulkner, classical literature, poetry, and opera making the book quite a bit more literate than you expect from the breezy writing style.

There are enough references to Montalbano’s earlier cases and relationships to warrant reading these in order. I think I’ll start again at the start, with The Shape of Water. I’m looking forward to it.



View all my reviews
post #2111 of 2115
If you are a man, you have just got to read these two books (and I hear there is a third on the way - a prequel) Have to say though there's a lot of cool stylish women I know who've read them too!!! Absolutely brilliant.


The cover of "Never a Dull Moment 1973", the sequel to "Something to Do 1972".
*
post #2112 of 2115
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventiessister View Post

If you are a man, you have just got to read these two books (and I hear there is a third on the way - a prequel) Have to say though there's a lot of cool stylish women I know who've read them too!!! Absolutely brilliant.

Sound’s good. Have you read John King’s The Football Factory trilogy? Similar ground; it's about football hooligans from the POV of the hooligans.
post #2113 of 2115

I've seen the film 'Football Factory' not read any of the books.  Those two I recommended are about the early 70's and are a great read as they go into detail about the clothes, the style, the music and its just how it was, brutal and raw. It is strange to think that those young lads (and Skinhead girls too) lived in a time before mobile phones, internet etc., and they were what they were.  I like the fact too that both books dispel the myth of Skinheads being racist.  In my opinion both books are really well written and a well worth a read.  I spotted them on Amazon.

post #2114 of 2115
85. The Proving Trail Louis L'Amour 1979

A teenager inherits a ton of cash and land from what he thought was an indigent father whilst being chased hither and yon by evil 2nd cousins. Another good one- maybe the best after Hondo.
post #2115 of 2115
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

52. Straw Dogs

53. Wrong about Japan

54. Wish

55. Monkey's Grip

56. The Plains

57. Wild Abandon

58. The colourless Tsukuru Tazaki
59. Homage to Catalonia
60. Oliver Twist
61. Trilobites and other stories
62. The Narrow Road to the Deep North

 

62. The Narrow Road to the Deep North

 

This will be a difficult review to write - as I know some people have this one lined up to read.

 

So, this novel covers pre, during and post war experiences of several men who were involved in the building of the Thai-Burmese railway during WW2 (and one or two women 'back home' as well). In a non-linear way, the perspective shifts from narrator to narrator with ease. What would fall apart in less skillful hands is here really excellent and beautiful - each narrator brings something new to the story, and the action flicks comfortably between places and times. One might be reading about 1960s Japan, and on the next page 1920s rural Tasmania, yet at no point was this cumbersome or tacky. Flanagan doesn't change perspectives to build suspense (a la Fantasy 101), instead this dials down the drama, and re-focuses the reader on the people that are a part of this story.

 

In many ways, I was impressed with what this novel was not. It was not a war novel that reveled in gore, violence or horror. It was not a novel where cheap heroism triumphs over naive evil. It was not a novel where romance and resolution glossed over genuine problems and it was not a novel that overplayed emotion at the cost of honesty. The violent, and horrid scenes are sparse - and hit all the harder for it (similar to how American Psycho constructs its violence, IMO). Instead, this is an incredibly humane novel - so much effort is focused on revealing the depth to which the POW experience warped those living through it, again not in a way that is forthright, obvious or immature, but rather a really dedicated writing that explores just how truly distorting the experience was for those involved.

 

I felt the novel was uncliched, despite covering a topic (Japanese treatment of Australians) that has certainly been overplayed here (mid-2000s had a lot of TV, writing and documentaries about this). The writing is gorgeous - well paced, vivid, Australian and, at the right times, fluid and poetic. Flanagan retains control at all times. I haven't read any (or many) of the other novels that were nominated for the Booker Prize, but I found this novel of absolute quality.

 

A quick passage I really enjoyed:

"The shop slowly emptied, the staff cleaned up, locked up and left, and outside the street died away to the very occasional car slashing a puddle. Inside, they just kept talking to the old Greek about many things until it was so late that not a pub was left open. But they didn't care. They sat on. They talked about fishing, food, winds and stonework; about growing tomatoes, keeping poultry and roasting lamb, catching crayfish and scallops; telling tales, jokes; the meaning of their stories nothing, the drift of them everything; the brittle and beautiful dream itself."

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