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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 66

post #976 of 2053
71. The Artist of the Floating World 1986 Kazuo Ishiguro


LIST


The protagonist is an artist in Japan in the years directly following WW II. His and Japan's worlds are very stilted. Artificial...An extreme amount of energy to keep up the proper familial and societal outward perceptions.

I really didn't like the book.

Which is odd because Never Let Me Go has become one of my absolute favorites.
post #977 of 2053
10. Picnic at Hanging Rock - Joan Lindsay

Three schoolgirls and a teacher mysteriously disappear during an outing at Hanging Rock on Saint Valentine's day 1900. (Hanging Rock is a volcanic formation in the bush near Melbourne, Australia.) The novel describes the consequences of the disappearance on the other people there on that day, the community around the area, and the school. Lindsay creates a great sense of atmosphere. Enjoyable read if you do not expect an explanation for the disappearance.
post #978 of 2053
Clockwise counting 48/50: Iris Murdoch - Under the Net (1954)

Murdoch's debut novel is also maybe her highest rated effort. It is the story of struggling London writer Jake Donaghue, his love obsessions and the meaninglessness of everything. A philosophical novel which needs to be read slowly. Very very good but I would definitely recommend Murdoch's more entertaining A Severed Head over this one. Hereby ticking one more off the list of 1001.
post #979 of 2053
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

71. The Artist of the Floating World 1986 Kazuo Ishiguro


LIST


The protagonist is an artist in Japan in the years directly following WW II. His and Japan's worlds are very stilted. Artificial...An extreme amount of energy to keep up the proper familial and societal outward perceptions.

I really didn't like the book.

Which is odd because Never Let Me Go has become one of my absolute favorites.

Artist of the Floating World is one of my absolute favourites while Never Let Me Go left me lukewarm. Which is odd.
post #980 of 2053
Clockwise counting 49/50: Uwe Timm - The Invention of Curried Sausage (1993)

An excellent novel about the ending days of the second world war in Hamburg, a love story between a deserting German soldier and a middle aged woman who amazingly becomes the "inventor" of the popular German curry sausage. I loved this novel which gives a profound insight into human relations and simple twists of fate. And it is deservedly one of the 1001.
post #981 of 2053
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Artist of the Floating World is one of my absolute favourites while Never Let Me Go left me lukewarm. Which is odd.

Not really- we don't both like the same books often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Clockwise counting 49/50: Uwe Timm - The Invention of Curried Sausage (1993)

An excellent novel about the ending days of the second world war in Hamburg, a love story between a deserting German soldier and a middle aged woman who amazingly becomes the "inventor" of the popular German curry sausage. I loved this novel which gives a profound insight into human relations and simple twists of fate. And it is deservedly one of the 1001.

The library doesn't have it. I'd ask to borrow it but I think Amazon's cheaper than round trip postage to Sweden. smile.gif
post #982 of 2053
22. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, by Caspar Henderson (2012)

Caspar Henderson's modern bestiary is a masterful blending of the odd, the erudite and the philosophical. The book is an A-Z of unusual life forms that Henderson uses as a platform for fascinating digressions and musings on scientific discovery, evolution and the impact that humans have had on the world we live in. Some of his digressions are surprising - the minute winterbear gives rise to a discussion on space travel for example - but the book flows logically and never flags.

This is a sumptuous book full of line drawings, maps, photos and marginalia. Henderson's footnoting is very effective, using coloured text to guide the eye, rather than numbered superscripts. Beautifully presented books like this are the reason why ebooks will never entirely replace the physical form.
post #983 of 2053
72. The 39 Steps John Buchan 1915


LIST

A thriller. A short thriller. On The List. Reasonably related to the beginning of WWI. But Buchan isn't Stephen Hunter. I'd skip it.
post #984 of 2053

CD is catching up! Gotta put some runs on the board!

post #985 of 2053
23. The Giant, O'Brien, by Hilary Mantel (1999)

With her two Man Booker prizes, I suppose that Hilary Mantell is the reigning queen of historical fiction. The Giant, O'Brien is an earlier work of hers and much less sweeping than the Cromwell novels that have made her name.

The book is set during the Enlightenment and concerns Charles O'Brien, an Irish giant who travels to London with some friends to exhibit himself and make his fortune. O'Brien is a sensitive soul with far more altruistic motives han his agent and their friends.

The giant comes to the attention of John Hunter, an anatomist who craves possession of his remains. After a meeting with O'Brien, Hunter divines that the giant is dying, and seeks to inveigle his companions into handing over the giant to him after he dies.

The Giant O'Brien is readable enough, but is a pretty ordinary tale with somewhat stereotypical characters. Mantel's giant is certainly an interesting character, but her account of his life is somewhat thin and much more could have been made of this and of his relationship with Hunter, another under-developed character. This is a story that needs more depth and plot than the 200-odd pages that Mantel gives it.
post #986 of 2053
73. The Hour of The Star Clarice Lispector 1977

THE LIST

Limberger Law
post #987 of 2053
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

73. The Hour of The Star Clarice Lispector 1977

THE LIST

Limberger Law

This means "no good"?
post #988 of 2053
75. Rashomon and Other Unusual Stories Ryunosuke Akutagawa 1952


LIST


A short collection of Japanese short stories. 2 or 3 were pretty good so I guess this one would be a sideways thumb.
post #989 of 2053
Yes

74. The Lover Marguerite Duras 1986

THE LIST

A French teenager's experiences in Vietnam in the 30s and 40s. She speaks about her incredibly dysfunctional family. And as a 15 year old she becomes the lover of a rich Chinese man 10 years her senior. His father will not allow them to marry and they terminate their relationship. But their feelings about one another last the rest of their lives.

A very good read.

Sorry for juxtaposition...Not sure WTH is up.
post #990 of 2053
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine

5. Wake in Fright

6. The River of Doubt

7. The Pearl

8. Crytonomicon

9. Shot in the Dark

10. Malcolm X - Biography

11. Final Empire

12. The Quiet American.

13. Habibi

14. The Invisible Man

15. Tender is the Night

16. Guardians of the West

17. King of the Murgos

18. Demon lord of Khandar

19. Sorcress of Darshiva

20. Seeress of Kell

21. Once We Were Warriors

22. Winter of our Discontent

23. Othello

24. A Scanner Darkly

25. The Well of Ascension

26. Hero of Ages

27. Alloy of Law

 

28. Marrow

 

A story of humans who come across a magnificent ship, built by an unknown race that is, essentially, technology beyond reproach. Can literally manufacture life. Captains aboard the ship are ordered to a new part of the ship that was surprisingly found - a world they end up calling Marrow. Chaos ensues.

 

This book had massive potential. The discovery of the ship, the ship itself and how it was run were magnificently told. One of the greatest introductions of magic technology ever. The story, for me, really fell apart at the end of the book. It's hard to describe why - but too many things happened in too short a time. This made it feel rushed, implausible and cheap.

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