2017 50 Book Challenge

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by edinatlanta, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    27. So You don't Get Lost in the Neighbourhood, by Patrick Modiano
    My rating, 2 out of 5 stars

    Since Modiano won the Nobel I have been keeping my eye out for his books, with little luck. So I was keen to read this when I saw it at the library.

    The premise is interesting. Jean, a middle-aged author is contacted out of the blue by a stranger who has found his long-lost address book. When they meet up the stranger, Gilles, pushes him for more detail on a name in the address book, Jean can't remember anything at all about this person.

    In such a short novel it's difficult to say much more and explain my opinion of it without spoiling.

    The novel plays out like a mystery, as Jean digs deeper into his past with the help of a dossier that Gilles's girlfriend has given him. He start to recall shadowy details of a woman in his childhood called Annie Astrand.

    At the denouement, it turns out that Modiano does not explain the mystery; neither what happened nor the fate of any of the characters is resolved. Everybody remains a cypher and the plot is intentionally not resolved. My overwhelming response was one of disgust at being manipulated by an author playing silly experimental games. Almost any other ending would have been preferable to this unresolved mess.
     
  2. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Collected stories of Lydia Davis. Available in one volume, and probably the most influential experimental story writer, so...awesome.

    Also J Robert Lennon's short story book again, a direct descendent. Really, really good.
     
  3. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    I haven't read it yet, but if you like experimental short stories, you might want to check out The High Places, by Australian writer Fiona McFarlane. It just won the Dylan Thomas Prize.
     
  4. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    21 Master,Liar, Traitor, Friend by Christoffer Carlsson.

    So where to begin this is the third book in the series, murder, greed political corruption espionage in a dark Swedish vein, one has ask where do we go from here. A dynamic narrative with enough twists and turns to keep any fans of Scandi Noir and espionage thrillers enthralled, but only if you wade through the first two books. Its exceptionally dark and fascinating read. I like how the author took real events and gave it his own interpretation. As a series highly recommended, mind you there are times when Detective Leo Junker is exceptionally irritating.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017 at 8:22 PM
  5. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Whoah, thanks! This looks great, and as weird as it sounds, I've been looking for some Australian experimental-ish short stories for awhile. (I found some type of young/under 35 anthology from the 90's/early 00's awhile back, but lost it before I could commit any names to memory).

    I've been on a major lull lately, with most everything I've come across just feeling the same. Been re-reading stories by Chris Adrian, Benjamin Percy and Judy Budnitz, and my big branching out has included some of their novels.

    I've got the new DeLillo on deck (that this thread alerted me to); seems great based on the first chapter, but I feel no great urgency to read it. (It, too, seems as bleak as his last several books). His collection, on the other hand, was one of my favorite reads of the last few years. Really beautiful stuff.

    I finished my couple decades of X-Men comics -- fulfilling a promise to an old friend -- and found I really like reading them lit-up on a laptop at night, so I went ahead and read a big chunk of Spider-Man, too. Marvel has enough 'literary' writers to keep it interesting, and anything that makes me feel thirteen again is a plus...

    This is all bad for counting, though.
     

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