Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book review - "Horns"

"Horns" by Joe Hill
My grade: C-

I'm not much of a tree hugger, but this novel is nothing short of a complete waste of perfectly good paper! The writing is lousy at its best, full of cliches, flat characters and poorly chosen words. The story itself, which initially seemed to have some potential, came completely undone quite early on; and as much as I had hoped, there ultimately came no redemption. Don't waste your time, or your money, on this!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Book review - "The Collector"

"The Collector" by John Fowles
My grade: A-

This is an incredibly disturbing novel! I had to say that straight off the bat. It's disturbing and difficult to read in the same way as "Lolita", and probably, even more so. It is, often, quite sick! But very well-written.

The story is that of a butterfly collector, although that plays no crucial role. Mostly, he is a psychologically ill man, and the story is that of his demise. He convinces himself that he is in love with a girl, someone he barely even knows the name of. And in his obsession with her, he kidnaps her in an effort to make her fall in love with him and live a normal life together with him.

I don't know if Fowles was writing in a time that is much different than ours today; my guess is he was. The relevance that a novel of this nature has to current events is striking; and yet, one thinks that Fowles would have done and said so many things differently had he (in his mind) not been writing about a removed, hard-to-imagine scenario. The scenario is, sadly, imaginable, although entirely not understandable. And Fowles neither sheds light on the psychology of such an individual, nor arouses an ounce of pity for the protagonist. But yet, the novel is a page-turner!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Review - "cloud atlas"

"cloud atlas" by David Mitchell
My grade: B+

This is a very interesting book indeed. It is broken up into different pieces of writing - letters, diary entries, traditional narration, etc. - told from the perspective of different people, living in various times, in various parts of the world. The pieces are initially seemingly unconnected, but slowly begin to come together; at least, in theory. In my opinion, it is a mere formality that joins the pieces to one another, and I failed to catch a single meaning or message from the book as a whole, although it was clearly intended as such. It, nonetheless, remains a very interesting and worthwhile read, excellently-written.