01/01/2013 to 03/02/2013 Tigers In Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann
Told from 5 different perspectives this book has an interesting structure that works well.
I have to admit I was a little disappointed to begin with. It starts by telling the story of cousins Nick and Helena and when it switched to Nicks daughter Daisy I began to lose interest. But, as I knew the next section was back to Helena I persevered and I’m glad I did.
The ending, perhaps a little bit predictable? I kinda guessed there was something sinister about one character in particular, but there was an added element to the final section that was a bit if a shock!
Interesting believable characters and all in all a great debut!
04/02/13 to 10/02/13 Manslaughter & Other Tears by Dianne Gray
A great selection of dark short stories that had me captivated from the start!
My favourite? Grandmother & Gypsies….who’d have thought little old ladies could be so devious ;o)
One thing I really loved about this book is that at the end Ms Gray gives a short explanation to each story, what inspired it. I’ve never seen that before in a short story collection and it made the stories come alive!
11/02/2013 to 21/02/2013 Vox by Nicholson Baker
This book was recommended by Ewan Morrison when I saw him give a talk about the structure of novels, and it’s definitely a good example of an author “playing” with the whole idea of narrative.
A short book, the whole thing is a conversation between Jim and Abby on a chat room phone line. Erotic (because they discuss their sexual fantasies) and often quite sweet I was disappointed because I wanted to know more about them, their backgrounds and history. I have to admit that in a few places I skimmed.
Interesting, if you’re looking for something that’s not the norm.
21/02/2013 to 31/03/2013 We Had It So Good by Linda Grant
I must admit, I only picked up this book because I was attending a talk by Linda Grant (for my creative writing class) and I had never read anything by her before.
Stephen & Andrea meet at Oxford and the novel tells of their journey into adulthood….marriage, kids, grandchildren etc.
Often confusing in places (the chapters kind of jump about so you often don’t know who’s POV you’re in) there was a lot of head hopping, which I often found quite annoying (and something I’ve been told NOT to do in my own writing! Lol).
However I did enjoy the story, but it didn’t really go anywhere, so I was left wondering what was the point.
But, saying all that, I did enjoy Linda Grants style of writing, and MAY give another one a go at a later date.
01/04/13 to 24/04/13 A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
This was the 2nd of Anne Tyler’s books I’ve read and I must say I really enjoy her style of writing )
I really bonded with the main character, Barnaby and quickly found myself wanting him to do well, however, I was a little bit confused in places as to whether he was “good” or “bad” by some of his thoughts, so I couldn’t quite work him out.
A good story with very real, believable characters I was a bit disappointed by the ending.
25/04/13 to 29/04/13 Windows on the World by Frederick Beigbeder
This is a strange one. The novel tells the story of Carthew Yorston, who is trapped in the World Trade Centre with his two sons when the first plane hits on September 11th. This part of the book is a fictitious account, and I found very moving.
Carthews narrative is interspersed with the feelings of the author, and his observations on a trip to New York the following year when he visited Ground Zero.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a fiction/non fiction book, and personally I don’t think it worked very well, although I found the fictional side very sad and interesting.