Her fearful symmetry

Author: Audrey Niffenegger

For a lot of this book I really really liked it. I never quite loved it; but for a while I did really enjoy it. The writing is great. And the premise was interesting. But it just didn’t work in the end. And I think that one of the major problems was that the character who makes this big decision, well, I just didn’t get why she made it. And I really didn’t understand why other characters went along with her. That wasn’t the only problem, it just meant that I was less forgiving of the others

Still life with Woodpecker

ISBN: 0553148923 really wanted to like this book. How could I not, the synopsis from the back cover makes you want to start reading it: Still Life with Woodpecker is sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the difference between […]

My life as a rhombus

I don’t tutor high school students.

It’s funny. I’ve never read any books by Justine Larbaleister but I read her blog and when she recommended My life as a rhombus I guess I was feeling in a suggestible mood because I ordered it right then. And I’m glad I did; its a good solid read, engaging enough to make me delay setting out for the train last Friday evening until I finished it. Course then I had to reread the last chapter because I’d skim-read so much of it.

Fox, Swallow, Scarecrow

Image of Fox, Swallow, ScarecrowISBN: 9780856408076 ; Delicious links

From the new glass bridge which spanned the inscrutable waters of the Grand Canal, the tram purred downhill and glided gently into the heart of the city.

It was the opening of this book that persuaded me to buy it. The way Ní Duibhne pokes fun at that certain class of Dublin people. It made me smile, but because I knew that there really are people who think that way. Or at least there used to be, now with the demise of the Celtic Tiger maybe there are less of them than there once were.

Travelling by tram, at least on the Green Line, had a bit of cachet. Being seen on it was not necessarily a bad thing, whereas being seen on a Dublin bus, even a most respectable bus like the 7 or the 11, was an abject admission of social and economic failure. Only the young, the old and the poor used the bus. But any successful citizen in the prime of life could travel on the Luas, confident that neither their reputation nor self-esteem would be tarnished: doctors and architects, solicitors and designers, all used it, at least at weekends.

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A Partisan’s Daughter

ISBN: 9781846551420

I am not the sort of man who goes to prostitutes.
Well, I suppose that every man would say that. People would disbelieve it just because you felt you have to say it.

Image of A Partisan's DaughterI’m quite a fan of de Bernieres’ works. I haven’t read them all but I have enjoyed the ones I’ve read. The two narrators of this book take turns in telling their shared story. One chapter will be Chris, the next is Roza’s. Chris is in his forties, a respectable, married man, a travelling salesman who seems quite distant from life in general. Roza is younger, in her twenties, an illegal immigrant from Yugoslavia.

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Purple Hibiscus

Things started to fall apart at home when my brother, Jaja, did not go to communion and Papa flung his heavy missal across the room and broke the figurines on the étagére.

Kambili, the teenage narrator of the book, is a 15 year old girl. In many ways she lives a priveliged life in Nigeria. Her father owns factories; he is a “big man” in the community. A fact that is brought home to her when she visits her less well off aunt and cousins. But wealth doesn’t equal happiness. Kamibili and her brother Jaja live under the strict rules of their father and his fiercely religious beliefs.

Half of a Yellow Sun

ISBN: 9780007200283 This is the story of a collection of different characters; Ugwu from a small village who becomes a Houseboy to Odenigbo, a university professor. His lover Olanna. Her twin sister Kainene. Kainene’s English lover Richard. The setting, Nigeria in the 1960’s, is one I know pretty much nothing about. And I know even […]

The Remains of the Day

The remains of the day - Kazuo Ishiguro
ISBN: 0571154913

It seems increasingly likely that I really will undertake the expedition that has been occupying my imagination now for some days.

The Remains of the Day is about Stevens, a butler in a “grand old English house”. He spent his life trying to be a “great” butler in the service of Lord Darlington. With the death of Darlington he remains in Darlington Hall working for the new owner a rich American, Mr Farraday. It is at Mr. Farraday’s suggestion that Stevens, our narrator, first begins thinking about taking a short trip out into the English countryside, and to see Miss Kenton. Now Mrs. Benn she recently sent him a letter, hinting, Stevens thinks, at her unhappy marriage and her wish to return to service in Darlington Hall. On his journey Stevens reflects over his life and the changes he has seen.

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The Affirmation

Peter Sinclair is 29, and, following his girlfriend’s attempted suicide he runs away from London, to the countryside. There he is supposed to be redecorating and doing up a family friend’s cottage in return for being allowed to stay there. But he gets distracted and begins to write his autobiography. In the course of writing […]

The Unconsoled

The unconsoled - Kazuo Ishiguro
ISBN: 057122539X
See also: Jabberwock ; Fantastic Metropolis

Surreal and weird are terms that come to mind when I attempt to review this book. Or to be even more accurate, very weird and extremely surreal :)

The story revolves around a world famous pianist who travels to a city, in Europe somewhere but we’re never told where exactly, and then travels around meeting people and being late for other meetings with people. Ryder seems to be suffering from some sort of amnesia at first. We don’t really know anything about him, and he doesn’t really seem to know anything about himself either.

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