links for 2006-09-30

So Many Ways To Begin by Jon McGregor

Cover of

This book has a long prologue entirely written in italics. I decided I hated the book and I might as well skip the unreadable prologue and see if the chapters were any better. They were.

I liked the way the story was put together by a museum creator handling objects from his family’s past and recalling stories associated with them. I also liked the way all the speech was reported with not a quote mark in sight. The story itself isn’t anything remarkable; it’s just a very nicely told tale of fairly ordinary happenings that are kind of out of the ordinary in themselves. Hard to explain.

I went back and read the italicised prologue when I reached the end of the book. I don’t think I missed anything; all it does is confirm that something that happens at the end of the story happened how you thought it did from reading the rest of the book. Seemed to be spoiler like to me. I thought the book was better off without it anyway.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

links for 2006-09-29

The Collaborators by Reginald Hill

Cover of

Hard one to sum up. Probably my least favourite Reginald Hill book. It’s a reissue of a twenty year old not-exactly-a-mystery, set in occupied Paris during 1940-1945. Quite different from his usual stuff.

It wasn’t the different-from-usual that put me off – the story just got off to a really slow start, seemed to be populated with indistinct characters and din’t engage me at all. I kept going hoping it would get better, and it did. Occassionally it felt like a really good book, but mostly I found it mediocre.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 27th August 2006.

links for 2006-09-25

Natural Flights of the Human Mind by Clare Morrall

Cover of

I got this to read because I’d liked Morrall’s first book Astonishing Splashes of Colour a lot. I didn’t have a clue what it was about and didn’t read the back cover or the flyleaf or the reviews or anything like that. I just started reading and let the story slowly unfold. And it was great that way.

So I’m not going to say anything about the story, except that it’s got a lighthouse in it which you can infer from the picture on the cover, and lighthouses are always a good thing, aren’t they? The story comes together piece by piece and is fabulously told. You don’t need a synopsis, just go and start reading it.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.