20 October 2014

Ed King, by David Guterson

This book is more or less a modern version of the Oedipus Rex story. It begins with the story of the illegitimate birth and subsequent adoption of Ed King, who grows up to become a very wealthy and powerful man.

I nearly read this book in one day. I found it quite entertaining.

New York Times Review

19 October 2014

Ru, By Kim Thúy

Translated by Sheila Fischman

National Post review.

This novel is more like a long prose poem. It is moving, to say the least. While no one story could represent the millions of stories of modern Vietnamese people, this certainly provides some perspective.

This was an excellent book, that produced an oddly peaceful atmosphere while relating such distress, misery, and the long process of overcoming displacement.


13 October 2014

Long Division, by Kiese Laymon

This was an extremely unusual book.

What I liked about it: a seemingly authentic look through the eyes of a young African American living in Mississippi in contemporary times, and its skilled portrayal of the lives of young people in general. Laymon rivals Stephen King in this achievement, and coming from me that is high praise.

At first, the switching back and forth between the book and the book-within-the-book (and possibly a book-within-the-book-within-the-book, but I'm not sure) was confusing, even annoying. After a while I caught on. Perhaps the fault is mine, but I found the high-handedness of this a bit off-putting.

Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of this book  once I got a handle on what was happening. Unfortunately, I found the ending confusing and disappointing.

Maybe I need to read this again some day.

The Rule of Nine, by Steve Martini

An audio book. A Paul Madriani mystery/thriller.

I had forgotten that Martini seems to have taken a turn to the right, even towards teabaggery. This was distasteful enough, but all in all the writing in this book was bad enough to be noticeable even while listening and driving, and bonus points are earned by the ending: a classic, buy the next book, cliffhanger.

Phooey.

The Secrets of Harry Bright, by Joseph Wambaugh

Set in the Palm Springs area of California. I assume that Mineral Springs is a fictional city.

Another neglected draft I forgot to complete and publish.

The Complaints, by Ian Rankin

An audio book.

I just discovered this, sitting as a draft since last April. Oops. Well, it's a long time ago, but Ian Rankin is no slouch and I am looking forward to getting back to reading him.