25 March 2017

Atonement, by Ian McEwan

It is beyond my talents to aptly praise this excellent novel. It begins in an English country house where the Tallis family lives, circa 1935. A sort of tragedy occurs, or at least is perceived to occur, which changes everyone's life, but only as World War II is about to change absolutely everyone's life.

I read this in about a day. What a great piece of work.

24 March 2017

Barkskins, by Annie Proulx

Begins in the late 17th century in New France. Characters include some native people as well as Europeans. Good point-of-view stuff from the natives. This is historical fiction, and necessarily expositive, but this for me is the way to read history. The "real" stuff puts me to sleep.

A mixed review from The NY Times.

End of Watch, by Stephen King

This is the last in the Mr. Mercedes series, which King started out as a project in noir crime fiction. I'd say he got pretty far away from that genre, especially in this latest novel. Nonetheless, it's a good story, with lovable characters -- and a tinge of horror and fantasy. Lots of suspense, of course. Definitely worth reading for entertainment.

Swing Time, by Zadie Smith

One of the best new authors I've "discovered" in a long time. This is a very well-done story about two young women who love dance, who grew up together, and grew apart.

Along the way there is much more, commentary on popular culture and cross-ocean philanthropy.

 Read it.

Invasion, by Luke Rinehart

I became interested in Luke Rinehart from an article that I read about him. I really wanted to read an early novel by him, but the library had only this one.

The book is lighthearted and fantastic, a humorous account of an alien invasion by creatures that believe that what's wrong with the Earth is that people don't have enough fun.

Unfortunately, I really can't recommend the book. I found it tiresome toward the end and more or less just skimmed the last couple of chapters. The ending seems to me the type of ending that happens when a writer doesn't know how to end his book and stops trying.