Monday, 3 August 2015

The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

 “A whole world unfolds before my eyes all because of the regularly irregular dark green edging to a pale green dress worn by the girl in front of me of whom I see only her brown neck.”

As someone who spends the greater part of their life trapped in an office pondering the meaning of life, The Book of Disquiet speaks volumes. It is a book of such exquisite beauty, that any lover of words could not help but fall for its beautiful phrases on tedium, life, solitude and all the other random thoughts that pepper the intellect of the book’s voice, Bernardo Soares.

This is not a linear tale, it consists of fragments and a rudimentary search on the internet points to numerous quibbles between scholars as to the book’s preferred make – up, published, as it was, posthumously. It is strangely insightful in demonstrating the disconnection between the outside world and our inner musings and the prose is amazingly poetic and beautiful.

I loved this book so much that I actually wish to re-read it and will wholeheartedly recommend it to friends.

5 out of 5 restless minds turn to the internet these days.

Friday, 31 July 2015

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

“D'ye ken that the only time I am without pain is in your bed, Sassenach? When I take ye, when I lie in your arms-my wounds are healed, then, my scars forgotten.”

As we open on the 5th gigantically sized tome that is The Fiery Cross,  we find that hunk with a kilt Jamie, his handy wife Claire, their Daughter Brianna, her soon to be hubby, Roger and baby, Jemmy are firmly ensconced in Fraser’s Ridge, North Carolina.
I flew through this one, namely due to the absence of my favourite Jamie Fraser look alike. The literary one kept me company through the long, hard, cold, lonely winter nights. Thank goodness for that kilted wonder and for short term absences. But I digress, what’s new I hear you say?

This is an expansive tale that incorporates a number of plot trails that meander at a relaxed pace which makes for a comfortable read. As the ending drew near, I confess to skimming a little, mainly because my friend Nicki was reading it at the same time and my competitive urge kicked in.

The family tree is getting more and more convoluted and I confess to often wondering who some of the minor characters are. This is possibly hampered by the lengthy break I’ve taken between novels. Random House have a helpful family tree online – thank you Wikipedia and Random House.

So now it appears I have only 3 more books in the series left to read. I dare say I might space them out- it is difficult to get around with an absolute brick in your handbag. Mind you, I’m dying to see what happens next and there is a distinct satisfaction in completing something so hefty. I’m feeling some definite bad Salem vibes on the horizon, time travel and witch craft might not be just the thing for these times.

5 out of 5 draughty kilts.

Friday, 24 July 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

“Things weren’t 100 percent successful”

Perched on a park bench, delighting in the warm winter sun beating at my back, I devoured this fantastic work of Science Fiction. When you're left behind on Mars with little hope of rescue, there are two very likely outcomes, death or miraculous rescue.
The constant threats that might end Mark Watney, his ingenious problem solving and tenacity, make for an amazing read that you will find very difficult to put down.
His "screw you, I'm going to survive this" attitude makes him strangely accessible, I could totally relate to some of his rock notes back to base.
The action is constantly on the edge, making for a white knuckle ride better than any roller-coaster.
My reason for seeking out this particular novel was its upcoming movie adaptation. As you might already be aware, I'm a stickler for reading the book first. I find it hard to think of Matt Damon as the novel's hero, and for that I'm grateful. Sometimes ones perceptions can be a little tainted by the big screen. Despite those reservations, I am still exceedingly keen to see the film, particularly if it is half the wild ride the book is.

5 out of 5, this is what sci-fi is all about - science, thrills and frenetic page turning.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Angel Time by Anne Rice

"His success as a killer derived in no small part from the fact that tall and graceful as he was, blessed with beauty as he was, he didn't look like anyone in particular."

I know you’re asking yourself why? Why is a confirmed atheist reading a book about Angels? Well I love a good story and I do love a good fantasy story. Having been, in the past, a massive fan of Anne Rice’s vampire works, I thought I’d give this series a try.

Apparently, given that this novel was first published in 2009,  I'm a little late to the party. The initial parts of the book were far more interesting to me, the present day action introducing the assassin, Toby O'Dare.

The central premise of the series occurs upon Toby's meeting with Malchiah an angel, who proposes to utilise the assassin's skills throughout history to help with his angelic efforts.
That's about where my interest started to derail. Nonetheless,  I persevered. It will be interesting to see where the next novel in the series takes this.

3 out of 5 seraphim are just too goody two shoes.