I read Bohumil Hrabal's Dancing Lessons For The Advanced In Age earlier in the week and, because of its scattergun approach to story telling I remember nothing of it already. so will be giving it a second read before writing about it.
I just finished Kris Holloway: Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali. It's affectionate but not romanticized.
And I have to say Snow Country was perhaps a perfect novella. No wasted words or thoughts. I really really enjoyed it, which I was just what I was hoping for after all the acclaim the book has gotten on this forum.
I just finished Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby. Strange to say, but I felt as though this 800 page book ended rather abruptly. Just the concluding chapter was abrupt, and I had to check a few times to be sure that I hadn't missed something.
Also, it felt very Shakespearean to me - like one of W.'s early Comedies with all the secret and unknown familial relationships and confusion among young lovers being benevolently directed towards their happiness by their elders.
I enjoyed this novel very much but it did read like the work of a very young man. An extremely talented man, but a very young one too.
Anyway, on the whole I enjoyed it; however, I wasn't a huge fan of the tone of the novel, particularly when Herr recounted stories focused on himself. It felt a little hipsterish to me. I understand giving us the language and attitudes of the kids serving in Vietnam, but I also felt like Herr was showing off a little; I get it, you listened to Jimi Hendrix and smoked tons of pot. The times when Herr wrote like a journalist and focused on the soldiers though were worth reading.
I've enjoyed other war novels far more. Philip Caputo's A Rumor of War (also about Vietnam), for example, hit me a little harder.
Any memories of your thoughts about it?
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice. Review to come. For now, I very very much liked it, even if I wasn't quite as awed by it as Mirabell.
Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth.
- Umberto Eco
The Slynx--Tatyana Tolstaya Excellent...
Reviewed in its own thread.
Oblomov by Goncharov
"The heart is a lonely hunter" by Carson McCullers.
I got an old version from a second hand bookshop so the translation was a bit odd sometimes. Im not sure if the translation is from 1941 when the first danish copy came out or if its from 1963 when the book was printed.
None the less, the odd translation did not spoil the greatness of the story.
I loved the characters of the story, their pain and longing. They were so real to me, its almost unbelievable that the author was only 20 years old when she wrote the book.
A sad and beautiful book!
Driss Chraibi-Inspector Ali
Giorgio Bassani-Behind the door
Toad to a Nightingale by Brad Leithauser.
Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project
I finished it in the train from the mountains today.
Not an summer reading,by all means.
The more i read Hamsun the more is think the guy was nuts.
Genial,bright,gifted,fast,sharp and sick because of it.
An unbrearable friend i would guess.
As a normal book +
as a summer read -
In The Skin of A Lion-- Michael Ondaatje (first and doubtfully last Ondaatje)
Reviewed in its own thread.