This month, I’d picked up two novellas by my favourite writers with high hopes. But the book I enjoyed reading the most turned out to be the work of an author completely new to me. So here’s to exploring more diverse voices this month. Thanks for reading, as always. x
The Serpent (by Claire North, 2015)
All things are chance. Nature is chance. Life is chance. It is a human madness to cry and find rules where there are none, to invent constraints where none exist. The only thing that matters is the choice. So choose.
Every political strife is in sum, a game. The Serpent takes that statement rather literally, turning the city into a chessboard and its people, pieces. The mystery is as fascinating as it sounds, and the first chapter of the trilogy unfolds in satisfying terms.
Continue reading Book Reviews: June 2020 Reads
I don’t do tags often, since there hasn’t been much free time of late. But this one seems fun. Besides, it’s a holiday as I am drafting this. (Confession: All my posts are scheduled and I’m not really here.)
So thank you to the lovely sisters at Twin Bookmarks for the tag! Do check out their wonderful list here. Now, let’s get going.
Apples – Ah. Healthy food. It is deep, meaningful, and probably won a lot of awards but, um, it really isn’t your thing.
Dear David Foster Wallace, you are an enigma. A genius, but a puzzle all the same. No matter how daunting a book gets, I try to finish them all. Sadly, Infinite Jest turns out a challenge that I just cannot accomplish.
It is admittedly brilliant. I have had lines highlighted and re-written, for I truly fell in love with his poetic observations. Yet my focus meandered as the story did. For a year, this book has sat at 26% on my Kindle. Someday, I intend to get back to my personal Everest.
Continue reading The Candy Book Tag
Gunslinger (Stephen King, 1982) / The Dark Tower (Stephen King, 2004) – The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. And so begins his quest fraught with danger towards the mythical Dark Tower.
It is the journey, not the destination that matters in Stephen King’s tour de force.
A year ago, I put down The Gunslinger with a disparaging, “That’s it?”
Surely there must be more to Stephen King’s acclaimed work than a meandering walk through the vast desert, I thought. How wrong I was to have dismissed the story this early on, and thankful I am to have persisted. I write on with minimal spoilers, in hopes that you yourself might embark on this journey towards The Dark Tower.
What lies at The Dark Tower, you might ask? That I cannot tell. What you can learn however, is who to follow. In The Drawing of the Three, Roland Deschain of Gilead finds his ka-tet in ex-heroin addict Eddie Dean, troubled child Jake Chambers and afflicted lady Susannah. He draws death and danger too, in search of the elusive Man in Black.
Continue reading Book Review: The Dark Tower by Stephen King
Bag of Bones (Stephen King, 1999) – Plagued with unending nightmares and a writer’s block, widowed novelist Mike Noonan visits the western Maine summerhouse of his nightmares to confront secrets of an uncertain past.
Markedly orthodox for a King novel, Bag of Bones escapes the tedium of trite horror tropes by portraying sincere motifs.
Once a devoted husband and prolific writer, Mike Noonan is left hollow on the day that he lost his wife and muse. For four years, his chaotic mind brims with vivid nightmares as he finds himself no longer able to write. The grieving widower decides to revisit his summerhouse Sara Laughs, the settings of his frightful dreams. Mysterious apparitions point to buried secrets of an unknown past.
Of an antagonistic poltergeist and nightly whispers, Bag of Bones feels more conventional than the usual Stephen King fare. Neither the impressive sprawl of The Stand nor the outlandish fantasy of The Gunslinger series is apparent, in what initially appears as a garner of ghostly tropes.
But this is not a ghost story. Not entirely.
Continue reading Book Review: Bag of Bones by Stephen King