Terry Pratchett: Nightwatch

Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6)Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At first I was like: Meh, timetravel.

I should have trusted him. Not only does he get it right (all the timey-wimey-stuff. Fantastic.). But the story was so personal (I love Vimes by now) and so moving, I couldn’t put it down. Also: dark. So very very dark (and such a long way from the very fist novel with Rincewind and Twoflower). And intelligent. And wonderful. And warm. And sad. And it’s wonderful to read about the back-story of them all, e.g, Reg and Nobby.

How can someone write so many novels and retain such a quality of work? *worships*

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Toni Morrison: Home

HomeHome by Toni Morrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Short.
Precise.
Succinct.
Intense.
Bigger on the inside.

Every word matters, there seems to be no random one. It is just 145 pages long but it is richer than most novels twice the size. The struggle of a man to be one. Women being stronger and fighting for their identity. Discovering roots. Her usual themes but always gripping and with a new spin.

It gets to you, deeply. It’s a masterpiece, again.

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The Black Arrow – Robert Louis Stevenson

The Black ArrowThe Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It took me three attempts to get done. After the first third it got interesting, even if the plotting was a bit convenient and didn’t have have so many twists and turns. My favorite line was this:

“And I,” said Dick, “that never cared a straw for any manner of woman until now, I took to you when I thought ye were a boy. I had a pity to you and don’t know why. When I would have belted you, the hand failed me. But when ye owned ye were a maid, Jack -for still I will call you Jack- I made sure ye were the maid for me. (…)”

Well, Dick, I can tell you why you might have fallen for Jack…

Anyway. The language, obviously, also needed some getting used to. But it was okay, in the end.

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James J Frey: A million little piece

A Million Little PiecesA Million Little Pieces by James J. Frey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am and never have been addicted to anything. But I have been to a clinic myself and even though our life stories couldn’t be any more different, I saw some my experiences in that book. I relived the fear and anxiety the struggle the hope the shame the decision you have to make yourself because nobody can do it for you. I totally get the author’s view on how to handle and reclaim his life. I admire his strength of will. I was touched and more than once teary eyed. I was abhorred and I was smitten.

I love the voice of it. The matter of fact, honest and completely in your face voice. No apologies for how he felt, or anything. It just is. It is remarkable and cruel and captivating and compelling.

And I am deeply grateful that I could read it.

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Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist

Oliver TwistOliver Twist by Charles Dickens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the humor and richness of the story. However, I thought it was a bit constructed. I mean, what are the odds of Oliver running into exactly those people?
I also thought that the portrayal of Fagin was racist. The way he was characterized and called “the Jew” all the time reminded me of Shylock’s portrayal and that I didn’t approve of.
Also, the good people were a bit too good and the evil ones just evil. People are a bit more complicated than that I think. Also, why did they have to cry all the time.
But nonetheless, I enjoyed reading the story quite a bit.

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George Eliot: Middlemarch

MiddlemarchMiddlemarch by George Eliot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me the first 40 pages to get into the story and the tone of it. And then I liked it. At times it was very dated but I have to say, I think that the characters’ struggle to attain happiness, to live their lives’ according to their believes, to fail and of (self-)deception could have taken place in any contemporary town. The story isn’t dated and I think that is a huge accomplishment in itself.

Some characters I started out not liking, such as Dorothea but they ended up growing on me. Others I liked from the beginning, Mary for instance.

To sum it up: I enjoyed it quite a lot.

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