Neil Gaiman: M is for Magic

M Is for MagicM Is for Magic by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think I am not one for short stories. I could not completely dive into those of Poe or Wilde and I had troubles with his. Maybe that is also due to my current situation aka I am going through a rough patch in my life.

But the stories are nevertheless wonderful. I particularly liked Chivalry. But ‘The Price’ is my all time favorite. It made me cry and love my cats even more… (I have a black one as well).

I recommend it as a read and the stories don’t seem so scary as the one’s in “Smoke and Mirrors” which I am also reading at the moment.

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Haruki Murakami: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the WorldHard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

That was different.
I wonder how he comes up with a story like that. And most importantly, make it plausible and believable. Quite amazing actually! I enjoyed it after getting through the beginning which confused me so much but I don’t think it’ll be my favorite novel of his.
he also stayed true to his…motifs? Ears, cats are mentioned, food and the characters always go “Oh look something totally impossible is happening so why don’t I just accept it and get close to every human that crosses my path unless they want to harm me”…I always find that strange behaviour but I guess you’d go crazy if you didn’t just go with the flow in worlds like these. 🙂

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Jos Saramago: Blindness

BlindnessBlindness by José Saramago
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, here we go.

1. I absolutely hate the fact that there appearently is a sequel. I would probably not have read it had I known beforehand. Because in my opinion, the suequel totally diminishes the impact of the story. Do I want to know why the blindness came over the world? No. I want to make up my own mind.

2. I can make up my own mind, and I love that, because the novel is written in a fantastic style that contributes majorly to the claustrophobia (just imagine seeing everything white, as if you were lost in the deepest fog imaginable. It’s horrifying) and horror of the story and the events which take place in it. I can make up my mind because I am one of the blind people, according to the narrator (he or she says “we” very often and includes the reader). I can transform it onto the society I live in and apply it to the things we don’t see, because there are no names, just places and jobs and functions of people.

To sum it up: It was an exhausting read. It was a great read. But I am glad it is over and I don’t have to go back to that horrible place. (Except… there is a sequel…). Now I can watch the movie. 🙂

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Markus Zusak: The Book Thief

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After finishing it last night (trust me I took my time to finish it for various reasons on which I’ll elaborate later), I had to take a few breaths to compose myself. To deal. And then I wrote down my thoughts into my diary. That was the only possible action I could take. I couldn’t go downstairs to the living room to fetch me a snack. I couldn’t switch on the television to watch the Colin Firth movie which had already started (that alone should tell you a lot).

I sat down, took my pen, wiped away some more tears and wrote, that I didn’t posess the words to describe the impact of the story on my heart. In the end I came up with two words: Thank you.

The story is a miracle. The narrator is obviously smarter than all of us. And I was greatly comforted and dearly hope he does greet me when I’m dead because he made me feel safe. He made me believe, whatever horrible things happen, in the end it will all be okay.

The language is an impossible mixture of poetry and matter of fact. It’s clear. It’s imaginative (some images it evokes are still in my head and I doubt they’ll leave very soon).

You know how it’ll end. You know it. I knew it and yet I cried over the last 20 pages or so. And only one book has made me cry before. That is why I prolongued the reading. At times I just couldn’t face it. At times I wanted it to last.

Thank you. That is my review summed up.

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Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Travelers wife

The Time Traveler's WifeThe Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

am stil reading, but wanted to write down some thoughts that I cannot get out of my head:

– does the author know about timetravel? Because I don’t think she is very constistent with the one she is inventing. Because, e.g. if Henry always goes back to the accident, always from the future back to that particular day in the past and we are not talking about timelines following each other or the many-worlds interpretation… then the logical conclusion must be that the day of the accident must be cluttered with future Henrys. They must be everywhere in every possible age. Because the moment is only happening at one specific time in the past. Appearently in the book that isn’t the case—maybe it is and I have just misread it. Also, Henry’s life must go in circles since he meets himself during his first timetravelling experience, so he basically should know about Clare right? Because he can only jump back to her because she knows him and makes him marry her and she only knows about him because he jumps back to her…(which sorta reminds me of the Grandfather paradox but then it doesn’t).

– I thought the novel was about Clare, about the wife. It says so in the title. So far I have read extensiveley about random stuff during their first Christmas dinner and cannot shake I am reading an averidge fanfiction. I have yet to read about her: how does she deal? How does she feel? Is Henry’s POV really necessary if the novel is supposed to be about Clare? I think not. But I suspect the author needed his POV because she couldn’t draw a 3-D Clare. Maybe she will get to it on the next 300 pages. There certainly is room enough.

– When will something interesting happen? You have this wonderful idea of this man who, instead of having a panic attack, jumps away in time when he is stressed. If one was to focus on Clare (because we do not need more novels with people jumping back in time to correct wrongs etc), how she feels when he is gone, when he is back, how her life is determined (by whom? Him? herself? Is it determined at all?) etc… that would make powerful storytelling. So far it is boring and uneventful. It isn’t romantic because it lacks soul and I do not care about the characters. It isn’t thrilling because nothing happens. It isn’t thought through I think.

Maybe it’ll get better. I have 300 pages left for it to make a u-Turn. I hope it does.

edit: I gave up, it made me angry because it stole my time.

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