Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I found this on Facebook thanks to Marius whose blog can be found here http://mariuscorner.blogspot.co.uk/
He was happy with his writing style being likened to the great Arthur C Clarke.

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

I have to admit I was pretty chuffed with Lovecraft.  Though I assure you I differ greatly in mindset towards other things!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tome Time - The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Started January 11th, finished February 17th.  534 pages.

This was a book suggestion for Great American Novel from Adnams.  Thanks for the recommendation.

I had no idea what the book was about before reading.  I just knew it was set during the Great Depression.  From the outset I was intrigued by the introduction of the characters.  My main aim was to find out what had happened to the people as they were introduced and how they'd got to where they were.  Just enough, a bit at a time was revealed about each.  I liked most of the characters.  This was where my difficulty with the book lay.  I liked these people, empathised with them to an extent.  This made it a very hard read.  There is no relief in this book.  The world they inhabit is one of the bleakest I have come across in fiction.  Made all the bleaker by it's reality.  This is our world at its worst.  No fantastical, supernatural forces or huge disasters.  Just a series of things going wrong through no fault of those that suffer.

The depiction of the pitfalls they encounter constantly and the 'nasty' characters willing to exploit them is very depressing.  This book is heartbreaking.  Your hindsight can see the folly in their plans and what is bound to happen.  Whilst knowing that there was no correct option anyway.  You wish there was an out for this family but you know that an unrealistic happy part would ruin the book.  

This is a very, very, good book.  I ma not sure it is one I will ever read again though.  I found it very hard going.  It may be shallow but I find I enjoy books where I can escape my little problems.  One where I leave them for 1000's of families in a dire situation didn't give me a sense of peace but of misery.

3.5 out of 5 pawprints  It only lost the 1.5 because it made me sad.

Next - River God by Wilbur Smith

Book 3 of 2012, total pages 1,082

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tome Time - The Pale Criminal by Philip Kerr

Started January 3rd, finished January 10th. 272 pages.

As you may have noticed my blogging has been terribly ignored lately.  A combination of a busy time at work and home improvements has left me with little free time.    Apologies.

This is the second in the Bernie Gunther series of books.  Once more we're in 1930's Berlin.  This time Bernie is hired to try and solve the killings of many 'Aryan type' girls/young women.  This looks very much like the work of a sexually motivated serial killer.

The scene setting is again very good.  You find yourself immersed in the era.  It's a good story.  Full of the twists you expect from a thriller.  I had inklings of what was going on but never the whole picture.  Just how I like a novel.  

My only problem with the book is the name dropping.  There are a couple of very high ranking Nazi officials who pop up.  I know they give you something you think you recognise.  It doesn't work for me though it takes me out of it for  a second or two.  It's an easy way of giving a character plenty of weight.  We all think we know these people and definitely have opinions on them.  I would have preferred the characters to stay fictional though.  Not a big problem for me, just a niggle.

3.5 out of 5 pawprints

Next The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Book 2 of 2012, total pages 548