Kategoriarkiv: Roth, Philip

April, May and much of June

I swear I meant to write proper posts on some of these. However:

Police at the Funeral – Margery Allingham
Showed up in my mailbox as a sort of birthday present – bookcrossing style. A quirky and charming read and definitely an author to look out for later. I still haven’t quite decided who next to «inflict» this on, I think it takes a certain kind of reader… Hm.

Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth
A little dreary, but good in its way – I think its supposed to be a little dreary, to be honest. Recognisable and not so recognisable themes of guilt and shame, religion and upbringing.

The Chronicles of Prydain – Lloyd Alexander
A reread occasioned by finding the first three books in Norwegian second-hand by chance.

Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami
Also a bookcrossing copy, my suspicions that I’d like Murakami in novel-form was confirmed. A perfectly beautiful – though quite sinister – book, and very hard to put down once you’ve started.

Under the Duvet, Angels and The Other Side of the Story – Marian Keyes 
A three for one sale on Marian Keyes paperbacks, and these are the ones I came away with. Under the Duvet was entertaining, but possibly a little too light-hearted for my taste (even the pieces dealing with serious issues such as alchoholism somehow felt light-hearted, something Rachel’s Holiday – the novel dealing with the same issue – doesn’t). I realised, shortly after having started it, that I’ve read Angels before. Nevermind, I didn’t remember how it would all end and it was worth a reread (even if I still don’t really like the ending. Bah). The Other Side of the Story was, uhm, not quite up to Keys’ usual standard, I don’t think. I think partly it was the narrative form I didn’t like, it was slightly too disjointed to suit the overall style of the novel (or me, possibly).

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox – Maggie O’Farrell
Received from Tonbel, who grabbed the chance to get rid of some books while I was there. Most of them ended up bookcrossed, but this one she suggested I read, and I’m glad she did. The main problem with this book was that it was at least 400 pages too short. I wanted to know more, much more, and it left me (internally, I was on the bus) shouting «But what happened next?» Not that the story is unfinished as such, just that the characters were compelling enough to make me want to read more. I think I will have to put the books O’Farrell mentions as helpful when researching on my tbr list.

I’ve probably forgotten something here, oh well.

American Pastoral – Philip Roth

When I was admitted to hospital for observation rather unexpectedly because of high blood pressure in the last week before my due date, Martin had to be sent in to the town centre to provide reading material, as we had both, inadvertently, left home without a book. Philip Roth’s American Pastoral was not a bad choice for an emergency read. The novel is engaging and touches on some profound issues around identity and image. However, I found it ended somewhat prematurely, I would have liked another few chapters to «round off» the narrative. I assume Roth has his reasons for ending the way he does, and I suppose, in retrospect, I can see that it makes sense on some levels. And it should not put you off reading the book.

I finished American Pastoral while waiting for the inducing of Oda’s birth to take effect, and the next book I picked up was Master & Commander. Jupp, I’ve started my – uhm- is it fourth or fifth? – reread of O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series, so if I do not update the bookblog for a month or two (what with a newborn baby in the house, there is limited time available for reading) you’ll know why.