Jan. 25th, 2012

stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Another BookCrossing roundabout: this one is Favourites of 2011. And I can see why Fugitive Pieces is somebody's favourite. I'm not sure yet that it will be my favourite of 2012, but it is certainly a striking work.

The narrator for the most part is Jakob Beer, a small boy who escapes the Holocaust with a Greek geologist and grows up to be a poet. Geology is used as a metaphor again and again, and Michaels does an evocative and convincing job of it. At times I found the writing rather too dense and wandering towards the pretentious; at others I was completely immersed.

I was disappointed by the absence of deep women characters. While I appreciate the fact that this is largely an artefact of the first person narration, and the restrictions associated with that convention, it did feel rather dismissive of the female experience, given the importance in the plot of relationships between men. It also seemed to me that the last section didn't really add much, and was simply the geology metaphor re-imagined as meteorology.

Well worth a read, though.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10367298/
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Grabbed at random from the To Be Read pile because it looked like a quick and frivolous read, and so it was. M. C. Beaton is the author of the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series (pl.), neither of which I have tried thus far. This book involves neither Agatha Raisin nor Hamish Macbeth, but two one-off characters (I assume, at least) called Fellworth and Maggie who set out to clear Fellworth's family name, get various people into bed (occasionally each other...) behave illogically (seriously, why not tell the lawyer about the money?), and generally get in the way of the police.

I think the illogical behaviour was my main gripe with this. It wasn't just Fell and Maggie; it was Fell's parents, the aristocratic lady, her son, everybody... not much of it made sense, and the characterisation generally felt off. The plot was rather implausible. Fun read, though.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10086137/

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