Archive for June, 2008

The Book Thief

Marcus Zusak. Ok, I can see what all the fuss is about. Despite the serious subject, this book is just so much fun to read. It’s an immensely comforting read, even though it had me bawling my eyes out in Stansted Airport as I finished it. The use of a rather world-weary death as narrator works well, and more effectively here than in Stow’s The Suburbs of Hell. (Or is it just that Zusak’s Death is a lot more friendly…) But the best thing is its deceptive simplicity, and its finely drawn characters, and its depiction of the normality of life throughout WWII. Which is, ofcourse, exactly how it would have been. I mean – despite violence, starvation, and rumours of atrocities, children still play on streets and grow up. It is a book filled with warmth.


June 6, 2008 at 4:09 pm 1 comment

My Antonia

Willa Cather. I picked this up as a respite from all the turgid, complicated male writers I had been reading. It was the right thing to do. Oh, it is gorgeous. Not in terms of plot or structure but in the way it creates a scene – the landscape, the characters, the way of life. The writing is beautiful but transparent, and the descriptions of the prairie grass are to die for. Can’t quote you any because I left it in Norway. My Mum read it too (on my recommendation) and loved it just as much.

June 6, 2008 at 4:06 pm 3 comments

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