Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review roundup

1. So my book club chose Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants: A Novel for our latest book, and I loathed it. I can't remember the last time I read a book that was so clearly an assembled collection of plot points and so empty of heartfelt voice and passion. And the plot! It can best be summarized as let's hope two idiots manage to commit adultery together. There's not a hint of suspense in the "suspenseful moments," either, since the first chapter is also basically the last chapter.

2. By comparison, thumbs way up for Richard Sala's The Grave Robber's Daughter. It's sort of like a Twilight Zone episode starring Nancy Drew with a modern sensibility. My only criticism is I tore through it in 15 minutes or so (and promptly added his other books to my wishlist).

3. Finally, I finally finished World of Goo (PC version). It's an absolutely wonderful puzzle/building game. Fun, stylish, constantly surprising, and with just the right level of difficulty.

8 comments:

  1. I think this book "Water for Elephants: A Novel" became a movie with that emo vampire from Crepuscle series

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  2. So I take it you wont be seeing the movie "water for Elephants" with that sparkly vampire and Reese Witherspoon...

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  3. Have your bookclub read any David Mitchell books? Cloud Atlas generated one of our best discussions and it's now one of my favourite books. (Black Swan Green is excellent, too and not as structurally complex.)

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  4. Delighted someone else had the same reaction to that book as I did when my book club read it. Thought it was vacuous, poorly written and rather boring.

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  5. I'm telling you: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" is the way to go. The fact that the narrator is empty of heartfelt voice and passion is kind of the point, and makes it all that much more brilliant.

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  6. 1. Curious Incident is on our list.

    2. David Mitchell's books are on my personal wishlist.

    3. I've never seen Reese Witherspoon look as unattractive as she does in the trailers for the movie.

    4. The book actually could have been interesting if it had a noir edge and portrayed the "heroes" as sleazy instead or noble.

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  7. I liked the part when they threw the lit cigarette into the elephant's mouth.

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