Saturday, 8 June 2013

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton - A book review.

Frolic of fantasy. Furiously funny.

I dare you to read this and keep a straight face. I dare you to read this and not feel the fairy tale tug at you and pull you in. An achievement in magic very rarely wrought, this is a flight into romance as it should be, and has never before been told. Drown yourself in the delicious tension Alice Clayton builds as she unreels a yarn of awe inspiring wonder. Tag along while Simon and Nightie Girl sleuth out the lost O (giggle). This should be prescribed reading for.... Well everyone really. I challenge you not to enjoy this; I'll lose.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

White Teeth by Zadie Smith. A book review.

I have read a lot of reviews on White Teeth; by Zadie Smith. Most detail her grasp, and definition of multi-cultural families grappling with their traditional heritage. Oh, pot--and there's a lot of that too--I say, this is a book about people, a book that stretches your tolerance for humanity. A story about betrayal, disrespect, blame, hopefulness ... A story about you, or me. Not only is the book written with a touch, so light and humorous, as to have you gasping and giggling with sheer delight; it is dark too. Dark with the effort, and incongruousness of living. Dark with the secret hope we have for Irie, and the revulsion we feel for Magid's father. Dark with the need we feel on every page to take the fate of the protagonists and force a better life on them. I loved every page, I was ashamed, enraptured and entranced by each and every character this author had drawn for our dissection. This is an engaging story, a fountain of excellent writing. A pure joy to read. A book you would be sorry to miss.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

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Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes- e-book review

Lauren Beukes has a knack of painting mental pictures for her readers with startling word economy. In a line or two she creates ambience and theatre for her protagonists. In this book she single-handedly reinvents scary.  Readers will literally want to dive into the pages and save the characters. (before the possibility of their demise).
Some reviews I've read criticize the author for gory detail, but honestly, my view is that murder, especially serial murder, is violent and nasty. Don't read murder themed crime thrillers if you're squeamish.  Truthfully, I did not find any of the scenes gratuitous. 

The Shining Girls' is perfectly timed, a genuine page-tuner, and a tautly structured story. We are introduced to our main protagonists in the opening chapter. The victim who gets away, is accosted by the killer as a child. The menace is palpable throughout the scene, especially since the reader is allowed into the killers head, we are told he will be coming back to get her when she grows up. Curtis is a time traveler.  He is magicked into the ability after discovering a window that looks into time. The house, destiny leads him to, sees both the future and the past. He is intentionally kept very mysterious, and often given a monstrous caricature--for instance, when his jaw is wired together after being dislocated by a victim--he is all the more frightening because of it.
I love Lauren's writing, I adore the pace she sets and maintains. This story, for me anyway, pans out on two levels. Firstly we have the fictionalized concept of a serial killer given advantage and impetus by time travel. While on the other hand the story may offer the only rationale for the cruelty involved in snuffing the life out of innocent victims.... The perpetrator has to be insane or delusional. Read into it what you will, there's a lot more to this book than you might find in similar fare amongst this genre... But whatever you do don't miss it.