Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Summer Reading Program Part the First

Last spring, you remember, I posted a list of the books I planned to read this summer. Some got read... others didn't, but Here's the 1st instalment of the book reviews... considdering that it is Banned-Book Week after all.

The Time Traveler's Wife:

Stephanie loved this a few years ago when it was all the rage, then it became all the rage again this summer as the big-budget, feature film came out. She talked me into reading it (it's influence on Lost didn't hurt), & I really dug it. There are certainly some holes in the plot & a few awkward spots, but the love story is interesting & the S/F stuff works pretty well. Give it a read if you're 1 of the few people who hasn't already given it a read.

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things:
Awesome! Jon McGregor was short listed for the Booker, but he should have won. It's a fantastic book about a young woman in England & the day she & her neighbors witness a tragic car accident. It borrows a little from Enduring Love, but his style is fresh & innovative. There's an odd vagueness throughout the book as wee realize the characters don't really know one another while each tries to explain what the others are doing.

The Shadow of the Wind:
Easily one of the best books I've read in years. Zafon borrows a little from Eco, but also from Borges & Marquez. A fascinating book. Absolutely read this... NOW!

The Moon Pool:
After 3 good books, we get to a clunker. I felt compelled to finish it, but I wouldn't suggest any of you do that. It's ridiculous. It's the only junk I got off the Lost list... but its level of junkocity is beyond compare.It would have made a great 1950s B S/F movie... so much so that it was hard to read w/o thinking of what would have been said on MSY3K.

The Killing Joke:
We'll finish this round of brief reviews w/ an Alan Moore. This Batman from 1988 is one of the best graphics I've ever read. The Joker sets out to prove that anyone can be pushed over the edge & become nuts like him. In order to do this, he puts Commissioner Gordon on a broke-down amusement park ride, doses him, & forces him to watch graphic films of his daughter getting raped & beaten. It's fucked up... but the fucked up Batmans are the best ones.

That's it for the 1st installment of the Visions of Ypsi Summer Reading Wrap Up. There's more to come, & in the mean time, visit this post on Solstice's blog where she wrote a short review of a book & then actually had the author comment. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Alan Moore, but I'm not holding my breath.


Jules said...

Great post! I just put two of these on my list.

cmadler said...

Thanks for the mini-reviews. I really enjoyed The Time Traveler's Wife when I read it a few years ago. Since then, I've increasingly come to appreciate the beauty of a story that folds in on itself like this (similar to Heinlein's "By His Bootstraps" and "All You Zombies").

I've added The Killing Joke and The Shadow of the Wind to my to-read list, though my list is starting to show a frightening similarity to the Green Bay Packers season ticket waiting list.