Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Summer Reading Program: Post #2

As the summer is clearly coming to an end, here's the 2nd batch of reviews for you.

The Invention of Morel
I found this on the Lost List & again struck gold. It's a cool Borgesesque thing about an mysterious island where a man has made this machine which will replay (in 3D & fully lifelike) moments from the island's past... particularly, moments involving a young beautiful woman. The The Baudriardian repetition is fascinating even when the story-telling (or possibly the translation) lags a little. Borges wrote the preface for this, but the story is all Bioy Casares. It's really short... you can read it in a single sitting... & you should.

Three Bags Full
I was unsure about this one, but it's fun & surprisingly clever. A flock of sheep in Ireland get smart after their shepherd reads to them every night. They then use that extra intelligence to solve his murder. W/ nods to Animal Farm, Hamlet & Sherlock Holmes, the sheep stumble through the mystery often unsure about the things that in hind-sight are quite obvious... they're sheep so there's a lot of shit they just don't get. And as it's told from their perspective, the reader is forced to see things as a smart, talking sheep might see them. I guess this is also a nod to that Tolstoy story about the horse.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
I'd actually never read this before. Clearly, it's no Huck Finn, but it's fun, clever, & should be read. It definitely makes me want to reread Huck so as to make the connections between them. And, of course, Mark twain is no slouch.

Sharpe's Rifles
I rarely read historical fiction like this, & it's certainly not going to change any perceptions of the universe, but it's a fun romp through Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. I've seen the BBC films w/ Sean Bean & always like them so I gave this a go. I got the 2nd book in the series too, but I think I'll wait until next summer for that one.

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