Friday, November 02, 2012

Books like friends, should be few and well-chosen.


Waiting at the lights, Cnr Harrington and Macquarie Streets, Hobart. September 2012.

Three books this week, and a real mix to boot!

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho: This book has apparently sold more than 65 million copies (which puts in the top 15 in sales accoring the the lists I've seen). It has been translated into 169 languages, which makes it the most translated book by a living author. Millions of people have described it as wondrous, life-changing, and unique. I have a few words myself: trite, banal, self-important and mediocre. F.

Four Stories, by Alan Bennett: A collection of four of Alan Bennett's most famous, most admired [long] short stories. All very good, Bennett has a great ear for
dialogue and his capacity to shift from the filthy and hilarious to heartbreaking in a paragraph amazes me. B+.

Age of Iron by Nobel Prize winner J. M. Coetzee: Another fantastic novel that draws together themes of aging, confession, death, freedom, all framed within the wordview of a white liberal woman with cancer in Apartheid South Africa. A-.

2 comments:

Jackie said...

Agree with you totally about The Alchemist - I've absolutely no idea what all the fuss is all about. The best thing I can say about it is that it isn't as bad as Coelho's "The Pilgrimage".

Kris said...

I can only imagine how vapid that book must be!