Friday, September 20, 2013

The mere brute pleasure of reading the sort of pleasure a cow must have in grazing.

Pretty little flower blossom. Natone Street, Lindisfarne. September 2013.

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris: A new book! That's a rare thing these days. Like the one I reviewed last week, this is a hit and miss collection of essays and anecdotes with enough of a light touch to keep things ticking along. Worth a look. B-.

Two Views, Uwe Johnson: A book very much of its time, this novel is essentially about the divisiveness of East and West Germany. The tale of two lovers (acquaintances would perhaps be closer to the mark), what the reader faces is an immense accumulation of detail to build the two "views" while two people endeavour to reach each other. The politics remains in the background, but remains a ubiquitous presence. I can't say that I particularly enjoyed reading this, but can recognise the skill. C+.

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood: This is not the first time I've read this, but I'm not sure that I find myself believing any more than I did last time. I can see where she's going with the conceit, but it still didn't grab me. C+.

Blue Skies, Helen Hodgman: I'm sure that this is the first novel that I've ever read that is set in Hobart. Thus, it's a real shame that it didn't like it at all. A vacuous and annoying narrator and ludicrous conclusion has a tendency to do that I guess... D-.

The Odd Angry Shot, William Nagle: This one I did like, very much. Raw and honest, it's an interesting insight into the Australian experience of fighting in the Vietnam War. Equal parts brutal and moving. Highly recommended! A-.

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