cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (grass by durer)
The following reviews may be a little hazy on details (or even wrong) due to a) the title of this entry and b) the fact that while somewhere on my harddrive there are some partial reviews of some of these, I appear to have given the relevant word document a completely unrelated title. Anyway.


Marian Keyes, This charming man. )

Junot Diaz, The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao. )

Catriona McCloud, Growing up again. )

China Mieville, Un Lun Dun. )

Alan Gratz, Samurai Shortstop. )

Nancy Farmer, The Ear, the Eye and the Arm. )
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (FMA)
I have been having problems with my hard-copy prose reading - for the last week I have been trudging through an appalling book with a horribly overentitled aggravating main character, and then I tried to get out of it into, variously, a) a Captain Alatriste novel that spends the first forty pages sacking a Dutch town in a particularly annoying manner b) China Mieville's Un Lun Dun, which is not working for me at all c) Daniel Abraham's A Shadow in Summer (first in a quartet, and the dialogue is irritating). Having failed at all of these I then went off and read vast quantities of fan fiction, which at least irks me in different ways (failure to pay attention to setting and lack of fight scenes, mostly), re-read Diana Wynne Jones' Eight Days of Luke (excellent. Am composing self-indulgent discussion post in another window) and then finally picked this up last night and read it. And I now feel less like giving up on all prose fiction published in the last twenty years, which will hopefully turn out to be the right decision in the long run.

Nancy Farmer, The House of the Scorpion. )
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (hare by durer)
Sometimes the order I read books in throws up some useful comparisons and this is, in fact currently the case, but I'm in the middle of too many things to be posting the right combinations. For example, if I were organised enough to finish David Mitchell's number 9 dream before posting this I could post about how it has a similar flaw to Bad Monkeys, and if I'd finished re-reading E Nesbit's The Story of the Amulet I could put it next to the Nancy Farmer book. Oh well. As always, these things make more sense in my head.

Nhamo, a Shona girl growing up in a Mozambique village, is promised to a stranger as his junior wife, to lift the curse of cholera from her village and atone for the sins of her vanished father. Instead, encouraged by her grandmother, she runs away to look for her father’s family in Zimbabwe, a journey which becomes a lot more difficult than anticipated. Nancy Farmer, A Girl Named Disaster. )

Matt Ruff, Bad Monkeys. No spoilers, but a regretfully unfavourable impression. )

The Silver Wolf, Alice Borchardt. )
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)
I found the notebook. It listed a whole bunch of other books I'd forgotten I'd read, which is why I keep this thing in the first place...

Anyway, first up is the one I liked best. Excellent children's fantasy/historical, with a detailed world, in depth characterisation, and completely lacking in easy and simplistic answers. The Sea of Trolls, Nancy Farmer. )

Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman. )

Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, Vincent Lam. )

Almost French, Sarah Turnbull. )

After some mild agonising, I've decided not to routinely count graphic novels, but I'll note them here anyway.

Deadline, Bill Rosemann. Marvel, about a journalist who dislikes superheroes but gets stuck doing a story about them. I liked the ghost city – much of the rest now escapes me, and the main character is less endearing than I think the author would like me to find her.

Superman-Secret Identity, Kurt Busiek. I do like Kurt Busiek, and I have Astro City on standing order, but after a strong start it felt like he'd run out of things to say. The relationship between Superman and his government observers is nicely done, but the hints at obligations to nonAmericans tails out, and the ending is weak.

David’s Story, Terry Moore. Strangers in Paradise is the sort of series that men recommend to me as having "really realistic women". I think this may be a case of wishful thinking. Anyway, this is backstory for one of the male characters. Startlingly unrealistic, in my admittedly limited experience of yakuza in incestuous relationships who give it all up after accidentally killing asthmatic teenagers, take on their victim's name and then fall hopelessly in love with one of the female protagonists at a Rodin exhibition...

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