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Reading Cloud Atlas

06/21/2005

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is a clever book.

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2004 it is a collection of 6 stories that begin in the 19th century with a diary of a lawyer crossing the Pacific in 1850 (the dullest story), a unknown composer working in pre war Belgium (ok); a journalist uncovering corruption in 1980s California (good thriller); a publisher running his creditors and ending up in a retirement home (very funny); a genetically modified fastfood worker clone (the best story); and a young Pacific Islander in a post-apocalyptic future (too weird). The stories all relate to each other in some way, but I can’t help think the author had 6 short stories who couldn’t fatten up so published them as one. The best story about a clone in the future has some great touches – objects are named after the brands, the same hoover is a generic name for a vacumn cleaner, ford is a car, exxon is petrol, sony is a computer – would like to see a whole book about this part.

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Enjoying the new Jasper Fforde covers

06/16/2005

The four Thursday Next books have all been given the pulp fiction cover treatment by Mark Thomas – following the style for the recent book ‘Something Rotten’ the other three look fantastic – of course now I’ll have to go and buy them again!

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Reading Vernon God Little

03/6/2005

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2003, Vernon God Little, by DPC Pierre, takes a little time to get into – but as I found if you read it with an American accent, even better a Texan one, it’s alot easier to read.

A black comedy about a teenager caught up in a media circus over a school class killing, it predicts the future of US TV shows where audiences decide the fate of death row inmates. Mix that with a boy who judges women and girls by the kind of underwear they might have from his mums lingerie catalogue and you’ve got a really weird, but quite funnt story!

As Andrew O’Hagan put it
‘You know what this terrific book is like? It’s like The Osbournes invited The Simpsons round for a root beer, and Don DeLillo dropped by to write a new song for Eminem.’

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Reading Malcolm Pryce

02/11/2005

I’m a great beliver in the Amazon recommends service – I’ve discovered lots of new music and books I would never have thought to try. So when it suggested Malcolm Pryce’s Aberystwyth Mon Amour I brought a copy! It’s a fantstic story – a kind of welsh Raymond Chandler style novel, a black comdey spoofing that genre perfectly. And the cover artwork is just great – I’m looking foward to the next one – Last Tango in Aberystwyth!

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Reading Jasper Fforde

01/14/2005

Well actually this 2nd book in the fantastic Thursday Next series – Lost in a Good Book. The first one ‘The Eyre Affair’ had her jumping into Jane Ayre and changing the ending for the better! A kind of parallel world where The Crimean War is still going on, Mammouths roam the streets, Dodos have been cloned and there is a tax on cheese! Fforde is an extremely inventive writer, and this book is filled with endless ingenious references, asides, and plays on words. A kind of Hitch Hikers Guide detective novel I suppose. I’m on to the next book – Lost in a Good Book. Read more here.

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