Sunday, August 26, 2007

Roddy Doyle, A Star Called Henry

Roddy Doyle, A Star Called Henry. Doyle is one of my new favorites. Tender and cynical, he gets tone perfectly. Henry Smart, hero, warrior, urchin, and lover, is our immensely entertaining narrator. We get a hyper-Dickensian view of squalid and desperate Dublin, a dark view of the Irish Rebellion, and plenty of words, blood and love. I'm probably the only person, though, who didn't prefer this massive, ambitious, and bloody epic to the comic story The Van. I sometimes like the smaller, more perfect books instead of huge masterpieces.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Gwyn Hyman Rubio, Icy Sparks

Gwyn Hyman Rubio, Icy Sparks. One of those southern novels about a child growing up in Appalachia. Actually wonderful - Icy was a grand heroine, one I really sympathized with. She had Tourette's which made rural school life difficult for her and also made the book screamingly funny. I actually cried in fury for her a few times (I hate schoolyard injustices and can barely tolerate reading about them). Icy as narrator was both convincing and absorbing. The ending was a little too easy, though - the epilogue was the weakest part of the book and the fabric of the story got frayed at the finish.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Terry Jones, Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic

Terry Jones, Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic. Well, Terry Jones is no Douglas Adams, but he IS Terry Jones and so is still pretty uproarious. I actually played that video game with my brother Bredon (which was Adams's and great) and loved it, but I never got too far. I wouldn't mind resurrecting it now. I borrowed the book from my sister to read on the way to the airport and I stole it to read on the plane - it was perfect for that purpose - silly and undemanding.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient. Gorgeous - a lush and beautiful novel.