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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Little Lumpen Novelita by Roberto Bolaño

A Little Lumpen Novelita by Roberto Bolaño, Translated by Natasha Wimmer, AF, 2014, Hardcover, 109p, My Rating=3.5
Source: library

"Now I am a mother and a married woman, but not long ago I led a life of crime": so Bianca begins her tale of growing up the hard way in Rome. Orphaned overnight as a teenager - "our parents died in a car crash on their first vacation without us" - she drops out of school, gets a crappy job, and drifts into bad company. Her little brother brings home two petty criminals who need a place to stay. As the four of them share the family apartment and plot a strange crime, Bianca learns how low she can fall.

Electric, tense with foreboding, and written in jagged, propulsive short chapters, A Little Lumpen Novelita delivers a surprising, fractured fable of seizing control of one's fate.

I knew I was in for a read when the epigraph read, "All writing is garbage. People who come out of nowhere to try and put into words any part of what goes on in their minds are pigs. All writers are pigs. Especially writers today." (Antonin Artaud). Yep, this novella turned out to be strange with despondent characters. But I think the peculiarity was well told. It was easy to turn the pages and I felt satisfied by books end. Looks like Mr. Bolaño's a gifted and enticing storyteller.

Content: sexual reference

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Dance of the Seagull by Andrea Camilleri

The Dance of the Seagull by Andrea Camilleri, Narrator -Grover Gardner, AF, 2013, Playaway digital audio, 5.5hr, My Rating=3.5
Source: library

Before leaving for vacation, Inspector Montalbano witnesses a seagull dancing outside his homebefore it drops dead. Stopping in at his office, he notices that Fazio is missing. As he sets out to find him, Montalbano discovers that the seagulls dance of death may provide the key to understanding a macabre world of sadism, extortion, and murder.

Interesting find at my local library. I like the title. The book was overall an intriguing detective story with funny moments.

I hadn't realized that this is one in a chain of novels/short stories of Inspector Salvo Montalbano that the Italian author created. These works was made into a TV program in Italy available in English subtitles. I understand that there are a few more in the works for book translation. Cool.

Just found out that my local library has a few more of Camilleri's gems. Yay!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Review: A Step of Faith by Richard Paul Evans

A Step of Faith (#4 of The Walk series) by Richard Paul Evans, AF, 2013, Hardcover, 279p, My Rating=2
Source: library
My review of: Book #1, Book #2, Book #3

After the death of his beloved wife, after the loss of his advertising business to his once-trusted partner, after bankruptcy forced him from his home, Alan Christoffersen is a broken man. Leaving everything he knows, he sets out on an extraordinary cross-country journey; with only the pack on his back, he is walking from Seattle to Key West—the end of the map.

Along the way, Alan begins to heal, meeting people who teach him lessons about love, sacrifice, and forgiveness. But in St. Louis, Alan faces another life-changing crisis, and now the journey is in jeopardy.

This was my least favorite of "The Walk" series thus far. This installment didn't offer me much cheerfulness. As if Mr. Evans took some dreary and crazy pills and they oozed out into this book.

I had forgotten the big cliffhanger from book #3 so when this book started to backtrack a bit, I was getting excited to see the outcome. Unfortunately the story dragged, the guest characters weren't that stirring (except Master El ..crazy cult leader I wanted to practice my judo moves to!), and generally there wasn't enough meat to the evolution. Perhaps Alan needed more time to recover from his surgery and resumed his walk at a different time and conceivably had a more inspiring trek. Nonetheless, I want to see Alan's journey through so, "On to book #5!"

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