Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Just Can't Seem To Get Enough

Books, books, books, books, the world is thankfully full of books. I've tried to do my share of reading them this summer, although I definitely could've done more.

First out was Paul Auster's Oracle Night. I have a thing for Auster, no need to dwelve into that again, but this book was not as good as some of the others I've read. Again he shows the astonishing ability his mind has to come up with story upon story upon story, but some of them never land. I want to know what happens to the guy in the shelter! Nevertheless it kept me entertained throughout.

Auster's Man in the Dark was next book out, and disappointingly it had a bit of the same problem. Don't get me wrong, both are still good books, they are just not _quite_ up there with what he can do. With this one I far preferred the initial spin on the story than the actual conclusion. Also, it's a bit too American for me, this one.

I then finally summoned the guts to finish James Bradley's The Resurrectionist. Christ, what a piece of sh*t book this was... I've even mooched it away since, that's how little I liked it. The story is thin, the characters inpossible to care for, and the end is simply a loose-end laughing matter. Where on earth critics get off calling this a gothic horror masterpiece is beyond me, they are probably friends of the author...

After moaning and whining about the poor quality of the previous book for several days, Florentin decided I should read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger which he had just read and loved. This book I have avoided buying at several occassions because other books have caught my attention more and I have for some reason boxed it away in the same category as The Observations (by Jane Harris, which was to be fair quite good in the end), but I had no real issues with wanting to read it. Good girl! Very lovely, this book. It managed to keep me fully alerted throughout the story, and I cried at the end. That very rarely happens with me and books, so ten thumbs up and just go ahead and read it. Florentin loved it too, if you're worried it's a girls' book. And once you've read it we can discuss the one thing I _didn't_ like about it, but I won't spoil it for you by writing it here.

While I read about time-hoppers, Florentin plowed through one of the books I brought with me, Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida (neat name, huh?). This Finnish author living in America has written a story about a woman who follows her mother's history to the Sami areas of Finland and Norway, and by tracing her roots changes as a human being. Well... it's the first I've read by a Finnish author. I think that's about it. The main character did grow on me, but it took a long time and I still didn't get to love her enough for it to matter that the book ended. Ok'ish read, I'd say. It has a bit of a feministic twist to it that was quite interesting.

Sami stories gave way to Auster again. In The Country Of Last Things was the second of his novels I had with me on our roadtrip, and it didn't take me long to read. Here he's back with full force again, weaving his story in a straight, brutal line through an imagined city that may or may not exist not too far off in our future. If I could, I would happily have punched a couple of the characters the leading lady encounters along her way. Actually it's a shame this one wasn't longer.

In Zurich I found an English bookstore where I picked up Gaiman's Coraline, but I haven't started it yet. I also bought PopCo by Scarlett Thomas, the author of the previously hailed The End of Mr Y. I loved that one, and I loved this one. Similar in the manner of writing, the story is nevertheless quite different. Anti-corporation, pro-vegan, clever and funny, I'd definitely recommend it as a good read. I'd even say it might be the math version of Mr Y, which is more humanistic in it's twists and turns.

Having just finished PopCo a couple of days ago, I've now picked up The Gathering by Anne Enright. This one won the Booker prize in 07, and I got it for my birthday from a friend the same year, I've just been slow in picking it up. Doesn't seem quite like a book I'd normally love yet, but I'll review it after finishing.

"When I'm with you, baby,
I go out of my head.
I just can't get enough,
I just can't get enough."
Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough (Speak And Spell, 1981)
Depeche Mode are playing Helsinki in February, and I've got tickets, baby :D


ida said...

Fine boktips!

The Timetraveller's Wife ble en hit her i huset også.

C said...

Jeg vet ikke helt om jeg har lyst til å se filmen, dog, kan tenke meg at det blir en fryktelig trist historie. Jeg hulket verre enn verst da jeg leste ut boka et sted i de sveitsiske alpene.

Hanne said...

Jeg har endelig lest Timbuktu av Auster. Hvilken bok!Jeg må sjekke ut mer av Auster altså!

C said...

Jeg tror alle som noengang har hatt en hund vil elske den boka. Dersom du vil lese mer Auster bør du lese Book of Illusions. Veldig annerledes enn Timbuktu, og primært skrevet i dialogform, men veldig bra.