Monday, 4 August 2008

The Summer of Strange Books

I think this could, quite appropriately, be called "The Summer of Strange Books." Especially the past few weeks. It started with The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan, which was just plain weird. I probably would have stopped partway through, but it was very well-written, because I had to know what happened... and besides, it was only 100 pages. The next Ian McEwan that mom had out from the library, Amsterdam, sounded mor promising, so I picked that up. Weird, but in a completely different sort of way. An odd little book. Enjoyable, but just a strange ending. Perfect though - there was no other way for it to end. I guess that's kind of the point.

After that I moved on to the books I picked up from the $2 table. I started with Give Me by Irina Denezhkina. I have to say, it wasn't quite as good as I was expecting. For one thing, there were way too many characters crammed in for a short story, and, especially as the names were all Russian, it was nearly impossible to keep them all straight. Some of the stories, though, were very good (Songs for Lovers), others seemed rather pointless (Valerochka), and others were just strange (Vasya and the Green Men; Postscript). I think, though, that overall, I enjoyed it. It might be one I have to reread once I've had time to let my brain process it a bit.

Then I tackled Child of My Heart by Alice McDermott. It was a very touching book; although it didn't quite make me cry, the last few hours that I was reading it, there was a lump in my throat the whole time. I love how all of the seemingly abstract bits do fit together once you reach the end. The effect as a whole was incredible. It left me feeling sort of... haunted. I loved it.

So now I'm on to Making Love: A Conspiracy of the Heart by Marius Brill. Although I'm not that far into it yet, I can tell that it's going to be strange, too.

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