Tuesday, 12 April 2016

What I've been reading lately

About a month ago I was feeling quite bored with reading and stuck in a routine (of not reading), so I thought what better way to sort it out than order some new books! I've now finished reading all of them so it seemed like the perfect time for a review.

Room by Emma Donoghue
The much anticipated movie came out recently, sparking my interest in the book (I still need to see the move). In the book, the story is told from the perspective of Jack, a five year old boy who has grown up in a room, and to him that's his entire world, along with his 'ma'. However the room itself is in fact a prison, where 'old Nick' has kept him and his mother for the past seven years after she was abducted. I love how well it's narrated as though from a five year old. I did find it a bit slow at times, but I think this was how it's meant to be read, they are in the same room for seven years after all. I believe it's based on the real life story of Elisabeth Fritzl (although I could be wrong), so of course it's quite harrowing at times! Well worth a read if you like this kind of novel, though.

Hall of Small Mammals by Thomas Pierce
I've usually steered clear of short stories, thinking they sounded boring and not sure they were for me. I love a good, meaty novel I can read for days on end! But I cam across Hall of Small Mammals and was instantly intrigued. It's described in the blurb as the confluence of the commonplace and the cosmic, the intimate and the infinite. Each has quite an abrupt ending which leaves many 'what ifs' and 'hows' but I like how it's just a small snapshot into each of the characters' lives. I think may favourite of all the short stories was in fact the first!

Again, I only started googling about this book after hearing all the furor surrounding the film and Leo's long awaited Oscar win. Michael Punke based his book on the real life story of Hugh Glass a Frontiersman was attacked by a bear and left for dead. It took a while to get into and the book and the movie departed in quite a few ways but I really enjoyed both. It felt equally as horrific reading about the bear attack as it did watching it in the film. And the revenge aspect of the book is just as strong as the movie, if for a different reason. If you loved the movie and wanted to know a bit more are Hugh Glass as well as the era, I'd say give the book a go!

Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt
This was a bit of a Buzzfeed find after reading about in in one of their articles. The story follows Lucien Minor who is a bit of a strange one to say the least and leaves home when he get a job assisting the majordomo of the Castle Von Aux. As an undermajordomo, he soon learns about the dark secrets the castle hides. I enjoyed this book mainly for the wit and the manner in which the characters speak to one another. I read somewhere that somebody compared this novel by DeWitt to a Wed Anderson film as it has that same kind of hazy, dreamy effect. I'd have to say I agree. There were a few things I wasn't so sure about with it though, the story for one thing; it tailed off around the middle and it was hard to stay interested. It also felt like it was trying to be too clever?

I LOVED Never Let Me Go, so I had very high hopes for The Buried Giant. This time the story is set in Britain, just after the Romans have left. Britons and Saxons roam Ancient Britain and it is in ruins. There is a Gothic, Arthurian, even mythological feeling to this book. It's about Axl and Beatrice and the strange amnesia that has happened to everyone, known as 'the mist'. The plot meanders a bit too much and the narration is a bit too... formal? It's not quite Never Let Me Go, but it is still a very good and interesting read!

What have you been reading lately? Have you read anything from this list? What did you think?

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