The Road by Cormac McCarthy - Totally outstanding. You could get through it quite quickly but it’s one of those books that will stick with you for a long while. To be honest I didn’t get into it for about the first third. But then I got totally sucked in. It’s very very sparse and pretty bleak. But immensely powerful in a post-apocalyptic fashion. I was moved to a tear or two at the end. And not many books do that to me.
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga – A ripping page turner about a young man ‘making it’ in a developing India. Was perfect reading in my holiday circumstance. It doesn’t ‘explain’ how modern India works, but there’s some darkly comical moments that could only be born out of genuine insight. I particularly chuckled about value for money in t-shirt prints (you’ll have to read it to get it). Highly recommended.
The Road Home by Rose Tremain – I quite enjoyed this. But I think Sophie was right when she said it’s basically relatively high-grade Chick Lit (not that she’s a Chick Lit expert she’s at pains to point out). I’m a bit surprised it won a big booky prize. It’s a decent (if a little predictable) yarn but not much else in my book.
After Dark by Haruki Murakami – I’m a big fan of Mr Murakami. But for me this was a bit of a disappointment. The characters weren’t as good. The side plots weren’t as odd. Even the language seemed a bit lazier and less interesting. Shame. If you’ve not read any of his stuff. Give The Wind-up Bird Chronicle
a go, it’s well good.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – great book about Nazi Germany narrated by Death. It’s not as heavy as it sounds, I think it was originally written for ‘young adults’, but there’s some really nice touches and human stories in there. Worth a read.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer – Total genius. A story about a 9 year old boy who’s father died in 9/11 and is trying to solve a mystery of a key that he finds. The boy is the most adorable little freak you could ever hope to get inside the mind of. If you don’t like this book you’re a hard, cold, scumbag.
Kill Your Friends by John Niven – I kind of hated this book. It’s a ‘shocking’ tale of sex, drugs, death, blah, blah. It’s all set in the London music business, and it has a couple of moments. But I felt it tried too hard to be shocking. Kind of like Trainspotting or American Psycho, but lacking in any kind of smartness really. (This was left behind by Neil who’s the evil shit who bought me the vile outfit mentioned ealier – so I blame his poor taste, again.)
Bit of a Blur by Alex James – This was just something I picked up at the place we were staying in. It’s OK, the story of a young guy who gets famous, becomes a bit of a drunken idiot, lives the high life, finds salvation in cheese. Job’s a good-un.
To be honest I think I only bothered making it through because we shared a very similar life experience…
I used to have to wear the self same green apron and bow tie combo and deal with the self same bullies. I think it’s a good training for something.
And them were the books that I did read.
Oh, I forgot, I also read The Gum Thief by Douglas Copeland but I lent it to someone so it didn’t make it into the photo. I enjoyed that too.