My wife's birthday was last weekend, which coincided with the ten year anniversary of our meeting! She got everything she wanted, from a homemade gourmet dinner to marathon-ing the Star Wars movies because I had never seen them. But we have a tradition in our family of celebrating the 'birthday month' which means my wife gets a few more weekends of fancy dinners made by me and dictating how we spend our weekends. (Non-negotiable will be disassembling our Christmas tree, which we've obviously put off for weeks, oops!)
This weekend I'm reading Peter Swanson's The Girl with a Clock for a Heart. (The picture is from last night, not this morning -- I only do champagne before noon, and only on weekends!)
First line: Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond.
I had to grit my teeth to get through this book. (All 209 pages.)
I'm ashamed to admit this since a surprising number of folks online and in person have cited this novella as one of their favorite books, but I found everything about this brief read to be agonizing -- the plot, the narrative style, the characters -- it and I just did not connect.
I went in expecting to love this book given its reputation and subject matter. Achebe depicts the story of a Nigeria broken by white colonialism; our hero is deeply flawed and stubbornly committed, living in a world with problems triply complicated by the unnecessary influence of white colonizers. Achebe's narrative style is straight-forward and clear, even as he articulates a world deeply foreign to modern audiences.
I suspect I didn't understand this book; I'm also not a huge fan of tragedies (I loathe Hamlet) so Okonkwo as a character didn'…
I'm not going to summarize the plot because I don't want to end up spoiling anything. As a concluding novel, it did everything I needed a final book to do: wrapped up plot threads, answered the mysteries, and provided some final flash bang.
As with his previous novels, I think some of Neuvel's characterizations are thin -- no doubt because the story is told through transcripts and journal entries -- and it left me a little impatient with the story.
These were fast reads, so if you want a Michael Bay-esque summer action flick in a book, this trilogy will do it.
Title:Only Human Author: Sylvain Neuvel Genre: Fiction (Sci Fi / Speculative / Mecha / Aliens / Parenthood / Social Commentary / Warfare) Publisher/Publication Date: Del Rey (5/1/2018) Source: Edelweiss