It snowed pretty heavily on the first day of Spring -- no surprise for Boston -- but my wife treated me to three gorgeous bouquets of flowers nonetheless. Every morning they cheer me up -- although it's been nice and sunny in Boston, the melting gray slush depresses me!
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'…
First line: Night comes as a surprise in the tropics.
It took me less than a month, but more than two weeks, to read this brief novel; it's incredibly interior-oriented, which isn't a bad thing, but it didn't allow for lazy, quick reading. Our narrator, Shirley, is clever, and you can't be sloppy to keep up with her.
The feel of this novel is Erica Jong meets Kate Chopin. Shirley is a smart, passionate 40-something housewife who travels the world meeting her spy lover.
But their latest tryst takes her back to Toronto, where she grew up and still lives, and as we watch Shirley attempt to untangle the clues that will connect her with her lover, we start to wonder just how much of this might be real.
And yet, that's not precisely the point of this novel. In her pursuit of her lover, we're exposed to Shirley's entire life -- her childhood, her marriage, her anxieties and hopes -- and a complicated-but-familiar portrait emerges. By the end, I found myself wantin…
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