Thursday, June 10, 2010

[91] Bonjour Tristesse

This novel is the tale of one seventeen year old girl's wishes, moods, desires and wants as she tries to destroy the happening of a marriage between her father and his fiance, Anne, of whom is portrayed as a rather quiet, calm woman, whereas her father and herself are party animals.

I find that the most interesting part of this novel is that at the time of publication the author was eighteen years old. Therefore, the words she writes come across as the kind of things that a teenager would think and feel, where irrational thoughts and spur of the moment decisions far outweigh logic and reason.

This novel was particularly easy to read for me, not because it's only 130 pages long, but also because I am at the age where her character is still a familiar one. I'm 20, and so I haven't been alienated by teenage desires and such yet. I'm still in that frame of mind where I can be frivolous and not have to worry about mortgages and whether or not my son has done his homework.

I can image, though, how Cecile's frame of mind as she narrates the story could be annoying to older readers who find her to be an annoying whiny bitch, because in all honesty that's exactly what she is.

While it was written in 1955, it does draw heavily on sexual relationships, particularly that between Cecile and her lover, Cyril (I've always found Cyril an odd name, but that's not related). While it doesn't go into any real detail, it is fairly evident that the sex is rather blissful. I'm not at all sure when sex began appearing as frequently in books as it does in the movies now. By in books I mean in actual good books not Mills & Boon type books. I'm scared to research this, but it would be interesting to find out. I'm imagining it was earlier than film, but then there was assorted book burnings by parents who thought books like 'The Scarlett Letter' were evil, so it's hard to tell.

Now I'm just rambling nonsense so I'll leave it there. I recommend this book as a quick read if you're pushing for numbers, and I also recommend it if you're young and can still remember all the words to your graduation song.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

[90] Enduring Love

Enduring Love, simply put, is about a religious man named Jed Parry who 'falls in love' with another man named Joe Rose. Sounds fine, until we realise the awkward that entails when this other man is in a wonderful relationship with a woman named Clarissa, and doesn't particularly want to change that.

Jed Parry is exactly the kind of guy you never want to have to deal with in your life. He takes on various stalker elements throughout the book, standing outside Joe's apartment building for hours on end, sending 3-4 letters a week, and generally freaking Joe out.

If you start this book, you will not get anything out of it if you put it down. Put simply, this book is like the TV series Lost. You have to read the whole thing or you will miss out on learning and understanding. Ian McEwan brilliantly uncovers the parts we are reading so desperately to learn about. He withholds a lot of information to keep the reader guessing.

I'm not going to give too much away, so I'm just going to end this by saying that Jed Parry is one hell of a creepy guy. Also, if you liked Atonement, you'll probably enjoy this.


In other news, I've made it to 90! Bazinga!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Last time I was here this blog sat on a measly 45 books, with the last one being American Psycho. Wow, I read that one a while ago, and Atonement as well. Atonement was read at the start of last year! Good book though...

Well, since then I've made it to the 89th book, which was The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. I won't have reviews for all those, because I'm afraid that will just take a little too much time and I need that time for reading.

Not entirely sure what to read next, we'll see where the library takes me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

[45] American Psycho

I'm not sure who's the maniac this time round.  Is it Bret Easton Ellis, or is it just Patrick Bateman? Either way, this is a great, yet sick and twisted book.  This book is not for the faint-hearted.  If you can barely sit through your average thriller or horror movie, then in no way are you going to be able to read this without feeling the need to be violently ill.  Fortunately I was able to stomach it, and so have come out with winning results, and a slightly sickened stomach through one section of the novel.  

I've read two books from Ellis in the past, which were removed off the current 1001 list, but are still brilliant anyway.  I've read Glamorama and Less Than Zero.  American Psycho, unlike these, is banned for sale to people under the age of 18, in Queensland, Australia. You almost must be at least 18 to borrow it out from the library.  While I may be 18, I'd have to say they weren't doing a very good job of restricting that, because I didn't have to show any ID, just walked in and got it from the holds shelves, then borrowed it out.

The way this is written, you get chunks of great descriptions of what the main character is wearing, and what clothing that involves.  Then, on the other hand, you get pages of dialogue between various characters.  Then there's the graphic scenes of either a sexual or violent nature.  I have to praise Bret Easton Ellis' writing style, because I love it.  He mentions people.  He doesn't make up celebrities, or television shows, he utilizes what the world already possesses, and works them in.  Familiar names like Tom Cruise and Donald Trump are referenced a number of times.  The main characters also attend a U2 concert.  

All in all, this is a great novel, if you can stomach it! 

Monday, January 5, 2009

[44] Atonement

Atonement by the wonderful Ian McEwan.  McEwan has three books on this version of the list, making him one of the most populous authors on the list.  Before the new version of the list was released, he had eight.  I am so thankful for the revision, because, whilst good, lets face it, no one needs eight spots on a list like this.  Only Charles Dickens had one more than McEwan, and has now been reduced down to four. Thank goodness for that, I don't think I could handle that much Dickens.  Anyway, I was at least pleased with my first selection of Ian McEwan.  

If there's one thing I learnt from Atonement, it's not to have such an evil stupid little sister like Briony Tallis.  Briony Tallis is the most evil girl I have ever come across, novel wise.  She has absolutely no common sense.  

I'd have to say my favourite character was Cecelia Tallis, the older sister of Briony, with a close second to Robbie Turner, of whom is like some amazing version of Mr Darcy.  Not that Mr Darcy isn't already amazing, but still, Robbie is awesome.  

This is a great book, saddening, yet great.  I didn't cry reading it, but I know that if I watch the film version, I will.  It's that kind of story.  Not that I didn't cry when Mufasa died in The Lion King, but still.  

Anywho, as I normally say, I know why this is on the list, it deserves to be here, it's amazing, worth reading, and I highly recommend it, especially if you've seen and enjoyed the film, or are interesting in viewing the film.  Read it first. 


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

[43] Of Mice and Men

I love this book, purely and simply, do.  John Steinbeck is great and now I'm not so wary of his work.  You know those authors that you see, and their books look a bit dull so you're a bit apprehensive to read anything by them.  Such authors included in this could be Fitzegarald, Dostoevsky, and a whole range of others.  Everyone has an author of whom they dread to read, and Steinbeck was mine. 

Now, I've been living in this new year of 2009 for 14 hours now, and I have already read a book, so things are going pretty well in that department.  I started this book just after midnight, got about eleven pages read, decided I needed some sleep, got up and since about 10am, I have been reading this book.  Not constantly, but for the most part.  

It's a great book, much in the way that books like The Great Gatsby are great.  I know that some people have sheer dislike for Gatsby, mainly because they were forced to read it during school, at a time in their life when they just couldn't enjoy it.  That was the time of life I read Great Gatsby, and I loved it at school, but I appeared to be one of the few. 

This book deserves its spot on the list, and if it were ever to be removed, I would say there will be hell to pay for Dr Peter Boxall who is basically the one who edits this book all together, and goes through it etc etc.  You know what I mean.  Perhaps.

Basically the book centers around two guys who go to work at a farm.  One of them is mentally disabled, and so has trouble understanding exactly what is going on, the other looks out for him, and makes sure he doesn't get into trouble.  The book is short, and moves quickly, so it won't take you very long.  My version was 120 pages.  I recommend getting the version printed in "Popular Penguin", the cheap ones with the orange covers.  If you're in Australia (or New Zealand), you'll know the ones. I'm not sure if they're printed elsewhere.  The font in this one is extraordinarily good.  The size is just perfect.  I'm the kind of person who doesn't particularly enjoy small fonts.  Not those oversized large print ones, but the sensible size 12 fonts, those are good. 

Anywho, that's really all I had to say on this book, hope you have a great reading year! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009: The year for achievement

So I figure this year I could get a fair few books read.  To begin with I've got two months of holidays before I go back to University, so I assume this means I have plenty of reading time.  Therefore, I'm making a list of 50 books, from this list, that I would like to read in 2009.  I should have read more in 2008, but only got about 15 from the list.  

1. American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis
2. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley 
3. Suite Francaise - Irene Nemirovsky 
4. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
5. Breakfast At Tiffany's - Truman Capote 
6. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (Own)
7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey (Own) 
8. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (Own)
9. The Plague - Albert Camus 
10. Notes from the Underground - Fyodor Dostoevsky 
11. The Honorary Consul - Graham Greene 
12. Cutter and Bone - Newton Thornburg
13. What Maisie Knew - Henry Janes
14. Watchmen - Alan Moore 
15. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole 
16. Tender is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald 
17. Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut 
18. The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien (Own)
19. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley 
20. Atonement - Ian McEwan (Own)
21. The Line of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst 
22. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro 
23. Animal's People - Indra Sinha
24. The Inheritance of Loss - Kiran Desai
25. Measuring the World - Daniel Kehlmann
26. The Heart of Redness - Zakes Mda
27. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson 
28. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou 
29. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick 
30. Junkie - William S. Burroughs 
31. The Talented Mr Ripley - Patricia Highsmith (Own)
32. Casino Royale - Ian Fleming 
33. Franny and Zooey - J.D. Salinger
34. The Graduate - Charles Webb
35. In True Blood - Truman Capote 
36. 2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
37. Empire of the Sun - J.G. Ballard 
38. The Sea - John Banville 
39. Oscar and Lucinda - Peter Carey
40. Like Water for Chocolate - Laura Esquivel
41. War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells 
42. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne 
43. The Lonely Londoners - Samuel Selvon 
44. On the Road - Jack Kerouac 
45. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
46. Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy 
47. The New York Trilogy - Paul Auster 
48. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rys
49. Lady Chatterley's Lover - D.H. Lawrence 
50. Homo Faber - Max Frisch 

Finally! That took quite a while to find 50, out of so many choices.  I'm happy with this list, and if I read a majority, if not all, I assume I will be much better read. Some of these are shocking, by the fact that I haven't read them yet.  Tomorrow, I begin.