Sep 28, 2014

Short story 110: Last of the Belles by F Scott Fitzgerald

Yay! with this story I have completed my quest to read all I can by my favorite author.  As with all my Fitzgerald reading you can get more at the blog- Fitzgerald Musings.  Over there you will see what I thought of Last of the Belles.

Sep 19, 2014

Abandoned Book 3: Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

This one kills me that I have to add it to my abandoned book list.  I had high hopes for it, but found that when I got to the parts of "the book within a book" parts I dreaded reading on.

I have heard that I need to just stick with it.  But if I dread it, should I keep going?

This may be one of the books I do revisit. 

I am such a fan of "The Handmaids Tale"  that I want to love everything by her.  Back in the day after reading HMT I tried to read Cat's Eye by here and struggled with that one as well.   Maybe I only like that one book by her.

If that is true, it would be such a shame.

Abandoned Book 2: Writings by Zelda Fitzgerald

  • The Millionaires Girl
  • Poor Working Girl
  • Miss Ella
  • The Continental Angle 
  • A Couple of Nuts 
I tried.  I really did. I tried to read Zelda's works and include them in my Fitzgerald project.  I just do not care for her writing style.  I find her stories to be rambling and in-cohesive.

Just not my cup of tea.

Book 44-46: Gathering Blue, Messanger, & Son

 I am going to talk about these 3 books all at once.  They are the companion books to the Giver, which I had read earlier.

From what I gathered, from some very basic research, is The Giver was written as a stand alone book originally, and then years later Lois Lowry created these 3 companion books.

When deciding to write additional works to The Giver, Lowry could have gone in a couple of directions.  Focus on the Society once Jonas left, or focus on where Jonas went to.  Lowry decided on the later as the tack she would take.  I think I would have gone a different way.

When I started to read Gathering Blue, I was confused on how this fit with The Giver.  I found the story interesting, but not really connected, and the connection between the 2 books is not revealed until the very end.

Once you get to Messenger you see more of that connection, but even here the connection with Jonas is limited.  He has become a secondary character.  Out of the 3 books I found Messenger the least interesting.

In Son the connection between the Society and the Village is stronger and we get to see how Gabe becomes a man.  It is really his story.

I would have like to learn more of how Jonas felt and got on when he came to the new village. And I would have likes to learn more on how the Society fared after he left.

In general these 3 did not have to be tied to The Giver.  They felt like a trilogy all on there own. 

The books were good, and the stories were interesting.  Lowry is able to write a story that is readable and hooks you quickly, but I was dissapointed that it was so loosely tied to the parent book.

Book 43: Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro

I am so in love with this book, as you may have figured out since I have read it twice in 2 weeks (and a 3rd book in-between).

I really wish I had a way of recommending this book with out giving it away and still impart the scope of what the story is trying to convey.  And I wish I was able to express the wonders of Ishiguro's prose.

I want my friends to have the same experience with this book that I did.  It is always a risk to recommend a book that had a profound effect on you and hope they have the same reaction.

The truth of it is, I just need to give them a copy, let them read it and see what comes of it.

I did also see the movie that was made of the novel.  It was a good movie, but I didn't feel the intimate connection with Kathy I got from reading it.  I think it would be hard to convey, but with that I would recommend the movie.  I would definitely  recommend reading the book before seeing the movie on this one.

Book 42 The Remains of the Day by Kazau Ishiguro

I was so moved after reading Never Let Me Go I needed to either reread it or see if there was another one of his books that I could read.

I was surprised to see that he was the author of The Remains of the Day.  Honestly, I thought that book had been written decades before.  I remembered watching the movie and really liking it, so I went ahead and downloaded it to my kindle.

I was happy to see the rambling narrative style of Never Let Me Go was present in The Remains of the Day.   I really enjoy the intimate aura it creates.  I have found that I need to have longer reading blocks for this type of book, or else I would lose all the subtly that builds.

I feel bad that I am forced to review this book in the shadow of his other book, because it is a wonderful book and I should have been able to enjoy it for what is is.  However, I did find that my mind was still occupied with Kathy, Ruth and Tommy.  Which by the way I am rereading at this time.

I have discovered that I am terrible on writing reviews and expressing my excitement for a book in giving recommendations.  I don't want to give away anything and want to them to have a pure experience of the book, and I am not sure how to do that.  I think I am better on a book like this one, where I am able to describe the book as a book where the main character, an English Butler, is retrospective on his life and career.  At this point in his life he is having to revisit the near past and come to reckoning with his part in it.