Monday, April 23, 2007

Late Book Report Fined 10% Per Day

Today, I'll be reviewing books which were all good to one degree or another. Some were more interesting than excellent, but I still think they're worth a read if the titles/themes catch your eye.

Pattern Recognition, William Gibson: From Amazon, "The first of William Gibson's usually futuristic novels to be set in the present, Pattern Recognition is a masterful snapshot of modern consumer culture and hipster esoterica." That's about all you should read, though, because otherwise you'll spoil the book. I had my issues with some of it, but overall, it was an interesting look at culture, and I thought the bits about internet culture were incisive.

Lady Oracle, Margaret Atwood: Oh, another Atwood. I'm like a groupie! Well, this wasn't my favorite of hers, so I guess the honeymoon's over with her. See, her beautiful language was still there, and she even retained some of her amazing insight, but the plot and some characters just didn't do it for me. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't Atwood good. Single tear.

The Autograph Man, Zadie Smith: I finally finished the book. Very good. I didn't enjoy it as much as On Beauty, but it was still miles ahead of other novels. I've included quotes from it before here and here.

Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez: One of my new favorite books because, WOW! The style reminded me a bit of Dostoevsky with its rambling narrative and insights about even the most minor of characters, but Márquez was didn't seem to wander quite as long as the D might. There were so many good lines that I really can't copy them all out. Really a must read. I think I could start a few dozen posts with inspiration from them. Hey, that's not a half-bad idea. Better idea? READ THIS BOOK.

Bel Canto, Ann Patchett: Another of my new favorite books. The language is truly fantastic. She creates a rather implausible world, yet you want so badly to believe it exists, that it is, in fact, our world that she keeps you at the edge of your seat, even when she's discussing how the terrorits and hostages will make dinner out of raw vegetables. Opera, terrorism, language barriers, and French Ambassadors cooking - it really has it all. READ THIS BOOK, TOO.

I'm reading another great book, but that's quite enough pontificating and Amazon searching. If you're headed beachward (or airportward) then snap one of these babies up.


Anonymous said...

E, I always appreciate your book recommends. In fact I picked up Zadie Smith's White Teeth at the library the other day because I remembered your praise for On Beauty. Have you read White Teeth? Its very Dickensian so far, but I'm hardly into it.We're moving to Seattle in July and things are busy busy. So again thanks for the reviews. Love to here about new books! OG

Mair said...

i TOLD you that you would LOVE Love in the Time of Cholera. One of my favorite parts was when she heard him peeing on their wedding night and was filled with terror. So clever.