Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Review: The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading: I gather up many words, through eyes or ears or both, while neurons put them in neat little rows with appropriate starts and stops. Thoughts and understanding result.

Reading The Thirteenth Tale: I am clobbered by the gusts of language so uncommonly perfect that there grows in my mind an anticipatory thermogenesis so potent that it partitions my heart between real life and the life breathing through each page.

This is an eerie story of both terrible scars and wounds open still, but the author’s elegance is so immense that it feels like a privilege and a luxury to hear it told and to imagine the iniquities it reveals.

This author’s devotion to the written word – her worshipful bearings to works of great literature which she blends into every aspect of this tale - is something the faithful reader will never, ever forget.

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Review: The Constant Gardener

The Constant Gardener The Constant Gardener by John le Carré
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK, here we go. The main topics are:

* greedy, ruthless pharmaceutical company
* savage, profit-drivien big multinational corporation
* gutless, power-hungry government bureaucrats (both British and Kenyan)
* brave, do-gooder, whistle-blowers

It was a very well-crafted story. I especially appreciated the immaculate sentences - almost all spoken by Justin. An artful who-done-it right up to the last 50 pages, I never thought about putting it down, although I grew weary of the sheer number of characters. It was fun to have so many tangential dramas for the first half of the book. I suffered from sub-plot-fatigue in the second half of the book.

It made me want to see Kenya, though. The descriptions were pastoral, poetic and perverse and at some point I think I actually tasted the heat from the dry, cracked earth.

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