Category Archives: Thoughts

‘The Lola Quartet’ – Emily St. John Mandel

London, January 2018

Overview

The one where Anna runs away to Utah, steals $121,000 from a dealer. The Lola Quartet high school students are involved in one way or another. Ten years on, Gavin loses his job and returns,

Thoughts

This was encouraging in that by their 30s, there was a history of personal disasters, no careers and a general sense of – this is what’s actually like. very beautifully written – the author has this very specific tone and it’s like entering her creation, Read it quickly and was getting a little irritated towards the end, but it ended well.

Quotes

‘…there are so many gradations of fame, it’s impossible to know who would be remembered, or what for.’

‘Truly Madly Guilty’ – Liane Moriarty

Lausanne, December 2016

Overview

The one with the barbecue mystery – six individuals affected by something that happened.

Thoughts

Enjoyed this, but I thought there would be more to the drawn out mystery of the barbecue!

Quotes

‘Her focus had always been on how his actions affected her feelings, as if his role was to do things for her, to her…Was it possible she’d never seen or truly loved him the way he deserved to be seen and loved? As a person? As an ordinary, flawed, feeling person?’

‘Shopaholic Ties the Knot’ – Sophie Kinsella

Lausanne, May 2016

Overview

Becky and Luke get engaged. Her mother-in-law to be takes over, but Becky’s mum also organises a separate wedding, unaware of the first. Becky doesn’t make a decision and ends up, thanks to a private jet, having both weddings.

Thoughts

Meh. Not great. Easy read but the conflict wasn’t interesting and her lack of decision making, despite nearly saving it several times, was uninteresting. Not very funny either.

‘Falling Man’ – Don DeLillo

Lausanne, April 2016

Overview

Keith escapes the Towers on 9/11. Reunites with his wife who is angry following the attacks. Incensed by the performance of the falling man, who dies, sort of unnoticed, at the end.

Thoughts

My brother recommended this a while ago and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Definitely more intellectual in style than my brain is possibly capable of coping with! I struggled in parts but the scene depicting the attack and the change of viewpoint within the scene was practically seamless and quite astounding by its effect.

‘Day Four’ – Sarah Lotz

Lausanne, April 2016

Overview

The standalone sequel to The Three, this is the one with the cruise ship with the medium aboard. A number of ‘ghost’ incidents that culminated in the ship docking at a dystopian version of reality.

Thoughts

I can’t decide how I felt about this book. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. I liked the idea and read it on the strength of Lotz’s first book. It felt like the middle kept setting up but failing to lead to much and then the end, because of this, felt like it came out of nowhere.

‘Slaughterhouse-5’ – Kurt Vonnegut

Lausanne, March 2016

Overview

The one where Kurt Vonnegut was told to write his Dresden book which he promises he will call, The Children’s Crusade.’ Narrated via Billy Pilgrim, a chaplain’s assistant who is abducted by Tralfamadorians and who has the power of time travel.

Thoughts

This was an excellent war book – the acceptance of death, the inevitability of conflict and the trauma that I think Pilgrim explored in memories and understood as other worldly creatures explained the alien concept that death and the human condition are inevitable? Think I’ll be thinking of this one for a while.

Quotes

‘While he examined the boy’s eyes, Billy told him matter of factly about his adventures on Tralfamadore, assured the fatherless boy that his father was very much alive still in moments the boy would see again and again.

“Isn’t that comforting?” Billy asked.

‘So it goes.’

‘Ready Player One’ – Ernest Cline

Lausanne, March 2016

Overview

The one where Perzeval (Wade) lives in a post-apocalyptic future where the only fun/challenge is an RPG version of the internet, OASIS. Halliday, the creator, once set a challenge to find his egg and win his fortune using knowledge of 1980s trivia. Perceval wins as he thinks of everything.

Thoughts

I can’t quite believe this wasn’t a first draft or that it’s published at all. The first chapter is good – the first few are, but then Perzeval – almost a backwards parody of a 1980s jock gets ‘famous’ and truly dull as a result.

The dialogue was terrible. There was no conflict, no pathos – twists came out of nowhere – he infiltrates the 101 via the Crediton police, though failed to mention the existence of that entity. The trivia was lazy, failing to draw images and just lists of endless references.