1. I Am the Messenger - (1/2) - Markus Zusak 368p
I love Markus Zusak. He has a way of putting pen to paper on the widest range of emotions. He knows people.
The main character's dog is called "The Doorman."
"I find that all I want to do is make in inside and hug the Doorman. I hope he hugs me back."
Who hasn't felt that? That moment where you're so down and you have nothing to look forward to but your dog. I don't know, I just think it gets you right in the gut.
Zusak writes with tenderness and humor and insight, and I can't wait to read his next book.
You can't compare this at all to The Book Thief, but it's fun (if a bit flawed) and any Zusak is good Zusak, and I'd recommend it.
73. Go with Me: A Novel (P.S.) - (12/31) - Castle Freeman Jr. 192p
3 people get into a car and drive place to place looking for a guy. That's the main thrust of this story. How that turned into the book this is, I'll never know.
Freeman is really talented. His writing style is very distinctive. Matter of fact in some ways, rambling in others, and filled with dialog that is natural and yet quirky, and very specific to the mood of the tale.
It's a short novel, and easily read in one sitting so obviously we don't delve much into what makes the characters tick, but that makes them no less interesting. There are moments of laugh out loud humor, and a certain degree of suspense.
I thought it was great. This was my second Freeman, and I'll be looking forward to more. He's got sort of a Cormac McCarthy "lite" vibe going, and I don't mean that in any kind of insulting way. There's similarties in sparseness and subject matter and tone ... but with punctuation and without all the heaviness.
Definitely recommended.72. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater - (12/30) - Kurt Vonnegut 190p
5/5 + Favorite and frankly, some gushing ...
"Sylvia, I'm going to be an artist."
"I am going to love these discarded Americans even though they are useless and unattractive. That is going to be my work of art."
And what a masterpiece it is! This book is sweet, funny, sad and really epitomizes Vonnegut's genius. I absolutely loved it, and think it has taken the place of Slapstick as my favorite Vonnegut.
TOP 10 for 2009 (in no particular order)
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater - Kurt Vonnegut
I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
The Yiddish Policemen's Union: A Novel (P.S.) - Michael Chabon
The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak
Never Let Me Go - Kuzuo Ishiguro
Cathedral of the Sea: A Novel - Ildefonso Falcones
Five Quarters of the Orange: A Novel (P.S.) - Joanne Harris
The Housekeeper and the Professor: A Novel - Yoko Ogawa 192p
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis
My complete list can be found here