evie_seo (evie_seo) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

1-3 / 50 for book challange 2010

1. Takashi Matsuoka - Cloud of Sparrows (2002)

Summary :
Takashi Matsuoka's first novel takes us to 1861, six years after the opening of Japan to the West. Genji, the young, charismatic Great Lord of Akaoka, welcomes a small group of American missionaries—all with hidden agendas—to his province, where they plan to build a church. Two of the missionaries, Emily and Matthew, befriend Genji, and as cultural barriers among them fall, they become integral to Genji's survival. Ancient enemies are conspiring against him. With the help of loyal retainers—notably his master samurai uncle, Shigeru, and his beautiful and brilliant geisha lover, Heiko—Genji struggles to repel his enemies and to understand and fulfill the visions he receives of the future.

My thoughts:
Delightful read, full of unpredictable twists, taste of japanese culture, beautiful scenery, fast-paced plot and witty style. It's a must read for anyone interested in ancient Japan- times of last samurais, overwhelmingly beautiful geisha, honor and betrayal. I loved the construction, enjoyed Matsuoka's style. Not one second wasted on this one.

2. Mythology - People of Ancient Korea (2008)

The look at ancient Korea and it's mythology, consisting of national legends and folk tales. Korean shamanism and totemism. Beliefs about Creation of the World, Coming of Humankind, Settling of the World, Establishment of Korea. Religion, folklore, animals in mythology.

My thoughts:

Interesting read, but very vague. The book is rather an overview of main streams and ideas than actual study of Korean mythology, so I recommend it for someone, who wants to get a taste of Korean ancient world, but don't really wanna get deep into details and technicalities.

3. Dennis Lehane - Shutter Island (2003)

The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple murderess Rachel Solondo is loose somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked, guarded cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades - with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems. (book cover)

My thoughts:
I was totally dumbfounded and bemused by this book. Even after turning the last page I couldn't get my mind of it for a very long time. it's one of those books that makes you Think, and it makes you Think HARD. The story is very original and suspenseful, seems to be living on its own, which is kind'a scary in a way.. they way it grabs onto you and doesn't let you put the book down until the end. And even when you're done, you know, deep inside, it's still there.. in the back of your mind..
Definitely one of my favorites, can't wait to see the movie!

Currently reading : Takashi Matsuoka - Autumn Bridge

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