G (slickmc) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Books 87-91/100

87.  The Children's Book - A.S. Byatt
                 I'm not even sure what to say about this book.  It's extremely long and dense, with frequent information dumps and such a large number of characters that I had difficulty keeping track of them all.  So many sections were just lists: Tom was 13, Dorothy was 11, Phyllis was 10....Tom was wearing a green jacket, Dorothy was wearing a grey dress....etc.  It felt very much like Byatt had tons of information, had done lots of research, and couldn't bear to edit any of it out.  Maybe she just should have made it a series out of it.  I don't mind a lot of detail normally, but this had tons of extraneous information with very little left over about the actual people. 
                I liked the ending, but hated reading the middle.  And there was 700 pages of middle.

88. When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge - Chanrithy Him
                  An autobiographical account of the Cambodian Genocide.  The actual writing was pretty bad, and I'm not such a fan of the present tense anyway, but the story itself was interesting enough to keep me reading.  I felt like there were some discrepancies with dates and ages, but maybe I just wasn't following along well.  I also recommend knowing about Cambodian culture and the history of the Khmer Rouge, since this book is about the author's personal experiences as a child. 

89. Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch
                    An audiobook read by Benedict Cumberbatch, who has a lovely deep voice and an English accent.

90. Divisadero - Michael Ondaatje
                 About division, as the title would suggest.  The story starts with three siblings, who are separated by a traumatic event.  Then it moves on to tell about a man that Anna, one of the siblings, meets as an adult, and finally to tell the story of a French writer Anna is studying.  It was all very dreamy and kind of vague.
                 Enjoyable, but I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would, considering how much I liked The English Patient.

91. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Book Three of the Millennium Trilogy) - Stieg Larsson, translated by Reg Keeland
                     A really great finish to the trilogy.  The beginning was great, not slow like the first two books, because it starts in the middle of the action from the second book.  The middle dragged for me, and it took me some time to get into it, but the final 200 pages or so had me absolutely glued to the pages.  A four hour bus ride went by in a flash, and I frankly wouldn't have minded it being another hour longer so that I could keep reading.
Tags: autobiography, classic, fiction, thriller, war

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