March 9th, 2011

  • cat63

Book 16 for 2011

Jack the Giant Killer by Charles de Lint. 220 pages

When Jacky Rowan's boyfriend leaves her, she's less upset about losing him than about his parting accusation that her life is empty. The resulting excursion into drunkenness leads her to become entangled in the war between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts of Faerie, which will change her life forever, or, if she's not lucky, end it.

I usually enjoy both modern retellings of fairy tales and Charles de Lint's books but while this one wasn't bad exactly, it didn't grip me either. I think there was perhaps something lacking in the characterisation to blame for that - they seemed rather sketchy, as if they were just outlines rather than attempts to create real people - nobody seems to have much in the way of personality beyond what they're needed for in the plot. I suppose fairy tale characters are a bit like that by nature, but I thought the point of doing modern retellings was to flesh them out a bit.

I got this book in an omnibus volume with the sequel, Drink Down the Moon. I may give it a try to see if it's any better, but I'm not enthused.

# 14 Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Helen Simonson

Major Pettigrew is a stolid Englishman, a widower living in the village of Edgecomb St. Mary, nearly the last of a dying breed. He is proud of his heritage and the Pettigrew name, as evidenced by his nearly obsessive love of a pair of rifles that were given to his father for an act of bravery by a Maharajah.

Mrs. Ali, a widow who owns and operates the village shop, is often snubbed by other village residents because of her Pakistani origin.

When Mrs. Ali accidentally intrudes upon Major Pettigrew during a moment of weakness after the loss of his brother, the walls that would normally divide them begin to come down, and they begin to find companionship in each other's company, which grows into friendship and then to romance, despite the many obstacles thrown in their way by the villagers, and by their own families.

I loved this story! It was a sweet and charming love story, but it also had quite a bit of substance. It was just a lovely read altogether!


#1-10 for 2011

I shortlist the first 5 because I think I've already posted them- Sorry! :)

#1. “Chocolat” by Joanne Harris
#2. “The great shark Hunt” By Hunter S. Thompson
#3. “American Psycho” by Bret Easton Ellis
#4 “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens
#5 “The girl with the dragon tattoo” by Steig Larsson

#6 “Mystery Man” by Colin Bateman
Quirky and Hilarious, I loved this and couldn’t put it down. I especially love that it was set in Belfast where I live. Bateman writes a brilliant Neurotic frontman and his internal monologue is utter brilliance.

#7 “Closing time” by Joseph Heller
Sequel to "Catch-22". I found this very disappointing, disjointed and sometimes downright boring. If anything it made me want to re-read Catch 22. I think even if I hadn’t had my expectations raised by the original book this still wouldn’t be enjoyable. One or two redeeming moments but not worth it.

#8 “Stargate SG-1: The cost of honour” by Sally Malcolm
Liked this a lot, great storyline if you’re a fan of the show. There were one or two things I thought were out of character and sort of didn’t fit- not a huge deal though.

#9 “The book thief” by Mark Zusak
Loved this- especially loved the explanations as narrated by death. I appreciated that this book can be about something as huge as WW2 and take place on one street in Germany. I’ve read novels about the war that try to encapsulate how huge it was by spanning multiple characters and places but this is much more effective. Highly recommended.

#10 "The Blade itself" by Joe Abercrombie
Most definately the best fantasy book I've read in a long while. Sand Dan Glokta is particularly likeable as a bitter and aserbic wreck of a man. The plot skips between various characters who are each playing their part in a much larger picture of war and ancient magic. Not one of their stories are boring. Highly recomended and eagerly waiting to get my hands on the second book :)
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