180° Meer by Sarah Kuttner
Ein Fall von “Spontankauf”, weil’s gut klang und man einfach Bock drauf hatte. Ich bin absolut überrascht worden. Ein großartiges Buch.
Atonement by Ian McEwan
This one made me angry. It took me forever to get past the the first two thirds of it. It dragged on and ooon and ooooon. The writing is beautiful and the meta-thing that was going on was surely smart but goddammit, man. Just to make a point I had to read over 200 pages of painstakingly, boring and lengthy descriptions of stuff – really stuff. Things, snapshots, light, how a certain vase looked or dresses or… you name it. Not to mention the overly dramatic characters. The last third was faster paced and finally things took place, there was a proper story going on. That, however, wasn’t able to make me like the book after all.
More about Harry Hole‘s 4th adventure, The City & The City, The Snow Child and Record of a Night Too Brief…
Continue reading Quick Reviews April
A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
I was watching a programme about books on the telly and they introduced this one. It sounded interesting and I added it to my (ever growing) wish list where it stayed for a few months until I had one of my ‘need comfort books’ days.
There are few writers who have this talent to suck you into their stories even if you’ve never been to the places mentioned, never met the people described or made the same or smiliar experiences. Lucia Berlin has this talent. Her language isn’t fancy or full of smart sounding words. Her writing is honest, raw at times, and she draws pictures with a few sentences. It was so good. It is one of those books I’d love to eat to devour all the delicious words and images, and experience all the emotions they cause in me, even deeper.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Eerie how many things you can recognise when you’ve been following the news these days. It reads – in parts; much like 1984 – more like a manual than a work of fiction. The point Atwood made when she wrote (or let her narrator tell so) that “they” had worked sneakily on the turning around of the system for years (the slow but steady redundancy of “paper money”) made my alarm bells shrill. There is a reason why I refuse to get a credit card and why I pay in cash whenever possible – even before I read this book. What I really liked was the way the story plays with your mind, how as a reader too get sucked in in this belief of “but the women actually have the power. It is a matriarchy, under the bottom line.” It is not but “they” know how to twist and turn everything around to make you believe it is one.
What I didn’t like was the “banging on details”, for example: She leaves her room and walks down the stairs to enter the kitchen. She then leaves the kitchen to pick up her basket, she then returns to the kitchen to talk to Cora. Give me a break. But that’s about style, not content. All in all I liked the writing. There was something “mechanical” about it but not to a degree that I found negative for enjoying the book or for the story itself.
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
(audiobook; narrated by Robert Glenister)
I was surprised, I must admit. If J. K. Rowling aka Robert Galbraith masters one thing it is character building. The story itself was solid but not that novel. A good, well written crime story but the characters made it a really interesting one. Over the span of the book I took a big liking to Cormoran Strike. The dynamic between him and his clever ‘temp’ Robin Ellacott is interesting to follow and the slow development of a friendship is so well done (especially together with the reactions of Robin’s fiancé to it all).
Schweigepflicht by Markus Heitz
(audiobook; narrated by Uve Teschner)
Der Ansatz war ganz gut und interessant aber irgendwie war es dann doch nicht so der Kracher. Schade.
Fünf by Ursula Poznanski
Gut geschriebener Krimi mit interessanter Geschichte und ein paar netten ‘plot twists’.
The Easy Way Out by Steven Amsterdam
It’s well written and I like the almost relaxed way – no fuss, no notion of inhibitions – the topics (not just the main one) get approached.
Mord an der Themse by Matthew Costello
(audiobook; narrated by Sabina Godec)
“Cozy crime” sums it up nicely.