Review: The Brothers K by David James Duncan

19534Let me just start by saying I don’t agree with all the reviews that say you don’t need to enjoy baseball to enjoy this book. I suppose you don’t need to love baseball to enjoy the book, but I think you need to at least like baseball a bit to LOVE the book. At least I felt so.

I’m not a huge baseball fan. Now I live in England so there is NO baseball here…The book lost something in the translation for me…simply because I couldn’t really relate. I also felt this book was way too long. It wasn’t an epic read for me that deserved so many pages. Yes it was interesting, it just wasn’t that interesting to me. I’m sorry. I know it’s a highly rated book. I know it’s about family. However, I think there are many other books out there that do such a better job at it than this one does.

“The Prince of Tides”. “To Kill a Mockingbird”. “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”. The list is endless. This book didn’t make the list for me.

Yes, there were some great moments in this novel. I loved some of the things the father did and said. He did shine at moments. However, there just wasn’t enough of them to make me glad I had invested so much of my time reading this novel. Sadly, none of the many characters will stay with me.

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Brothers K by David James Duncan

Review: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

fine-balanceHow does one even attempt to review such a scopious novel? Seriously…I think I need to weep, but there’s just nothing left inside of me at the moment. Perhaps a bit of happiness, hope, faith restored…but only a tiny bit…and perhaps there is some despair, hatred, anger, even dubiosity….or maybe they all just cancel one another out and that is why I feel so much…nothingness…I want to be all of these things…I want to have all of these emotions…and I want to make sense of it all…but I just can’t…

Who can make sense of destiny? Who can think they know better than fate?

“..my life would have been so different today. But our destinies are engraved on our foreheads at birth.”

I think this novel has left me in shock…it gives so much hope in so many places, but just as real life often does, it snatches it all away in a blink of an eye. You want to be angry, but how can you? What gives you that right when the characters themselves handle their fate with so much grace and acceptance. How can you even attempt to place blame, when they themselves do not…How can you weep for them, when they do not weep for themselves?

As I sit here writing this review, I am not ashamed to say that as I sit here, trying to make sense of it all, that my numbness has turned to me openly weeping at this book’s ending…Nor am I ashamed to admit I do not know who I weep for the most…it could be any single one of these characters..they have all touched me in some way….or maybe I weep for myself…or all of humanity together…

Read this book…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Review ~ The Trespasser, by Tana French.

29430013I must admit, I picked up this book in error. I had heard a lot of positive reviews regarding French’s books, and in particular, her Dublin Murder Squad series. Me being me, at midnight on a work-night, browsing Audible, I saw this book and thought “Oh, I’ll try the first book in the series”. It wasn’t until about chapter 10, that I realised that this is actually the 6th, yes, 6th, book in the series! However, even though, this is a continuing series, the characters come and go, and it just so happens that the characters in this novel, only featured in one other previous story. I missed a little background, but it was barely noticeable as I continued to read/listen to the story.

The plot was a fairly standard “who dunnit” type deal, and I must say, there was a plot point introduced that didn’t seem to gel, and in my opinion, could have been left out entirely. In spit of these small misgivings, the tone and characters really carried this novel.

Dark, gritty, and dirty, are some phrases I would associate with the tone, and the pace is fast, keeping the narrative at a good pace. The characters, on first glance, seem quite traditional; societal attitudes are still steeped in an air of patriarchy and French seems to spend quite a bit of time in establishing that the main character is a lone female in a squad of patronising and bullying males. Even though a lot of time, I was thinking to myself, doesn’t this police station have a HR department, the repetition of the antiquated attitudes actually reinforced the character development of Detective Conway.

I really recommend this book if you want to escape for a while, and read some good police procedural fiction. Is it in my top ten? Probably not. However, it is a good little read in its own right, competing with a ton, and indeed winning, of other similarly themed thriller fiction.

Until next time,

Pegasus

The Trespasser

Review ~ Truly Madly Guilty, by Liane Moriarty.

26247008I was first introduced to Liane Moriarty when I read Big Little Lies (Big Little Lies – review) and I now consider myself a big fan. So, it was no surprise that I also loved her newest work, Truly Madly Guilty. This novel is a bit of departure from her previous novel; yes, there is still the same format – a buildup to a big reveal – but, this time, the reveal isn’t a “who’s the killer, what’s the secret” type of deal. Mortiarty’s latest novel take a more nuanced, emotional approach to unwrapping the story and revealing what happened.

As with previous books by Moriarty, character development is key to the story. Moriarty manages to present realistic, fleshed-out characters that pull the story along without the need for flashy incidents of disingenuous shocks. Indeed, the shocks in this novel are real; they happen to everyday people, and even though they may seem tame in comparison to traditional thriller writers, they really hit home due to the genuine portrayal of the characters.

A cathartic, emotional roller coaster, Truly Madly Guilty, will pull you into the world of seemingly normal suburuban characters, who go through abnormal circumstances. You may cry, you may laugh, and you may well find yourself with cold food/drinks as you read “one more chapter”, but most of all, you will be glad that you once again joined the journey of superb characters written by Liane Moriarty.

Until next time,

Pegasus.

Truly Madly Guilty

Review: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

69136Wow. John Connolly sure knows how to rewrite fairy-tales! Imagine having dozens of fairy-tales rewritten and woven together to create one magical saga for one lonely young boy. We have 12-year-old David, living in London during the war, who mourning the death of his mum, dives into a new world when he hears his mother calling his name. He soon runs into the “crooked man” and with the help of many others in this imagined land, he manages to survive, werewolves, trolls, witches and much more to help save the kingdom that they reside in. David, soon finds out that the promises that the crooked man makes might not be sincere and the little man has his own motives for trying to help David along the way.

There must be a dozen or more fairy-tales wrapped into this wonderful tale. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Connolly, but hear me now…this really blew me away and I have a newfound respect for this writer! Wow….what an imagination. One might say not, as some of the original fairy-tales have been around for centuries, however, how he changed just enough to make it new, and outrageous, yet still a bit scary and then managed to weave them all together into one story….brilliance! I absolutely loved this one! Well done, Connolly!

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Review: Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1) by Anne Rice

2924362First, I can’t believe this book was written almost 40 years ago!

Second, I can’t believe I haven’t bothered to read it up until now.

Third, it is worth all the hype.

Finally, a message to my dear Louis –

Louis, Louis, Louis…you are not a tortured soul…you’re just a big fat whiner…..get over yourself man…..

Bwhahahahahahahahaha

Brilliant book. Amazing really….

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

Review: The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

2163164Not only did I love the writing style of Mohsin Hamid, I absolutely loved this story. Yes, I even loved the ending that I just KNOW many people will absolutely abhor.

I won’t do a long review on this book. I wouldn’t want my political opinions to effect how you go into reading this book. I wouldn’t want them to effect how you feel about this book.

I will only say, with all the distrust and bias towards Muslims this day and age post 911, people seem to forget that they are, in fact, individuals. They are not an idea, a symbol, or some inanimate objects. I think that society in general has taken them as just that. Inanimate objects or like a small child that has no idea what others are saying right in front of them.

That, no matter what your views are, is heartbreaking. It is also widening the chasm of ignorance that is the base root of so many problems.

The ending of this novel just confirms this.

So read it…and then tell me….what do you believe really happened at the end? What facts do you have to support that belief?

Brilliant book….

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid