Thursday, March 29, 2007

Myla Goldberg's Bee Season

Bee Season by Myla Goldberg

Date Started: 25th Mar 2007
Date Finished: 27th Mar 2007


Patrick Suskind's Perfume

Perfume by Patrick Suskind

Date Started: 17th Mar 2007
Date Finished: 19th Mar 2007


I came across this book while I was browsing the bookstore a couple of months ago. I was hooked the moment I read the blurb, interested because it looked like a new concept, a serial killer who stalked his prey with his nose.

I bought the book eventually, and was pleasantly surprised to find how amazingly well-written it was.

I had gotten the initial impression that this was about just another serial killer who just happened to stalk his prey with his exceptional sense of smell, and the book would be just another mystery/thriller that described the killings and the good guys trying to catch him.

What I got instead, was a wonderful tour into the world of scents. The author's description of all the scents featured was so vivid that I could almost smell them. The art of perfuming was shown to us, so clearly, so masterfully, that we couldn't help but get drawn into it. The book itself was written so artfully...I almost want to cry at Suskind's genius.

This book wasn't a brutally painted picture about an animalistic predator who killed for pleasure. Although the murderer was animalistic in his way, and he did kill for pleasure, we don't see the senselessness of his actions. We see instead, the reasons for his actions, and we almost, just almost, sympathize with him. We see his background, we see his life, the things he went through, we see his perseverance, we see his genius, his vision...

It was such a wonderful read. I was so caught up completely in this world, flowing gently with the words and the story.

I went later to watch the movie, and while I think the book was so much better, of course, I think the directors did a very admirable job in interpreting the book for the movie. They changed some of the storyline to fit into the movie, necessarily, but it was done really well, and it doesn't take away the beauty of the art. Read the book and watch the movie, I'm pretty sure you'll love both.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Date Started: 11th Mar 2007
Date Finished: 12th Mar 2007


Arthur Dent is an earthling whose home is destroyed to make way for an intergalactic freeway. Then comes a great many adventures for Arthur and his friends, and a new and exciting world is revealed to us as the masters and creators of earth are unveiled.

I'm sure many of you have heard of this book. I'm sure some of you have seen the movie.

I haven't seen the movie, but I heard from a source that it wasn't very good. I've heard many things about the book, and they're mostly good. Which of course, prompted me to read the book.

No doubt it's a great book, and I can see why some people might think that the movie wasn't good. There were many jokes in the book that I'm sure couldn't have translated easily onto the big screen.

One thing I didn't like about it; there was no real ending in this book, you have to get all the other books and read them all before you know the whole story. Another is that I had to skip through some parts of the book where the descriptions and explanations got a little bit too tedious for me.

Other than that I think it's great. I love the humour, and I love the whole creativity of how everything links up.

Jodi Picoult's Second Glance

Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

Date Started: 7th Mar 2007
Date Finished: 8th Mar 2007


Jodi Picoult is one author who has a knack for writing about the most interesting stories. This one delves into the paranormal when a man who loses his wife tries to find ways to get back to her.

He has tried to commit suicide many times, but somehow he seems invincible. Maybe it's just not his time to go, or maybe there's something else at work. His search for the truth about afterlife leads him to an amazing discovery and impossible relationships.

How many women can a man be in love with at a time? Is he still in love with his dead wife? Can he romance a ghost? Or should he stick to the woman who's still alive?

It's a stimulating read, with a lot to think about, and definitely worth reading. There were a few minor details which bothered me a little as they seem a little far-fetched, like how can he not see that the woman was wearing clothes definitely from another era? It's not a big deal, though, so it doesn't spoil the whole book. But it did distract me a little.

I love Picoult's stories, they are always food for thought. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.

Sophie Kinsella's An Undomestic Goddess

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

Date Started: 1st Mar 2007
Date Finished: 2nd Mar 2007


As usual, Sophie Kinsella's book is a light-hearted, romantic comedy which was a great way to wind down after a hard working week.

I haven't read any of her Shopaholic books, but I did read Can You Keep a Secret? and I really enjoyed that. I bought this book purely because I needed something fun and uncomplicated after reading Stephen King's IT. It was my candy floss for my brain after chewing for hours on a steak.

The Undomestic Goddess is about a young female lawyer who's working her ass off to become the youngest partner at a very prestigious law firm. She almost succeeds, but makes one tiny little mistake that turns out to be a really big, irreparable one. She runs, needing some time to sort things out, gets mistaken for a housekeeper, and a whole slew of hilarious events follow.

This isn't the most original concept, by all means, but it has always promised the reader the best of times. A lot of it is quite predictable, but it's enjoyable to just sit back and see how things unfold as the characters go along. The most colourful characters, funnily enough, are her employers, who aren't the brightest of people, but they have the best intentions at heart.

Read it, if you enjoy chick-lit. It will definitely entertain you.

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