Wednesday, 16 September 2009

a year in books

The idea is that each time i finish a book I'll post a quick review. To resist the temptation to go through the authors life story they challenge will be to keep it to less then 100 words. I manage to get through quite a few books and often have 2/3 on the go at the same time so should be able to post a review every couple of weeks.

First up is "Man in the Dark" - Paul Auster

Augustus Brill lies awake in a house of grief. He grieves for his dead wife, his daughter for her husband who left her and his grandaughter for her murdered boyfriend. In order to bring on sleep, Augustus makes up stories. Paul Auster has created a short novel of stories within stories , dead ends and diversions as gradually Augustus turns away from the stories in his head to what has happened to his family and a finale that manages to both shock and uplift

Darkness - The Human League


  1. I thought his last one was absolutely bloody awful, and I'm a big big fan of his stuff usually, so I was worried about this, but I liked it - it still feels a bit light and insignificant,somehow, that it's more about the game than the people or the situations they're in, and even the tricksiness of 'new york trilogy' never felt like that. But it was good - and I like the idea of what you're doing with book reviews very much :)

  2. I liked it. I found it honest and moving. I didn't like it as much as Timbuktu, but that's the only other Auster I've read.

  3. I think Timbuktu is his second weakest thing of all, after 'Travels in the Scriptorum'. The other fiction, and the other stuff, is all quite quite lovely compared to those.

  4. Got to say i agree with Adam - Travels in the Scriptorium felt like a doodle at best. i thikn my favoutites are either the music of chance or Mr Vertigo.
    Thanks re the comment of the reviews Adam - next one may be sometime as it is a 900 page opus!

  5. 'Music of Chance' and 'Book of Illusions' are great too. He always places his protagonist at the edge of disaster (or just recovering from it) so it's easy to get the books confused. Liked the humanity in this latest 'Man in the Dark'. A return to a less confusing narrative was welcome.
    His Mrs writes well also...
    Trev (Miracle Mile)

  6. Listening to 'Folk Songs' a lovely compilation of the work of Bill Frisell.
    Also the new Joe Henry which sounds great but seems light on songs.
    The new Prefab Sprout? mmm, I love Paddy, a master of lyric and melody and there's plenty on show here, it's all just a bit too shiney; recorded in the early 90's big bold synths make it sound like it. Too bold for me, I like Paddy a little more reticent. Still head and shoulders above above the rest and considering his health I'm grateful to hear his voice again.

  7. Trev

    thansk for the comments - i agree re the prefab sprout lp, It does sound a bit too polished and almost synthetic in places - i think he is missing the band element or the Thomas element or both.
    I guess you've found me via miracle mile monday - please let me know if you arent happy to have the tracks posted and I'll stop.

    looking forward to the solo cd - I've got it on preorder

  8. Really chuffed about MMM and appreciate your enthusiasm.
    Interesting to read your thought about the older songs... like your honesty.
    I hope that Hopeland works for you, I'll be interested to read your reactions.


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