Month: October 2012

Podcast #6: Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home

Swimming_HomeYou thought that after the announcement of the winner we’d left the building, but it turns out that we’re not quite done just yet! The sixth and final episode in our podcasting journey is now available.  Listen in as we discuss Deborah Levy’s shortlisted novel Swimming Home (well, all of us except Karli, who was busy crafting custom swag based on the novel!).

In this episode Aaron compares the novel to the HBO series Six Feet Under, “Meh!” cries Michelle, Penny can’t seem to escape her “challenged” comment, Mike reveals just how much Facebook porn he’s actually collected, Elizabeth admits that she fully expected to hate the novel, and Jackie reminisces about her very first period.

This is it folks!  We’ve had a lot of fun these past few months and we hope that you’ve enjoyed the reviews, the commentary, and of course these podcasts.

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Book Review: 2012 Shortlisted: Alison Moore’s The Lighthouse (Review #7)

Rating: 3
The Lighthouse
A Novel by Alison Moore
2012 / 192 Pages

Well, that was tragic.

I’m trying to recall a novel that oozed loneliness as much as The Lighthouse.  The characters were lonely.  The plot was lonely.  The symbolism was lonely.  The book’s prognosis was lonely.

I needed a hug when it was done.

In the midst of his wife leaving him, “Futh” decides to go on a walking holiday in Germany.  The trip is supposed to be restorative.  It’s supposed to offer healing.  Futh brings little, expects little, and is prepared for little.  The trip will unquestionably unearth his past, and cause him to reflect on his present.  Will he like what he uncovers?   Will he permit the shards of his memory permanent residence in his mind?  Ultimately, will this well-intentioned holiday feed his soul?

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Book Review: 2012 Shortlisted: Alison Moore’s The Lighthouse (Review #6)

Rating: 4.0
The Lighthouse
A Novel by Alison Moore
2012 / 192 Pages

In Alison Moore’s The Lighthouse, we meet Futh, an Englishman on vacation in Germany. Futh has been thrown out by his wife. Or to be more exact, she has rented him a flat and moved him into it.

This sums up Futh. He is that most clichéd of Englishman, the meek little man hanging on for dear life. I believe it was Pink Floyd who sang “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.”
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Book Review: 2012 Shortlisted: Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home (Review #7)

Rating: 3.5
Swimming Home
A Novel by Deborah Levy
2012/157 pages (115 on the Nook)

I just finished reading Swimming Home, a mere four hours short of tonight’s podcast recording, and a few hours short (I think?) of the announcement of the Man Booker Prize winner.

As others have said, it is a slight book. Slight in thickness, but not necessarily in depth. There is a whole lot going on here. We have a beautiful, often-naked, poet-stalker (the worst of all stalkers, as you know). A newly menstruating teenager. An awful couple. An awfuller couple. A stoned caretaker. An an awesome old lady whom I liked most of all.

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Book Review: 2012 Shortlisted: Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home (Review #6)

Rating: 4
Swimming Home
A Novel by Deborah Levy
2012/157 pages (115 on the Nook)

At a mere 115 pages on my Nook, I was expecting Swimming Home to read like a short story.  It didn’t.  I was expecting the characters to be largely glossed over, because truly, how much depth can you offer a cast when the novel is so fleeting?  They weren’t.  I was also expecting the story to be overly simplistic, with quick conversations and rapid-fire situations.  It wasn’t.

In short, Swimming Home might be my biggest surprise on the 2012 Man Booker Shortlist.

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