Author: Elizabeth

2013 Shortlisted: A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki #4

A_Tale_For_The_Time_BeingRating: 4.5
A Tale for the Time Being
A Novel by Ruth Ozeki
Audiobook Narrated by Ruth Ozeki
2013 / 14 hours and 45 minutes

I’m not sure where to begin.

This is one of those novels that you finish and look around, blinking, just a little stunned that you’re no longer in the author’s world.  If you pick up this 2013 Man Booker shortlisted title, I promise that you will feel submerged by the tale.  You won’t be the same when it’s complete.  You’ll want it to win the prize.

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2013 Shortlisted: Harvest by Jim Crace #5

HarvestRating: 3 
Harvest
A Novel by Jim Crace
2013 / 224 pages

From Goodreads: In effortless and tender prose, Jim Crace details the unraveling of a pastoral idyll in the wake of economic progress. His tale is timeless and unsettling, framed by a beautifully evoked world that will linger in your memory long after you finish reading.

But it wasn’t effortless prose.

As much as I wanted to like Jim Crace’s Harvest, a novel that is reported to be his last, I often found myself avoiding it.  Yes, the book’s prose was beautiful.  Yes, it was a tough and interesting premise.  Yes, there is no question that Jim Crace is a respected author who has written another novel that is being widely discussed across literary circles.  It just was not the book for me.

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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: 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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Book Review: 2012 Long Listed: Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis (Review #2)

NarcopolisRating: 3
Narcopolis
Jeet Thayil
2012 / 292 Pages

I have just emerged from Jeet Thayil’s drug-ridden nightmare, and I have to say that I’m pleased to be back.

Longlisted for the 2012 Man Booker prize, this novel is an unflinching exploration of the underworld of Old Bombay.  Hookers, pimps, street vendors, pushers, artists and eunuchs litter the filthy streets.  Dogs run in packs, murderers prowl dark corners, and opium dens are routinely busy with varying sorts of clientele.  In short, life on Shuklaji Street is a misery, but its residents know no better.  There are no loftier expectations.

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