Monday, August 23, 2004


  • Watermelon by Marian Keyes

    Rating: ***½

    MK's debut novel is quite different from her last one, which I loved. However, I'm a woman of varied tastes, so I can like chocolate AND vanilla, thank you very much. The first person narration is the most salient difference, and has the advantage of being more accessible and immediately empathetic. The presence of a snarky, but loving family keeps the protag from becoming self-pitying or insane, given her circumstances (her husband leaves her the day of their child's birth). All the same, I didn't exactly warm to Claire. Nothing bad, but nothing really charismatic either, although she is funny in a neurotic way that most women can relate to. The other characters are more clear, in terms of love-hate. Hate James. Love Adam. Love Claire's family. A plot doesn't really exist, but brings one woman's early-life crisis to life with humor and emotional truth. Also a precursor of Bridget Jones's inner monologue writing.

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

    Rating: ****

    A curious book. A quick read, despite the strange logic that rules Christopher, an autistic teen, and the first person narration. Christopher is a wonderful character. He's so straightforward and clear, sweet and vulnerable. How many people are afraid of the color yellow? Okay, so he's not totally rational, but he's also very true to his established character. I mostly forgot that he was fifteen because, although he's precocious - a math prodigy, he is emotionally very innocent. Even though the book begins with a tragedy and continues to unearth more lies and secrets (all that icky realism), Christopher's slightly skewed view on life makes each page a pleasure to read. Really, he's a just an adorable kid who has some tough breaks, but comes out a winner, groaning and all.

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