Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Kate Mosse - The Winter Ghosts

You can tell I was busy reading over Christmas can't you, and what is more fitting than an excellent ghost story. Kate once again returns to France, this time set after the First World War and up to 1933.

This is beautifully written and leads us slowly and surely to the dramatic conclusion. The descriptions of the countryside around the Haute Vallee in the Pyrenees, really take you there and you can well imagine the Cathars whispering on the wind. I think it would make an excellent reading group book, due to the themes of war, family loss, and religious fanaticism to name a few. It is also a shorter read and more manageable for a group that perhaps meets monthly. The idea of putting in drawings to illustrate it, is really inspired and adds to the whole period style of the book. A very classy package.

Louise Penny - The Brutal Telling

This is the latest in the Inspector Gamache series, and the fifth title. They just get better. Please do read them from the beginning as we gradually get to know the characters as the books progress. They really are a sort of Donna Leon, Midsommer Murders and absolutley delightful, aside from the brutal murders of course!! However even these are handled well, and these books should appeal to all fans of classic crime or who dunnits........

Friday, 11 December 2009

Andrew Davidson - The Gargoyle

This is a peculiar and extraordinary book. Well written, absorbing, disturbing and just plain odd. I loved it.
This is the story of a male porn star who receives horrendous burns over 90% of his body. This is the story of his redemption. The descriptions of the burn recovery ward and what he has to go though are harrowing, and so well written I became very squeamish.
Into this comes a mentally disturbed , beautiful female sculptress, who states that they have meet though many previous lives, and her role now is to make him remember. Initially he humours her as it relieves the boredom of his days, but gradually he, as well as we, get sucked into the descriptions of these other lives, and of his return to some sort of normality and the final dramatic resolution.
This was a Richard and Judy title and as with many of their choices will make a superb reading group discussion book and a very provoking and satisfying read.

Seth Grahame- Smith and Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I have to confess that I read this book in September and had forgotten to upload my review until I had another excellent one from one of my colleagues. This book is hilarious, forget about being a purist Jane Austen fan and revel in the delightfully Gothic zombie fest. This is the classic book but added to, in a very clever, silly and entertaining way.
This is an England where the zombie plague has been creeping through the countryside. Where the army are devoted to killing the marauding menace. Young well brought up young ladies are trained in do-jos whist still maintaining every decorum and certainly not losing the desire to acquire a suitable husband. In this book the girls kick arse, head , and anything else - quite literally in the sense of the zombies - total and utter malicious mayhem. I have bought a set of these for our reading groups as I can guarantee it will be a lively meeting!!
If you enjoyed Thursday Next's adventures in classic books,( see Jasper FForde) who can forget her foray into Jane Eyre, you will enjoy this.
Also try the DVD series " Lost in Austen" wonderful!