Well I’m in equal measures excited and nervous for this post. If you’ve been following my blog a while, you’ll know I try to do mini reviews every month. But the scheme I came up with was weirdly unwieldy, upping the number of reviews as we went through the year, and last month I decided it just wasn’t working for me. I mean, the whole point of mini reviews was to make my life easier, and here I was trying to talk about a *crazy *number of books. So as pleased as I am that I got to September with my bonkers system, I’m ready for a change. Introducing:
This is a fun, casual way for me to do a small number of mini reviews every month- no other explanation needed! Let’s get to today’s batch 😉
The Names They Gave Us– The structure was a little jolty for this one, but I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style. The voice for the main character was distinctively sarky and added a nice tinge of humour to the story. Plus, kudos to this book for having the funniest break up scene I’ve ever read. I really liked a lot of the characters in this one, particularly, funnily enough, Lucas- who came across as perfectly earnest and served as a great (but not mean-spirited) foil for the protagonist. As a contemporary, I think this hit just the right note.
When We Were Orphans– I’ve always liked Ishiguro’s crisp writing style and this was no exception. I also liked the wry humour he employed here and he definitely managed to elicit a or two chuckle from me. I also appreciated the characters in this one- somehow Ishiguro always manages to balance unpleasant characters with careful sympathy, which is incredibly tricky. And speaking of subtlety, I loved the hint of inaccuracies when it came to the protagonist’s memory. There was always a hint of unreliability (as with many of Ishiguro’s narrators) that added substantially to the intrigue that was unfolding. At its heart, this was a mystery detective story, where Ishiguro again showed his versatility as an author and ability to turn his hand at a totally different style of narrative to his other works. Though this is more about the journey than the destination, I’m sure every reader will be as satisfied as I was with the dark truths uncovered at its conclusion.
Magician’s Assistant– there were a number of snapshots of real life in this, but alas, I couldn’t relate to it for two reasons. One: because I am not middle aged and all the various issues just didn’t fit where I’m at in life. And two: I had tremendous problems with the structure, as it persistently flicked back and forth in time, which wasn’t done very clearly and made it hard for me to follow. All I have left to say about this is that I’m pretty baffled at the adult who recommended this to me when I was a child- it’s not my thing now, so I can’t imagine enjoying it at ten!
So have you read any of these? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!