Tag Archives: Banks

Short ratings of some books I have read recently(ish)

Jorge Amado – Gabriella, Clove and Cinnamon.

Great and funny novel by one of  Brasil’s most famous novelist.

Jorge Amado – Dona Flor and her two husbands.  Good, but not as good as Gabriella.

Iain Banks – The Bridge

Can’t remember this at all but obviously liked it.

Tracy Chevalier – Remarkable Creatures

Really interesting novel about Mary Anning, the fossil collector overlooked because she was a woman.  Liked it so much that I had to go and visit her grave in Lyme Regis (did only live 30 mins away then)

Ian Fleming – Goldfinger

Tried to read this as I was told I would enjoy it and I do love the Sean Connery films.  However this is a case where I prefered the film to the book.  Book full of lots on sexist comments and Pussy Galore is a lesbian shocker!

Lawrence Hill – The Book of Negroes

Really interesting account of slavery written from the perspective of a slave with an implausible ending.

Thomas Hardy – The Mayor of Casterbridge

Again another one that I read due to living in Dorset and went to the not very exciting Hardy section of Dorchester Museum.  Enjoyed this but not as much as other Hardy novels. As I get older the fact that I know that it is all going to end badly upsets me even more.  Still selling your wife is novel.

Barbara Kingsolver – The Lacuna

Disappointing compared to the Poisonwood Bible.  Felt that the portrayal of Trotsky was too sympathetic and offended my historical sensibilities.  Still some of the McCarthy aspects were interesting.

David Mitchell – Ghostwritten

Great book, set in lots of places like Hong Kong, Tokyo, Russia.  A bit like Cloud Atlas with the links between the chapters becoming clear as you read on.

David Mitchell – Number9dream

As said before this I think is his weakest novel.

Joseph  O’ Connor – The Salesman

His first novel and the weakest.  A big disappointment after loving the Star of the Sea.  In fact I havent liked any of his other novels as much as that one.

Mark Steel – Reasons to be Cheerful

I LOVED Vive la Revolution, his extremely witty Marxist view of the French Revolution.  Parts of this were funny but not a patch on the former.

Rose Tremain – The Road Home

Interesting account about the difficulties of being an immigrant in England. I still prefer her historical novels like the Colour.

Colm Toibin – Brooklyn

The worst account of sea sickness I have ever read, I can sympathise

Sarah Waters – The Little Stranger

So much hype about this book from the papers but actually a bit disappointing, especially as I had to wait a long time on the reserve list at the library.  I remember being disappointed with the end.  I read that the doctor was meant to be like Lockwood from Wuthering Heights.

Hilary Mantel – Wolf Hall

I know lots of people liked this but for me I felt that there have been so many historical novels from Henry VIII’s reign.  Cromwell seemed suspiciously nice to me – a bit of a change from the normal interpretation.  Maybe  he will become more like his ruthless self in the sequel.  i suppose the historian in me doesn’t like te fact that the novelist has to make lots of things up, especially if it’s about a period I know really well.  Still read there was meant to be something revolutionary about the way she wrote this, cant remember what it was.

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