Jul. 27th, 2009

wilderthan: ((Yuffie) Whoa)
I've read some Pratchett before, quite a while ago, and don't remember much about it, and of course, I've read Good Omens, the book he wrote with Neil Gaiman. So Nation isn't exactly an introduction to Pratchett for me, but maybe a reintroduction. As far as I can tell it isn't exactly typical of Pratchett, since it stands completely alone.

I liked it. I didn't get that into it, really, but I was still interested enough to keep turning the pages and finish it in one day -- not quite interested enough to stop me browsing my bookshelves for something else to read alongside it, though. It's set in an alternate universe to this one and there's a lot of world-building and discussion of belief and people's reasons for it, and making a community. And there's a real grief in it, too, and people trying to deal with the grief. The little community, trying to figure out a life from what's left behind after a tidal wave, is interesting. But it never really sparked with me, somehow.

There are definitely some awesome quotes in it, though. I especially liked the one about being in a Jane Austen novel, except with less clothes. And the King being thoroughly 'daughtered'. I recognise this as a truth: it happens even with me and my dad.
wilderthan: ((Fujin) Won't understand)
Progress post time!

If you didn't see the rules post, it is here. The comms are [community profile] readheightetc and [livejournal.com profile] readheightetc.

A really good week, as you might have noticed from the volume of reviews. Need to focus on the literature stuff sometime soon, though.

Progress:
(* indicates a reread.)

Current picture.

[personal profile] wilderthan:
Floor to knee:
-The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon.
-Nation, Terry Pratchett.
Knee to hip:
-Sailing to Sarantium, Guy Gavriel Kay.*
-Lord of Emperors, Guy Gavriel Kay.*
-Magician's Law, Michael Scott.*
-Demon's Law, Michael Scott.*
-Death's Law, Michael Scott.*
Shoulder to top of head:
-Haruki Murakami, After Dark.
-The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks.

[personal profile] iltaru:
-N/a.
wilderthan: ((Akihiko) Oh yeah?)
I've been intending to read one of Khaled Hosseini's books for quite a while. I've been warned about what a Western style its in and one of my friends found it boring, etc, etc. I have to agree that the style does seem very similar to things I would normally read, Western stories, and I can't say I learnt much about the Afghan society that I didn't already know from the (limited) exposure we get to it through the news and media.

I did enjoy the book, though. The style is very readable; the only thing that was difficult was the sprinkling of Afghan words (ones more complex than burqa or hijab -- those come up in Western media). I suppose they help to give a sense of the culture, and it feels reasonably natural.

The story focuses mainly on the role of women, with a love story in the background. It goes reasonably predictably -- or at least, I wasn't surprised by the murder or the subsequent self-sacrifice. Parts of it are touching, some parts I mostly felt indifferent towards. There are some nice little touches of character, such as Mariam's resentment of Laila, and Rasheed's little touches of kindness and humanity. The ending is unfair. I know, I know, life is unfair, but it's not a great thing that for one woman to escape, another had to die. And that it was the older, plainer one.

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Eden

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