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review 2018-08-08 00:42
"The Water Cure" by Sophie Mackintosh - abandoned after 25% - too worthy for me. I don't want my reading to be a chore.
The Water Cure - Sophie Mackintosh

I picked "The Water Cure" as one of four books to read from the 2018 Man Booker Longlist.  I liked the speculative fiction premise of young women, raised in isolation in a post-apocalyptic world, encountering men for the first time and having to reconsider what they think they know. 

 
"The Water Cure" got off to a slow and difficult start but was intriguing enough to keep me interested. I liked the rapid succession of short chapters, written from the point of view of each of the three sisters. This worked well in the audiobook version I read, where each sister get's her own narrator.
 
The we-only-know-this-island innocence of the sisters means that they take their exotic situation for granted and do little to explain it to the reader. 
 
It soon became clear that this was not going to be your typical post-apocalyptic dystopian novel. I was reminded more of  "The Tempest" if Miranda had had two sisters.
 
After the ten per cent mark, I started to get bored and a little angry. I got bored because, although many short chapters shot by, NOTHING HAPPENED in any of them except the young women sharing the details of the strange rituals (called therapies) that dominate their lives. I became angered by the abuse these young women had suffered.
 

I get the need to pace the book so that I can  FEEL the stifling effects on the sisters of isolation and ignorance combined with forced ritual intimacy, but enough already.

I began to feel as if I were  trapped in the middle of a front row at "Waiting For Godot" and I'm so embarrassed by what other people will think of me that I stay in my seat long after my boredom threatens to be terminal and I suspect Beckett of being a sadist with a wicked sense of humour.

 

I made it as far as the twenty-five percent mark because the voices of the sisters were  strong and distinct and because I could no more look away from the spectacle of the Bennet sisters transported to an island where they are subjected to abuse that they've educated to understand as sympathetic magic, than I could look away from a building about to be demolished by well-placed charges.

 

I'd hoped that the arrival of the men would change the pace but it didn't and I finally admitted to myself that I was reading this book because it was "worthy" rather than because I was getting anything out of it. I'd promised myself I wouldn't do that anymore so I abandoned "The Water Cure" at twenty-five per cent mark.

 

It may win the Mann  Booker prize but it didn't make a place for itself in my imagination.

Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample of the book.

 

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/447441624" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]

 

 

 

 

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text 2018-07-27 19:08
Reading progress update: I've read 15%.: I'm growing impatient now
The Water Cure - Sophie Mackintosh

"The Water Cure" is becoming a bit of a tease.

 

 

I get the need to pace the book so that I can  FEEL the stifling effects of isolation and ignorance combined with forced ritual intimacy, but enough already.

 

I'm beginning to feel like I'm trapped in the middle of a front row at "Waiting For Godot" and I'm so embarrassed by what other people will think of me that I stay in my seat long after my boredom threatens to be terminal and I suspect Beckett of being a sadist with a wicked sense of humour.

 

I'm hanging on because the voices of the characters are strong and because I can no more look away from the spectacle of the Bennet sisters transported to an island where they are subjected to abuse that they've educated to understand as sympathetic magic, than I can look away from a building about to be demolished by well-placed charges. 

 

But I NEED SOMETHING TO HAPPEN.

 

One more hour. Then either the story moves on or I do.

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text 2018-07-26 07:14
Reading progress update: I've read 8%.
The Water Cure - Sophie Mackintosh

My first Man Booker Londlist read is off to a slow and difficult start but is intriguing enough to keep me interested.

 

Lots of short chapters from the point of view of each of the three sisters in a situation that is exotic but remains obscure. 

 

Not your typical post-apocalyptic dystopia. More like "The Tempest" if Miranda has two sisters.

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review 2018-06-29 08:39
The Novel Cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies
The Novel Cure, An A-Z of Literary Remedies - Ella Berthoud,Susan Elderkin

In terms of quantity and breadth, this might be the mother of all books on book recommendations.  Quality of the recommendations likely lies in the eye of the beholder, although there has to be something in here for everyone, just from a statistical point o view.  

 

This is a reference of maladies; everything from going off the rails, to giving birth, to children, under pressure to have.  Each entry (and they are legion) has a t least one book recommendation, if not an entire list (see: turning forty-something, books on); some with commentary, some without - presumably because their inclusion is obvious.  There are also occasional sets about book collecting, b book lending, over-coming an over-hyped book, finding your book identity and so on. 

 

This is NOT a book to be tackled all at once or even cover to cover over a long period of time.  This is a true reference for those times when you need a book that is a match for your mood, or just desperate for inspiration.  

 

This is not a book for people trying to combat their TBR piles - but I'm telling you about it anyway.

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review 2018-02-07 00:00
The Death Cure
The Death Cure - James Dashner,Mark Deak... The Death Cure - James Dashner,Mark Deakins image" width="75" height="75" alt="didn't finish couldn't finish"/>
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