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review 2016-09-26 17:23
Classic Horror Square
Carmilla - Audible Ltd.,Hannah Genesius,Phoebe Fox,Leslie S. Rose,Susan Wooldridge,Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu,David Tennant,David Horovitch,James Wilby

I've read this before, and this is an audio version which has some small changes.  Overall the cast is good, though Tennent and his accent didn't quite mesh.  The story is about obsession among other things.  The two central female characters are well portrayed and take over the story, quite rightly, despite the framing device.  I do recommend reading it first before listening to this version, however.

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review 2014-12-15 15:04
Cloud Atlas (Enhanced Movie Tie-in Edition): A Novel - David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas is a rather different novel. Part sci-fi, part historical fiction. It should have something to appeal to everyone. The stories are linked in some obvious ways. But largely, this novel is about the power of stories and how we can use narrative to manipulate or change things.

                It’s how some people justified slavery for so many years.

                The narrative aspects come out mostly in the Sci-Fi sections, and it is there that they have the most impact. There is the story or truth of del Rey and that section too is the most powerful. I found the beginning and ending of the novel the hardest sections to handle. The payoff is largely in the middle.

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text 2014-09-06 23:15
A Small but Wonderful Virago Haul...Thank you Romain!

From the wonderfulness and generosity that is the LibraryThing Virago Modern Classics group, I recieved seven books in total: 3 original green, 2 Newer Italic Green, 1 Modern Cover and 1 Non-Virago by a virago author.  So many book hauls this summer! I am a happy camper.

My two semi-modern italic greens, with lovely floral covers by authors that I'm very excited to read for the first time.

*


Three original green Viragos, all of high interest! *claps* Added them to my Virago Marathon Reading List, once I'm finished Inkspell, Inkdeath, and Strump. Just to take a break from fantasy.


And finally, another Elizabeth Taylor in a modern style cover and a non-Virago by a Virago author. Lots of tea and reading and reviews to come!

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review 2014-08-09 19:22
Very Good
Collected Stories - Frank O'Connor

 

Disclaimer: ARC read via Netgalley and Open Road Media.

 

                Certain places enter the imagination, and for whatever reason Ireland is one of those places. Perhaps more recently, those views have been influenced by such shows as Ballykissangel, or movies such as Undine. Who knows? Perhaps Yeats had something to do with it. Or perhaps, most likely, it is because of the Diaspora that occurred in the country.

 

                O’Connor’s short stories speak to the reader because while they are Ireland, they are also everywhere. Take for instance, “Even if there were only two men in the world and both of them saints they wouldn’t be happy. One of them would be bound to try and improve the other. That is the nature of things.” The story, “Song Without Words” might be describing two Irish men

 

                O’Connor’s stories focus on the everyday people, lower middle class, not upper class and not really those living below the poverty. They exist in a time that is at once secure and fluid. There is a priest who attempts to confront a girl about her wayward ways, though it isn’t so much those ways not annoy him. There is the struggle to get something for Christmas, young boys adjusting to the arrival of younger brothers, there is a marriage (or is it), men who don’t understand their women, women who want their men to own up, and women who run with the man’s money. The class of characters is board and sure, the oldest daughter stepping up as mother just as believable as the man with his circus animals.

 

                The choices and hardships that the characters face are not those that will change society or the world, but they are those choices and hardships that can change a life, can make or break a person. For all that, they become far more dangerous and humorous than slaying the dragon or saving the prime minster.

 

                Yeats called O’Connor the Irish Chekov, but in many ways he is also like Joyce in the power and resonance of his short stories. If you enjoyed Dubliners, give O’Connor a try.

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review 2014-06-20 03:02
Shadows on Our Skin - Jennifer Johnston

Disclaimer: Digital ARC of the Open Road Media edition read courtesy Open Road and Netgalley.

 

                This book was apparently shortlisted for the Man Booker prize but to call it a book is slightly misleading for it is rather short. The sheer length or lack of length of the work is misleading because despite its shortness it is a heavy, morality tale that focuses on the Trouble and the conflicts that occurred not so much between Catholic and Protestant but between families as each member and the friends try to find a place to stay in the shifting morass.

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