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Mariana Canto Castro (Lisbon, Portugal)
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The Sea
The Sea
by John Banville
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.85

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loss management, 25 July 2006
This review is from: The Sea (Hardcover)
The book is a great short story but I have to admit that from all the reviews I read about it I was expecting something a little more overwhelming. The story is mainly about loss and how you are (un)able to manage it, survive it and not be crushed either by it or by the side effects, aka remorse. Although the writing is beautiful and incredibly poetic there are times in which I think the author could have kept it more down to earth and still would not have lost nothing of the poetic emotions it is able to convey. It is a book I read with a "spleen" feeling all the time; a sad, nostalgic mood which, inevitably draw me to think about my own share of loss and remorse. Truth be said it's a story that makes you go into yourself and dig deep. It's just that we've got to be prepared for it. As for the most far back flashback parts of the story I just loved them. The descriptions are fabulous; it's like you're watching a black and white old movie picture, although full of soft tender colours. You go back to all your old past sea holidays, when you were a kid, you go back to all those lovely by the sea villages, to those summers scents, lights and places. It's a trip down memory lane either you want it or not. After you have finished it, it is still there for a while... So it has to be something worthwhile.


Shantaram
Shantaram
by Gregory David Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling saga, 28 Jun 2006
This review is from: Shantaram (Paperback)
This book and the story behind it are quite something. Even if you put aside the real life events that will have sustained the plot you're still up to so much adventures as though you're at an Indiana Jones movie. Even though you have to admit that the plot is too perfect to have been exactly so in real life, even then the details, the characters, the sites, the romance, the entire plot is so involving that after a week's reading I was already feeling as though that was my own life. I found myself taking the book everywhere with me only to get a chance of progressing even if it was a half a page... Then of course the fact that the set is in India, a country for which I profess an enormous passion, helps a lot to make the entire thing more delightful. Entertaining doesn't describe this book's full capacity to grab you inside out and never let you go. As for the author, there you've got someone with whom I'd love to have an enormous conversation with...


Kafka On The Shore (Vintage Magic)
Kafka On The Shore (Vintage Magic)
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous quest, 28 Jun 2006
What can the world's most brave 15-year-old boy do, being haunted by a most fearful omen cast upon him by his own father? The answer is so obvious: start a fantastic journey towards an unknown-subconsciously known destination, aiming for a magical place under the form of a library. If because of such demand cats must talk, men must die, lives have to be changed forever, strange ancient mysteries have to be brought to light, a dumb man suddenly feels the urge to become a better human being and a young boy has to learn the different mysterious paths of life, well .... Those are only minor details.

This book is a fantastic metaphor which I've found myself unable to stop reading. The way I understood the story is certainly different from the way almost any other reader will understand it and that possibility of multiple different interpretations according to each one's own life experience is, I believe, part of the brilliancy in which it is written.

The text is at the same time funny, amusing, tender and dramatic. The plot is intriguing and the lessons you learn during this journey, well, they are really up to you... All possibilities are left open here. The only thing that can not happen is to NOT read this book. Certainly a masterpiece of modern literature. At the end you enjoyed the art of a master, admired his work, delighted yourself with his mind and, at least for myself, wondered how fabulous it would be to actually meet this author.


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