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"littlejeni"

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Falling Angels
Falling Angels
by Tracy Chevalier
Edition: Paperback

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, 16 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Falling Angels (Paperback)
Compelling, moving, and almost unputdownable, 'Falling Angels' is one of the best books I have read in quite some time. In terms of structure it works brilliantly, as each character writes in their own voice and there is a distinct lask of any omnipresent narrator overseeing events. Without this presence the reader almost becomes part of the novel, hearing each character speak and becoming entwined in their own individual tales. You cannot help but smile at Lavinia's childish, overexcited prose, whilst it is incredibly easy to empathise with Maud due to her incredible maturity and understanding of events around her.
To set a novel primarily in a graveyard sounds morbid and uninspiring, but instead the graveyard becomes an almost comical space, with many hilarious discussions about the superiority of either urns or angels for a tomb. I have never been especially interested in history of this period, but the novel brings it alive, enabling the reader to almost experience the smell, the taste, the excitement of events such as the suffragette's march.
To compare 'Falling Angels' to 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' would be a mistake, as each novel is entirely different in terms of everything from perspective to subject matter. Instead, Chevalier is revealed as a writer of outstanding talent, able to evoke what appears to be a true representation of two entirely separate cultures in two fitting yet wildly different ways.


White Teeth (Penguin Essentials)
White Teeth (Penguin Essentials)
by Zadie Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, yet by no means magnificent, 16 Oct. 2002
I came to read 'White Teeth' with the viewpoint that, as good as it may be, it couldn't possibly live up to the hype surrounding it. In this, I was not mistaken. Although the novel is interesting enough in it's own way, it is difficult to see why exactly it was deemed as being so good, when in my opinion other recent releases by Soueif, Kneale and Rushdie are far superior.
Indeed, it seems all to glaringly obvious that Smith has read a lot of Rushdie, and unfortunately her writing style and her ideas cannot compare. The basic premise of inter-racial marriage and the meeting of East and West has been dealt with on countless occasions before, and this novel offers nothing new aside from the fact that it is perhaps easier to read.
Having said this, however, if the prospect of a holiday, a long train journey or a lazy weekend looms ahead, you could do much worse than 'White Teeth' for a relaxed, enjoyable read. The characters are easy enough to empathise with, the plot moves along quickly enough and the overall structure and writing style is very much approachable. In addition to this, it is at times laugh-out-loud entertaining, especially in the whole Future Mouse aspect of the storyline.
Give it time if you have time to spare, but don't expect a literary masterpiece!


Wuthering Heights (Puffin Classics)
Wuthering Heights (Puffin Classics)
by Emily Bronte
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book ever written?, 16 Oct. 2002
The opening chapter of 'Wuthering Heights' is complex, not especially engaging and certainly not a suitable indication of the magnificence that follows. Emily Bronte'a only published novel is a literary masterpiece, yet also attains that rare accolade of being compulsively readable and relevant over a hundered and fifty years later.
I am not ashamed to admit that this is one of the very few books that has moved me to tears, as it breaks away from the traditional love story previously popularised by authors such as Aisten, and instead illustrates a far bleaker, far more moving perspective upon the deepest, darkest of emotions. Characters are not two dimensional archetypes, instead at times it is difficult to work out whether Heathcliff is a hero or a devil: Cathy a selfish minx or an adoring lover.
For those who have not as yet read it, Wuthering Heights is a certain 'must' and will never disappoint. For those who have read it, I am sure that they will read and reread throughout their lives, as this hugely moving tale of lost love is unforgettable.


Fury
Fury
by Salman Rushdie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It may not be his best, but still........., 3 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Fury (Paperback)
As a huge Rushdie fan, I came to read Fury with high expectations, and I was not disappointed. Although the novel may lack what has become thought of as the 'traditional Rushdie style', in other words, a lively and compelling tale of relationships, contrasts between East and West and a wild array of exciting and inspiring characters, Fury should be appreciated for these differences and not blindly shunned at first glance.
Instead of becoming entwined with characters and their actions, in the novel we instead become enveloped in that most volatile of emotions, fury. The protagonist, Milak Solanka, is almost completely overtaken by his own fury and the novel deals, often in the most covert of ways, with his attempts to deal not with others and outside events, but with himself.
Compelling, undeniably interesting, almost too clever for its own good yet ultimately enjoyable, Fury is certainly one of the best books published in the last year. If it were by anyone other than the great Rushdie it would be heralded as a work of genius.
Give it a chance, throw away your preconceptions of what a Rushdie novel should be, and take Fury for the fantastic novel that it is.


Fury
Fury
by Salman Rushdie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, yet........, 3 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Fury (Paperback)
As a big Rushdie fan, I came to read Fury with high hopes and these were certainly not dashed. Rather than the overwhelmingly character-based and lovable epic of 'The Ground Beneath Her Feet', Fury is far more of a concept novel, a novel dealing with the mysteries of emotions. The characters may be more difficult to relate to than in his previous works, but this only helps the reader view the subject matter more objectively and works for the novel, not against it.
Interesting, lively, definitely enjoyable and at times paradoxical, this is a well writtern and compelling novel that is well worth a read if only to see what all the fuss is about!


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