Saturday, February 21, 2009

Review: The Gathering by Anne Enright

I was aware, before starting this book, that people either love or hate it. It did win the Man Booker prize, though, and I usually enjoy the winners.

Alas, I wasn't totally thrilled with this book. The beautiful and captivating writing carried me about two thirds of the way through. But then, I found I really didn't care what happened to the characters -- and, suspected nothing at all would happen. I almost, almost, didn't even finish it. I forced myself to do so. I wasn't sorry I read it, but I think it's one of those books you need to be in the mood for. I find myself lately pressed for time - with very limited time to read. A meandering, lovely book that doesn't really go anywhere doesn't really fit into my frame of mind right now. So by all means, take my review with a grain of salt.

The writing is beautiful, and it is a great character study of a large family. It's just that nothing much happens, which isn't the prerequisite for a great book -- you just have to be in the mood for it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Book Review: The Little Sleep by Paul Tremblay

First, I want everyone to know that I liked this book. I got it as part of the Library Thing Reviewers program. I hope there is more in this series and I will definitely keep reading.

The title is a play on "The Big Sleep" by Raymond Chandler. This book - The Little Sleep - is about a detective who has narcolepsy and falls asleep at very inopportune times while trying to solve cases!! It's a pretty classic detective story, nicely written. I got to a place in the book where I told my husband 'there'll be no sleep for me tonight until I'm done with this book!' which is always a good sign.

My only complaint is that I thought the book ended a bit unsatisfactorily. I had questions. I want to know if some of the characters knew more than the book overtly said they knew. I want to know why some of the characters did what they did. I don't want to spoil the plot, so I won't get any more detailed than that, but I just had an unsettled feeling like all the strings weren't quite tied in pretty bows - know what I mean?

It's not enough to make me not want to read installment #2, though. I love this character, and hope to see more of him.