Thursday, July 24, 2008

House on Fortune Street by Margot Livesey

What a sad little novel this was. Set in current day England, the novel is split into 4 different perspectives - best friends Dara and Abigail, Abigail's boyfriend Sean, and Dara's father Cameron. The narrative deftly weaves together all four characters, though each individual has to deal with their respective personal triumphs and tragedies (e.g. Sean's struggle to abandon his years-long dissertation on Keats, Abigail's infidelity, etc). The prose is tight, but incredibly moving and emotional.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman

As a major fan of the film, I decided to give the novel a whirl. Goldman's book is designed to appear as an abridged version of a much larger satiric work by S. Morgenstern, a Florinese (fictitious) writer. I'm not going to lie - I actually believed all of this at first, so color me naive. The story is about murder, magic, torture, friendship, fencing, monsters and above all else, true love. Through various twists and turns, Princess Buttercup is about to marry the evil Prince Humperdinck, though her heart belongs to Westley. Add a bunch of wacky and wonderful characters to the mix and you have a fabulous story for the ages.

Goldman also was in charge of writing the screenplay to the film, so the bulk of the book made the leap onto the big screen, including choice bits of dialogue, which is awesome.

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer

The story of a man growing younger rather than older, Greer's novel is both heartbreaking and kind of boring. The novel centers on Max as he struggles to accept his strange aging situation when, all the while, he longs for the love and desire of Alice. As he ages, Max has 3 chances to be in Alice's life, though each opportunity is brief and rife with roadblocks. It was an ok read...or maybe I'm just having an off week. Plus, I'm pretty sure there's some movie with Brad Pitt coming out that's basically a rip off of the book.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

At the risk of sounding vapid, whoa, this book is a total downer... Winner of, like, a zillion awards (including the Pulitzer!), The Road is a post-apocalyptic tale about a man and his son as they wander around the United States trying to survive from cannibals and the elements fueled by canned goods and their fierce love for each other. The themes of love, God, morality and mortality all tie in together into one seamless piece. McCarthy's work is dark and his imagery is brutal at times (lots of dead bodies everywhere), but it's still an oddly beautiful book. Depressing as all hell, but a powerfully moving read.