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Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Powells.com Interview

David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677


Customer Comments

kas has commented on (19) products.

O, Africa! by Andrew Lewis Conn
O, Africa!

kas, September 4, 2014

O Africa!: A Novel is nothing more and nothing less than a beautifully realized story of intellectual depth and palpable soul that includes as its central theme the challenging, multi-dimensional nature of perspective in the creation and interpretation of narrative art itself. This Andrew Lewis Conn guy is nothing if not ambitious!

A key element that distinguishes this novel as a great book is the light, easily digestible, yet richly evocative prose which is a unique enough pleasure in and of itself without the presence of other features which render this type of read a downright bizarre find in this novel, according to my mind. Firstly, given the aforementioned theme, one can expect some notable navel-gazing of the artist protagonists in the substance of the story as well as various signs of the entanglement of the author's writing process with our experience as readers interpreting the text. I would expect this kind of work, if successful, to be very textually rich but inevitably somewhat unwieldy as a read with some stagnation at different points in the plot.

Instead, I found the narrative to be light, beautiful, effervescent, organic in its transitions and incorporation of various stylistic elements; innovatively engaged in reverent dialogue with a living literary tradition, and last but not least; steadily flowing and never stagnating. All in all, it was an oddly brisk (and briskly odd) read. I cannot recommend this book more highly -- enjoy!

Please be advised I received my copy of this book for free as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.
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Troika by Adam Pelzman

kas, September 4, 2014

Adam Pelzman's novel Troika is an unquestionably relevant work for contemporary readers, as it could be for readers of many (if not all) ages. From the first sentence to the very last, Pelzman signals the radical primacy of humanity to this work.

What in the world do I mean by that?

First of all, on a basic level, Troika is a story about a complicated relationship between a wife, a husband, and the woman with whom he is has an extramarital liaison at the beginning of the book that is told in first-person narration from multiple perspectives. There is no filter between the reader and character's psychology. And indeed, I found the characters to be not only multi-dimensional and believable, they were likable and so relatable that they provided an effective bridge for me to understand and appreciate values contrary to my own and actions I would never take.

The first narrator is the "other woman" in the triangle; a young stripper named Perla. When the story begins, she is at work. Despite the vulgar language and number of vulgar people populating this first setting, Perla's proud and irreverent -- but not unkind personality --is definitely compelling. The one word I would use to describe my impression of Perla and the opening of the novel itself is definitely "charming." The original partner of the male protagonist brings a witty, wise and generous perspective to the narrative.

In addition to the centrality of realistic, incredibly well-drawn characters -- and in particular two strong and unusual women -- and the privileging of their unique perspectives through the structure of the novel, I would also call this a truly humane book due to: the generosity shown by the characters (implicit in the plot's nature & structure) and the hope the story can engender in the reader concerning the expansive potential of human relationships. I recommend this novel without reservation. Please be advised I received a free ARC of this novel for an honest review through the LibraryThing.com Early Reviewers Program. Thanks for reading my thoughts
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(3 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

The Guts by Roddy Doyle
The Guts

kas, March 1, 2014

***The Guts: Not the Literary Fiction Style I Know & Love, But More Valuable Reading Experience for that Very Reason

Bottom Line: Whether old fan or new initiate, I recommend Roddy Doyle's The Guts highly. I believe most readers would be sorry to miss the example of masterful literary craftsmanship that is evidenced throughout this book in the form of Doyle's distinctive dialogue.

Discussion: The Guts wasn't exactly what I expected; I cannot remember the last time I read a novel that included so much dialogue. I read a lot of literary fiction, and certainly the authors of these works typically include a significantly higher percentage of narration than dialogue. One wonders if the author more easily maintains greater control over the text's meaning in a narrative style; is some strength or ability to be direct lost when putting more of the story in characters' mouths?

In any case, it was a very interesting -- and unusually valuable -- diversion in form from most novels I read, but it took some time for me to get used to it. I had to become familiar with the rhythm, local Irish vocabulary and sense of humor of the characters. I got the hang of it eventually and found the novel a decidedly rewarding read. I particularly recommend it to any reader who, like myself, reads narrator-dominated novels. It's good to switch things up I find; it exercises the intellect and the imagination in my experience.

For other readers, this work has plenty of appeal. To understate it grossly, I'll say that Roddy Doyle is a strong writer whose dialogue is not without some semblance to poetry. You can just imagine the effusive praise that would be here if I were totally truthful. Or, just go check it out! Thanks for reading my views. I appreciate the opportunity to explore this major release in advance of official publication provided through the First to Read program of Penguin Books.
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Tireless by Graham Spaid

kas, February 28, 2014

his is an abstract work of literature -- a very good one, mind, but it's not for every taste. The stream-of-consciousness novella, with its playful and mysterious style, is bound to leave impressions at least as varied and numerous as its readership.

During my own reading of tireless:, Nabokov's literary masterpiece Lolita and the 2003 Crispin Glover cinematic vehicle Willard appeared at the forefront of my consciousness more than once. That's what I call some evocative stuff...Cheers, Graham Spaid.

Please be advised I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.
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Mecca Pimp: A Novel of Love and Human Trafficking by Bernard Radfar
Mecca Pimp: A Novel of Love and Human Trafficking

kas, February 26, 2014

Mecca Pimp really surprised me. It challenged me, angered me, stimulated me, and I think it deserves another read -- which is a high compliment for a book IMHO. It has a definite point of view, and I was worried author Bernard Radfar would use some gimmicks to draw attention to his ideas. There are no cheap gimmicks here -- just food for thought that may or may not agree with your palate. It definitely earned my respect as a reader.

I accessed this truly unique text through gracious permission of the publisher on NetGalley.
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