Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Author: Yann Martel
Publisher: Mariner (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Pub. Date: June 28, 2002 (hardcover); April 21, 2003 (paperback)
This is one of those books that has been on my list forever. It's one of those books that I felt, and other readers have agreed, is one of those books that we should read. Though it was just written in 2002, it has quickly become a modern classic. And with the movie version recently released, and my husband recently reading it, I decided to dig in too. Basically, Pi grows up in India with his parents who own a zoo. The first part of the book is about him exploring other religions. But then they're on a boat that sinks and he ends up in a lifeboat with a tiger, and he has to strategically live in the middle of the ocean without being attacked by a tiger. This book really wasn't for me. I stayed interested enough to keep moving to the next chapter, but I did feel that the time on the lifeboat was sort of drawn out. And there was some graphic detail given regarding some of the animals that I really did not like. Part of what drew me to this book was that I had heard it had this super powerful message in the end; for me it was anticlimactic but maybe because I had built it up so much. I'm glad to say I read this and I felt it was okay, but that's about it.
Author: Heidi W. Durrow
Publisher: Algonquin Books (Workman Publishing)
Pub. Date: February 16, 2010
I was drawn to this because of the social issues it was supposed to present about race and class. The main character, Rachel, is biracial. Though it hasn't ever been a significant issue for her, it becomes one after she goes to live with her grandmother subsequent to the death of her mother and siblings when they fall off the top of a building. This book was also the winner of the Bellwether Prize in 2010. Overall, I thought this one was okay. It was narrated from several different points of view. Near the beginning it had a Tayari Jones-esque which is, of course, a great thing, though I didn't feel it maintained this all the way through. I guess I just felt like I wasn't sure exactly what the point was. I think I was expecting a bigger message again. I think I thought I'd relate more. Again, I'm glad I read this one but it didn't blow me away.
Title: Heart-Shaped Box
Author: Joe Hill
Publisher: William Morrow (Harper Collins)
Pub. Date: February 13, 2007
My husband chose this as our joint read for Halloween this past year. I was against it at first because ghosts and the lot scare me more than other scary things. But eventually I gave in and then ended up having the opposite reaction in that this book hardly scared me at all. I mentioned it in an earlier post, but I think that with this type of book there is a degree of cheesiness to it that takes away from the scariness. Basically, the premise of this is that an old rock star buys a dead man's suit to add to his collection of macabre paraphernalia, only to learn that the ghost of the previous owner comes with the suit and this ghost is out to get him. It was okay. I've read praise for Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) saying his work is better than his father's -- I'm not convinced yet. However, I enjoyed this as a Halloween read with the hubby but wouldn't have regretted not reading it otherwise.