Complex and Tricky Book Reviews

Folks like what you’ve got to say today and you should be able to get them to keep listening for a lot longer than they would otherwise. If you’ve got anything tricky or complex to get across, go for it!

Yeah.  Feel  free to copy and paste that somewhere if you think it might apply to you, because for me it’s just one big astrological blunder today.  What they should be telling me is something like this:

It’s snowing, you have a killer headache, you probably should call work and tell them you’re sick, and for pete sake let go of those tricky and complex thoughts, they’re making you crazy.  Go back to bed. 

Yep, I should just start writing these stupid things for myself.  I do have something interesting to share though, because I’ve read two and a half books even though my aching head is being all stubborn about processing information.  So if these mini reviews are less than stellar, consider the source.

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy is a story about a poet and his wife and daughter on holiday in a rented villa in the south of France.  It’s also about the sexy, mysterious, quite possibly crazy Kitty Finch who walks out of the pool naked and into their holiday, invited to occupy a room in their suite by the poets wife.

And after that it just gets more complex and tricky and weird.  It was hard for me to understand anyones motivation to do anything they did.  The characters were all confusing as hell.  However, I guess that’s why the book was short listed for the Man Booker Prize, because the writing is allusive, elliptical and disturbing and it’s a stealthily devastating book.

Well I did read the whole thing, so something kept me going, although I’m hard pressed to figure out exactly what it was.

After that I needed something simple for the brain-dead, a minimum amount of thinking required, just entertaining enough to keep me awake.  And that’s why I read Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo by Obert Skye.  It won an award for Juvenile Fiction in 2005, has one of the best named heroes ever, and is great fun.  The fate of the world lies in the hands of a fourteen year old boy.

Leven, a.k.a. “Lev,” lives a wretched life at the Rolling Greens Deluxe Mobile Home Park in Burnt Culvert, Oklahoma. But his life is about to change and his destiny be fulfilled as he learns about a secret gateway that bridges two worlds — the real world and Foo, a place created at the beginning of time that makes it possible for mankind to dream and hope, aspire and imagine. “Foo is an entire realm hidden in a fold of the mind, a very real place,” says author Obert Skye. (Amazon Book Description)

Where do I find these things? you might very well be wondering as you scratch your head and roll your eyes.  But seriously, this book was just what the doctor ordered.  Some days you need to escape to a different realm.  Well, I do, anyway.

Last but certainly not least (and I’m only part way through but could not wait a second longer to recommend this one) is The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days by Ian Frazier.

I’ve been laughing since the first page and it’s the kind of thing where the more you read the funnier it gets.  So when you share an excerpt from it with someone who doesn’t know what’s going on, they will look at you with a complex combination of confusion and fear for your sanity on their faces.

It’s the journal of a housewife and mother of pre-teen boys who tries to offer tips on doing various things around the house, is eternally optimistic, but invariably ends up in a complete mess, cursing and swearing (often from the floor) about the frustrations of everyday life.  You can’t help but love her.  Unless you’re offended by foul language, but I didn’t have a hard time forgiving her for that.  Because for some situations those are the only words that can make you feel better.

You know what?  My head isn’t quite so achy now.  Apparently it was just full of crap that needed to get written down.  There’s your health tip for the day.  My shift at work is a short one – surely I can survive six hours knowing that there’s three days off coming up when they’re done.  I’ve had my spinach cocktail and its no longer snowing, so I guess I’m good to go. Happy American Thanksgiving, happy reading, happy cursing, happy whatever you’re up to day.

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6 thoughts on “Complex and Tricky Book Reviews

  1. Those were great reviews! I often find the books nominated for big prizes are somewhat of a let-down in the enjoyment category. They’re stylishly written and ooze all kinds of grey-matter, but they just don’t hold up to what makes a GREAT read.

    Hope your headache stays at bay — and here’s hoping Calgary wins this weekend!

    Like

    • One interesting thing I forgot to mention is that all the print on each page is centered, instead of left justified. So every so often there’s one or two words at the end of a sentence smack in the middle. I don’t know why, but that just added to the weirdness.

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