Review: A Clockwork Orange CD

A Clockwork Orange CDA Clockwork Orange CD by Anthony Burgess

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hard to believe, but this audio version was better than the movie. Magically, Hollander makes the nadsat dialect as easy to understand as your native tongue. This version includes the real ending to the book, the one edited out of early editions, read by Burgess himself. It is a better ending, but I'm sorry to say that it lost something being read by the author instead of Hollander.

View all my reviews


Review: The Sherlockian

The SherlockianThe Sherlockian by Graham Moore

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's unusual to find a real person historical fiction where the author doesn't put the historical figure on a pedestal. After all, they usually chose to wrote the book because they were so fascinated by that person they weren't satisfied with what is factually known about them. Moore doesn't hide Dr. Doyle's faults from the reader, though, and that's what makes this a more 'believable" bit of fiction. I think some of the dialog between Doyle and Bram Stoker sounded a little too modern, but who's to say that they really spoke in the same manner that they wrote to each other? The contemporary mystery is a simple and purposely unoriginal who-dunnit, providing just the right interludes of character driven story between the trips back in time to a tiny black hole in literary history.

View all my reviews

Review: Swamplandia!

Swamplandia!Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There are two coming of age stories in this book, and it's unfortunate that it's the less interesting, less original one that is the focus of the blurbs and advertising campaign. Yes, little Ava goes on a harrowing and ugly adventure in hopes of finding her mentally ill sister who has run off to marry a ghost. She goes through through swamps and monsters on her quest. Interesting, but so lacking in detail and consequences (except a big one that made me more angry for lazy writing than what it did to the character) that it reads more like a bad fairy tail than a good tale. But then, there's the second coming of age story, Ava's brother Kiwi who goes on his own rescue effort, the kind that has far more chances to go in the wrong direction, one where he has to make actual choices and doesn't always make the 100% correct one. Out of the swamp and into a murkier world of contemporary living, Kiwi lives up to his quest is a slightly more believable way than his younger sister. Not only did Kiwi make the big (and totally precious) save in the end, he saved this book from being a waste of time.

View all my reviews

Review: If I Stay

If I Stay (Audio CD)If I Stay by Gayle Forman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Some very nice stream of consciousness writing (pun intended), but so obvious about the outcome that even most young adults will know what's going to happen long before the protagonist does.

View all my reviews