Friday, February 28, 2014

Look Who it is!'- Alan Carr

Being a fan of the British comedian Alan Carr, I thought I was going to enjoy this book. I found it readable, but disappointing. Some of the anecdotes during this book were amusing, but I found the almost underlining bitterness and spite Alan Carr felt, was really off putting. During the last half of the book, I almost felt like he was sneering people who have helped his career and his bragging to be very unpleasant. I even found some of the jokes he made about certain members of society to be offensive, whereas in general, I find his humour funny.

Usually when I read a book about the life of someone I admire, I end up feeling more admiration but with this book, I'm starting to dislike Alan Carr.

Do you read autobiographies? Have you changed your opinion (both good and bad) on a well known person, after reading their autobiography?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday

Every Tuesday (or as many Tuesday's as I can) I participate in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by 'Bibliophile By The Sea' . This is where I share the first paragraph of a book I am reading or thinking about reading soon.

This week I thought I would post the first paragraph of 'The Moment' by Douglas Kennedy. This book was given to me by a friend, as she thought I would enjoy it:

 'I was served with divorce papers this morning. I've had better starts to the day. And though I knew they were coming, the actual moment when they landed in my hand still threw me. Because their arrival announced: This is the beginning of the end.'

Would you read on?

Monday, February 24, 2014

'The Kite Runner'- Khaled Hosseini

This was actually my first completed book of 2014 (techinically last book of 2013 too) and it wasn't a disappointment. I won't go into the story, because knowing me I will give away something vital about the plot, but this is a powerful story of friendship and war in Afganistan.

The writing is beautiful, the descriptions of the Afganistan landscape were the thing that moved me most and I liked the pace of the book.

I must admit that I disliked the main character Amir intensely and I also was tempted at one point, to stop reading this novel because of that fact. However, I realise now that this was deliberate on the writer's part, because all of the characters, make realistic progressions throughout the novel, including Amir.

The only slight criticism I have with this novel is that I found the ending to be a bit predictable. I worked out what was going to happen a while before the main character.

However, this is one of the most powerful books illustrating the horror and suffering which has gone on in Afganistan I have ever read. In some ways, it mades more impact than any news report about the war does.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

On Chesil Beach'- Ian McEwan

After hearing very positive comments about this book, I had high expectations about it. To be honest, I can't really make my mind up about whether I enjoyed this or not.

The story centres around Edward and Florence, two people who are on their honeymoon. In anticipation for their wedding night, the story focuses on their worries and anticipation for their first sexual encounter. The story also weaves the story of their lives, how they meet and how thy use each other to enter adulthood.

On the one hand, this book is beautifully written. It really focuses on the emotions going through their minds about love and sexuality. However in some ways, the sparseness of the novel left me feeling a little flat.I don't think that this is a novel which is plot driven, I think it's more an examination of the human mind, which is very interesting.

I didn't really like any of the characters and found them quite confusing. I couldn't really pin down exactly who they were and what I should feel about them. You could say then, that was a good thing on the author's part, because the main characters were confused also.

The ending of the story was an anticlimax and at the end of the novel I thought 'Was that it?' I'm glad I read this, because the descriptions and writing in general were brilliant, but I'm not sure I enjoyed it. Sorry for the mixed review, but my feelings towards this novel are just that.