Archive for November, 2009

BRYANT AND MAY ON THE LOOSE by Christopher Fowler

In Christopher Fowler’s BRYANT AND MAY ON THE LOOSE the members of the Peculiar Crimes Unit are unemployed, after being forced to vacate their offices at Mornington Crescent in London. The PCU was designed to handle “specialized cases and crimes (mostly homicides) which could be considered a risk to public order and confidence if left unresolved.” However, the “anti-establishment and subversive behavior” of its detectives repeatedly landed the PCU in hot water with the Home Office, and it was only a matter of time before angry higher-ups disbanded the unit.

November 24, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Posted in: Humorous, Sleuths Series, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel

The Wars of the Roses, were a series of dynastic civil wars between the rival houses of Lancaster, (the Tudors), and York, (the Plantagenets), for the throne of England. The Lancastrian symbol was the red rose – the Plantagenet’s, the white. The war ended with the victory of the Lancastrian Henry Tudor, King Henry VII, who founded the House of Tudor. His marriage to Elizabeth Plantagenet, (the white rose), and the eldest daughter of King Edward IV, penultimate king of the house of York, cemented the joining of the two houses. The third child of their political union was called Henry, who was to become King Henry VIII. That’s the background information for the setting of Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize winning novel, WOLF HALL.

November 23, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Man Booker Prize, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

THE GARGOYLE by Andrew Davidson

THE GARGOYLE is one of the most gripping novels I have ever read. I am not one to usually read books more than once and I can probably count on two hands those novels that I’ve read two or three times. This is my second reading of THE GARGOLYE and it is even better the second time around.

November 21, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Horror, Psychological Suspense, Speculative (Beyond Reality)

INHERENT VICE by Thomas Pynchon

Larry “Doc” Sportello, the protagonist of this latest Pynchon novel, INHERENT VICE, is the quintessential hippy wild-man. He sometimes teases his hair into an Afro. He never passes up an opportunity to get high. He listens to rock ‘n roll, preferably stoned, and practices “free love” whenever–and wherever–he can make that happen. And yet he is a respected private investigator, a man who, in spite of himself, exercising wit and humor, succeeds. But just by the skin of his nicotine-stained teeth.

November 20, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: California, Humorous, Literary, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, y Award Winning Author

TOO MUCH HAPPINESS by Alice Munro

It is an honor to review TOO MUCH HAPPINESS by Alice Munro, who I consider the greatest living writer of short stories in the English language. Ms. Munro is Canadian and lives in Clinton, Ontario. During her writing career she has garnered many awards including the Lannan Literary Award, the United States National Book Critics Circle Award, and the most recent 2009 Man Booker International Prize. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, the Atlantic Monthly, as well as many other literary publications. I consider her an icon.

November 19, 2009 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Literary, Man Booker International Prize, Short Stories, y Award Winning Author

EATING ANIMALS by Jonathan Safran Foer

Full disclosure: I am a vegetarian. It’s not a label I really think much about because it was never a conscious choice. I was brought up in a Hindu vegetarian home and eating meat was totally out of the question. Over the years it has become a matter of habit and taste.

Jonathan Safran Foer’s path to veganism started when he became a new father. He wanted to research the foods he would soon be feeding his infant son and in no time came upon the juggernaut—the factory farm.

November 18, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Non-fiction