Archive for the ‘Allegory/Fable’ Category
I have never quite read anything like SILENCE ONCE BEGUN. Itâ€™s disturbing, lyrical, original, provocative, and experimental in the best of ways. Yet it stands on the shoulders of giants that came before it: Sartre comes to mind, as does Camus.
The premise is instantly (pardon the pun) arresting. A thread salesman named Oda Sotatsu signs a confession for a crime that has baffled the Japanese authorities â€“ eight older individuals disappear without a trace in what becomes known as the Narito Disappearances. Yet once jailed, he utters barely a wordâ€¦.even though we, the readers, know he is not guilty from the first pages.
Jim Craceâ€™s Harvest reads like a simple moral fable of a tiny and remote medieval English village, destroyed externally and internally by the conversion of farms into sheep pastures, but wait! There is far more to it than meets the eye.
Mr. Crace is particularly interested in pairings: everything comes in twos, right from the opening pages.. Two signals of smoke rise up: one signaling the arrival of new neighbors who are announcing their right to stay; the second, a blaze that indicates the master Kentâ€™s dovecote is gone and his doves taken.
Both subplots radiate from these two twinned smoke signals. The stories, narrated by Walter â€“ the manservant of Kent who was paired with him from the start by sharing the same milk â€“ is both an insider and an outsider (yet another pairing). He is not of the village although he has become part of it.
Saramago’s last, indeed posthumous, book is a real treat. Brief, inventive, funny, it furthers the author’s well-known distaste for religious dogma by traversing many of the familiar stories of the Old Testament by means of a fanciful parable told from a rational point of view. Much like The Elephant’s Journey, it shows Saramago’s stylistic fingerprints in relaxed form.
Neal Stephensonâ€™s REAMDE, a play on words for the ReadMe file that accompanies many computer programs, is above all a wild adventure/detective story set in the present day. As one would expect from this author, current technology features prominently. The cast of characters is international, offering windows into such diverse types as Russian gangsters, Chinese hackers, American entrepreneurs, Idaho survivalists and second amendment fanatics among many others.
September 30, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 21st-Century, 700+ Pages, Neal Stephenson, Techno-Thriller, Terrorism, William Morrow Â· Posted in: Allegory/Fable, China, Speculative (Beyond Reality), Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Northwest, y Award Winning Author
Illusion and reality intersect and overlap to reveal a luminous, mesmerizing character– Le Cirque des RĂŞves (The Circus of Dreams). As the sun is the center of the solar system, the Circus of Dreams is the central character of this enchanting tale. Like a magnetic field, Le Cirque des RĂŞves pulls in other characters like orbiting satellites around a bright star. This isn’t your childhood circus–rather, this is more in tune with Lewis Carroll or M.C. Escher–a surreal and hypnotic place of the imagination and spirit.
Crude and hilarious, LADIES’ MAN from American author and screenwriter, Richard Price is a week in the life of Kenny Becker, a thirty-year-old college dropout who works as door-to-door salesman selling crappy cheap gadgets. Itâ€™s the 1970s, and Kenny lives in New York with his girlfriend, â€śbank clerk would-be singerâ€ť La Donna, a good-looking, marginally talented girl whose big night revolves around a cheesy talent contest at a hole- in-the-wall club called Fantasia. Kenny has a series of failed relationships in his past, and when the book begins, La Donnaâ€™s singing lessons, according to Kenny, appear to be placing a strain on the couple.
August 11, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 1970s, Unreliable Narrator Â· Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Allegory/Fable, Character Driven, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Drift-of-Life, Humorous, New Orleans