Books read in May

Poor People is a novella written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was the first book the he published when he was in his early twenties. It is in the form of a continuing correspondence between a young woman and a much older man, who is distantly related to her. Even though it is a very short book it isn’t an easy read by any means, but is worthwhile as it makes you think about poverty and how people live their life with next to nothing. It is also often quite depressing, but then again if you are poor, then so is life in general.

The Killing 3 is the prose version of the third series of Forbrydelsen and again it changes the story ever so slightly in this case a lot more than he had ever previously done in his other prose version of earlier series with a character from the very first series transplanted in the place of a character from the third television series without so much as a buy or leave. If you hadn’t seen the TV version then you wouldn’t think anything of it but if you have then it does rankle a bit but after a while it fails to be a problem as it actually works rather well and you wonder why they didn’t do the same thing in the TV version.

The Haunted Life is a lost manuscript by Jack Kerouac. It is part of a work that was intended to be much longer which is explained in the notes of this story but it quite interesting to read mainly because it is an unpublished piece by Kerouac, rather than because it is actually any good. As it happens it is quite good but as it was unfinished it makes you wonder if it would ever have been published in the writers lifetime which if it wasn’t seems to render the whole thing pointless.

Odd and the Frost Giants is the story of Odd, a crippled Viking boy who leaves home and has an exciting adventure meeting some of the gods of Asgard who have been changed into animal form by a mysterious race of giants, making winters last much longer than they need to. This is a very easy to read short novel for younger readers which captures your imagination in a very pleasant way indeed. If you want something light and fluffy to read then I would recommend this highly, particularly if you like Neil Gaiman.

The World According to Bob is the sequel to A Streetcat Named Bob and details some more of the adventures had by James the writer and his companion the wonderful ginger tomcat Bob who helps James to get his life back piece by piece after years and years in his own little world due to his addiction to heroin. He doesn’t shirk away from his past which is quite refreshing, and the book, once again,gives a whole new insight into the lives of people on the street.

Spike Milligan: Man of Letters is exactly what you think it is: letters written by Spike over the course of many years to various people from fellow comedians and writers to ordinary members of the public. All of them showing the kind of person that Spike was, and some of his viewpoints of the world. Some of the best stuff comes in the section about mental health which Spike knew a hell of a lot about and his letters to fellow sufferers were a joy to read as he really empathised with them. Another letter I liked was one he wrote to a young girl who lost her sight who then replied to him asking if any of his books were on tape. That had me in tears when I read that. Some of the letters also show how exasperating he could be.

Blameless by Gail Carriger is the third book of the Parasol Protectorate series of novels and carries on directly from the previous novel. In some ways you could come to this novel cold, as there a hell of a lot of exposition about the world the books are set in and the past of the main characters, but I really believe that you get a lot more out of this book if you have been reading the series from the beginning as I have. This one however doesn’t have a beginning or an end but is very much middle, as in the middle part of a book series whose main purpose is to continue the storyline to its inevitable conclusion in two books time. If you are a fan of the series this is a must read, otherwise it is just an interesting curio of a steam punk novel.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s