Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘books’

* Books: Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 18 February 2012

Books: Started Early, Took My Dog (2010) by Kate Atkinson (Behind the Scenes at the Museum (1995), Human Croquet (1997)).  This crime novel, part thoughtful travelogue, of loves and losses, follows semi-retired private investigator Jackson Brodie as he attempts to trace, through the good, bad old days and the precariously, obliquely good, bad new days, the origins of a client, adopted a young age.  More than touching on a diversity of themes: of adoption, of dogs that belonged to women, of shockingly, rashly, bought children, of kidnapped, history-less children, of forcibly orphaned children; of adaptation to ever-changing circumstances, and glimpses of true, and erroneous, self-knowledge; confusion of names; childhood, the good, and, so often, the bad, the thwarted, the difficult and the ugly; parents and children and families in all their stifled hope, errors, lies, and miscommunications; not to mention inspiring, uplifting, dark and hopeful poetry; and of course, crime, with its police, private investigators, cover-ups, murders, power and money.  Sounds like a lot?  It is.  But with Atkinson’s deft, even tender touch, and her sensitive portrayals, Started Early, Took My Dog, is an easy, captivating novel, and a very agreeable, if at times brutal, read. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your books.  Have a great personal library..  Here’s a link to amazon.com:

top image:  The Guardian

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Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Fiction, General, Literature, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

* Book Review: Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 2 February 2012

Book Review: Our Kind of Traitor (2010) by John le Carré (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974), The Constant Gardener (2001), A Most Wanted Man (2008))  Russian mobsters, British spies, bankers, and politicians, corruption, money laundering, and, of course, the innocents caught up in it all…oh yes, and tennis, from the scenic Caribbean beauty of Antigua to the Center Court at Roland Garros for the French Open with Roger Federer, Our Kind of Traitor, Le Carré’s 22nd novel, offers a contemporary look at his favorite terrain, spies, and preferably British spies, at that.  Le Carré reflects on the reframing of a certain sense of loyalty, on the part of the British espionage establishment, from “all for Britain” to “all for profit”, with his usual sensitivity to the concomitant evolution of language, as things degrade into some sort of mongrel globalisation.  In fact, one could ask oneself, whose agenda is dominant in all these machinations, or is everyone  simply struggling to impose as much of their own personal agenda as possible, in circumstances where only money has any real importance, no matter where it comes from and no matter what it’s used for, and loyalty is a thing of the past.  Perhaps a bit slow to start, when Our Kind of Traitor gets up to speed, it becomes an enjoyable, and sophisticated, thrill in the land of post-Cold War spydom. (PR)

See our post on the film The Constant Gardener with Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, based on the novel of the same name by John le Carré.

We recommend that you buy your books.  Have a great personal library..  Here’s a link to amazon.com:

top image: Wikipedia

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Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Fiction, General, Literature, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

* Book Review: Pulse by Julian Barnes

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 29 January 2012

Book Review: Pulse (2011)(collection of short stories) by Julian Barnes (Flaubert’s Parrot (1984, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), England, England (1998, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), Arthur & George (2005, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Sense of an Ending (2011, winner of the Booker Prize).  Pulse is a collection of wonderful short stories taking the pulse of couples, and in which couples are the pulse, the life blood.  From parents, to newly weds, to first dates, to esoteric historical, from sharp, well-to-do couples, to once-hippie aging couples, to ’til-death-do-us-part couples, to couples divorcing within a year of marriage, from hetero to homo, from love to sex, from complicity to antagonism, from no-strings to all things, Pulse throws its net wide, not that there aren’t an infinity of couples outside of the net, each being, by definition unique, and unfathomable, no matter what we know.  In fact, what is love?  And, to paraphrase and twist, a bit, Raymond Carver, what (don’t) we talk about when we (don’t) talk about love; pain, fun, sharing, loss, thrill, support, tenderness and grief. A must-read for anyone who is, was, or will be part of a couple, or ever wished, or regretted, that they were part of a couple.  And for those solitaries who just wonder about it all.  Marvelous, thoughtful, entertaining and more. (PR)

See our post on the collection of short stories by Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

We recommend that you buy you books.  Have a wonderful personal library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

top image: The Guardian

nothingisinvisible@live.fr

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, culture, Fiction, General, Language, Literature | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Caribou Island by David Vann

Posted by the editors on Monday, 23 January 2012

Caribou Island (2011)(Novel) by David Vann (Legend of a Suicide (2008))  Caribou Island, David Vann’s first novel, after his awardwinning collection of stories Legend of a Suicide, is rife with failed communication, the characters brimming with regret, misperception and self-delusion, and all suffering from psychological isolation; these bleak, dysfunctional characters relentlessly arcing their way toward certain disaster.  Written with a passionate and sharp eye for landscape and environment, used as a metaphor for the apparent, and dream-like, beauty and inherently brutal, fatal desolation of life and with, perhaps, an inspiration from Cormac McCarthy’s sensitivity to place, combined with some of the fatal flaws of Raymond Carver’s often doomed characters, Caribou Island is an inspired noir novel, full of precise descriptive prose, and often sensitive and frustratingly lost individuals inexorably struggling toward their painful ends. (PR)

See our posts on the novels The Crossing, All the Pretty Horses, The Orchard Keeper, Blood Meridian and Outer Dark, by Cormac McCarthy and our post on the collection of short stories What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, by Raymond Carver.

We recommend that you buy your books.  Have a great personal library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

top image: HarperCollins Publishers

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Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Fiction, General, Literature, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Infinities by John Banville

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 18 December 2011

The Infinities (2009)(Novel) By John Banville (The Book of Evidence (1989), The Sea (2005, winner of the Booker Prize for Fiction), and others))  John Banville‘s latest novel, The Infinities, the story of a comatose theoretical mathematician/physicist and his dysfunctional family (alcoholic second wife, fearful and weak son, self-abusing daughter), a daughter-in-law, two visitors (with the silly names of Roddy Wagstaff and Benny Grace), and the gods Hermes (by and large the narrator) and his father, Zeus, is set in a relatively alternative reality, much as our own with the notable exceptions of salt-water being used to run cars, cold fusion energy and the scientific acceptance of infinite universes (hence the novel’s title).  In fact, The Infinities is a look at the mix of the mortal and the divine, the finite and the infinite in the world, loosely based on the myth of Amphitryon (whose wife, Alcmene, who was seduced by Zeus in the guise of her husband).  Though there are many, perhaps excessive, yet wonderful descriptions in The Infinities, one may ask if basing the novel on the myth justifies the overly precious narrative device of the gods’ presence: an excessively witty and somewhat irreverent narration which in the end is so heavy-handed and distracting. The Times, nevertheless, found it “dark, funny and delightful”, according to the book jacket. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your books.  Have a wonderful personal library…  Here is a link to amazon.com:

top image: Wikipedia

nothingisinvisible@live.fr

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Fiction, General, Literature, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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