Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Books of 2009 - Part 2

Following on from this post in which every two line review was three lines, here is the next batch of the books I have read in 2009.

Look Who It Is by Alan Carr - I've never been much of one for Biography, especially not Celebrity Autobiography, but this was being sold by the book man at work, and I thought it might be worth a giggle for a fiver. The tone of the book was very much as you'd expect, and it was an enjoyable enough read - especially for fans of the self-styled "Tooth Fairy".


The Crow Road by Iain Banks - As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I am engaged in an exercise of re-reading all my Banks' books. The Crow Road is a family epic, telling the story of three generations of the leading family in a small highland town. While things may seem respectable - if tragedy prone - on the surface, below the facade things are far from normal...


Complicity by Iain Banks - My first Banks and still one of my favourites, even if I'd forgotten how graphic some of the violence is - indeed, for my money it is a more graphic novel than the much more widely read The Wasp Factory. It tells the story of a journalist investigating a series of bizarre tortures and murders. Not one for the squeamish!

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels - For a political tract that was published over 150 years ago this was, in relative terms, quite straightforward to read, although the various prefaces to subsequent editions with which my edition was furnished became a bit repetitive and unnecessary. For those interested in the politics of the left, and how practical communism has differed from the theory it is well worth the effort.

S
omewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill - Quite simply a fantastic book. Athill is 92 and facing the end of life square on. She writes about the lessons life has taught her with a light and magical touch. Whether discussing sexual conquests, relationships or the imminence of death, she does so with wit, charm, candour and the wisdom of her years.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown - I read this in anticipation of the film coming out but then never went to see it. As with The Da Vinci Code, for which this is the template, Brown tells a ripping yarn in short, moreish chapters. It's easy to be snobby about the quality of the writing itself but this does exactly what it says on the tin. That said, it'll be a while before I brave another of his books!

Nev
erwhere by Neil Gaiman - Having read Good Omens - Gaiman's collaboration with Terry Pratchett - I finally got round to reading one of his own books. Set in the fantasy world of "London Below", inhabited by the people who have fallen through the cracks, this is a quest novel in which our unwitting hero battles for something which no one has previously achieved - return to normal life in London Above.

So that's the second batch - a third and final batch soon!


Andrew

2 comments:

Stephen Chapman... said...

Culture throughout... and Dan Brown too.

oneexwidow said...

Indeed... I'm nothing if not eclectic!