Monday, May 02, 2011

Books started and unfinished this year so far

The Finkler Question – Howard Jacobsongood writing, and lots of subtlety in the story, but I got fed up with the crudity of it. Equally, there didn't seem to be any real forward movement.

For All that has been Thanks – Rowan Williams and Joan Chittister - read several chapters; some of the early ones okay, but overall it’s far too lightweight.

Close Calls with Nonsense (Reading New Poetry) – Stephen Burt interesting stuff, but a lot of the poets are unfamiliar and their work isn’t very accessible. Even though it’s an American book, both James K Baxter and Les Murray appear. I might have finished this, given enough time.

A Bend in the River – V S Naipaul 2/3 finished. Too gloomy and dour to pursue any further.

The Art Thief – Noah Charney was about a third into it and it was just going nowhere fast; characters overdrawn and far too much ‘I know everything about my subject’ from the author.

Dancing on the Head of a Pin – Thomas Sniegoski - a sequel to a book I read a couple of years ago while in Wellington; whereas the first one was unputdownable, this one didn’t grab me at all.


Tim Jones said...

My list of books read doesn't contain any of these, Mike, but I have read "A House for Mr Biswas", which didn't grab me (I finished it nevertheless as it was for the book club I'm in). And the name Thomas Sniegoski definitely rings a bell - what was the unputdownable book by him?

Mike Crowl said...

A Kiss before the Apocalypse. Can't tell you now quite why it grabbed me so much, but it must have been better than Dancing on the Head of a Pin. Perhaps in the earlier book there was more mystery to the story because it took a while before you realised the true nature of the main character. And there was a romantic element that softened the violence. In this book the main character's wife has already died, and he spend a good deal of the first part of the book reminiscing and mourning...

Tim Jones said...