Sunday, March 18, 2007

Thief of Time - Terry Pratchett

The story of the History Monks who manage time on the Discworld and the clock-maker who builds the most accurate clock possible. Pratchett weaves together several interesting strands of the story that only meet up at the climax. Along the way there's a major role for Susan, Granddaughter of Death, brief cameos from Nanny Ogg, and we get to meet Ronnie - the fifth horseman of the apocalypse (who left before they became famous). Great fun in the typical Pratchett style with some sharp digs at the "auditors" and several dreadful punning names. The climax is genuinely gripping and the final resolution thoroughly satisfying.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Tropical Treasure - Kira Lerner

Lisa gave me this as a Christmas gift; it's a "personalized romance novel": think Harlequin (US) or Mills & Boon (UK) but printed to order with major characters' names and characteristics chosen by the purchaser. So, in my copy, Lisa & I are the romantic leads and there are supporting roles for Lisa's friend, Pamela, and one of our cats, Thomas. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I enjoyed reading this: the story-line and writing are laughably stereotypical but, at least on my first encounter with the phenomenon, the familiar names kept my interest alive through the 180 pages.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Queen Lucia - E.F. Benson

The first of Benson's six hilarious novels recounting the quintessentially English Lucia and her Machiavellian approach to staying top of the society heap in "her" village, Riseholme. Charm and irony abound as the cast of village denizens grapple with an Indian Guru, a Russian Princess and the arrival in their midst of the free-spirited opera diva who, all unwitting, nearly dethrones Lucia before the natural order is restored.


Monday, March 5, 2007

Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami

A strange story about a boy called Kafka, a man who talks to cats and a small supporting cast. Quite what the book is "about" eluded me but I enjoyed the writing and the way the strands of story gradually converged. By the end of the book Kafka has exorcised some personal demons and (possibly for real, possibly metaphorically) passed through a number of mythic rites of passage to adulthood. Or something. A compelling read, for all that much of what was in it passed me by.