Sunday, 24 May 2015

Lit Nit Wit: A Mix

You'd think in the six weeks I was off i would have read a load of books!! Not at all at all for some reason (Because of parks and recreation and the walking dead, not that I'm complaining).
Since I got back to work I've gone through a few books, and instead of doing individual Lit Nit Wits I thought I'd write one for all of them.
Photo taken from Amazon.com
The first book I completed was The Luminaries; I actually got this book in Dublin when my brother and I were traveling from dublin to cork after our holiday. This story is based in New Zealand where gold fields have been found and subsequently villages full of men out to get their fortune pop up. The story starts with the arrival of Walter Moody to Hokitika one of these new villages. On arrival to his guest house he stumbles onto a meeting of 12 men trying to figure out how each of them have become entangled in mysterious circumstances involving a dead man with a hidden fortune, the disappearance of a young man and the apparent suicide of a young prostitute. In a new small village it was easy to believe that all these men could be somehow linked and would remain so as the story unfolds. I am usually terrible with names and sometimes mix the characters up but these characters back stories were so intricate and detailed I could recall who was who with ease. I always take it as a good sign when about half the book is the back story of the events that led to the meeting of the men in the guesthouse we see in the first chapter.I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the characters were so well hashed out and the events so interesting and varied. At the start of each chapter was a synopsis/ tease of the entire chapter which I thought was an interesting idea, I don't think I've seen it before actually. throughout the story there were about three small but significant events that seemed to me to go unexplained and the final chapters were literally a page each, which kinda grated on my nerves a small bit, but I would 100% recommend this book to anyone who really wants to get into a long detailed book they can get enthralled in.
Anytime I see a book by Carlos Ruiz Zafron I immediately buy it, in fact I was in waterstones about to buy the book and the man in front of my saw said book and we had a fangirling moment, to the point where I gave him the book and went back to the stand and got a copy for myself. I think I loved Shadow of the Wind so much, it was the reason I went to Barcelona for my holidays this year (more on that later) that all subsequent books of his are kinda disappointing. Marina follows Oscar a student in Barcelona who liked to explore the long abandoned and almost forgotten houses of the Barcelona elite. He stumbles upon Marina house and quickly becomes fast friends with her and her sickly father. Marina shows Oscar a mysterious figure who visits a graveyard and leaves an emblem of a black butterfly regularly, who is this woman and why does she do it? Oscar and Marina pursue this mystery and become entangled in a story of deceit and betrayal and love and the strive to heal sickness at all and any cost. If you haven't read Carlos' before maybe I'd recommend this, because then you could read his other books and become more and more impressed but personally I think his original was the best and all of his subsequent stuff has been sub par in comparison.


The day I bought Marina I also bought the cult classic Lolita. I saw a big rant about the book covers for this boon which intrigued me further. This story follows Humbert Humbert a French writer who is also a pedophile I had an idea about what this book was about but felt like I really needed to read it to understand the cult classic status that follows this book. The book is in two parts and I have to say I preferred the first half. In the first half he is working towards getting a nymphet such as Lolita and in the second half he has her in his grasp, but it all falls apart as he runs off with her driving around the country with his precious Lolita. In his deluded mind some young girls are not children but nymphets, demons who were sent down to tempt poor men, the dehumanisation of these children for his own satisfaction was something I had not seen before in a book and I found it borderline profound, to get into the mind of someone like that, it was not something I had ever particularly wanted to do but here I was and I found it kind of fascinating. For me though, there was too much French in the book. I realise the character is French but having less than basic French (I did German in school) i enjoyed seeing so much of it in the book. Thankfully my French friend was my own personal google translate, but the French wasn't even significant to the story it was almost like filler! The author also seemed to jump from writing in the first to the third person and my poor brain had a bit of a tough time dealing with it on occasion. Throughout the book I asked myself repeatedly could a book honestly disturb and entertain me at the same time and the honest answer is yes in a strange way, books enable you to go to different places and view the world through different peoples eyes. Eyes you maybe didn't really want to look through but at the end you appreciate the fact you did