- member since July 26, 2008
carol c’s last login was Saturday, August 29, 2009.
I just re-read my notes from a while back and saw that you were three-quarters the way through Gate House and found it disappointing to that point. I just finished it and found it a little wordy and unnesessarily embellished before getting to climactic scene at the end. I'm going a little lighter now with Alexander McCall Smith!
Sorry for responding so late about David Sedaris' book. David writes adult themed contemporary essays. He is gay and lives and travels with his life partner. Taking that into consideration, he is very funny and somewhat sarcastic. He has a very interesting view on life and people and that's what he writes about. I love his stories. If you are okay with adult context and homosexuality, then you may like this book.
I'm glad to see that someone else is left up in the air about this book. My daughter read it with her book club members and they concluded that the protagonist really did kill his family and is a patient in the institution. I think that the authorities at the institution prevented him from leaving the island by putting 'stuff' into the food and cigarettes. He was on a case to investigate the maximum security facility. The warnings by others are stated all thru the book and happened just as all the warners said they would. He was not able to leave the island when he wanted to and his other agents never came to rescue him. We wonder what the intentions of the captors were. I like books that keep me thinking after I've read them and this is a winner. Did you read "Second Lady" by Irving Wallace? No real answer but you weigh the evidence and hints that appear all thru the book and draw your own conclusion. "Rebecca" is another one that leaves me up in the air. I am a Great Books Leader and enjoy thinking about what is not so obvious. I am also retired and love to read. Thanks for writing.
I'd suggest reading the author's notes at the back of the book before you read the book.
I like novels that are based on truths, whether uplifting or not so. Members of my bookclub didn't like this book because of the descriptions of foot binding and women's subservient roles in society. I thought it was well written and that the narrator finds her own redemption in the telling of her past.
I liked Snowflower so much I decided to visit China. I liked it better than "Peony".
Snowflower is a story about women. How they were treated by men and society. It's based on history and how the women made a life in a society where they weren't worth much. I read it for my book club and it was one of only a few books over the years that everyone liked. Another one we all liked was Balzac and the little Chinese seamstress. Just a coincidence they are both based in China.
Amy Tan's first book was great but later books dragged on.
Carol, You wanted to know whether to read Snow Flower etc. Thata' about what I thought of the book! Read it for a book club and really disliked it. Perhaps the fact that it evoked strong anger at the female characters is a sign it did something. I liked Amy Tan's books as well and this is not up to her standards in my opinion. I wouldn't bother reading it. Life's too short to read inferior books!
Snow Flower... was a quick and interesting read for me. I hadn't read anything on the subject matter before. I enjoyed a few of Amy Tan's books also and think that could influence a good feeling toward this book too. Again, it is a quick read and I felt I learned something form the book.
Neverwhere is a little trippy, but not as much as Gaiman's other stuff. It's actually full of puns if you're familiar with London landmarks. But I enjoyed it. One I'd recommend over it though is "Good Omens' The tone reminds me of "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" but with witches and magic instead of aliens and outer space.