January / February 2013 Book reviews

***** 5 Star – Extremely engaging, conceptually fascinating, masterfully written.

  • The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (1972) by Angela Carter. Disturbing. Creative. Surreal. Like nothing I’ve read before.
  • Primeval and Other Times (1996) by Olga Tokarczuk. Mythical. Unusual. Surreal. Like nothing I’ve read before. Link to review.

**** 4 Star – Very engaging and well-written.

  • Science Fiction, the New Critical Idiom (2000) by Adam Roberts. I only read the chapters on race and gender, but they were ace.
  • My Stroke of Insight (2006) by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. This book was extremely difficult to rate. The author is a brain-scientist who had a stroke, survived and recovered. There are a few amazing parts to the book, particularly her detailed, step-by-step re-telling of the stroke and what it felt like. Other parts of the story were a bit repetitive, but that didn’t bother too much because of the overall positive message.
  • The Age of Miracle (2012) by Karen Thompson Walker. Speculative fiction.

*** 3 Star – Fine for a holiday 

  • Gone Girl (2008) by Gillian Flynn. Crime. The first half was much better – rating up at 4 stars –  with a particularly smart writing style. The book just got too farfetched after that.
  • Roadside Picnic (1972) by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky. I was expecting a lot more from this novel, but I fear it lost quite a lot in the terrible translation into American-English. I’ll just have to watch the film version (titled “Stalker”) made by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky in 1979.

** 2 Star – Pages were skipped to get to the end.

  • A Child’s True Book of Crime (2012) by Chloe Hooper. Sorry Chloe.

* 1 Star – Don’t bother.

  • I’m glad there were no books in this section. 

One Response to January / February 2013 Book reviews

  1. Stalker is great! One of the best films I’ve ever seen.

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