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Showing posts from April, 2018

Books of Note

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Yah, yah, I know, I’ve been lollygaggin’ and work-shyin’ and leaving all my lovely spammers in Tamil Nadu with nothing on which to post spam but old reviews. I’ve not even been all that busy, except when it comes to slapping on weight and destroying some neural connections, both of which I’ve done with glazed-eyed indifference and robotic monotony. Still, I feel I owe it to GDR to at least put Shantaram to bed before I buy (whoops, sorry, already done) and read his next book, The Mountain Shadow, which even now is winging its way to my door by the magic of Amazon Prime Same Day DeliveryTM.
It turns out that GDR was indeed a bit of a knob. He robbed building societies in Australia, always dressed in a three-piece suit and minding his Ps & Qs, and only targeting those with adequate insurance. How he knew which did and didn’t have adequate insurance is not mentioned. On the back of this, or maybe it was the other way around, his wife kicked him out and he lost contact with his only da…

The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

Hi, how’ve you been? I’ve been busy myself, thanks for asking. In fact, I was so busy I began contemplating a terminal hiatus from this, ostensibly purposeless endeavour. However, for reasons, I chose not to take it. So on with the show and back to Helen DeWitt.
If there’s one thing about this dense, frankly mind-bogglingly erudite book to love/find empathy with (apart from my own Canadian edition’s deckle-edged hardbackedness – deckle edges; good or bad? Discuss!), it would have to be the passages narrated by Sibylla, mother to genius progeny Ludo. As a parent to one post-toddler and one pre-toddler, as well as occasional taker-up-of-space in the lives of three other young human beings, there are so very few occasions where a simple conversation can be carried out to its logical terminus without interruption and digression; conversations start, stop, return to the beginning, are interrupted once more, are delayed and postponed, and cycle back again until it’s time to give up, get off …

Sucker's Portfolio by Kurt Vonnegut

In slowly working through my scant remaining volumes of Vonnegut, and in need of bumping up my ‘books reviewed’ figures for the year to date, I selected this short and slim volume that Amazon assured me was “…a collection of seven never before published works from Kurt Vonnegut.”

I call bullshit on that.
It might be that my mind, once so reliable, is playing tricks on me, it could be that someone is fucking lying, or it might be that my mind is playing tricks on me, but I’m confident I’ve read all these before somewhere else (except for the unfinished short sci-fi piece included as an appendix). No matter though, as for the short commuter journey from Penarth into Cardiff proper they were a thoroughly enjoyable, if slightly bleak in trademark Vonnegut black humanism style, amuse-bouche for the short commuter jaunt from my home in Penarth to my place of work… Have I said this before? No matter though, as they were thoroughly enjoyable, if slightly bleak…
Should I go on? I’ll go on.
I was