Thursday, January 17, 2008

2 reviews

I finished two books this week. And now I'm going to review them. Lucky you.

First, When Madeline Was Young, by Jane Hamilton. I don't remember where I heard about this - I think I stumbled across it on one of the blogs that I read. It's a 'family saga' tale told over the lifetime of the narrator, who is raised with a somewhat odd family. It didn't really have much of a plot, as far as I could tell. If the same story had been presented as autobiography, I probably would have enjoyed it more - it just seemed a sort of pointless novel. Meh.

Then I picked up one of the books in the pile from Freda (she makes extensive use fof the book swaps when they go on vacation). This time, Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad. It's the second book I've read in the series of myths retold by modern authors, published by Canongate. I've found some of Atwood's other books to be sort of spacey and wandering, but that style fit this story perfectly. It's kind of like The Red Tent in that it casts a minor (female) character from a well-known story in her own tale. It was a quick read and very witty - I loved it. The other one I read in this series was McCall Smith's Dream Angus and that was really good too. The rest of the series are at the bottom of this page. And are going to be in my library queue very shortly.


C said...

Hmm, I imagine since you liked The Penelopiad it must have had more of a premise than "hey, she's famous for being a faithful wife who wove a lot, but really she was a liberated tough babe who had steamy affairs and ran Ithaca like Hilary Clinton would!" That's what I would have assumed if I'd just seen it in a bookstore!

TAYLOR MADE designs said...

I love when people review books :)
I'll have to check out The Penelopiad... though I have to say I have never been a fan of Atwood. (i agree with what you said about her books feeling a bit spacey)

I just finished a book my inlaws gave me, Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan... quick read... interesting concept. (book is about one evening) I had really high expectations from McEwan but this book didn't live up to them.