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I've been keeping a log of what I read this year on my phone, saw this forum joined and thought I may as well keep it here...

 

If I rate ones I read earlier in the year out of 10

 

Bridge of Clay - Marcus Zusak (6)

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things - John McGregor (9)

Various Haunts of Men - Susan Hill (8)

Vox - Christina Dalcher (4)

Life After Life - Kate Atkins (8)

Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (9)

Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys (8)

Being Dead - Jim Crace (9)

Transcription - Kate Atkins (8)

Klara and the Sun - Kazuo Ishiguro (10)

Oryx and Crayke - Margaret Atwood (9)

The Buried Giant - Kazuo Ishiguro (DNF)

Blue Eyed Boy - Joanne Harris (9)

 

Been lucky so far this year. Apart from Buried Giant, which I just found dull and like it was trying too hard and Vox - which was poorly written and had a spectacularly badly conceived ending - I've read some wonderful books. Klara and the Sun is easily my favourite of the year so far.

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I had a similarly poor opinion of Vox. The premise had scope for something really good and i was left pretty disappointed.

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On 12/09/2021 at 8:44 PM, PaulGM said:

Bridge of Clay - Marcus Zusak (6)

I bought this mainly because I loved The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger by Zusak, but I still haven't gotten around to reading it. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts!

 

On 12/09/2021 at 8:44 PM, PaulGM said:

Apart from Buried Giant, which I just found dull and like it was trying too hard

I liked the folkloric theme of Buried Giant, but I do know what you mean about it feeling like it was trying too hard. Also definitely agree with your 9 for Handmaid's Tale.

 

On 12/09/2021 at 8:44 PM, PaulGM said:

Klara and the Sun is easily my favourite of the year so far.

I don't know this one, I'll have to look it up!

 

Welcome to the forum by the way :) 

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Thanks for the welcome Hayley.

 

I can't recommend Klara and the Sun highly enough. It's as good as Never Let Me Go (It might even be better... now that's a bold statement for me) and made me cry in places!

 

Bridge of Clay is totally different to The Book Thief to the point where it seem like it has been written by a different author, or at least it did to me. I went in to it wanting something similar to TBT, which might be why I was disappointed. It's a very 'male' book. 

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20 hours ago, Brian. said:

I had a similarly poor opinion of Vox. The premise had scope for something really good and i was left pretty disappointed.

Like if The Handmaid's Tale had been made into a film directed by Michael Bay starring Jason Statham and Kate Hudson. That kind of disappointed.

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6 hours ago, PaulGM said:

I can't recommend Klara and the Sun highly enough. It's as good as Never Let Me Go (It might even be better... now that's a bold statement for me) and made me cry in places!

I'll try to emotionally prepare myself before reading then!

 

6 hours ago, PaulGM said:

Bridge of Clay is totally different to The Book Thief to the point where it seem like it has been written by a different author, or at least it did to me. I went in to it wanting something similar to TBT, which might be why I was disappointed. It's a very 'male' book. 

That doesn't sound promising. I have to admit, it's not a book I'd have picked up at all from the description if I didn't already know the author.

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V2 Robert Harris 

 

Harris is often praised for his meticulously researched novels. Personally, I could not care less if the V2 rockets landed exactly where he says they did, destroyed that number of buildings or killed that many people. Here, he seems to have forgotten that it is characters that drive novels. The two main protagonists in V2, Rudi Graf, a German scientist with dreams of getting a rocket to the moon and Kay Caton-Walsh an air force officer who desperately want to do something to aid the war effort are both pretty forgettable and seem thin. Despite the similarities with the characters in Munich or Fatherland (disaffected Germans caught up in the Nazi regime, usually) they don't have the same depth and I never really felt I cared for either of them.

 

Similarly, the plot just doesn't grip you. Especially compared to the heart-pounding conclusion to Fatherland, the novel just seems to bumble along, more obsessed with how the rockets flew and what could go wrong with them than the peril faced by the characters. Even when Graf falls into the hands of the SS, I didn't care that much!

 

The writing is fine; the section where Kay wanders through London after narrowly surviving a rocket attack is well done and Harris has written some crackers - the aforementioned Munich and Fatherland spring to mind - but, unfortunately, V2 is not one of them.

 

6/10

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