Thursday, May 18, 2006

 

Book Reviews

"The Cider House Rules" John Irving

Homer Wells is an orphan from St Clouds. He is the oldest orphan there due after three failed attempts at adoption. Homer sees himself as belonging to St Clouds and so begins to learn from Wilbur Larch. He learns to take care of the pregnant women who come to St Clouds and to take care of the orphans. Wilbur Larch hopes that Homer will take over his duties as soon as he is ready. However, Homer leaves St Clouds for another small town where he falls in love with a new life and his best friends girl. He has no intention of returning despite the desperate need the orphanage has for him.

This is the third book I have read by John Irving. I have been wanting to read this ever since I watched a program on the author. It seemed one of the most interesting. However, I found myself to be very disappointed. The characters were no where near as likeable as in Owen Meany and Garp. In fact I found them to be a little dull. Despite this there are still sections of the book which stick in my mind and so it was well worth reading. It certainly hasn't put me off reading other books by this author.


"Magic's Price" Mercedes Lackey

This is that last book in the "last Herald Mage" series. This one sees Vanyel falling in love again and reluctantly. He now has someone else that the enemies of Valdemar can use against him. The only hope Valdemar has is if Vanyel directly challenges the evil which threatens the land. However, if he does it could mean his end and if he fails it would certainly mean the end of everything he loves.

Like the last two in the series it is an easy but enjoyable read. I flew through the book and enjoyed it as pure escapism. Definitely one for people who enjoy fantasy and want something light. I will be looking out more of the authors books based in Valdemar at some point.



"Evil Star" Anthony Horowitz

This is book two in Horowitz's "Power of Five" series. Matt is trying to pull his life back together after the events of the first book and it isn't working. He doesn't fit in to his new posh school and feels strange having Richard look after him. Then Nexus get in touch with him. They suspect that a second gate is going to be opened in Peru. As Matt is the only one of the five to be found it is up to him to go and try to stop it. However, there appears to be a leak within Nexus as the enemy seems to know Matt's every move.

I love Horowitz writing. He knows how to create suspense and has the ability to leave people wanting more. This is certainly true with this book. I found difficult to put the book down and then at the end I found myself feeling impatient that that the next book wasn't available yet. It is a kids book but I highly recommend it. Anthony Horowitz's website is here.

"The Land Of Laughs" Jonathan Carroll

Thomas abbey is the son of a famous actor. He hates the notoriety this brings and so hides away from it through teaching English. His one escape is reading the books of children's author Marshall France. It has always been on his mind that he should write the biography of the beloved author and so he quits his job and heads our to France's home town with girlfriend Saxony. Once there he has to convince France's daughter, Anna, that he can so the biography justice. Strange things begin to happen and they discover that there is more to this little town and that Marshall France and his books are somehow behind it all.

This is another book that I found difficult to put down. It is fantasy but a very different kind of fantasy than I normally read. It is set in present day but fiction seems to become reality. This is definitely something to read if you want to try something a little bit different.

Comments:
Hi Karen,
Can't remember if I recommended this author to you before or not. I've discovered Jasper Fforde and his incredible books. The first called "the Eyre Affair". Witty, weird, wonderful!!! For anyone who loves books, sci-fi, alternate history, and groan out loud humour.
Vanyl my most favourite of Mercedes Lackey's characters. Did you see the movie made of the Cider House Rules??? Cheers Judy
 
The Cider House Rules was great for me, and so was the movie they made, but I think the one I really preferred by John Irving (I've read all of them except for "setting free the bears"), is "Hotel New Hampshire". Well, together with "A prayer for Owen Meany", and also the last two. Well, I'm a true fan of his books, but I have never read more than one in a row as they are quite consistent, and it takes time to digest them. They follow me through my life...
Generally speaking, the movies don't do them any justice though...
Oh! One of the things that really amuses me is Irving's shameless ability at "killing" some of his characters when they no longer serve the history.
I could spend hours discussing his books...
But it's sunday night and I'm being expected for a home cinema movie... hoping that this will make us forget that tomorrow is monday! lol!
Take care, Karen!
 
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