Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two interesting and much praised books this month.

According to one reviewer 'the novel is extremely short. It would be possible to polish it off in an afternoon, but reading it that quickly one would fail to take in the complex beauty of Coetzee’s prose.

Within a paragraph Coetzee evokes the emotion and imagery that could easily fill pages by a less succinct writer, but again, the flow is still flawless and it never feels like you’re being forced into appreciating the story.

It takes place on a border hamlet of a vast militaristic and nameless Empire. The

main character is a figure of authority in that little town. The chief fear of the Empire is that the natives who are referred to by all the imperial citizens as “barbarians” are trying to push the Empire out of their lands leading the Empire to launch a preemptive strike, and from that initial fear stem all of the conflicts and relationships found within the novel.

I encourage you to read the novel and analyze it for yourself. 'Waiting for the Barbarians ' is one of the finest pieces of literature I have ever read. I recommend it to anyone.'

According to the blurb on the back of the book, Peter Carey's 'Parrot and Olivier in America' is a 'dazzlingly inventive and endlessly entertaining novel about freedom, art, friendship and the birth of modern America.

Olivier is a French aristocrat, the traumatised child of survivors of the revolution. Parrot, the son of an itinerant English printer, wanted to be an artist but has ended up as a servant.

When the young Olivier sets sail for the New World - ostensibly to study its prisons, but in reality to avoid yet another revolution - Parrot is sent with him, as spy, protector, foe and foil.

According to Jennifer Byrne, 'once this novel grabs you, it holds you. Heart as well as brain.'

Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

An Australian and American classic this month.

The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel written by Ernest Hemingway on the experiences of the generation that came of age during World War I, later known as the Lost Generation.
The basis for the novel was Hemingway's 1925 trip to Spain. The story centers around a group of American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to the Festival of Fermín in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights. The setting was unique and memorable, presenting the seedy café life of Paris, and the Pamplona festival, with a middle section devoted to fishing in the Pyrenees.
The main theme is the notion that the lost genera
tion, decadent and dissolute, was irretrievably damaged by the war. Additionally, Hemingway investigates the themes of love, death, renewal in nature, and the nature of masculinity.

'Born in 1894, Facey lived the rough frontier life of a sheep farmer, survived the gore of Gallipoli, raised a family through the Depression and spent sixty years with his beloved wife, Evelyn. Despite enduring hardships we can barely imagine today, Facey always saw his life as a 'fortunate' one.
A true classic of Australian literature, his simply written autobiography is an inspiration. It is the story of a life lived to the full - the extraordinary journey of an ordinary man.'

Happy reading!