Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Well, here it is at last - the end of a series that my family and I have been enjoying for many years. And though I have a few quibbles about this novel, for the most part I found it to be a satisfying read in and of itself as well as a very nice ending to the story of Harry Potter. I thought Rowling tied up all the story threads nicely, and when I finished reading I felt happy and satisfied, which is a tribute to her abilities as a fabulous storyteller. I hope that she will continue writing.

I dislike spoilers, so I won't say anything else, but if you want to discuss the book with me click on the comments. :-)

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith

This was a completely satisfying novel that was well worth waiting for. It felt more thought-out than some of the more recent installments in the "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series. Several overlapping investigations take place in the agency, and Mma Ramotswe allows a couple of helpers to do some independent detective work. There is also some very sweet character development here; even Charlie, the feckless apprentice at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, is given a chance for some "growth experiences".

Overall a highly enjoyable read!

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Nighttime by Mark Haddon

Christopher Boone is a fifteen-year old autistic boy living in Swindon, England. A teacher at his school has encouraged him to write a novel, so he's decided to write about his investigation of the murder of his neighbour's dog.

Christopher's voice is unique because of what makes him unique. His writing meanders off topic frequently in a way that must be totally logical to him, but comes across as bizarre and funny to the neurotypical reader. What I loved about Christopher is that Haddon manages to make him so real, and so touchingly funny, without even a hint of condescension. He's just about the worst detective you can possibly imagine - completely lacking in social skills, including tact, brutally honest because he's incapable of being any other way. Yet somehow he manages to make a really important and huge discovery and experience personal growth. Through Christopher's eyes, we can get right under the skin of a kind of person who's normally shut off from the rest of the "normal" world and find out what it really feels like to see the world through the lens of autism.

If you're an avid reader, you've probably heard about this book. It really is as great as people say it is.