Read - Book Reviews - Autumn
The Goldfinch follows the journey of a young boy as he deals with the loss of his mother in an explosion in a New York art gallery, and traces his turbulent path into adult life. Living with his alcoholic father in Las Vegas and meeting Russian friend Boris (a companion in debauchery), working as an antiques dealer and eventually finding himself out of his depth in the criminal underworld or art. If you want a good book to really get your teeth into, we couldn’t recommend this one more.
The 1941 novel by English playwright and novelist Patrick Hamilton is a classic. George Harvey Bone is lonely, depressed and a borderline alcoholic, who occasionally suffers from mental blackouts or ‘dumb moments’ as his rather unpleasant group of so called friends call them. One of these friends, wannabe actress and social-climber, Netta, poor George is obsessed with. This obsession drives him to the point of madness as he spirals out of control. A classic novel of the twentieth century.
THE HEART GOES LAST
Atwood, once again, describes a world in the future, that is as horrifying as it is feasible. She has covered this topic before, but her inventiveness, wit and originality means her books are always a treat to read. Stan and Charmaine live out of their car in a state of fear. After the recession destroys their careers, they become desperate and sign up to Consilience - a ‘social experiment’ which provides the normal kind of life they are so desperate for. Of course it was too good to be true and after a while they become entangled in the corruption and dangerous mind games. A fun and easy read.
A LITTLE LIFE
Don’t be afraid by the size of this book, but be wary of what’s inside! A novel about 4 young men who meet at university and become a tight-knit group of friends. The story begins with alternating chapters focusing on each character, introducing their backgrounds, ambitions and outlooks: JB - an aspiring artist with a chip on his shoulder, Malcolm - an architect from a wealthy background desperate to make his father proud, Willem – a handsome actor/waiter and Jude – a lawyer and introvert with a deeply hidden horrific past, following them to New York where they strive to find their place in the world and within themselves. The writer draws you in to each character and the group so entirely that it’s quite a shock when 2 recede in to the background and the story focuses on the main protagonist – Jude, and slowly unveils the brutal childhood he has survived. Although this is at times rather gruelling to read, (I had to put it down a few times to compose myself), it is ultimately a life-affirming, compelling and beautiful story of life, love, loss and suffering and above all friendship