Sunday, April 20, 2008

Seven Lies by James Lasdun

Friday, January 04, 2008

Numbers Challenge
Every lie must beget seven more lies if it is to resemble the truth and adopt truth's aura. -- Martin Luther
From Booklist
This chilly, psychologically chilling cold war artifact contemplates the ways in which a totalitarian state can constrict one's heart and pollute one's soul. Stefan Vogel's domineering mother, a social climber in officially class-free East Germany, echoes and reinforces the state's implicit messages to its citizens: You are being watched; there is no escape; conform to the prescribed ideology at all costs. Is it any wonder, then, that young Stefan plays along when his mother announces him as a budding poet, subjecting himself to abuse at the hands of the building superintendent in exchange for access to a collection of Western poetry from which he can crib? His deceptions and betrayals--of others, certainly, but mostly of himself--lead Stefan to the America he has secretly yearned to embrace, with the woman he has not-so-secretly coveted. But although one may escape the iron curtain, one never can quite escape oneself. So when a stranger at a Manhattan party throws a glass of wine in his face upon hearing his name, Stefan starts a diary that finally brings his internal corrosion painfully, poignantly to the surface. Frank Sennett
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
I wasn't sure what to say about this book so I copied a review from Amazon.Com. I bought "Seven Lies" because, for some reason, I thought it was a suspenseful thriller and it had good reader reviews. It turned out to be more of a social commentary. Lasdun does create the setting and characters well. Unfortunately, none of the characters were appealing, and I found it all incredibly boring. Thankfully, the book is only 200 pages long, and the ending was quite surprising.
Rating: 1
Posted by Framed at 8:11 PM

Carrie K said...
I don't remember that statement in Luther's Catechism ;)No good at all? It sounds kind of intriguing.
1/04/2008 9:48 PM
Booklogged said...
Interesting quote from Martin Luther. I was reading along thinking this sounded like a 'must read' when I glanced down and saw your rating. Looks like it had a big bark with no bite.
1/04/2008 10:49 PM
Joy said...
So sorry you stumbled upon a dud. Hope your next one is terrific!
1/05/2008 6:24 AM
Joy said...
So sorry you stumbled upon a dud. Hope your next one is terrific!
1/05/2008 6:24 AM
Framed said...
Carrie, The book had a number of good reader reviews and that's why I bought it, but it wasn't for me.

Marley and Me by John Grogan

Thursday, January 03, 2008

In Their Shoes
Book Around the States - Florida
Newlyweds, John and Jenny Grogan, decide to add a dog to their household as they had both loved their dogs when they were children. Into their lives, comes Marley, a purebred labrador retriever who is billed by the author as the worst dog in the world. Honestly, this dog would never had made it one year in my house let alone thirteen. He was a total maniac with 98 pounds of muscle to back him up. Of course, the dog has a heart of gold, is completely loyal, good with the three children who show up at different intervals. This book is a fun read especially if you love dogs. I don't particularly, but I still had a good time reading it and cried at the inevitable conclusion. Journalist, John Grogan, wrote this in a column about his dog:
"Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things--a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty."
Rating: 4
Posted by Framed at 9:29 PM

writer2b said...
Thanks for dropping by my blog. My daughter and I listened to a version of this story, abridged for children, on audiobook... and cried, too. Certain phrases have made it into our family vocabulary, like "the Marley mambo." Good story.Thanks for this review.

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Canadian Book Challenge - British Columbia
Airborn is a very inventive tale that takes place in an imaginery past in which airships (think Hindenburg) rule the skies. The characters dress and act in a manner that reflects the early 1900's. This particular airship, The Aurora, has a remarkable cabin boy, Matt Cruse, who is always in the thick of the action. And this novel has plenty of action. Matt spies a damaged hot-air balloon and helps rescue the dying passenger. A year later, that man's granddaughter boards the airship to find the strange creatures her grandfather wrote about in his journal. The journey includes a run-in with air pirates, the discovery of a non-charted tropical island, and the beautiful but dangerous flying cat-like creatures. It's really a great fantasy with believable and interesting characters. Oppel truly captured the uncertainties and angst of a fifteen-year-old boy along with his passion for flying. Kate de Vries, the intrepid granddaughter, is a curious and courageous young woman who has the very privileged's disdain for rules. She is the cause of much of the trouble which accors on the island but her dealings with her chaperone, Miss Simpkins, are very funny. A great swashbuckler of a tale and wonderful for young adults, Airbord has won several awards and has a sequel, Skybreaker, which I plan to read.
As far as the Canadian Book Challenge goes, this book deals very little with Canada. Matt's home town is Lionsgate City which is actually Vancouver. Kennneth Oppel was born in Vancouver and spent his childhood in Victoria and Halifax. Rating: 4.25

Posted by Framed at 11:39 AM
Nicola said...
I'm really looking forward to reading this. Gad to hear you enjoyed it. I'm currently reading Oppel's book Sunwing (2nd in a series) and enjoying it very much!

1/01/2008 1:34 PM
Booklogged said...
Another one to add to the list. Yippee! Sounds good.