Monday, October 31, 2011
In the choas of sweeping the city for stragglers, Mark reflects on what has been lost, and what may be to come, and human nature gets painted in some pretty ugly terms, but parts of the novel are lyrical in mourning what will pass, the chain restaurants, the easy commerce, the abundance of America. I think the resurgence of post-apocalyptic fiction is telling, and have written more about that elsewhere, but this is one of the finest examples I have read. Justin Cronin's The Passage was a straight-up Stephen King-ish horror vampire epic, Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story kind of skipped the apocalypse and led us right to moral ruin, but this book showed the steps in between. Wonderfully done.
"earth sandwich" people, just because that takes geography hobbies to a new and particularly strange place, but I just also really loved this book.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Gwyneth Shepard is more than surprised when it turns out that she, rather than her perfectly prepared cousin Charlotte, carries the family time-travel gene. Lots of confusing plot business, and it was translated from German, and seems to have lost a lot on the way, but at the same time, strangely enjoyable.
My main issue was that Gwyneth kept being remarkably, startlingly stupid, and that got really annoying.
This was, for some reason, impossible to put down. I have so many books I should be reading, and yet once I picked this up, I was hooked.
Tess is an Irish girl with dreams of being a fashion designer working as a maid in Cherbourg, who glibs and bluffs her way into a position as a lady's maid on the Titanic, working for Lady Lucile Duff Gordon, a famous New York dressmaker. Lady Gordon becomes fond of Tess, and after the sinking of the boat, offers Tess a chance to work in her couture salon. Tess, however, is torn between rumors she hears from a sailor she met about what really happened on the "millionaires' lifeboat", and torn between two loves. I can't say what it was about this that caught me so strongly, but it was a quick and absorbing read that really surprised me with how much I wanted to be reading it!
With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic coming soon, I think this will be a susccessful book.
Pub date February, 2012.