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Posts tagged ‘101 books blog’

Next Up: At Swim Two Birds

Anyone ever heard of this novel? I haven’t, not until I first saw it on the list.

So I’m diving in on this one blind. Wikipedia tells me this novel is about an Irish literature student who doesn’t believe novels should have a beginning or an end, then tells 3 different stories in one book. Sounds very Joyce-esque, right?

Here are a few tidbits about At-Swim Two Birds and its author, Flann O’Brien: Read more

Book #87: The Painted Bird

Almost every novel on the Time list is dark in some way. Some more than others, of course, but they all have that element of darkness.

None of them, though, reach the level of The Painted Bird. This novel, y’all, it’s brutal.

Imagine a 6-year-old Jewish kid, abandoned by his parents, witnessing a gauntlet of tortuous events—a young teenager’s eyeballs gouged out, a man falling into a pit of ravenous rats, a woman brutally raped to the point she dies—and that’s just the beginning. Read more

A Quick Note on the Blog

No, I know my posts are sporadicly sporadic–but much to your chagrin, I’m not quitting.

I am, however, taking a small break ( I know what you’re thinking, Isn’t he already doing that?) Yeah, right.

Anyway, I’m going on vacation so no posting…but I will be reading. I just finished The Painted Bird and am starting At Swim Two Birds by Flann O’Brien. If you’re keeping score at home, that will be book #88.

I’ll be back the week of July 11, and I’ll review my 87th book, The Painted Bird.

Thanks for sticking around lately, guys. I really do intend to clear out the cobwebs in here and get back on a regular 3-day a week schedule.

See you guys the week after next.

The Painted Bird: Memoir or Fiction?

Did you ever hear the one about Jerzy Kosinski passing off The Painted Bird as a memoir?

Yeah, that kind of happened.

Here’s how our always trustworthy friends at Wikipedia put it: Read more

Terrible Things Happen in This Book

Let’s talk about The Painted Bird.

If you read my preview, you’ll remember that our protagonist in this novel is an orphaned six-year-old boy during World War 2.

In the first 60 pages, said child witnesses the following incidents (note: these aren’t essential to the plot so no spoilers here…just illustrating the graphic nature of this book): Read more

Next Up: The Painted Bird

Just when I thought this list of books couldn’t get any more depressing, in steps The Painted Bird. This novel by Jerzy Kasinski is the story of an orphaned, homeless Jewish boy during War World 2. We see the world through the eyes of a horribly mistreated six year old. This one sounds like a great, peppy read for summer.

A few facts about The Painted Bird and its author Jerzy Kasinski: Read more

Book #86: The Heart of the Matter

This book.

I don’t know what I expected coming into The Heart of the Matter. I’ve already read The Power and the Glory, which I currently have ranked 27 out of the 85 novels I’ve read so far, and I knew Graham Greene was an exceptional writer. But I didn’t quite expect to like this novel as much as I did.

The Heart of the Matter is, simply put, a beautiful, elegant novel. No surprise here, since it’s on the Time Magazine list, this is a fairly dark book. Not in a dreary Blood Meridian, Money type of way. But more in somber, sadness. Like, if a novel could outline a person’s road to severe depression, this novel would be it. Or if a dreary rainy day could exist in novel form, it would be The Heart of the Matter. Read more

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