Beauty is a Wound was September’s Babbling Book Club selection; drawn in completely by the cover, I decided to read along.
The epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony. The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead. Kurniawan’s gleefully grotesque hyperbole functions as a scathing critique of his young nation’s troubled past: the rapacious offhand greed of colonialism; the chaotic struggle for independence; the 1965 mass murders of perhaps a million “Communists,” followed by three decades of Suharto’s despotic rule.
Beauty Is a Wound astonishes from its opening line: “One afternoon on a weekend in May, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty-one years…” Drawing on local sources—folk tales and the all-night shadow puppet plays, with their bawdy wit and epic scope—and inspired by Melville and Gogol, Kurniawan’s distinctive voice brings something luscious yet astringent to contemporary literature. Continue reading “Book Review: Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan”
I very rarely pre-order books, in fact, I have only pre-ordered two this year – The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye was one of them, that should give you an indication of my excitement for this book. Oh, and look at that beautiful cover!
Lisbeth Salander is an unstoppable force: Sentenced to two months in Flodberga women’s prison for saving a young boy’s life by any means necessary, Salander refuses to say anything in her own defence. She has more important things on her mind.
Mikael Blomkvist makes the long trip to visit every week – and receives a lead to follow for his pains. For him, it looks to be an important expose for Millennium. For her, it could unlock the facts of her childhood.
Even from a corrupt prison system run largely by the inmates, Salander will stand up for what she believes in, whatever the cost. And she will seek the truth that is somehow connected with her childhood memory, of a woman with a blazing birthmark on her neck – that looked as if it had been burned by a dragon’s fire . . .
The tension, power and unstoppable force of The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye are inspired by Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, as Salander and Blomkvist continue the fight for justice that has thrilled millions of readers across the world.
Translated from the Swedish by George Goulding Continue reading “Book Review: The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz (Millennium #5)”
Confessions is Criminally Good Book Club’s August selection and wow…. just wow – I loved this book! I can see how it easily became a #1 international bestseller.
From the back cover:
When Yuko Moriguchi’s four-year-old daughter died at the middle school where she teaches, everyone thought it was a tragic accident.
Now it’s the last day of term, and Yuko’s last day at work. She tells her students that she has resigned because of what happened – but not for the reasons they think.
Her daughter didn’t die in an accident. Her daughter was killed by two pupils in the class. And before she leaves, she has a lesson to teach…
But revenge has a way of spinning out of control, and Yuko’s last lecture is only the start of the story.
In this bestselling Japanese thriller of love, despair and murder, everyone has a confession to make, and no one will escape unharmed. Continue reading “Book Review: Confessions by Kanae Minato”
Blood Wedding was the first book I read by Lemaitre and I absolutely loved it – I gave it all the stars on Goodreads! So, you can imagine my excitement when I saw he was releasing a new book. Three Days and a Life publishes in hardback on 13th July.
Antoine is twelve years old. His parents are divorced and he lives with his mother in Beauval, a small, backwater town surrounded by forests, where everyone knows everyone’s business, and nothing much ever happens. But in the last days of 1999, a series of events unfolds, culminating in the shocking vanishing without trace of a young child. The adults of the town are at a loss to explain the disappearance, but for Antoine, it all begins with the violent death of his neighbour’s dog. From that one brutal act, his fate and the fate of his neighbour’s six year old son are bound forever.
In the years following Rémi’s disappearance, Antoine wrestles with the role his actions played. As a seemingly inescapable net begins to tighten, breaking free from the suffocating environs of Beauval becomes a gnawing obsession. But how far does he have to run, and how long will it take before his past catches up with him again? Continue reading “Book Review: Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre”
Two reviews for the price of one! While Bleeding Heart missed the mark for me, I think I missed the mark for Fever Dream, I don’t know what the mark was or what the mark was suppose to be but it was all rather strange…
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
From the inside cover:
A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child.
The two seem anxious and, at David’s ever more insistent prompting, Amanda recounts a series of events from the apparently recent past. As David pushes her to recall whatever trauma has landed her in her terminal state, he unwittingly opens a chest of horrors, and suddenly the terrifying nature of their reality is brought into shocking focus.
One of the freshest new voices to come out of the Spanish language, Samanta Schweblin creates an aura of strange and deeply unsettling psychological menace in this cautionary tale of maternal love, broken souls and the power and desperation of family. Continue reading “Mini Review x 2: Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin // Bleeding Heart by Lauren Bishop”