Well I’m posting an update on my reading challenge as I’ve hit a milestone! I’ve completed half of my yearly target, ahead of schedule, which has surprised me as thought I’d struggle this year…but have read some books within a day or two this time round, I’m finding my reading habits are changing, developing or even evolving. I’m becoming a proper reader 😉 or more sad? 😦
So, what have I read since my last blog. Well I’ve read a new, soon to be released book and an old American classic.
Book #24 – No Good Deed by John Niven
This is a modern day, real, hard hitting and gritty book that I’m sure will reflect aspects of your life as it has mine. It has you questioning friendships and how we really do feel about ourselves and our friends. When success and failure get involved, how do we really feel about one another. I myself have an old work friend who, financially etc., is doing a lot better then me with his big house, fancy cars and clothes etc. and I’ve found with reflection that I now avoid him.
The book follows a middle aged man, Alan, as he finds an old friend down on his luck and begging in the streets of London. Alan is doing quite well for himself, middle or upper class, money, well to do wife, big house etc. and he stumbles across his once successful old friend Craig. Who he envied and was in the shadow of when growing up, now it appears all that has changed.
This is a, sadly, short book about there reunion and how things ensue. I did enjoy this book, the author has done a good job here and clearly his writing displays his experiences and thoughts living in London and the way money, success, failure and jealousy effect and change us all. Definitely echoes of trainspotting here, and I mean that as a good thing! Why the dropped stars? For me the book is too short, also found the ending a little confusing, and had me go back to re-read it in case I missed something.
Anyway, will look for more work from this author, a genre I don’t read a lot of, but will be now. Three stars out of five ‘It’s ok’.
Book #25 – The Star Rover by Jack London
The author Jack London I understand to be a classical American author from the late 19th century, who has previously written other famous fiction books that I am sorry to say in my ignorance have not heard of our come across before. Am I right in believing his work wasn’t released or available over here in the UK? Or did I make that up? Anyway here we have, I also believe, to be his last book and one of his darker ones.
The story is about an unfortunate prison inmate, Standing, who is wrongly accused of a part in a failed prison break and the hiding of some make believe dynamite. He is then subjugated to lots of terrible punishment, beatings and torture at the hands of the prison guards as they continue to break him for information he doesn’t have. The writing here and the beginning of the book did have me gripped and feeling quite sorry for our poor Standing. At this point I was racing through the book. Then the story continues into, hence the title, our character Standing starting to traverse time during his period in solitary confinement and torture and he subsequently revisits previous lives, leading to some varied and often humorous encounters.
I did sadly find, during this part of the story and after the initial enjoyment of the book, or the uniqueness of the story that my interest and my attention did waver, and I wonder now if the writing style or lack of pace hindered me. Made connecting difficult. The author did labour or repeat points quite a bit and I found that it was like walking/reading in treacle at times.
So considering how long ago this was written, the originality and story was good. Better then I expected I will be honest. Another three stars out of five!
Right then, what next! I’ve got a lovely pile of books waiting since by recent visit to a bookshop! This is the best bit, choosing what next!