Hello everyone. I know I haven't been posting very much. School work has been keeping me extremely busy, and with all the reading and paper-writing I have to do for class, I find myself without time to write reviews. But have no fear, dear readers! I have been reading during my hiatus, and I have lots of reviews in the works that you can look forward to. Here are a few short reviews to get you started.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
You all know of my deep and abiding love for Toni Morrison. Having read and loved both Paradise and Beloved, I decided it was time to try The Bluest Eye. This was her first novel, and it definitely shows. Morrison herself has said that she wasn't quite a mature enough writer to pull off this novel when she wrote it, and I have to agree with her. It isn't bad by any means, and it definitely shows her characteristic qualities of moral complexity and stark honesty, but it lacks that mature subtlety that makes her more recent novels shine. I wouldn't make this your first Toni Morrison novel, but if you already love her as much as I do, then there isn't any reason why you shouldn't pick this one up, if only for curiosity's sake.
Rating: 3 stars
Stoner by John Williams
I read this book for my Contemporary Novel class, and I really enjoyed it. It is a quiet novel, telling the story of an English professor, detailing his work, his marriage, and his hidden inner life. While it could be argued that not much happens in the book, it still stays interesting and readable throughout. This is a book driven by character, and shows that even someone who seems uninteresting and passive on the surface can have a vivid and complex inner life and a story to tell. This book made me care about and identify with the characters in a strong and visceral way that both surprised and pleased me. While it certainly has its flaws, and while it might not be the most memorable book I've ever read, I would still recommend Stoner to anyone with a love of reading.
Rating: 4 stars
In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
The tale immigrant workers in Canada, laced with a strange mix of real events and magical realism, this book has an almost hallucinatory quality at times. Told mostly from the point of view of a distant main character, with bits and pieces from other characters whose relationships are gradually revealed, this book sometimes bypasses emotional impact for clarity of theme and poetic language. The language is at times painfully beautiful, but it is also very self-conscious and obvious, in a way that sometimes bothered me. If you like lyrical and poetic novels, then this might just be the book for you. If self-conscious and occasionally purple prose is a pet peeve of yours, I suggest you stay away from this one.
Rating: 3 stars