Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Gone, Jonathan Kellerman


Chilling denouement but lousy build-up with loads of fumbling thoughts and weak interplay of ideas leading up to the investigative revelation. Suffice to say, I would never again look into this author's workmanship from now on. The prologue and the beginning puts him in the league of James Patterson, and that is to say, loads of great and fascinating ideas, but when it comes to the continuance of play and plot, he'd find it a challenging task. The way Kellerman puts things - and that is by way of saying, haphazard orientation and organisation, it would make a kid detective in his prime a more intelligent variant compared to these two idiotic protagonist and narrator.

I'm sorry if his fans could support this pity state of a book. The intro of being the number one NYT bestselling author ought to be given another relook just so that readers don't get cheated for their hard-earned money. If you haven't already know, anyone can write nowadays. It takes talent and experience to varnish the inlay of the book with thrilling details and heart-gripping plots.

And I doubt I would be giving anything away by revealing to you that the murderer in this story is Brad Dowd. The narrative leaves no doubt that he's the only one capable of such brutal task, which makes things outwardly predictable. There's no anticipatory crap here given the circumstance of things and oh yeah, he's into taxidermy from young. He loves knives and has a huge collection of them in his childhood house. He is associated with missing pets during his growing up years. Knives, pets, taxidermy - get the association? Aside from the psychopathic inclination, he also has a grand touch of narcissism. And as he grows up, he puts off the fancies he gets from animal taxidermy and progress towards human taxidermy. Only difference being his victims were prematurely terminated by him and his cousin accomplice - the Peaty guy.

So there you have it...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Star of the North, Anna Jacobs


Simple yet profound. Superficial in terms of content yet the message was terse enough to be delivered. Story that revolves around a Marjorie Preston (the third child, and second daughter of the Preston family) who is young and wayward, keening on the adventures of being on stage, performing, singing and dancing.

Spelled out in the mid 19th century Britain where customs are severely old and strictly coded in conduct, Marjorie proves that she’s one odd character to be noticed. Yet, as determined and hard-headed as she is, she possesses a naiveté wisdom when it comes to the ways of the world. Tricked into being an assistant first and then a new bride days later to a charming and rising star performer Denby Sinclair, she soon finds herself maturing into an adult lady faster than she could even mention the word 'performance’.

Despite a lack in prowess in her prose, Anna Jacobs manages to delve into several discussions that relates instinctively and primarily to women. Issues spun into the novel includes motherhood, pregnancy, childbirth, nursing (medical) and nursing (governess/wet-nurse), infidelity, pre-marital sex, rape and the in-depth striking issues on marriage alone which is mentioned so often that it brinks on the proportion of becoming stale.

Two contrasting male persona were given due consideration - one who is truly in love and genuinely cares for his beloved while the other; the abuser and the evil opportune of varying circumstances. Entwined beneath all of these, is an even more harsh and crude character who awaits and abides his time before lashing out his vengeance (see Athol Stott). The latter provides for a keen ending; though despite the notion that is placed in this novel wasn’t something new, I remain satisfied with the fascinating completion that drew everything to a wonderful close.

One that troubles me and constantly bogs my mind as I thumbed the well-worn library book is how distinct the past is compared to the modern world. And this in regards to the female gender especially as to how they are treated as an inferior and had to serve their husband unquestioningly. It doesn't have to matter whether the husband is the one whom she loves or not, they were growing up in a time where their wants, needs and desires were unimportant. Doesn't beg to question the lingering fact as to how these soon take a rapid turn as folks took on the change of the century. For those who aren't inclined to the notion of gender equality, just take your eyes into these sort of books and you'd know what I mean. Even Amy Tan and Khaled Hosseini elucidates these points clear enough in their international bestselling novels.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Under Your Spell, Marcia King-Gamble


I made myself a solemn promise not to select any erotica novels right after the 50 Shades trilogy but made the horrible mistake of picking this book up at random in the local library. Books such as these might appeal to fairly younger individuals seeking for the carnal pleasures that inhabit their fragile minds constantly.

What is sensual to them proves to be a horrid agony for me as I fight to complete this novel in record time. I didn’t find any satisfaction from those derivatives and that could be attributed to the lonesome life that I am leading. So unless you’re a sex animal springing around sniffing for whatever that fill your carnal desires, I’d suggest that you’d be better off reading something else.

Broaden your literature horizons and don’t be a fool like me in selecting this title for its’ synopsis promising an enthralling thriller. There’s nothing to save the delight of the prose either. The characters were outright immature, vapid and overtly mercurial; all in the ingredients of making 50 Shades look like a Orange Booker Prize Winner where in reality both of these books ought to belong to the darkest crannies reserved for books unworthy of publishing. And if you feel that the characters are downright bland, wait till you come onto the plot which any fool could have unravel less than a third into the book.

The Kitchen God's Wife, Amy Tan


Didn't realize I could finish this novel within a day's time. Could be the fact that it was a good read to start off with OR it could also be due to the fact that I had nothing else to do on a nice Saturday morning. Then again, I have to admit that Amy Tan has always captivated me in her simple prose and comprehension.

I've read quite a few of her other works - the Joy Luck Club, the Valley of Amazement and the Bonesetter's Daughter and despite knowing the usual transcripts involving mother-daughter relationships, it never gets stale when she is the one behind the words, phrases and sentences. She has the knack in painting a masterpiece with a clean sense of humour that gives you pleasure in reading her works. One that rejuvenates and reinvigorates the soul - thus making one whole in comprehending how reality is back during the Great 2nd World War and the times back then compared to the times at present. She doesn't elaborate much on these comparisons but her vivid accounts are sufficient to grant you a picture of how things were like back then.

With Amy Tan, you sort of blend in with the pages, transported to a world back then in China in the years preceding the war and experience the pain alongside the regrets and guilts her character is subjected to experience. The latter were more profound than you could have hoped for, putting you in a position of anticipation as she continues to pile her characters with all the sufferings possible when times and place were so distinct back in the past.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The White Russian, Tom Bradby


This book was a waste to me. I suppose one has to have a basic and sound knowledge towards Russian history prior to accommodating himself to comprehend the extent of the description painted here. Much of the details propagated here weren’t elaborated for those naive enough to know what really happened during the period when the Tsar ruled over the vast extent of the Russian kingdom. And this is large enough to form a background that oils the gear into its mechanical workings. I have to confess however that the character development of the protagonist alongside his growing up history was explored to an elaborate manner that one should feel amazed that such huge effort was stuffed into making this novel a brilliant masterpiece. His psychological component coupled with his grim physical determination as a chief investigator was profound and marvellously enmeshed in just one single volume.

Though the plot is solid enough to bring about a fascinating tale that keeps you wondering, I am afraid much of the readings that I did on this book, rapid as it is, was a humongous lost as I couldn’t really comprehend the blend that it amalgamates with the foreground of the Russian revolution in its very infancy. And there I was resiled to the very basic inclination of cherry-picking the main progression of the plot, seeking out the cold-blooded murder of two strangers which spread out to involve a quartet - each of them having a bound connection that hinges on revolt, fear and betrayal. And that itself had me wandering in a maze of an ancient city looking out for clues but stumbling oh-so frequently nevertheless.

The ending wasn’t really much of a breathtaking revelation as I failed to grapple with the secondary plots though it is sufficient enough for me to understand who killed who and for what basic purpose. Although... I wouldn't be wrong to point out the fact that for those who comprehends more by delving into the abject details of the story, they would experience a far more reaching effect compared to me. Read this only if you have an interest into Russian history and not for the mystery-thriller that it promises to regale; for knowing one without the former is like chartering a sea without a compass.