Monday, June 12, 2006

Post-holiday reading

The boy took about half a dozen books with him when we went to Fiji, confident that he'd have plenty of leisure time to fill. I took only two books, Marion Keyes' The Other Side of the Story and Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveller's Wife.

I'd started to become a bit disenchanted with Marion Keyes' books. I still think her early work is her best (Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married and Watermelon are highlights) and haven't been so enthusiastic about the later novels (The Last Chance Saloon was a low point).

But I actually quite enjoyed The Other Side of the Story once I got about halfway through it. Like all her later books, this one lacks the wit of the first ones, but the story was quite good and none of the main characters were particularly irritating.

I'm still ploughing through The Time Traveller's Wife. It certainly is very imaginative, but I'd have to agree with Make Tea Not War about the annoyingness of the two main characters and the ick-factor in a relationship where one of them is middle-aged and the other is a small child, when they meet.

Also, I've got Gregory Maguire's Wicked, which sounded extremely interesting when I first heard about it (The Wizard of Oz, from the point of view of the Witch of the West), and Keither Laidler's The Last Empress.

Wicked isn't grabbing me, although I have to admit I've only read the first two pages so far. It's just something about Maguire's writing style - I had a similar problem with his Confessions of An Ugly Stepsister (a re-write of Cinderella, in the same vein).

I'm actually having more fun with The Last Empress, despite it's dubious educational value. Maybe it's the detailed descriptions of how eunuchs were made (chop chop!).


Ms Mac said...

I loved The Last Chance Saloon so that can only mean that Marian Keyes would get better for me- Hurrah!

Beth said...

Hi Violet
I love Marian Keyes too. A lot of her books have been dramatised over here and make great escapism! WE also have a "book club" on TV here and the Time TRaveller's Wife was in the top ten this year, so maybe stick with that one as it should get better. I struggle to find time to read for pleasure these days (other than blogs!) - I only seem to read parenting books and books on teaching (to desperately try to get back into a work ethic!)

flying kiwi said...

I found Wicked quite tedious. It was too clever. I only finished it because it was a book club read, but then hardly anybody else bothered.

Nigel Patel said...

Last night I saw Wicked the musical. Bases loosly on the book which I have been on page 59 of for over a year.
Tickets were $80 a piece and almost worth that much. Like The Wizard of Oz it did have a touch of Vaudeville to it.

Make Tea Not War said...

The premise of Wicked sounds fascinating. I quite enjoyed the other side of the story. I do wonder whether Marian Keyes gets payed by Clinique for product placement given all the times she mentions them in her books

Wicked said...

My favouritest Marian Keyes was Rachel's Holiday - hilarious. I've just finished reading Is Anybody Out There?, which was okay... Helen Walsh is SUCH a biatch - I love her!
And for Make Tea Not War - don't forget all the referrals to the beauty mags she made in Anybody... jeezaz!

Violet said...

ms mac: I should think so!

beth: I was wondering about why I hadn't heard about any dramatisations of Keye's books. If they can do it with Maeve Binchy then they can certainly do it with Marian Keyes. I was once addicted to parenting books too, but the dearth of them at my local library has helped wean me off them.

flying kiwi: Oh good, so it isn't just me then.

nigel: I heard great things about the musical. I guess it's one of those books which will be better in a different format (like LoTR).

mtnw and wicked: well this idea is talked about a great deal in The Other Side of the Story, so perhaps this book is more realistic than I thought!

happy and blue 2 said...

I hope you aren't reading these books to your daughter. And if you are it's probably why she has had so much trouble with falling asleep,tee,hee..

Violet said...

happy and blue 2: nope, but you just gave me an idea for my next blog post!