Sunday, 11 October 2009

What I've been reading

Image of the book cover
The Flight of the Falcon
by Daphne du Maurier

"As a young guide for Sunshine Tours, Armino Fabbio leads a pleasant, if humdrum life, until he becomes involved in the murder of an old peasant woman in Rome. The woman, he gradually comes to realise, was his family's beloved servant many years ago, in his native town of Ruffano. He returns to his birthplace, and once there, finds it is haunted by the phantom of his brother, Aldo, shot down in flames in '43."
This is by no means the best work of Daphne du Maurier - her famous works like Rebecca and Frenchman's Creek are a great deal better. But it is still quite a good read, set in Italy in a town apparently recognisable as Urbino, and with an interesting twist revealed towards the end.

Image of the book cover
The Ladies of Grace Adieu
by Susanna Clarke

narrated by Simon Prebble and Davina Porter

"An enchanting collection brimming with all the ingredients of good fairy tales: petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time by embroidering terrible fates; endless paths in the deep, dark woods; and houses that never appear the same way twice."
This is just as good as the previous one by Susanna Clarke, and in the same style. In a way it's more accessible because of the short story format, but without my long journeys to university, I haven't been listening to audio books, just podcasts. So it took me all summer to read this in little chunks with big gaps, and the stories lost a bit of their coherence because of that. I'd definitely read it again, though.

Image of the book cover
The God of Small Things
by Arundhati Roy

narrated by Carole Boyd

"Set in Kerala, India, during the late 1960s when Communism rattled the age-old caste system, the story begins with the funeral of young Sophie Mol, the cousin of the novel's protagonists, Rahel and her fraternal twin brother, Estha. Beneath the drama of a family tragedy lies a background of local politics, social taboos and the tide of history, all of which come together in a slip of fate, after which a family is irreparably shattered."
An atmospheric, poetically written book, which skips about in time but never left me confused as to what period we were in. I first listened to this book a long time ago, but never forgot the impression it left - musky and evocative of India.

No comments: