Saturday, April 2, 2016

Twain and Stanley Enter Paradise by Oscar Hijuelos

At first the book starts kind of slow, hard to follow the story line, but you keep on reading because of Hijuelos great prose and grasp of character development. Then you get hooked on the relationship between Twain and Stanley, which is what the story is about. Not really a biography but a study on these two men who eventually fall for the same woman. Victorian mores what they are they take their time in revealing their feelings. But what really got me was the underlying secret that is revealed at the end. I researched the men's stories and it is true. Even though Hijuelos story is fiction it is based on fact. It is a darn shame that Oscar has passed and we will not get that blockbuster novel that he was capable of writing. In this work he shows his skill and credentials that will someday make him a candidate for the Novel prize in Literature.

Tinkers by Paul Harding a Pulitzer Bust

Pulitzer prize winning books should be a cut above, they should appeal to a broader audience than the critics and eggheads, and they should be entertaining and well written. Tinkers only covers one, it is well written with meticulous detail and craft. But as a story it lacks the interest that I feel a prize winner should have. Books like The Road by McCarthy and To Kill a Mockingbird, and In Cold Blood; these are well written books with a great story.
How much detail do we need about the workings of a clock and its metaphoric link with the Universe? You want to read a great story about a dying man, read The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Tolstoy he addresses this topic in less than a hundred pages with style and a story line. Sorry but I could not award this albeit well written book the Pulitzer.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel

The High Mountains of PortugalThe High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a fan of Yann Martel's Life of Pi I eagerly read his latest, I was not disappointed. I love his style of writing. I think he is as clever in using metaphors and imagery as Garcia-Marquez. Yann is at his best in this intriguing story about spirituality and loss. It is actually three stories in one. All tied up very neatly or perhaps not so neatly in the last and most memorable one. I actually cried at the end of this book I was so moved. I haven't done that since The Bridges of Madison County got me many years ago. But then I cry at movies. And I am not ashamed to say it. I wish I could write like that, and hey I can, several of my readers told me they cried at the end of Waypoint 90. And they all said they felt it was a very real story of Love and redemption. Anyhow back to Yann. I don't want to give you any spoilers but suffice it to say that I felt like I was on that search for spirituality after a devastating loss in my life. And what I found I am happy to say, is the same conclusion that Yann came to, we all need someone to love and to love us back. We need to believe in an afterlife and in a connection with our fellow man. Kudos to Yann Martel for making me feel wonderful and loved.

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