Monday, October 14, 2013

A Few Quick Reads

The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin – Mary mother of Christ comes to life in this 100 page novella, delineating the story and attitude of a peasant woman whose son has been killed horrifically, who now endures the machinations and hubris of his followers. They need her cooperation in order to make him into a cult figure, but Mary’s impotence, rage and attitude towards the myth making mechanism sets her apart as a special person, and sets the book apart. Toibin succeeds in recreating a different time, but I do not know if the book is very interesting or if Mary is likeable. A quick read, not difficult. Similar in size and structure and vibe to Naguib Mahfouz’s Akhenaten.Click here for my Akhenaten review. It does not compare too well with the story of Pontius Pilate by Mikhail Bulgakov, extracted from ‘The Master and Margarita.’ I loved Bulgakov's Jesus. That is my favorite Jesus story. And Brooklyn, the luminous story of an Irishwoman who moves to New York City remains my favorite Toibin.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn- I would rate this the best of the three Flynns I have read. A young woman faces up to her gory past and discovers that the truth can be very messy. Dollops of a certain sort of Americana. Keeps you turning the pages and delivers up on the
suspense in a sensible way. Hope they make this into a movie. Oh they are making it into one? Yay- although I would have preferred someone shorter for Libby Day than Charlize Theron- here she is looking tense on the sets of the movie- Theron as we know lived through the aftermath of her mother killing her father in self defense and must identify with Libby Day's character. 

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn- At a pinch go for the thrills. This book will keep you on edge but if you thought Gone Girl goes to pieces in the end, this one shatters into smithereens. Too much random psycho nonsense, but a movie adaptation would work. And if you want a riveting read…

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