Sunday, January 29, 2012

Critic's Corner

Books I've recently read:

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer: This is a terrific book, recommended to me by my good friend Anderson Cooper.

Well, so actually I heard AC singing the praises of this book when he was co-hosting Live with Kelly a few weeks ago, but in my head he and I are good friends. 'Kay? So naturally I dashed off to the Kindle Store and downloaded a copy, using the Amazon Gift Card my good friend Sonya gave me for Christmas. Yay!

This is a terrific book, and I can't wait for the movie (that'll be Netlix for $1000, Alex - we can't afford to go to the theater anymore!). However, this book was incredible difficult for me to read, because the Point of View (POV) keeps switching from the protagonist to other characters, some of whom even have the same name (Thomas) which is doubly confusing, as you try to grasp any straw to get a foothold in the context, and while the POV is switching between characters, all the text is delivered in the same frantic, frenetic style of the pre-adolescent protagonist. I was constantly having to reread pages to figure out which character was speaking, and ultimately realized I would be better served to just finish as best I could, and once it was all sorted out, I would re-read the entire book, knowing who everyone is. But it is definitely one for the Must Read list!

Lucy, by Laurence Gonzales: I am glad this was a digital library loan, and that I didn't fork up any money for it. This book has a terrific premise (from Amazon: "Primatologist Jenny Lowe is studying bonobo chimpanzees deep in the Congo when she is caught in a deadly civil war that leaves a fellow researcher dead and his daughter, Lucy, orphaned. Realizing that the child has no living relatives, Jenny begins to care for Lucy as her own. But as she reads the late scientist’s notebooks, she discovers that Lucy is the result of a shocking experiment, and that the adorable, magical, wonderful girl she has come to love is an entirely new hybrid species—half human, half bonobo.") Very appealing to the science geek inside me. But the execution is awful, written to appeal to pre-teens, in my opinion. I found it juvenile, and yes, I still read it all the way to the end. So it wasn't so horrible that I quit, as I wanted to see how the author resolved the ethical quandaries he had developed, but even that was disappointing.

And a movie recommendation for you: I just watched Dolphin Tale on Netflix - what a delightful, fun film. I highly recommend it!

No comments: