The OF Blog: The next two weeks of reviews

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The next two weeks of reviews

After I write my review of Saul Bellow's More Die of Heartbreak sometime Sunday, I'm going to be reading and reviewing the following books over the course of the next two weeks or so.  This perhaps will be the third and final installment in this review plan, as it would end up consuming four weeks at 32 total books in those 28 reviews.  Then again, I'm enjoying this, so if I have time, I might continue to do this for a few more weeks, or until the supply of books I've never read (and want to read) dwindles to zero.  As a twist, at least one book per inhabited continent will be reviewed.  Here's the list:

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Petals of Blood

Walter Moers, Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures

Nadine Gordimer, A Guest of Honour

 Thomas Pynchon, V.

Joel Shepard, Sasha; Petrodor

Samuel R. Delany, Neveryóna

Salman Rushdie, Shame

Brooks Hansen, The Chess Garden

Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

Roberto Arlt, El juguete rabioso

Housuke Nojiri, Usurper of the Sun

Katherine Dunn, Geek Love

Trent Jamieson, Death Most Definite

James Clavell, Shogun 

Which of these have you read?  Which are you most curious about?


S.M.D. said...

The only one on the list that I've read is Petals of Blood. I didn't like it, but I suspect you will based on the kinds of books you review.

The Mad Hatter said...

I've read Rumo, which was a bloody version of Moers's Blue Bear. I'm always amazed how many wild ideas he fits in his books.

The Plot Against American is more about the world than characters, which is different from most of his other books. A very realistic alternative history.

Liviu said...

Regarding the supply of books I've not yet read but want to and have (or can easily get a library copy), it probably stands in the high hundreds for me as of now and of course new books come on the pipeline weekly if not daily, as well as discovering older books I may be interested in today...

Sadly even though I am at about 67 books so far read in 2010, the hopes of reading all I would like are very remote...

As per the list, as I mentioned Shogun which I read in Romanian in 1988 or so when I was 19 and reread at least partly many times across the years, was one of those few books that influenced my reading enormously ever since since it amy me become a big fan of several Japanese writers (Tanizaki, Mishima, Kawabata), read a lot of non-fiction about Japan, read Japanese epics (Taiko...)...

Larry said...

I just finished Petals of Blood and yes, I did enjoy it in part due to its coverage of post-independence Kenyan politics and social injustice.

Yes, Rumo certainly is inventive, to say the least. Haven't read any Roth yet, believe it or not.

Shogun will be the last book to be read out of that list, mostly because of its length. But I am curious about it, having heard dozens of people recommend it over the years.

Well, about to start #110 now. Relatively slow month for me, only 29 books read so far.

nycfan said...

The only ones I've read are Usurper of the Sun, Shame, Shogun, and the Gordimer. Usurper was a fun retro juvenile marred by clunky writing, possibly a translation issue. Shame was ok, but easily the worst of what I've read by him - only of interest if you want to learn about Pakistan in that era from Rushdie's rather strong POV. I read the Clavell as a kid and found it to be fun, but unless there's something more to it than I remember, or you're looking to read decent but generic blockbuster historical fiction as a change from F/SF, I don't see the point. I have little recollection of the Gordimer, except that I liked it.

The ones I'd be most interested in hearing about are the Delaney and Petals of Blood.

Seak (Bryce L.) said...

I'm interested to hear about Shogun. I think I'd enjoy it, but who knows.

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