Friday, February 19, 2010

6. Blackout

By Connie Willis (491 pp). I already knew that this is one book split into two. It doesn't end. It stops. Right in the middle of everything. But even with warning it's hard not to be a little annoyed. The story has several threads following different historians in the Oxford time travel program who go back to World War II. Everyone runs into problems. For the most part I enjoyed it but at times it suffered from Passage (#26) syndrome in that we're watching the characters try to solve their problems in tedious detail. Overall recommend. Book #2 is coming out in October.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

5. The Keep

By Jennifer Egan (242 pp.) I'm not sure how I heard about this book. I think I'd heard of the author before and then read a review and put it on my list. I inhaled this book in less than 48 hours. I loved it. I'm going to keep my comments brief and vague because the way the story unfolds is a nice surprise. At least I thought so. It's about a guy from New York who has an attitude and is a mess. He goes to Europe to help his cousin turn a crumbling castle into a fancy hotel. Things get weird and creepy fast.

My Mom is always trying to find books for book club and I thought this might be a possibility. Out of curiosity I went to giant online book retailer to read some reviews and see what other people thought. Book reviews on that site are hilarious. People give five stars and write things like, "A sweeping epic tale of romance and danger in prose that alternately sparkles then burns, the author takes you on a journey that you will never forget."

Who talks like that?

This book had an even spread from 1 star to 5 stars with a slight advantage to 5 stars. The people who hated it complained that all the loose ends weren't tied up. And that's a valid complaint but I think the book's structure makes up for that.

I recommend.