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Book Reviews

Wilderness Tips * Margaret Atwood

It’s been a while since I’ve read a bit or Margaret Atwood. Last book of hers I’ve devoured like this was Margaret Atwood * Moral Disorder Book review and that pretty much summed up in short stories what I love about Margaret Atwood. Stories about the existential depression of human life, about how love and sex don’t have to be related and the complicated relationships between men and women.

I, on the other hand, have a devious mind and little sense of guilt. My guilt is about other things.

Wilderness Tips was an absolute joy to read. Depressing in specific areas, funny in others, filled with despair and hope in other parts.  Each story exemplifies a split second in a person’s life that changes them forever. They grow from immature and naive to mature and harsh in just a few pages and all of the stories ended up being dark with themes of loss, missed chances, blunders, and sad comprehension.

Sex has been domesticated, stripped of the promised mystery, added to the category of the merely expected. It’s just what is done, mundane as hockey. It’s celibacy these days that would raise eyebrows.

turtlenecks-blackThe stories in this collection follow women and men in their journey through life. The women are artists, poets, word builders, painters. The men are pudgy, cheating, always going through a mid-life crisis or considering their next conquest. They are all a bit stereotypical but within the pages you can spot bits of the author and if you look close enough, bits of yourself. While the themes are all dark all ten of the stories had the same truth that rings true in every reader’s life. Time flies by quickly, changes occur, choices are made but in the end it is you that has to live with the consequences.

The melodrama tempts her, the idea of a revelation, a sensation, a neat ending. But it would not be an ending, it would only be the beginning of something else. In any case, the story itself seems to her outmoded. It’s an archaic story, a folk-tale, a mosaic artefact. It’s a story that would never happen now.

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Book Reviews Stephen King

Stephen King & Owen King * Sleeping Beauties

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I so wanted to love this novel. I sooo wanted it. Instead I felt ripped off. At least Joe Hill (Stephen King’s other son) found his feet and shone in Horns and The Fireman. I thought maybe Owen King is just finding his feet and he needed a bit of dad help into starting off on the writer’s path.

I was pretty wrong. This book is a mess! 702 pages and close to 4 weeks later, I am ready to tell my horror story.

If you want a story about what would happen in a world ruled by only one gender, I fully recommend Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s masterwork comics series “Y: The last man“.

 

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Categories
Book Reviews

Cat’s eye by Margaret Atwood

I think I have a new favourite book! Margaret Atwood has this way of talking about relationships between men and women and women and other women that cuts through the surface and presents a raw image of raw emotions (Margaret Atwood -The Blind AssassinMargaret Atwood – Life before man, The edible woman – Margaret Atwood,The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood).

This one though, this one.. It was so good that I had to take breather days to be able to process the details correctly. Not since Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects have I been so disturbed by the life of pre-teen girls, the bullying, the meaness, the sorrow of the outcast.

Categories
Book Reviews Stephen King

Dolores Clairborne * Stephen King

Sometimes you have to be a high riding bitch to survive, sometimes, being a bitch is all a woman has to hang on to

Delores Claiborne, a cranky old maid for a rich lady, tells the story of her life – from the “accidental” murder of her husband and how he got to inherit millions from her mistress after her “accidental” death. Highly recommended, but if you are expecting a horror story from the horror master, you will be disappointed.

Categories
Book Reviews

Why Do We Have to Live with Men? Bernadette Strachan

8 Women decided to give up men for various reasons and to isolate themselves in a commune in next to Lyme Regis in England for six whole months. Their lives turn up-side-down as they discover the sense of belonging and friendship that can either bring people together or drive them apart for good.
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Why do we have to live with men? As another evening with her best friends and a few bottles of wine comes to an end, Cat O’Connor is left pondering this very question. And, escaping from a ruined love affair, she is about to find the answer. When Cat joins a group of women in a huge, decaying farmhouse deep in the countryside, she prepares to embark on six months without men. Cat is promised a nirvana of serenity where the chores are done without mutinous mutterings, where nourishing food simmers on the Aga and where feelings are taken seriously. But Cat soon discovers that women are no saints either .

Jules’ review

I had this book for a while now and after a short attempt to read it a few months back, I put it on my nightstand with the determination to either read it to the end or abandon it and wrap it nicely as a present for the upcoming birthdays.
It’s a definite keep!
I caught myself laughing really hard and I’m a hard person to please! The female characters are convincing, though quirky, and they each had their share of “scum” men. Stealing from their purses, cheating with dumb bimbos, or hiding a pregnant wife at home… Well, with the last one, I could definitely identify myself.
Having been the “other woman” once in my life, I could definitely see why Cat would fall for a man of life, older, wiser, with a cracking charisma. Well, she had daddy issues, I did not.
And I had to cringe at the scene where the wife visits her lover at work and then demands that she is laid off. The pregnant wife. She wouldn’t be pregnant if her dedicated lover would not have been banging her still. Pardon my French.
At least, in my case, he was quick about it and parted ways with the wifey, but this…. this had to be hard to endure. Come on! A beautiful, sexy, slender and classy wife… and she was , well, Cat. Normal. Just some roll in the hay, never to be serious with.
I had to feel for all of them, even for the small alcoholic of the group. But I loved Dave the most.
Dave was a sow of delicate tail curliness and with a massive ass oiled with the finest Prada creams. 🙂
I loved the way the country side is described, Will the vet, the town “noise” about the women living together and I must say, this story has brought on an urge to go visit the southern part of England again.
And maybe find myself a better man down there.
Favorite parts: walking the pig
Least favorite parts: If Cat loved Will and Will loved Cat – why did she have to go back to London to earn a social studies degree which is worth jack in the country side? She could have gone to vet school too or medicine. And what happened after 10 years when her mom died and could not take care of her brother?
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Overall grade: 4.5/5