Aliĝis je antaŭ 4 monatoj, 1 semajno

father of two, trying to get back into a regular reading practice!

he/him pronouns, trans rights are human rights.

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The Possession (2008, Seven Stories Press) 5 steloj

The madness of jealousy

5 steloj

The narrator of The Possession - middle ages, established in her field and respectable - has left her partner, only to - months later - become totally unmoored when he begins a relationship with a new woman. The identity of this woman, which he does not disclose, weighs on the narrator, driving her to increasingly obsessive lengths, raising the tension as you wonder if she's going to torpedo her entire life. I read this in the same day as Fleur Jaeggy's "Sweet Days of Discipline" and they went together incredibly well!

Nettle & Bone (Hardcover, 2022, Tor Books) 5 steloj

After years of seeing her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince, Marra—the …

Another Effortless Genre Shuffle from Kingfisher

5 steloj

At this point I know what I'm getting into every time I open up a T. Kingfisher book, whether it's horror, fantasy or romance - and most of her books have all three, mixed at different distillations. The writing will be breezy, the plot will both be interesting and turn in directions that you wouldn't expect, the characterizations will be unique and not standard cardboard cutouts (well, her male love interests tend to be big noble depressed guys, but they're all well written). "Nettle & Bone" hits all of these - a fun read that conceals depth and absolutely wrenching moments. My only complaint is that I wish it didn't move so fast - that there was a bit more room to breathe. But across the board I'm always so excited to read new stuff from her. Every book so far has been great, and I feel like she's closing …

Vernon Subutex (2016, Penguin Random House) 5 steloj

From the provocative writer and filmmaker Virginie Despentes comes volume one of her acclaimed trilogy …

A Dantean - But Surprisingly Tender - Descent Through The Minds and Lives of Parisians

5 steloj

Vernon Subutex is a charmer - handsome despite being on the wrong side of 40, easy to get along with, and surprisingly attractive to women. He has also, at the start of "Vernon Subutext 1," spent the past two years unemployed and a virtual shut-in, licking his wounds after the demise of his legendary record store and the deaths of several close friends. The situation quickly changes when his old friend Alex Bleach, a past-it rock star who has been intermittently paying off Vernon's back rent, dies, and Vernon is almost immediately kicked out of his home. This begins a sort of Odyssey through Paris, into the lives and the points of view of the people who interact with Vernon - musicians-turned-middle-managers, retired pornstars, obsessive producers, erstwhile rock journalists, coked-up day traders, violent French nationalists. There is a MacGuffin of sorts - the tapes that Alex left with Vernon, which …

Crimson Snow (Paperback, 2016, The British Library) 4 steloj

Crimson Snow brings together a dozen vintage crime stories set in winter. Welcome to a …

An Interesting Collection of Yuletide Mysteries

4 steloj

This is a collection of mysteries from a variety of British writers during the Golden Age of mystery fiction, all themed about or taking place at Christmas. They're all fun to read, if you're into it, and a nice, varied introduction to a number of authors I probably would not have stumbled upon.

The Cabinet 4 steloj

A Cabinet of Curiosities

3 steloj

"The Cabinet" is a narrative told by a young man who - when bored at his do-nothing job at a research institute - discovers a cabinet of files detailing the cases of "symptomers" - people experiencing strange physical or metaphysical phenomenon, who can sleep for months, disappear for years or replace their tongues with reptiles. He becomes the caretaker of these files and an unwilling therapist/sympathetic ear to the symptomers. For some reason this never really jelled for me. Structurally it doesn't feel like it's leading anywhere, and it ends abruptly - the best parts are the interactions with the symptomers, but those fall away in the third act. If you're expecting the X-Files or X-Men it's definitely not that but there are some great parts.

Content warning for emetophobia, eating disorders, body horror and torture.

The End of Tragedy (Hardcover, 1989, Simon & Schuster) 4 steloj

Four Arresting Novellas

4 steloj

This is a collection of four novellas by Rachel Ingalls, whose "Mrs. Caliban" I had already read. These range from the opening "Friends in the Country," a kind of Roald Dahl (adult stories of Dahl, that is)-tinged visit to what may be a coven, to the doom-laden "The End of Tragedy." Ingalls' work, to me, specializes in stories about unhappy marriages that intersect with fantastical events and creatures, with elements we expect from B-movies and melodramas. I once read a piece about David Lynch that posited that we all think that Lynch's big thesis is that our idealized small-town Americana notions hide horrifying underbellies, but that his ACTUAL thesis is that nothing's hiding anything - the idealized small-town Americana and the seedy horror are not opposite sides of the same coin, they're the same side and they flow into one another. To my mind Ingalls is doing the same thing …

Piranesi (2020, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc) 5 steloj

Piranesi's house is no ordinary building; its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls …

Perfectly Crafted... Fantasy Novel? Oneiric Mystery?

5 steloj

It's hard to overstate how much this book feels written specifically for me - I love books with any sort of physically improbable gigantic building, fantasy books where people enter other worlds, academic thrillers, etc - and Piranesi nails the blend perfectly. A sheer delight with an extremely thoughtful denouement.

Solenoid (Paperback, Deep Vellum) 5 steloj

Based on Cărtărescu's own role as a high school teacher, Solenoid begins with the mundane …

Hypnotic, Epic Account of Despair Laced With Hyperreality

5 steloj

I have no idea who suggested this book to me - I must have recommended that my library buy it in ebook format, because they did, and I got an email that it was ready for me to read, without any memory of requesting it. This seems of a piece with the book itself - on the surface, the chronicle of the life of a failed poet and very depressed Romanian teacher in Bucharest, who endlessly reviews his old dreams, his personal failures and his childhood memories, the book opens like a flower full of teeth, from which emerges secret societies, rural testing facilities, mysterious subterranean machines, a hallucinatory museum of titanic dust mites, a fully-realized Klein bottle. At one point there are seven pages of just the word "help!" repeated over and over again. It's an EXPERIENCE, moments of breathtaking prose and philosophy come by the page, and for …

recenzis Chinatown de Thuận

Chinatown (2022, New Directions Publishing Corporation) 5 steloj

"An abandoned package is discovered in the Paris Metro: the subway workers suspect it's a …

Hypnotic, Heartbreaking, Hilarious

4 steloj

Narrated in one long paragraph (intercut with two pieces written by the narrator), Chinatown is the extraordinary, dreamlike self-analysis and biography of a Vietnamese English teacher in France, exploring her entire life while stuck on a metro train. The narrative skips from era to era, country to country, circling her marriage and the Chinese-Vietnamese husband who vanished from her life a decade earlier. Really tremendous.

The Perils of Pleasure (Paperback, 2008, Avon) 4 steloj

A rescued rogue... Scandal has rocked the city of London. Colin Eversea, a handsome, reckless …

A Sparkling Romance Adventure

4 steloj

A very fun romance, starting with a daring and explosive rescue from the gallows, ending with a mad dash to a wedding, with some very endearing protagonists. A last minute twist might be a little too unbelievable if it didn't happen in such a delightful scene - very enjoyable throughout!

The Leopard (Paperback, 2007, Pantheon) 5 steloj

A Perfect Novel - Tradition, Change and Mortality

5 steloj

I first tried reading this a few years ago and it didn't find much traction - I loved the writing but moved on to something else. Part of my impetus for using Bookwyrm was to catalogue the books I already own and want to read, so I will, you know, get around to reading them - and I'm very glad I picked up the ancient and dog-eared copy of The Leopard from my bookshelf before leaving on a short holiday to see family. Set during the Unification of Italy, The Leopard follows Don Fabrizio Salina, a Prince of Sicily, as he essentially watches the world that he knows fade away, and catalogues his wildly ranging responses to this historical event. A really fantastic novel, with the most incredible final chapters - I hope I will one day remember to read the penultimate chapter when I am nearing death myself.

Spadework for a Palace (EBook, 2022, New Directions) 5 steloj

A Glorious Spew

5 steloj

Another great little book from the New Directions Storybook imprint. Written in one long sentence, Spadework for a Palace is a sprawling monograph written by one herman melvill, a self-described gray little librarian with several overwhelming obsessions and an incredible plan. Obsessed with triangulating the lives of Herman Melville (the "real" one), Malcolm Lowry and the architect and writer Lebbeus Woods our narrator expounds upon New York and the nature of the universe, reaching an incredible crescendo right before crashing back down to reality. There's a late-stage cameo by one of lower Manhattan's most unbelievable buildings!

Virgin in the Ice (Brother Cadfael Mysteries) (1995, Mysterious Press) 4 steloj

Cadfael attends to a brother beaten and left for dead, and searches for missing siblings …

Terrific Cadfael

4 steloj

I had read I think the first two Cadfael books a while ago, and read this on the suggestion that it was properly Christmas-y. If you would like to read about a gruff old monk who solves mysteries while gently guiding young lovers together, well, good news, it does what it says on the ton, and includes the occasional paragraph about faith or friendship that absolutely stops you in your tracks with beauty and insight.

Malicroix (2020, New York Review of Books, Incorporated, The) 5 steloj

A Hypnotic Tale of Hermitage

5 steloj

A young man inherits an estate from an uncle he has never met - a wild man and a wanderer, who ended his life in seclusion - on the condition that he spends three months on an island in the middle of a river in the Camargue region of France. This he does, without books or contact with the outside world, assisted only by his uncle's - friend? hired hand? acolyte? The synopsis sounds simple - or like a ghost story, which this might be, if our ancestors are ghosts that haunt our souls - but how the book actually plays out is incredible. There are intrigues, fevers, nocturnal visitations, a kidnapping and a daring rescue, a possible betrayal, a malevolent and possibly diabolical notary. But this all pales in comparison to the writing itself - an internal narrative granular to a hallucinatory degree, following the narrator as his heart …