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My Reviews

 
Book Club Recommended
Confusing, Fun, Interesting
Started Early, Took My Dog

This book is so cleverly writtem and so full of wry humor that I found it difficult to put down. That being said, some people in my book group found the way the story is told to be too confusing to be enjoyable. It begins with some back stories, then sprints to the present and sporadically alternates between past and present vignettes. There are several characters and seemingly disparate plots to keep track of, but be patient-- it all comes together eventually (just don't expect it to be tied with a neat bow). If you like the challenge of this type of story telling, plus watching carefully for clues and foreshadowings and enjoying finding out that some were red herrings, you'll have a ball with this book. Otherwise, read something else.

Orphan Masters Son by Adam Johnson
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Graphic
The Orphan Master's Son

A dark and shocking story about conditions in North Korea and a man who learns to overcome the state-dictated lack of identity as he also finds love and learns the concept of intimacy. It's masterfully written but you may not realize this until you've finished the book. It's also sprinkled with some sly and dark humor which helps take some of the edge off. The story is so provocative that it seems hard to believe such conditions can exist in a country today. It's also written in a non-linear style that some will find confusing (such as the daily propaganda on the ubiquitous loudspeakers telling parts of the protagonist\\\\\\\'s story). On the other hand, I felt compelled to read it at every opportunity because the plot takes so many shocking turns, and even the less likable characters became important to me in light of how they have become brainwashed. But take heart--there is a love story in the midst of all the jaw-dropping acts of inhumanity and a rather different idea of hope as the story ends.

Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Confusing, Insightful

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