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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hey, look!

Some books! Or what I've read lately:

Duma Key by Stephen King

In his other life, as he calls it, Edgar Freemantle was a successful building contractor. However, a serious accident that left him with one arm, a bad hip and a jittery memory for words.
Alone after his wife divorces him, and hurting from more than the accident, Edgar rents a house on Duma Key; a mysterious and overgrown Florida Key.
There, he finds his passion for art again, starts to make new friends and begins to remake his life.
This, however, is Stephen King. So it’s not your standard remake yourself story. Far from it and it’s not long before Edgar and his new friends are caught up in something big, and supernatural.
The good thing about reading King (apart from Insomnia for me, which I couldn’t finish) is the easy way he tells a story; whether he’s describing Edgar’s interaction with the younger of his two daughters, or the supernatural frenzy in which Edgar paints.
All aspects of the story are compelling at the same level as the strands of past and present are brought together, and Edgar and co find themselves confronting an ancient evil.
The story is interspersed with vignettes from the early life of Elizabeth Eastlake, now an ailing octogenarian, and instructions on how to paint. The vignettes are telling, and almost as compelling, as the main story of Duma Key unfolding.


This Charming Man by Marian Keyes

Paddy de Courcy – personable, charming and one of the up and coming faces of Irish politics, has just announced his engagement.
This news affects four different women in four very different ways.
There’s Lola, for one, who thought she was Paddy’s girlfriend _ until he announces his engagement to someone else. Then there are sisters Grace, and Marnie who remember Paddy for different reasons, and Alicia – the soon to be Mrs de Courcy.
Paddy de Courcy is hiding a very dark secret – one that all four women are a party to; and not just them.
Keyes has a storyteller’s knack with her writing; opening up a dark thread throughout what are some light-hearted on the surface tales.
Very readable.


Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker

The Mister B. Gone of the title is the demon Jakobok Botch, dragged up from Hell against his will. He escapes his captors and proceeds _ along with fellow demon Quitoon _ to wreak havoc on 14th century Europe.
What’s unique about Mister B. Gone is that the narration isn’t just in the first person; he talks directly to the reader and keeps exhorting them to “burn this book”.
Barker’s narration is so vivid, I found myself turning around a couple of times to make sure the demon wasn’t behind me.
Short, but chilling.

A Sandwich Short of a Picnic by Felicity Price
Penny Rushmore belongs to the “sandwich generation” – men and women caught between caring for their growing families and their ailing parents.
Penny also works fulltime and has just lost her husband to that most middle-aged of clich├ęs: the younger woman.
However, when Penny finds a lump in her breast, she’s forced to take a step bac.
Sandwich is a fast, funny read, although much of it is on the surface.

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