mintyalice

Archive for December, 2004|Monthly archive page

The Best of Roald Dahl

In Short Stories on December 27, 2004 at 2:39 am

bestdahl.jpgThe Best of Roald Dahl
by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl is the author of my favorite book from childhood Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the book that wonderfully wicked children film The Witches was based on. I didn’t know he’s also famous for writing short stories for adult. This volume collects 29 stories from his career spanning from 1940s-1980s. They are mostly wicked stories about grotesque people and horrifying scenarios that are also disturbingly humorous. Most of the stories have nasty twist endings, I have to fight urges not to cheat by skipping ahead. Most are not big-bang type of surprises, but subtle and creepy revelations. He’s amazing in building up suspense and tantalizing the reader Hitchcock-style: we knew something is not right but the characters were unaware of the danger they’re heading onward. That’s why it’s a thrilling ride, like watching a train wreck and how human failings (greed, lust) lead to their own demises. A lot of the stories also have the “story within a story’ structure.

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Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

In Novel on December 12, 2004 at 3:27 am

johnstrange.jpgJonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel
Susanna Clarke

Finally finish this 800 pages book after spending the past month reading it, absorbing the richly detail world setting, investing in the colorful cast of characters and stories-within-stories that’s full of mysteries and twist and turns. Now I feel a sense of lost and wish there’s a sequel!! >0The writing style is witty, fun and easy reading, and I can totally see why some critics called it a “Harry Potter for adult”. The book start out slow with seemingly episodic events, then they weaved together as the pace pick up. You can read the summery here.

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