Ten On Tuesday: 02/07/2012

OK, The Unit (by Ninni Holmqvist) is gone! I never did finish the re-read of this dystopian novel and I’m not sure why. I originally read it in something like five hours; but this time around, I had it for nine weeks before I had to return it to the library! For those who might be interested, The Unit deals with gender and age issues and; marginalizing people by taking away their freedoms or rights for the good of the commonwealth. It’s about enslaving a population segment with their knowledge and even their consent and; the impact it has on the psyche of those ensnared in the system. The Unit is easily accessible: straight forward language and short chapters.

I also listened to Hater (The Hater Trilogy, Book #1; by David Moody; narrated by Gerard Doyle.) This story is about how Danny McCoyne, henpecked husband, exasperated father and harassed worker for a parking fines department, suddenly starts bearing witness to unprovoked bouts of violence in his town. Quickly, it becomes apparent that the inexplicable outrage he’s seeing perpetrated isn’t confined to his city; but rather seems to be pandemic in the country (and later it is implied that the world has been stricken as well.) The aggressors are quickly labeled “Haters” and normal people need to bunker down and defend themselves. The plot takes an unexpected twist and suddenly the listener isn’t quite so sure about what is going on and it’s in this uncertainty that the novel’s interest and appeal lies. The ending is rather weak in that an unsatisfactory answer is proffered as to the why of all of this and I’m guessing it’s an attempt to lure the listener into the next novel, Dog Blood. Gerard Doyle does a great job of narrating the role of the beleagured Danny Mccoyne and taking us through the changes in Danny’s life.

BTW – I originally picked up this book because I thought it was a zombie novel; but it turns out that zombies are only mentioned in it as a passing reference and do not exist as characters in the novel itself. And probably not outside the novel either :-/

I actually sneaked in Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins Novels, Book #1; by Walter Mosley; narrated by Michael Boatman) last week (I listened to Hater in two days and had a little extra time at the end of the week.)  Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, a black WWII vet who has relocated from Houston to L.A., finds himself without a job but with a mortgage to pay. Enter Albright DeWitt, a white man of suspect ethics who offers Easy a paying job: to locate Daphne Monet who is known to frequent black jazz clubs – and who has disappeared with $30,000 in cash. The story is embroidered with black history, post war US history and issues regarding race and prejudice. The writing is descriptive and sometimes nearly pedantic; but overall the plot is solid if without any real surprises. Michael Boatman does a good job of drawing up distinctive voices for the differing characters, both male and female; using parenthetical interpretation to demote interior thought from spoken lines/dialogue. I should probably write a real review of this sometime soon asI don’t think it’s really going to stick with me for more than a cuple of weeks :-/

So, what’s up next:

  1. Dispatches (by Michael Herr; narrated by Ray Porter)
  2. Quantum of Solace (Bond Novel #8; by Ian Fleming; narrated by Simon Vance)
  3. The Blind Assassin (by Margaret Atwood)
  4. Alias Grace (by Margaret Atwood)
  5. Duchess in Love (The Duchess Quartet, Book #1; by Eloisa James; narrated by Justine Eyre)
  6. The Ghosts of Belfast (Jack Lennon Novels, Book #1; by Stuart Neville; narrated by Gerard Doyle)
  7. Emma (by Jane Austen)
  8. Enough About Love (by Herve LeTellier)
  9. Something Borrowed (by Emily Griffin)
  10. The Kite Runner (by Khaled Hosseini)

My listening is superseding my print reading right now owing to the time I’ve been devoting to cleaning out my Home Office; but soon, the tables will be turned 🙂

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