Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Prestige (by Christopher Priest)

Ian told me about the movie version of this, and it sounded incredibly stupid, but I'd heard the book was different, and someone sent it to me for free, and I needed something to read, and there you go. I read it. I found it an engrossing and quick read. It's not so different from the film, but it sounds like it's a little more subtle, which I liked. I don't know; I'm kind of interested in the film too, except I hear that Something Bad Happens To Animals, so forget it. The book didn't have that.

The book is about rival magicians, as you may remember from the trailer of the film. It's told in a diary form, where both magicians keep diaries telling their sides of the stories. There are also descendants of the two magicians in the present day, although their storylines are basically left hanging at the end.

I guess I'm really wondering if anyone understood the very ending, which will sound absolutely ridiculous to anyone who hasn't read the book, and which will spoil all the fun, so don't read it. (Attempting to spoiler tag...) Okay so Nicky, the brother whose body was in the vault, was silent when Andrew came and picked him up. Then Andrew put him down and he was screaming... so he's kind of in his half-dead, half-alive state. Does Andrew basically have to carry his twin's corpse around for the rest of his life? Is there any way to allow Nicky to rest in peace? Does he have to take him home and prop him in a chair and have conversations with him? I really don't get it.

If you know the answer or have a theory, let me know!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Water for Elephants (by Sara Gruen)

Or as Ian calls it, Like Water for Elephants. A bestseller I picked up at the airport, I think. With trepidation because I do not like books where Bad Things Happen to Animals and I knew it was about a circus. But it seemed like the type of thing I’d like; a well researched bestseller. And I’m not going to give away anything about the Bad Things, but I didn’t regret having read it for that reason.

I don’t know. It definitely wasn’t bad, I just really wanted it to be better. Gruen researched the hell out of it and incorporated a lot of real-life anecdotes about circuses and about the depression, but... the story somehow doesn’t feel real. The characters and plot were unconvincing. And I never could tell the difference between August and Uncle Al, nor did I understand why they needed to be two separate characters. The twist at the end was kind of interesting, but... overall it was a little predictable, a little pat, and overall just kind of average. Plus, again, the characters never came to life for me. And that was absolutely my biggest problem with the book.

Has anyone else out there actually read this?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sex and the City (by Candace Bushnell)

As you may guess, this was airplane reading. It was totally disposable, but I love the series, so it was fun. I guess I'm gearing up for the movie (which is filming now). I just posted over at Contents May Be Hot about how I haven't had time to exercise; the measure of how true this is is that I also haven't had time to read. I haven't even made Finnegans Wake progress and am behind in my reading schedule. I will finish it by the end of the year, though! Don't you worry.