[Book Club] [Book Review] Milkman by Anna Burns

milkman

Milkman by Anna Burns is a story about gossip and rumours. This is what is is on the surface, but once you dig deeper into the story it is a story about how one young girl copes with stalking, the circulation of gossip and how this affects her, and the change in perception of those around her to what is happening to her.

Personally, I really enjoyed Milkman. There were so many different aspects and layers to the novel that really stuck out to me, and made me want to keep going. The writing is eloquent, and is gritty and to the point. The story jumps back and forth and sometimes rears off into other directions to display the the subconscious and how we might wander off with our thoughts.

One of my favourite aspects of this novel was the fact that there was no names. Everyone was referred to by their status, either in relation to the community or their relation to middle-sister. This was really interesting to me, it displayed the ambiguity to the story, and raised a level of ‘this could be happening to anyone’.

Another aspect of the novel that was really well handled was the disassociation that took place. Middle-sister, as the novel progressed, became more and more ‘blank’ per say, and the writing style depicted this well.

On the cover of my novel, it tells me that the novel is hilarious, and whilst I might not agree with hilarious, the novel does have it’s funny moments. My favourite moments perhaps being the phone call between Ma and third brother-in-law at the start of Chapter 6, where they’re arguing over middle-sister and running. The writing surrounding both characters in most occasions is absurd, and writes to prove the absurdity of the situation, highlighting Anna Burns’ ability to move across writing styles throughout the novel.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Milkman. I found it a really intriguing novel, and there are so many things I could talk about with this novel, but I struggle to find the words for.

What did you think of Milkman? Let me know in the comments!

[Book Club] February Reading!

Hello!

I hope everyone is as excited for February Reading as I am!

January was a long month, in days and in feelings, so let’s make this short month a great one.

The reading choices for the month of February are:

  1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  2. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
  3. The Binding by Bridget Collins

I hope everyone likes them, and finds one they know they’ll enjoy reading!

Happy reading, everyone!

[Book Review] American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

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I find it difficult to summarise American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. On the surface, it’s about Patrick Bateman who is part of the Upper Class elite of Wall Street who violently kills women.

The novel is grotesque, and there were a few scenes that left me wondering why I was even reading the book. Which is why I find writing this review especially difficult. I’m torn on how I rate this book.

It’s satirical, poking fun at the elite and their way of life. I’d never even heard of some of the designers name dropped in this novel, and the fascination with Donald Trump is profound when reading it now.

But, I found myself questioning a lot of things that happened. There were many scenes where Patrick would openly admit to his violent thoughts and things that he’d done, and the conversation would continue as if he hadn’t said anything. There was a section where after admitting to killing Paul Owen, it turns out that Paul Owen is in fact not dead, which lead me to wonder if Patrick Bateman had even killed anyone at all. Was it all just a fantasy? Had any of this actually happened?

No one certainly looked for the women he murdered. Or is it the point that these women were replaceable, and no one would go looking for them?

Alas, it is safe to say that the book left me with more questions than it did answer any.

Overall, I’m not sure what my stance is on the novel. I definitely didn’t dislike it, but I’m not quite sure I enjoyed the book either. It was intriguing and downright disgusting in some parts. It was disorientating and dissociative, which from my perspective was the intention of the novel.

It’s a novel I would recommend lightly, and is definitely not for the faint of heart.

On this occasion, I am unsure. But, perhaps, only time will tell where my viewpoint on the novel stands, and perhaps demands a revisit to truly uncover all the goings on of Patrick Bateman.

[Book Club] Third Week!

Hello!

It’s officially the third week of book club! January is a very long month, and I hope everyone is enjoying!

I’m discovering that despite January feeling like a really long month, I’m getting through quite a few books (hello, book number 4). How is everyone else getting along?

Let me know how you’re doing in the comments!

[Book Review] Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

 

eleanor oliphantEleanor Oliphant is 30 years old, and she has fallen in love. With the front man of a band.

This is the beginning of what turns out to be a very poignant story about finding friends, exploring yourself and dealing with the past. Eleanor is at first viewed as an outsider, someone who nobody talks to and nobody wants to talk to, until she meets Raymond and they begin to form a friendship.

If I’m being very honest, I did not like the book at first. I’d seen all the hype and honestly began to wonder what all the fuss was about, but something made me want to keep going.

This was my slow descent into exploring Eleanor and her life. I’m now glad to say I stuck with it until the end, as it won me over. I felt for a while that I would stick with second-lead syndrome and Raymond would be the most likeable character, but then Eleanor began to unravel, and I began to really like the way she spoke and the way she viewed the world. She challenged my own view of the world, and the way she approaches life.

Overall, I rather enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Honeyman writes simply, but effectively, and definitely knows how to draw the reader in. My advice to the new reader would be, if you’re only just starting out and not enjoying, definitely stick with it. It’s definitely worth it to get to the end and discover that the pay-off is worth it.

Or at least it had been for me.

Have you read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine? Let me know in the comments what you thought!

[Book Club] First Week!

Wow, the first week is already over! How quick is that going?

How are you finding your chosen book? I’ve gone with Milkman by Anna Burns, and it’s so intriguing so far. I’m really enjoying the stylistic choices that have gone into it so far.

What have you chosen to read? If you haven’t yet, there’s still time to choose and get stuck into a good book. You can find this months books here!

Happy Reading, everyone!

[Book Discussion] The Christmas Forest by Rebecca Boxall

the christmas forest

The Christmas Forest by Rebecca Boxall is a Christmas tale of love and friendship. Enid has Asperger’s Syndrome and has been talking via letter to a man called Fred.

The story focuses around Enid planning a trip to Australia to finally meet Fred for Christmas, supported by her sister Bess. But will it happen? That is the big question that hangs for a large part of the novel. Enid’s friends are unsure, Enid is sure, Fred is sure, but who will win out?

Despite the short nature of the novel, The Christmas Forest is a pleasantly good read. The plot moves fast enough to keep you interested, and Rebecca Boxall writes wonderfully. Asperger’s Syndrome does take a centre role in this novel, and Boxall handles it with care and it is well researched.

The narrative is sweet, and is definitely one I would recommend for the Christmas season.

It is interesting to note that Boxall has written Enid with Asperger’s, as a lot of research shows that it Asperger’s is usually diagnosed in males. Boxall is bringing to the forefront women with Asperger’s and allows the reader to submerge in Enid’s plight and characteristics.

All in all, I would definitely recommend The Christmas Forest. What did you think? Have you read it?

Let me know what you thought in the comments!