September 21, 2015

Recent Reads

103. Any Human Heart
I finished the book last night, and did not sleep well. What do I feel? Grief. How does one grieve for someone who was not real? Will write up a review after I've had some time to process....

Later ....

There is an old adage that what you observe closely you cannot help but love. That is how I feel about Logan Mountstuart. In many ways LMS is an ordinary man who lives in extraordinary times, but he is not the hero of the times he lives in, but rather on the fringes of it. Yes, he travels widely and has encounters with many famous people, but this is really a personal story of one man's life. One that unfolds through intimate journal entries. We first meet LMS when he is teenager, and follow along on all his (mis)adventures, loves, and heartbreaks through to his eighties. 

Such is the skill of the author, that not only did I get to know LMS, but I grew to love him, and when the book ended, it felt like a much beloved great uncle had died. Yes, grief is what I feel. There is a gap in my life that Logan Mountstuart used to inhabit. He will be greatly missed.

A word on the audio production. This story was narrated by the wonderful Simon Vance. The narration is probably the best work by Simon I've heard yet, and that is saying something. He changes the timbre of his narration, so we feel like a young LMS is sharing his secrets with us at the start of the story, and then as LMS ages, Simon's reading gets deeper, more crackly, and elderly. Simply wonderful.

I'm not sure why I waited so long to read this one, and if you have yet to read it, I highly recommend the audiobook. I've got my hands on the TV adaptation, and am delighted to be spending some extra time with Logan Mountstuart. Rating: 5 stars.

104. Ghost World
This graphic novel has the dubious distinction of being the first one to end up on my Did Not Finish pile. Actually, now that I think about it, it is the second one. The art is really fun, but this book is a collection of connected stories about two girls that did not make any sense to me, and reading that it was made into a movie only makes me scratch my head. Not for me. Rating: 1 star.

105. The Left Bank Gang
Book blurb: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce walk into a Parisian bar... no, it's not the beginning of a joke, but the premise of Jason's unique new graphic novel.

I really love the art in this one, and the story of these giants of literature re-imagined as graphic novelists and their escapades is a quick and fun read. I was especially delighted with the scenes where Gertrude Stein lectures Hemingway, and the fact that everyone is drawn as dogs. And it's all fun and games until it's not.
  Rating: 3 stars.

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