I read this a couple of years ago since it was laying around my girlfriends
house. Didn't particularly like it. If you do read it you should have the
Buena Vista Social Club playing in the background. It is about two Cuban brothers who
come to New York to play music, and the women they love. Notable as Hijeulos
is the first Hispanic writer to win the Fiction Pulitzer.
This is a collection of short stories about Vietnam. Butler was
in Vietnam during the war and fell in love with the country. The stories
were good, but not outstanding. I actually find the author more interesting
than the stories. He does a great job of writing from many viewpoints
(a couple of the stories are first person as a Vietnameese woman). I am
interested to read his later books [from Wikipedia]:
Severance, his 2006 collection of 240-word short stories about the post-beheading thoughts of decapitated individuals (from Nicole Brown Simpson to Louis XVI to the author himself).
Intercourse, comprising 100 very short stories, revealed the inner monologues of couples (often famous) engaged in sexual intercourse.
Odd name, odd book. A story about a Forest Gump type of character who
ends up in Newfoundland writing for a crazy local newspaper. I always felt that
there was a feeling of 'almost fantasy' in this story. Many odd barely believable
things happen. I suspect that this book would be more understandable with a
second read. It is a little bit like the film Memento, where you just want to
say, "What! Wait! What was that all about?"
This is the story of a woman's life told from before her birth to after her death.
It is told with straight ahead narrative, letters, quotes, newpaper clippings, ete.
In fact, it is anything but a diary. I thought at one point it would morph
from third person narrative to first person confidential when she became old enough
to actually keep a diary, but it never happened. Not a bad book, but you do have to
pay attention as the clues are dropped in each section. This ain't Clancy.
The independence day of the title is sort-of a double meaning thing.
The story takes place over mostly a single day (July 4th). However it is
also about divorce, children growing up, and middle age. The storytelling
is straightforward and easy to read, poignant and warmly amusing. However,
if this was the best book the Pulitzer committe could come up with, hmmmmmmmm.
A story set in the late 1800's New York. This harkens back to the novels in
the early part of this list. Fine story telling, but I wasn't sure of the arc or moral of
the story. I thought it ended rather weakly. Short book, you can read it in two evenings.
Ursula K LeGuin was shortlisted this year. One of the very few cross-over authors.
Do you like Virginia Wolff? Read this, it is an homage. However...
I didn't know anything about Wolff, and had not read anything from her before
reading this. Ack. There is a LOT of required background you will need or
this will not make sense. It is written very much in the stream-of-concsiousness
that Wolff is famous for. If you like your novels as narative, skip this.
It is disjointed and self-concious, see my comments on 'let-er-a-choor' in
other places. This might be better after some good drugs.