Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Could Have Been

The Last Town on Earth: A Novel, by Thomas Mullen. This was an excellent book; I can recommend it without reservation. The characters were so real and easy to empathize with. The author did a great job of giving the reader just enough background information to keep the curiosity up; he gave enough information at the right times to keep the reader from being frustrated. The plot was not quite what I expected, but it was also wonderful. I can't really explain without spoiling it, so you should read it for yourself. I'm also a big fan of the writing style. I had to look up a couple of words jut to be sure, because the vocabulary brought in some fun new ones. The grammar was perfect; it was easy to understand and not too snooty, but it didn't get boring to read either. This one is in my top five. Just don't ask what the other four are: I could never decide.

The Lady and the Unicorn, by Tracy Chevalier. This is the second work by this author I've read (the first was The Girl with the Pearl Earring), and her characters are so terribly good. By that I mean that she captures all character aspects, including their flaws, so well. The reader watches the characters get carried away by their flaws, knowing where they have to go but hoping it doesn't work out that way. Even though the good characters pull through, the bad ones mostly get what's coming to them, and the book can be said to have a happy ending, they still feel mostly sad, both during the reading and on reflection. That's ok; sometimes you need a little sad.

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