Archive for Fiction

Laura Whitcomb’s “A Certain Slant of Light”

Posted in Books, Laura Whitcomb with tags , , , , , , , , , on 5 July, 2009 by Nicola

I was having a slow day at work, and when I was sorting out reservations for books, I found A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb.  It was reserved by a work collegue, and since she generally has good taste in everything, I read the blurb, was intensely intrigued and left a post-it on the book saying ‘Let me know what this book is like once you have finished’.  That she did, telling me that she blubbed like a baby at the end of the story.

Encouraged, I took the book up myself.  The first quarter of the book is the strongest, with the protagonist’s love interest echoing the same air of mystery and puzzlement as the hero of the Twilight series.  It all starts in a classroom in high school; the boy gives her particular attention that she does not understand, and she is uncontrollably drawn to him.  She abandons the only existence as a ghost and drastically changes into a living form to be with her new infatuation.

So far.  So Twilight.  But where as Twilight goes on to become a ridiculous fan-fictitious farce, this novel remains more grounded and though it never verges on the ridiculous, it does seem to lose track and the impulse to keep turning pages slackens towards the end.  Continue reading

Wilkie Collins’s “Basil”

Posted in Books, Wilkie Collins with tags , , , , , , , , on 10 December, 2008 by Nicola

Basil, being one of Wilkie Collins‘s earlier works, was never going to be as exciting or thrilling as his later novels The Woman in White and The Moonstone. I ventured to expect this when I picked this book up to see the roots of the later masterpieces.

Basil is the beginning of the mystery thriller that Collins would adopt later on, and the inferiority of his treatment of this genre is easy to see. Whereas in The Moonstone things were difficult to predict, and unable to see where things are going, the signs in Basil are not discreet enough, there are no red herrings, what you read are the glaringly obvious hints that lead the story on and lead you to guess the subsequent events. This makes reading Basil a lot less thrilling to read, and will pale in comparison to what you may have read in The Woman in White and The Moonstone. Continue reading

Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight”

Posted in Books, Stephenie Meyer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 1 December, 2008 by Nicola

I consider it my personal duty to read a hyped up book. I must do it. I must have my own opinion, no matter how decided the public are, no matter how slated it is by elitists. I usually side with elitists when it comes to books. Generally speaking, I much prefer to sit down with classics than to pick out anything from today’s literary world. Maybe it was drilled into me by reading classic after classic for my degree.  Who knows?

Despite this, I have a weakness for hyped up books. Why? Blame it on Harry Potter. When I was sixteen (ooooh, seven years ago) I was mocking Harry Potter along with everyone else. Until I read it, that is. And here is my weakness. The reason why I picked up Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Like anything that is hyped up, people want to swoop in and belittle it, because it is popular. Harry Potter is popular, and to this very day I still come across the odd person that wants to insult it, criticise it and put it down. The pattern that emerges when this happens, however, is that the person in question has not picked up the damn books. I think to myself that they simply would not be saying these things if they actually made the effort to read them; they would, more than likely, become engrossed, like almost everybody else has in the world.

Continue reading