Book: Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
#80 on the Telegraph’s 100 books everyone should read.
What is the story about?
I would like to say Oscar and Lucinda, but seeing that they only met page 270, not really convinced.
I usually average reading 2 novels a month, this took me around 4 months to finish. It was such a hard novel for me to finish as I didn’t feel any connection to it at all.
It was very confusing too. Each chapter is short, around 2 or 3 pages max; but each chapter has a different narrator or can jump between regions/time. It takes me awhile into a chapter to figure out what is actually going on or who/what I am reading about.
I almost feel bad for giving this book an F .. almost.
It shows that Mr. Carey tried his best, maybe he over tried. Mr. Carey himself says he was anxious while writing the novel. He says he “would take other books off the shelf to check my chapter length was ok.” Mr. Carey I am sorry to say that even though your chapter length was ok, your book length was not. The entire story could’ve been told in 100 pages or so, not 500.
The best way to describe what I feel about this is like watching an anxious cook who wants to get a Michelin star dish but ruins it by trying way too hard and overdoing it.
I can see that you tried, but i’m sorry to say Mr. Carey, you ruined your dish.
Wide Saragosa Sea by Jean Rhys.
Book: The Stranger by Albert Camus
#82 on the Telegraph’s 100 novels everyone should read.
What is the story about?
The story is about a French Algerian, Meursault, who finds himself committing a crime, shooting an Arab 5 times.
I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. After finishing the book, I don’t hold any strong feelings for the character or the story to be honest.
The book was a very short and quick read (123 pages). At first it was awkward a bit. Thought it might be from the translation but I think it’s deliberate to build up the characters awkward personality.
I don’t know why people are so bothered by his nonchalant character and lack of empathy. Honestly, maybe I just feel this way because I read much worse books on this list lol. But his attitude is real, it’s not overdone or made up. It’s real. It’s just the way the world is now (and I guess back when the book was written too).
What annoyed me the most is that there was no definite closure to the book. Was he executed or did he get his pardon? Most likely I think he got his pardon because that’s the way life is .. isn’t it? People are almost always pardoned when it’s a crime against a minority .. sad but very true.
I think the major debate and uproar about this book is Meursault’s lack of empathy or concern for his crime. Coming from a person who is over emotional about everything, I almost envy his thick skin. Of course not to the point of shooting a guy 5 times just because you’re bothered by the sun. But the thick skin that will make you resilient and can adapt to any situation thrown at you.
All in all, a short read that to me was just mediocre.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. The novel is set in a 14th century Italian monastery .. should be interesting.
Till next time ❤