February 12, 2012

The Sunday Salon - good book, bad book

 Hi, everyone,

last time I've mentioned a German historical novel. Unfortunately I've not finished it yet. But I find it still interesting.

Meanwhile I've read  a book by Marina Lewychka. She is a British author of Ukrainian origin. The book I've read was Two Caravans. Actually, I've found it a bit stupid and a bit boring. It was quite well  promoted in Hungary, but it was disappointing for me. A stupid love story with  a happy end of two Ukrainian (illegal?) workers in the UK. It wasn't ironic, it wasn't funny. It was just disappointing. But maybe it's my fault, the theme migration from eastern part of Europe to UK, makes me always a bit angry. But it's  long story about the situation of the Hungarian society, and it's still a blog about book and literature, thus it's enough to say, I didn't like the novel by Marina Lewiychka. And I think, I won't give her books a second chance, sorry.
January 29, 2012

The Sunday Salon: a German novel on ww2

Hello everyone,

I had a long-long break in writing my Almost Insider blog.
Now I'm back.

As you know I'm reading mostly historical novels, mostly about history of Central-Europe. This Sunday I would like to talk about a German novel on the ww2 by Arno Surminski. The original title is Vaterland ohne Väter, what means, homeland without fathers. It's about a 62 years old woman, who's father has fallen in the ww2, somewhere near to Stalingrad.

She is retired, has lot of free time to researching about the life of her father. Fortunately one of her relatives finds the father's diary and some photos of him and his companion-in-arms. It starts the "time travel" into the past.

It the book beside the narration of the protagonist, there are quotes from real letters from this time. From letters of soldiers and wives, children, eyewitnesses, or even quotes from the most important political persons of that years.

And most of the chapters have quotes from memoirs of Napoleon's campaign in 1812.

We learn a lot about the young man Robert Rosen and his mates trough the documents have found, but mostly there are just the imagination of his daughter, how he was, what he felt, how he met her mother, etc.

So, I'm over 60 pages, it’s still 400 to come.

Happy reading!

April 10, 2011

Read-a-Thon April 2011 (2)

Well, after 12 hours my first goal, at least 200 pages to read form the book Imprimatur by Monaldi and Sorti is reached. Although the novel is not too much interesting. it's like a "The Name of the Rose"-clone. Lost and found manuscript, a homicide, secrets and mysteries. It's set in Rome in an inn (or a hotel) in the 17. Century.The narrator is a young boy, precisely: someone, who was a young boy at the time of the story, but he wrote the whole story 16 year later.  It' s also like in Eco's novel, it's like Adso's position, he was also a young boy when the story, he tells us  took place. (But he notices it in his old ages, so it makes him an unreliable narrator double time) And there are similarities in th character of William of Baskerville and Atto Melani too. 

Well, unfortunately, I can't dissociate it from The Name of Te Rose during reading this book, I'm always searching the similar motives.  

But I'm still hoping to find something makes it more interesting on its own way. 
April 09, 2011

Read-a-Thon April 2011 (1) - my pile

Just a brief post before the big start at 2pm (CET)

I'm going to read first of all the historical novel Imprimatur by Rita Monaldi and Francesco Sorti. I'm just quite curious what difference is between a one-author novel and a two-autor-novel.  (Even: Is there any difference?) For me writing a novel is a solitary activity, and a bit hard to imagine, how to write a novel together with someone other. 

It's almost 500 pages with really tiny fonts, it will keep for a while.  

Not finished but only 20-25 pages are still left in the book: The Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugresic. Maybe I'll finish it during this Read-A-Thon. It's about a teacher, a young woman from the ex-Yugoslavia  living now in Amsterdam. What to do in a foreign world after Yugoslavia doesn't exist anymore.What to do with the own childhood. What to remember... (etc) 
 Oh, yes, and here is the book Atonement by Ian McEwan as reserve, but this is the first piece of my  "currently reading" column in this blog, and it's something like a "close reading", more slowly than usual, because I want to write a lots of things about this book in this blog, maybe it would be unfortunate to change my reading strategy of this novel. So, probably not reading during the Read-A-Thon, but who knows...

The second reserve is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

April 04, 2011

Quote of the Day (1)

"But she knew very well that if she had not stood when she did, the scene would still have happened, for it was not about her at all. Only chance has brought her to the window. That was not a fairy tale, this was the real, the adult world in which frogs did not address princesses, and the only messages were the ones that people sent." 

(Atonement by Ian McEwan)
April 03, 2011

The Sunday Salon: How to restart a blog?

How? This way!

At least my good old Almost insider blog, after a few months' break. 

Hello everyone, I'm here again. And I have a lots of new ideas. First of all, the blog will be more international, I try to focus more on books have English version (and even I have a sample of it). On the other hand, because I read many novels by different Central-European writers, they will have a special role too.

For the first type of books there will be a "Currently reading" cathegory, for the second type ones the good old reviews. There is a post already in the Currently reading section, the book I've choose is Atonement by Ian McEwan. I think, there is a lots of exciting motives in this book about the phenomenon of writing, about fiction and reality, etc.

The third thing: because I'm not only a reader but a writer too, I try to explain my thoughts about writing too.

Well, we will see it, how I'll manage it.

Oh yes, and I'm going to participate on the Dewey's Read-A-Thon on next weekend.

Happy reading!
April 01, 2011

Currently reading: Atonement by Ian McEwan (1)

Actually, it's a re-reading. I've already read this novel some years ago, but I've seen the movie based on it only just some days ago.

Well, I just thought, it's time to read it again, because I'm fascinated by the way, how this story is talking about the sophisticated relationship between reality and fiction. Somehow, it's about the meaning of literature, about why we're writing and reading stories.

On the other hand: Briony's character is also very interesting to me . The little girl, who is writing about love (just remember the story of her play!), but she knows nothing about the "real" love, the "real" desire, she is just a little girl, and this fact changes the whole life of two others.
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