My throat is so god damn sore, and I finished my latest book today. And another one on top of that. I’m on a roll. So you’re getting two little book rambles for the price of one. Oh goody you.
Let’s start with:
The Memoirs of a Master Forger by William Heaney.
Well well well. This book. It’s cleverly written, wit is interlaced through a curious storyline that makes you reluctant to put down the book. William is the narrator, and he is a fraud. A charming fraud who gives all his profits to a charitable cause, but a fraud none the less. He has an odd sense of humor, he drinks too much wine, and, oh yeah, he cans see demons.
The whole demon aspect of the books a bit odd, and I almost felt like it took something away from the book, once I hit midway and was a bit confused as to what was going on. But once I got my head around the demon idea I accepted it as part of the storyline and got on with reading.
There’s quite a few unexpected bumps with this book, but you’ve just got to ride them out and stick with it. Which is easy enough, as the narrative is a thoroughly enjoyable read. I can’t divulge much without giving the plot away, but if you like books with one foot in reality and the other toeing it’s way towards, I don’t know what exactly it would be specified as, the occult, perhaps? Give this a go. And even if you don’t, it’s a good read and the demons don’t feature so heavily. In fact, if you’re a complete skeptic you can interpret them as a metaphor for human suffering.
Sulphuric Acid by Amelie Nothomb
Quite a short book. Good for a quick little read, but don’t dismiss it on lack of length. This book is about content, not quantity.
Swooped up into a cattle truck rather suddenly one day, Pannonique is taken to the set of Concentration, a reality tv death camp. Here unwilling participants, all randomly taken from their daily lives without warning, are kept prisoner in a recreation of the Nazi concentration camp. When prisoners are voted off they not only leave, they are executed. All the while the public watch with hungry eyes, wanting more.
Pannonique, a beautiful young woman with a heart of gold, wins not only the hearts of her fellow prisoners, and that of the adoring public, the criticising media, but also of a certain Kapo. Will her rebellion make a difference? Will love help her convince an ignorant Kapo to help save all their lives?
This is a very dark exploration of human cruelty. And the sad thing is, if such a show were to exist, would our society react any different than the hypocrisy of each and every set of eyes as they watch Pannonique be beaten, starved and abused.
Definitely a book to get you thinking.