What I’m Reading: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

12657382_10153209777566666_7276641469508504320_o.jpg

TITLE | We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

AUTHOR | Karen Joy Fowler

STAR RATING | 4

ABOUT | Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and our narrator, Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. “I spent the first eighteen years of my life defined by this one fact: that I was raised with a chimpanzee,” she tells us. “It’s never going to be the first thing I share with someone. I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren’t thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern’s expulsion, I’d scarcely known a moment alone. She was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half, and I loved her as a sister.”

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT IT | Wholly original in concept and voice — jaunty, smart and heartbreaking — this is one of my tops reads of the year.

WHO I’D RECOMMEND IT TO | Anyone who enjoys witty yet emotionally gripping work, especially in the context of complicated family relationships.

FAVOURITE QUOTE |

“One day, a package of junior-sized tampons was left on my bed along with a pamphlet that looked technical and boring, so I didn’t read it. Nothing was ever said to me about tampons. It was just blind luck that I didn’t smoke them.”

#flashreview: The Sisters Brothers

The Sisters Brothers

TITLE | The Sisters Brothers

AUTHOR | Patrick DeWitt

STAR RATING | 4.5

ABOUT | An unforgettable tour de force tale — wearing a cowboy hat — about a pair of mismatched brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT IT | The complex and compelling narration, and the eccentric cast of characters. Funny, brutal, and ultimately beautiful — I will read anything that DeWitt writes.

WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE ABOUT IT | That there isn’t a Coen brothers film adaptation.

WHO I’D RECOMMEND IT TO | Anyone who doesn’t like Westerns. This redeems the genre in every way.

What I’m Reading: I Am Pilgrim

photo

TITLE | I Am Pilgrim

AUTHOR | Terry Hayes

STAR RATING | 4

ABOUT | A former intelligence agent who wrote a book on forensic pathology becomes involved in a case where someone uses his book to commit untraceable murders.

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT IT | It’s a smart, satisfying, ambitious thriller. Technically it’s a debut novel but scriptwriter Hayes is an accomplished storyteller. The pages turned themselves.

WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE ABOUT IT | It is a bit US-propaganda-ish and I believe the editor could have been a little more ruthless in cutting out extraneous detail and author intrusions.

WHO I’D RECOMMEND IT TO | Anyone who enjoys full-tilt, action-packed thrillers.

FAVOURITE QUOTE |

‘What are you doing?’ he asked, leaning against the door frame, so tired his face looked like an unmade bed.