Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Sea Hawk - Rafael Sabatini

The Basics: The Sea Hawk, Rafael Sabatini, 1921, 358 pages, softcover

How I found it: Random browsing in Greg's section of the bookshelf.

What's it about?: An English gentleman is framed for murder, becomes a Muslim pirate and tries to get revenge. I believe it takes place in the 1600s or so.

Did I like it?: Having read the ultimate revenge novel, Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo at the tender age of 8, I'm a bit jaded when it comes to revenge novels. Therefore, I didn't really like this one. The revenge wasn't calculated enough and the protagonist wasn't in the slightest bit likable. The author seemed to throw in plot details at random and so the book didn't seem very well thoughout and was poorly written.

Would you like it?: Well, Greg says that "girls wouldn't like Sabatini" so perhaps that is my excuse. However, I have no problem with so-called "man books" and often enjoy them so that's not it. I think you would only like this book if you were a teenage boy who wanted to read an adventure story or if you were really into pirates. I suppose this will teach me not to randomly root around in Greg's books!

But don't take my word for it: Editorial reviews and glowing real people reviews.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Tent - Margaret Atwood

The Basics: The Tent, Margaret Atwood, 156 pages, hardcover

How I found it: I noticed it on the page for new books and since it is by my favourite author, I ordered it.

What's it about?: It's a small book with lots of small pieces in it - prose, short stories, etc. They are all typically Atwood but more mature - not as angsty as "Disembarking at Quebec" and the Susanna Moodie poems.

Did I like it?: I have to say I didn't really. All of the pieces were not quite poems and not quite long enough to be short stories, with the pieces that I did like, such as "Chicken Little Goes Too Far", it seemed as if Atwood had started to write something cool and then wrapped it up to be short and more literary. I wasn't that impressed, and to be honest, I didn't like anything in Part I of the book. I was hoping it would be more like some of her other short story collections, but not so much on that front.

Would you like it?: Likely not. You'd have to be a hard core lit-geek or a Peggy fan. I don't regret the purchase, however I wouldn't encourage others to buy it.

But don't take my word for it: Regular people reviews and editorial reviews.