Sparky Travels

May 21, 2010

Book Review Pt1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 3:03 am

I’ve managed to get through a fair few books on my travels, mainly on 15 hour bus or train journeys, waiting for flights and on the beach. I’ve picked up the books from other travellers, book exchanges and sometimes even in (heaven forbid) bookshops.

Here are the first few reviews…

The first book I read as I left Caledonia was Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. I bought it as a cheap and small novel to stick in my bag. Set during Eighteenth century, it displays RLS’ great characterisation as it follows a young man’s flight through Scotland to reclaim his title and freedom. The familiar highland and lowland settings made it all the more enjoyable.

****


Next was Treasure Island, also by Robert Louis Stevenson. I’d never read it before and only had vague memories of Muppet Treasure Island so the twists and turns were unexpected. I see why its such a classic; Its easy to read, exciting and Long John Silver is as charismatic and manipulative a character as imaginable.

*****


While visiting the infamous S-21 prison camp in Phnom Penh I bought Loung Ung’s First They Killed My Father. It is the harrowing autobiographical account of a young girl’s experience of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. Horrific at times and shows the brutality of life under Pol Pot. The simplistic childlike writing starts to grate after a while though.

****


Black Dogs by Ian McEwan seemed like a book that was written to win a prize or in anticipation of being studied at school. It’s a real novelist’s book, all subtle metaphors and suchlike. While obviously well written, I’m not sure that I actually enjoyed it.

**


Chrysalids by John Wyndham - written in 1955 -  is a sci-fi novel set in a post-apocalyptic world where genetic mutations are seen as blasphemous deviations. An interesting premise and decent read but the ending falls a bit flat.

***

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