Tag: Observations

Kurt Vonnegut – Jailbird | Review

Title: Jailbird

Author: Kurt Vonnegut

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 240

Rating: 3/5

This book is a satirical novel that ties back in with the Watergate scandal, and because of that I struggled with it from time to time purely because I’m not particularly familiar with that particular part of American history. I’ve never liked Nixon, but he was also in power a long time before I was born and so it almost feels like it doesn’t matter.

Still, there was some fun stuff here, mostly revolving around Vonnegut’s wry observations and his occasional excellent one-liners. Because it’s also a sort of fictionalised biography of sorts, it also reminded me quite a lot of my own current work-in-progress, which follows the career of a fictional band. It has that same vibe where you have to optimise between showing and telling because while showing is an understandably good practice to have, you also need to tell sometimes to progress the narrative.

I’d say that I mostly appreciated this book from a writing point of view rather than because I particularly enjoyed it, but I think there’s a place for books like that on my shelves and I’m glad that I finally read this, especially considering it’s been on my shelves for several years now just waiting for me to finally tick it off. And to think that it took less than 48 hours. I feel kinda silly now!

Learn more about Jailbird.

 


Louis Sachar – Holes | Review

Title: Holes

Author: Louis Sachar

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 234

Rating 4/5

 

 

This started out super promising, and the idea of troubled kids being forced to dig holes every day reminded me of The Long Walk by Stephen King, writing under his pseudonym of Richard Bachman. The entire first half of the book was a solid 5/5 all of the way.

The problem for me was that the ending let it down, and I think it ended up focusing too heavily on the mysteries of the past when I wanted to see more of what the author had to say about society. There were some great observations here and it was certainly food for thought, and it almost rivals The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton when it comes to books about troubled youth. Almost, but not quite.

All in all, I’d still recommend reading this, but I do think that while it was good, it had the potential to be great but it let itself down. With that said, Sachar did an excellent job, and while this book isn’t perfect, it’s damn close. It’s just what I needed after reading a book that I enjoyed much less than I was expecting it to, and it made for a pretty good palate cleanser. Go ahead and check it out if you’re able to find a copy. Do it.

 

 

Click here to buy Holes.