Tag: Practice

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.

 


Susan Hill – The Small Hand | Review

Title: The Small Hand

Author: Susan Hill

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 208

Rating: 3.75/5

Susan Hill has this certain style about her that truly is inimitable, although that hasn’t stopped me giving it a go for a recent short story that I wrote. She just spins a great ghost yarn, especially when she’s dabbling in historical fiction cum horror.

I also appreciated the fact that the protagonist of this book was a rare book dealer on the hunt for a first edition Shakespeare Folio for a client. The hunt took him to France, which made me kind of sad because reasons, but at least it gave me an excuse to practice my French some more.

I’ve read quite a few of Hill’s ghost stories by this point, and this one is up there with the best. At the same time, there’s kind of not too much to mark any of the different books out, and I’ll probably not remember too much about this six months along the line. But that’s good, because then I could re-read it, and I think it would hold up well. I imagine it would make for a cracking audio book, too. So yeah, I’d definitely recommend it.

Learn more about The Small Hand.

 


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