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January 08, 2009


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I see this book on a lot of reading lists but didn't really know anything about it. It definitely sounds like something I want to read, especially if it's reminiscent of Margaret Atwood.

I keep seeing this in bookshop window displays and the cover always leaps out at me. It seems so familiar that when I started reading your post I thought 'Got that', but of course I haven't.

I've only read Mitchell's Black Swan Green, which I enjoyed so much I've been afraid to try anything else in case I didn't like it.It sounds like I should try this.

The premise reminded me of Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveller. If you haven't read that, I'd recommend it.

Yes, I can't recommend it enough, Teresa and Kit.

Sarah - thanks for the Black Swan Green recommendation. I am glad he has done something else as good. As you say it is tempting to avoid disappointment with an author when you read something really good to start; how can they ever repeat their success? I am very pleased by what you say about the Calvino as I was given that for Christmas and wil be into it soon!

I am going to be honest and say I read it all but absolutely hated it. I didnt like the finishing mid sentence. I thought the idea and structure was great but the bit way ahead in the future, nope couldnt take to it. Found Will Self's The Book Of Dave so much easier (and everyone says its horrific) and that had a second language to learn. Am worried about Oryx and Crake now! Great review though, maybe I read the book in the wrong frame of mind?

Have to admit I got stuck about half-way, though I do plan to go back to it. I loved his earlier books, Ghostwritten and Number9dream, so I was surprised that I got so bogged down. Maybe I'll give it another go later in the year - it sits on my bookshelf in silent reproach at the moment.

Interesting, Simon and Geranium Cat. I think it is an odd book, in its format, but I thought it a rattling good read within each section, and I did think he managed to pull the whole thing together. It is all just opinion though isn't it! I am still thinkng of the book in great detail and I think it will be one that stays with me, which is why I recommended it so strongly. I just thought it was rare to combine high literary qualities with such fun readability.

I do agree, Simon, that the futuristic stuff was less convincing and less interesting that the historical narratives. Maybe he gets less interesting the more political he is? I don't know.

Thanks for your comments both of you. I like a bit of dissent. I think this is what book blogs have over standard paper based reviews.

Hi - just found your blog via your Snowbooks post on children's books and have blogrolled you - wanted to offer you a copy of The Letters if it appeals and if you fancy the idea of being a part of the blog tour (if you liked it) - more info at Anyway - glad to have found your blog!

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