Monday 6 October 2014

What I'm Reading # 3

The Silkworm | Robert Galbraith

I really liked The Silkworm, but I don't think it was quite as good as The Cuckoo's Calling. I'm sure sequels are incredibly hard to write (like second albums), as you don't want to just write the same book again, but equally you want people to know it's a sequel, but still, I will always have incredibly high expectations of J.K Rowling. 

The plot of this book is focussed around the literary world, where the first was more fame-centric, both things J.K. can relate to. However, I think The Cuckoo's Calling was better plotted and more intriguing; I didn't like or feel for any of the case-specific characters in The Silkworm really.  I am enjoying the developing relationship between Strike and Robin, and am looking forward to seeing more of that, but to be totally honest, the reveal of the killer at the end of this book was pretty anticlimactic. 

This is definitely well worth a read if you enjoyed The Cuckoo's Calling, but as someone quite new to the murder mystery novel, I'm not sure I can say much more than that. 

Gone Girl | Gillian Flynn

It's been impossible to miss Gone Girl this past year, if it's not news about the film, it's a recommendation from a friend, or spotting someone reading it on the tube. Gone Girl really has taken over. It was because of this that I decided to read it, and it was on finding a copy at a car boot sale for 50p that I decided to buy it. 

Gone Girl begins with the disappearance of Amy Dunne from her home, as told from the point of view of her husband Nick. The book alternates between both Nick and Amy telling you about their lives, and ultimately explaining what happened on the day of the disappearance. Up until about three quarters of the way through, I couldn't put this book down. It was full of twists and turns and moments that made me gasp out loud 'No way!'. However, towards the end, the book starts to feel like Return of the King, there's too many endings. If the book had finished about 60 pages before it did I would have been happy, as it is, it allowed itself to peter out instead of going out with a bang, and that was a shame. 

Overall I did really like this book, and would (and have) recommend it to friends. I like the way it's structured, hearing things from two different, often contradictory, points of view leaves the reader to come to their own conclusions.

I Am Pilgrim | Terry Hayes

Wow. This book was incredible. I literally just finished it and am on a high. It is more than just a book, it's a work of art. Too much? I just want you to understand that this book was fantastic. I also feel like the author put his all into it, in no way was he just writing for writings sake. Every detail was meticulously planned out, every facet of Pilgrim's life is explored, seemingly gratuitously until everything comes together at the end, stories jump back and forth through time and space. You can tell that the author enjoyed writing this book as he fleshes out every single moment.

This book is long, at 700 pages, its almost double the length of Gone Girl, and although this might put you off, not a single one of these pages is superfluous. Granted, when I was about half way through I was wondering what was going on; we'd heard stories about a CIA operative's past, about 9/11, about a brutal murder involving acid, and about a young boy seemingly turned on to the path of Islamic extremism, with seemingly nothing to link them. However, it all starts to come together from about 3/4 of the way through, when some of the bigger questions start to get answered, and some of the puzzle pieces start to slip into place.

When I started this book I was expecting something completely different from what I got. It opens at at the scene of a murder, and I thought it was going to be along the lines of the Robert Galbraith books I've just read, but I couldn't have been more wrong. The fact I expected a murder mystery, along with the easy-to-read writing style made me continue reading. Everything that happened in the book seemed like it was written for me (not that I'm a CIA agent or a terrorist), whether it was the locations or the secret agent know-how, or the Saracen's ingenious disguises and methods of acting out his plan, nothing in this book wasn't interesting. 

This book has reminded me how much I love reading. I love that, unlike with television and film, it's a lot more personal, and unique to you. All the scenes described are how I see them and no one else. All the countries described bring up different feelings and memories in each reader; many of the places mentioned in this book I've been to with my friends, most recently the Greek islands. I will be buying this book for all my friends, and my dad this christmas (spoiler alert!).

Volume One | Volume Two

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