Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Title : Room
Author : Emma Donoghue


Posted my review of Frog Music ( while on the road, so I might not stressed enough how she writes really well.

In Frog Music, Donoghue writes an adventure thriller jam-packed with interesting characters, but Room is really something else.

And reading Room reminds me of Little Bee that I read earlier in this year.

Room lets us into the world of Ma and I, and their world that revolves in the room they live in. Never given the chance venturing out, I learns about life as he sees it; the room. Ma has to invent stuff such as exercises around the room and explanation as to why the man comes only at night. 

Until one day, I learnt a little about reality. And together they hatched a plan to run away from their world of the room, to the world which holds promise although is ridden with harsh realities. 

A police investigation turned into a hauntingly beautiful novel. Must read. 

Rating : 10/10


Title : Southern Seas
Author : Manuel Vazquez Montalban

I read this back in Professor Dienst's class. Not the last book, by the way. Kept stalling due to my awful experience.

God. Professor, I wished we did another Ripley book.


So this is about Pepe Carvalho, a detective who is more interested in his gastronomy and other annoying habits rather than focusing on the investigation itself. His assignment was to look for Stuart Pedrell, a businessman who went missing a year ago.

But instead of talking heavily about the plot Montalban went winding over food and it's recipes (yes you can easily get 5 recipes from this book), how skillful he is in his wines and sex. Not the kind people are interested/worth reading anyway. Seriously, I am not trying to dissuade with all my heart from reading it, but....nope.

Yet Montalban has around 19 Carvalho mysteries, and is a very celebrated writer, so...maybe a clump of people in this world are entertained.

Rating : 2/10 and how I wish it could go lower. Just thanks for bringing me around Barcelona.

PS : so far a lot of other reviews online and in class have similar views as me. So, blame isn't entirely on my shoulders. Urgh yuck.


Title : Snow
Author : Orhan Pamuk

Whoever reading enthusiast has heard of Pamuk, and hasn't read his My Name is Red?


His literary fame was enough for me to pick up his book in the Strand (oh how I miss the rows of second hand books on the New York pavement!) and stash it for "future" use.

Listless with the dismal life I am now leading at home, and missing seeing snowflakes fall on the ground, I figured out "future" in Pamuk's case is now.

This book, translated from Turkish tells about the life of a political exile poet nicknamed Ka and his struggle in finding his own voice back. Having sought asylum in Frankfurt, Ka came back to Istanbul for his mother's funeral and found Turkey same yet somewhat changed; he wanted his childhood memories back. Better yet, he wanted to relive it.

Driven by this and the urging of a friend to discover a lost schoolmate, Ka travelled to Kars, a forgotten Turkish town near the Armenian border where snow, suicide girls, religious freedom, a coup, and a beautiful woman held him back.

Desperate to find meaning in the topsy turvy of sleepy Kars while waiting for the roads to reopen, Ka experienced more emotions than he had for years. Poems flow out of him incessantly, he felt moved by the slightest event, and Ipek, the lost schoolmate beguiled his heart and soul. Terrified of the revelations he experiences, Ka tried to make the best out of the situation; taking sides in the coup and at last, destroying many hearts, including his own.

Orhan as Ka's friend wrote this memoir as a remembrance for his poet friend after Ka was shot in Frankfurt, 4 years and 36 days after leaving Kars forever.

Pamuk walked the journey that Ka traveled while in Kars, met the people central to Ka's poetry, and tried to find the assemble of 19 poems Ka had produced in his stay there. Only one was discovered through an old video of Ka's televised reading of it.

The rest of poems, as the souls who inspired it, were lost forever.

Rating : 9/10.