Wednesday, 9 March 2005

currently reading

I am currently reading:

Land of Spices by Kate O'Brien
Set in an Irish nunnery at the turn of the century. A beautifully written story that focuses on the relationship between the Reverend Mother and a young pupil. The characterisation is fantastic and the novel is evocative and dreamy and completely absorbing. I really care about all the protagenists, even the ones who aren't particularly likeable!

Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man and Sherston's Progress by Siegfried Sassoon
The first and third volumns of Sassoon's fictionalised autobiography. The first covers his childhood and young adulthood during the pre-war years and as he joins the army at the beginning of the first world war. The second covers the period from 1917 onwards when he was invalided out with shell-shock and eventually went back to the front, only to get a head-wound and be hospitalised again. I enjoyed both books - the first is evocative of a bygone age and the second describes Sassoon's revulsion with the conflict. I'm currently bidding for the middle volume "Memoirs of an Infantry Officer" on on ebay, to complete the trilogy, as I got their order confused.

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhem
A SF novel, set in a future where fertility has dropped off cataclysmically for all living creatures. Cloning, by a small band of scientists, ensures the survivial of humanity and some domestic creatures ... up to a point. The novel is really in three parts - the time of the cataclysm when the clones are created, a few generations later, when the clones need to leave their family groups to find much-needed resources; and a final period, when there is a return to individuality. I like Wilhelm's style and I like post-apocolyptic fiction. She is a very prolific writer and I also enjoyed The Clewiston Test, which has the same theme of 'biology gone mad'.

No comments:

Post a Comment