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Showing posts from February, 2012

Book 7 - From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant by Alex Gilvarry

This is Gilvarry's first novel and is told in the first person voice of Boyet Hernandez, a young man from the Philippines, who has arrived in New York City 2002 with the hopes of pursuing a career in fashion and design (he went to school for it in the Philippines). His dreams, we learn fairly quickly, have been dashed because he is writing his memoir from a prison cell in Guatanamo Bay, Cuba, where he is sitting awaiting his military tribunal (and a visit from his lawyer that seemingly never arrives) for consorting with and aiding known terrorists. We are given insight into the world that is Gitmo - a place where there are barely tolerable conditions, no lawyer visits and only one two minute shower per week, which must be taken alongside another detainee. We also learned about and are swept up in the hustle-bustle that is the fashion world in New York City.

Gilvary takes a really nice, witty and yet, sharp, look at the American world, post 9/11 and the paranoia that has seeped i…

Book 6 - the Upright Piano Player by David Abbott

This is a pretty short novel that follows the story of Henry Cage, an aging British businessman that has been pushed out of the company that bears his name, that has an ex-wife that is dying, whose children are alienated from him and who has seemingly acquired a stalker, an ex-con that seems out to destroy his life. But what sets the tone for the novel is the chapter in which we first meet henry - he is attending the funeral of his grandson, who died in a horrific accident. The narrative then jumps back five years, to the time when Henry is kicked out of the company and we must then bear witness to his complete and utter destruction - a destruction that actually culminates in the chapter that initially introduces us to Henry.

Surprisingly, to me at least, this is Abbott's first novel. It was surprising because Abbott writes with a maturity and a knowledge and a voice that is so wise beyond his seeming lack of experience. He writes with the voice of a man that has written many no…

Book 5 - Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

I've always been a fan of the Wicked books, ever since I read Wicked way back when it first came out. And then I got to see the musical version of it, which was wonderful, so when I saw and heard that the newest and final version of this series was out, I set out to the library to get it and I didn't even have to put it on hold. So I give you my review of the following book, with the most minimal amount of spoiler age as possible:

When we first open the book, we meet again with Dorothy Gale, who is 16 years old and visiting San Francisco with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. For her, six years have gone by since she visited Oz and rocketed to fame with her killing of the Wicked Witch of the West, but she can't forget about it and her aunt and uncle hope that the trip will cause her to forget about it, make her less loony and therefore, make her more marriageable. While in SF, an earthquake hits and before we know what happens to Dorothy, we are transported to Oz and the socia…