Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review--Under This Unbroken Sky

    Occasionally, a book crosses my path that leaves me breathless with wonderment and awe, as well as filled with deep respect for the author. Under This Unbroken Sky, by Shandi Mitchell is one such book. Heartbreaking and intense, delicately crafted, and stunning in its simplicity, this telling of a Depression-era immigrant family, battling the challenges of their new life upon the vast Canadian prairie, where the sky is immense and unforgiving and the winters are harsh, is unforgettable.
    Mitchell's skills as a screenwriter served her well in this, her first novel. Every word is placed deliberately, with nothing wasted, and the tale she spins is one that pulls you in, as the home-steading family battles the daily challenges of the life of a farmer during the difficult years of the mid-20th century. The story itself is engaging, but what really captivates is the author's word-craft, which has moments of profound beauty.
    Reminiscent of Steinbeck and Hardy, two of my favorite writers, Mitchell left me wanting to know more, as I savored every last word.
    Put this one at the top of your list! Excellent read.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review--The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    Ok, I know I am late coming to the game on this one, and not sure why I never got around to reading it, but now that I have, I don't see what all the fuss is about.... really. Sorry, to all you "Hitchhiker" loyalists, but I found "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" boring, disjointed, and just silly... and not Monty Python/Camelot silly, which is brilliant, but "Airplane" or "Naked Gun" silly, but in book form, which brings in the "boring" aspect.
   Maybe if I had read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" as a teenager, I would have chuckled more, or at least I would have been closer in time to the era in which it was written, which possibly might have helped.... but, alas, it was not the book for me... now, or, I expect, even back then.
   So, perhaps I need to attempt the reverse experiment.... instead of delaying on reading a classic, I will try to reread one I really didn't like at a younger age--maybe I'll find it magnificent now. Who knows. That book is "The Great Gatsby", another one that, in my mind, failed to live up to all the fuss. Rereading classics and discovering ones I missed is one of my favorite pastimes. Here's to new discoveries.