Some unreviewed books of 2013

Heart of the Haiku

 

From the conception of the haiku as a style of poetry in 17th century Japan, it has developed into a widely-accepted art form. I loved every word of this essay – wanting to write out huge passages of it to remember forever. It comes highly recommended as a vignette I will return to many times.

 

The Catastrophist image

 

 

As much as I enjoyed this book, it is a good example of how writing can become dated. Based in the Congo in the midst of independence, it retains the shock that comes with reading about the struggle for freedom in Africa. Exploring how a person and a place can have an effect on love, it was a compelling read – completely shocking and sad at times.

 

The Finkler Question image

 

Centering around a seeming anti-semitic attack in the middle of the night, this is a very clever book that explores friendship and a battle of identity. It is very well-written – a very clever book.

 

Perlmann's Silence image

 

When a well-respected academic in linguistics goes to a conference and is expected to read a ground-breaking paper, he plagiarises portions from an absent member of the fold, only to find out that he is to attend once it is too late. It is a leviathan and very clever read, filled with fear and guilt, on how a man can lose confidence in himself and assume an identity that is not really his.

 

Torn image

 

A must-read for South Africans (although somewhat lacking in true African voice in my opinion), Torn starts with a double murder and explores the various facets of a modern-day South Africa with all of her biases and developments. Overall enjoyable reading, albeit on a level I believe would be better enjoyed by teenagers.

 

The Drowning People

 

I don’t like to write bad reviews, and perhaps it is only because it was compared to ‘Rebecca’ which is one of my favourite books, but I was somewhat disappointed by ‘The Drowning People’. A murder where the perpetrator is revealed, we deal with the reasons behind it… Maybe it just wasn’t for me.

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