Tag Archives: books

Coming Through Slaughter, by Michael Ondaatje

Coming through Slaughter, book review by Ruth LivingstoneThis is an interesting book, first published in 1976. It has a weird structure and, initially, I was completely bemused by it.

The subject of the story is Buddy Bolden, a black American musician living in New Orleans at the beginning of the twentieth century. Buddy was famous for his cornet playing and for being one of the early pioneers of jazz music. Continue reading Coming Through Slaughter, by Michael Ondaatje

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The Lonely Londoners, by Sam Selvon

The Lonely Londoners, by Samuel Selvon, Book review by Ruth LivingstoneThis book was written the same year as I was born, 1956. A short book, it describes the interweaving lives of the first West Indian immigrants to England as seen through the eyes of an established immigrant, Moses Aloetta. The book is written in the third person and includes a number of characters, but the narrator is firmly established at the outset as Moses. Continue reading The Lonely Londoners, by Sam Selvon

The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy - book coverThis is a rich, multilayered book which tells the story of various members of an Indian family and the calamities that befall them.

When the book begins, we see the world through the eyes of the grown up daughter, Rahel, returning to her family home to visit her mute twin brother, Estha. Then we flash back to the twins’ childhood and there are a serious of lengthy passages where the histories of various members of her family are described – the awful great-aunt, the frustrated grand-father, the divorced mother, the spoilt uncle, etc. The timeline bounces back and forth. We know, very early on, that someone died in the past Continue reading The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy

When We Were Orphans, by Kazuo Ishiguro

When We Were Orphans, Kazuo Ishiguro - Ruth Livingstone reviews this bookThis book was published in 2000 but, the story is told in the first person and was ‘narrated’ during the 1930s. There is an authentic, old-fashioned feel to the writing. It is not a particularly easy read, being told in a non-linear fashion and with complexly constructed sentences. It took me some time to get into it.

The narrator – Christopher Banks – is brought to England as a small boy, after both his parents disappear. Initially, it is unclear whether he is, or isn’t, one of the orphans alluded to in the title. Continue reading When We Were Orphans, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Now and Forever, by Ray Bradbury

Now and Forever, Ray BradburyI was delighted to find this particular book in my local library. There is so much of Ray Bradbury’s work I haven’t yet read.

This book contains two long short-stories:

1. Somewhere a Band is Playing is a strange little story, with the main character being an aspiring journalist who sets out to report on a small town that is destined for demolition.

The tale blends romance with mystery, and features a town of immortal egyptian characters who hold the knowledge of the books of long-lost libraries in their memories. Part horror story, part fantasy, part ghost story Continue reading Now and Forever, by Ray Bradbury

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Truman Capote

Breakfast at Tiffany -cover of paperbackI am ashamed to confess: I have never read this story. I saw the film, of course. But I never read the book. It is universally regarded as a great story and, when I saw it in my local library, I had to take it out.

Yes. It is a wonderful story. Here are some things that surprised me and some things that delighted me, in no particular order: Continue reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Truman Capote