Book 43: Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Achievement unlocked: bucket list book complete.

I tried reading Herman Melville’s classic once before – as a metal head I felt it was my obligation given how many great bands it has inspired – but got no more than 50 pages. It’s tough going.

But this time it just clicked. Continue reading “Book 43: Moby Dick by Herman Melville”

Book 42: The North Water by Ian McGuire

The men of The North Water – and this is a novel populated almost exclusively by men – are drunkards, liars, thieves, rapists and murderers.

In fact, the villain of the piece – the deliciously deranged Henry Drax – is all of the above; an animal governed and driven by his urges and completely devoid of conscience or empathy. He’s wonderful. Continue reading “Book 42: The North Water by Ian McGuire”

Book 41: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

This is more like it. Dark Matter is a sci-fi techno-thriller that does right what Sleeping Giants did oh so wrong.

I haven’t read any of Blake Crouch’s previous work but Dark Matter instantly took me back to my teenage years when I was hooked on Michael Crichton – Jurassic Park, Sphere, The Andromeda Strain. Continue reading “Book 41: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch”

Book 40: Where the Trees Were by Inga Simpson

Regular readers of this blog know I’m a sucker for a good cover. And honestly, how could I have walked past this pearler? Just exquisite.

What I didn’t know was that Inga Simpson is a fine writer and hails from the same part of the world as me – the central west of NSW. Continue reading “Book 40: Where the Trees Were by Inga Simpson”

Book 39: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

It’s like Sylvain Neuvel heard the old maxim “show, don’t tell” and got a bit confused. His debut novel is 300 pages of excrucitating exposition and explanation – he shows us nothing, tells us everything.

The premise is promising enough: a young girl is riding her bike when the ground gives way and she finds herself in the palm of a giant metal hand buried deep beneath the earth. It is, we soon learn, just one part of a monstrous machine – a 20 storey humanoid robot  – left behind by what we assume to be an advanced alien race. Continue reading “Book 39: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel”