Embers

“Embers” by Sandor Marai (Hungary) Review Readers enjoyed this book a lot, finding it a really easy read. They thought the writing was beautiful and evocative, and liked how it flowed. They loved the descriptions of the different places: from the Hungarian castle and grounds, to the Viennese apartment and the Tropics. Readers found the…

A Fine Balance

“A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry (India) Synopsis Set in mid-1970s India, “A Fine Balance” tells the story of four unlikely people whose lives come together during a time of political turmoil soon after the government declares a ‘State of Internal Emergency.’ Through days of bleakness and hope, their circumstances – and their fates –…

One Hundred Years of Solitude

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia) Synopsis Equally tragic, joyful and comical, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” inhabits a strange dream-like space where very little makes real sense, but everything is mysteriously and vividly alive nonetheless. Blending fantasy and reality seamlessly, the characters struggle hopelessly against a merciless backdrop of madness,…

I Am A Cat

“I Am A Cat” by Soseki Natsume (Japan) Synopsis ‘I am a cat. As yet I have no name.’ So begins one of the most original and unforgettable works in Japanese literature. Richly allegorical and delightfully readable, “I Am A Cat” is the chronicle of an unloved, unwanted, wandering kitten who spends all his time…

Too Loud a Solitude

“Too Loud a Solitude” by Bohumil Hrabal (Czech Republic) One of Nicola’s 100 best books for inspiration in the 21st century! Extract and Comment … I pick up a book, and my eyes open panic-stricken on a world other than my own, because when I start reading I’m somewhere completely different, I’m in the text,…

Beloved

“Beloved” by Toni Morrison (U.S.) Review Filled with mixed emotions, readers described the book as outstanding, depressing, horrific, and surrealistic. Most got into the story quite quickly, whereas others struggled with making sense of the language or with believing in the supernatural element. When the initial hurdles had been overcome, all readers enjoyed the book…

Hour of the Star

“Hour of the Star” by Clarice Lispector (Brazil) Review Challenging, frustrating, meditative and surrealistic were some of the adjectives that readers used to describe this modern classic. They found it difficult to get into and agreed that it needed more than one reading. They called it a thinking book and would not recommend it for…

Invisible Man

“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison (U.S.) One of Nicola’s 100 best books for inspiration in the 21st century! Review This book left no reader indifferent, with some loving it and others not. Most readers found the first few chapters very powerful and vivid, such as the scenes of the terrifying battle royal and the chaotic…