Book Review: Shantaram

Shantaram

The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥

I just finished reading Shantaram by David Gregory Roberts.  It was okay.  I had this book on my “To-read” list for a long time and had heard great things about it, so I was looking forward to the book.  I have to admit that I was disappointed.

It was a good story, but Roberts needs some serious editing!  It is way to long.  I would have enjoyed the book and increased my rating if it had been about three hundred pages shorter.

My favorite part of the story is Mumbai.  Roberts does do a great job of telling us about this city and the different sections of the city.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone traveling to India and it is long enough to see you through a good bit of your excursion!

If you want to read fiction about India there are two other books I would recommend before Shantaram.  The first book is A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.  This is probably one of my top five favorites of all time.  The second book is Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra.  Both of these books would get a rating of five hearts.

Book Details:   Published by St. Martin’s Griffin (Setptember 29, 2005), 944 pages, ISBN-10: 0312330537, ISBN-13: 978-0312330538

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Bill, Thomas Memorial Library’s Cat (An Update)

On June 30, 2009 I wrote about Bill, Thomas Memorial Library’s cat.  Within the last two days, animal control came to pick up Bill from the library! 

The regular librarians were not there and it seems a substitute librarian, who does not like cats, complained to the library director at the main library branch about Bill.  The library director sent animal control to pick him up! 

 The library patrons are very upset as most of you can imagine.  He was the community’s pet and many people, as I previously reported, fed and cared for Bill. 

I, as an animal lover, thought Bill was a great addition to the library.  He made the library more special.  You didn’t go to just use the computer or check out books.  You went to visit Bill and say “Hello!” to the librarians.  How sad that our libraries have to be such sterile places.

P.S.  Bill is safe!  The animal control person didn’t get him!  Hip, hip, hooray!  He no longer resides at Thomas Memorial Library, but has a safe and happy home.

Book Review: Drood

Drood The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I just finished reading Drood by Dan Simmons.  It was a great read.  I could hardly put the book down and it is a big book — 784 pages!  Don’t let that stop you from reading Drood though.

Dan Simmons takes the novel from Charles Dickens’ last, uncompleted novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  In the course of just barely escaping death in an train wreck, Dickens encounters a supernatural figure named Drood, who seems to have been traveling in a coffin.

The book is narrated by Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens’ friend, collaborator, and sometimes enemy.  Wilkie Collins is an opium addict and a philander, which makes for some interesting reading.  Charles Dickens, also a main character in the novel, is quite the egomaniac and interesting as well.  Drood, while a character in the novel, is mysterious, but not the center of the story that you think.

I have to say that the novel begins interestingly and just as you think you have it, the novel will take a sudden turn.  The end is no different and is certainly not what you expect after reading 700 or so pages.

I liked this novel a great deal and would recommend it for many of my readers.  Keep in mind this is not chick lit though and if that is your preference — take a pass!

Book Details:   Published by Little, Brown and Company (February 9, 2009), 784 pages, ISBN-10: 0316007021, ISBN-13: 978-0316007023