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Monday, October 31, 2011

The Last Werewolf

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

Hard Cover: 304 pages
Published: 2011
Amazon Customer Reviews: 4 stars****

“A brilliantly original thriller, a love story, a witty treatise on male (and female) urges, even an existential musing on what it is to be human. Get one for yourself and one for the Twilight fan in your life.”—James Medd, The Word (UK)

“Space should be cleared for this violent, sexy thriller . . . The answer to Twilight that adults have been waiting for.”—Courtney Jones, Booklist

“Yes, there are vampires here . . . But don’t give this book to Twilight groupies; the frank tone, dark wit, and elegant, sophisticated language will likely do them in. . . . smart, original, and completely absorbing. Highly recommended.”—­Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (Starred review)

“The best books are blurb defying; they're far too potent for a flimsy net of adjectives ever to capture them. I could say that The Last Werewolf is smart, thrilling, funny, moving, beautifully written, and a joy to read, and this would all be true. But it would also be a woeful understatement of what Glen Duncan has accomplished with his extraordinary novel. The only useful thing I can offer you is a simple admonishment. Stop reading my words, and start reading his. Trust me: you’ll be happy you did.”—Scott Smith, author of The Ruins

“A magnificent novel. A brutal, indignant, lunatic howl. A sexy, blood-spattered page-turner, beautifully crafted and full of genuine suspense, that tears the thorax out of the horror genre to create something that stands rapturous and majestic and entirely on its own.”—Nick Cave

These were some of the reviews from Amazon. Personally, I am not sure if I can recommend this book or not. I loved it! But it is harsh and horrible and beautiful and brilliant. It’s written as a journal and seems so personal that you almost feel like you are not supposed to read it. But you can’t seem to stop. It is so heartbreaking that you can’t help but cheer for this ruthless killer. He wants to die. He is so tired and disgusted with himself but there are certain groups who want him alive and he doesn’t know why. It is very interesting to watch him “run for my life so I can die in peace”. Not like anything I have ever read before.
It is written by an English writer and his use of words is so different and appealing. I was mesmerized with this book. The writing is beautiful and heartfelt and this tragic character is amazingly loveable. There is also aching love story mixed within that is unexpected.

There is some rough language and definite crudeness but the story is deep and thoughtful.
I gave it 3 stars as a recommendation with the forewarning of some rough stuff but on a personal note I loved it and give it 4.5 stars. It has that “Dr. Zhivago” type of heartache and suffering and beauty. Not for everyone.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Help

Hardcover: 464 pages
Published: 2009
4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon (2,551 customer reviews)
Our Book Club Rated it: 5 stars *****

I think there was a lot of anticipation for me to read this book because everyone was buzzing about it and the movie was coming out at the end of August. I couldn’t stop thinking about the women and the era in this book. After reading and talking to Dallys about the Audio version, I definitely want to listen to it to hear the different characters and accents. These were the things I loved most about the book.

1. The Mothers-I thought Hilly’s mother was hilarious and obviously not nearly as prejudiced as Hilly herself and I loved how Skeeter’s mother evolved and became someone ashamed of herself for being cruel in the past and came to Skeeter’s defense. I think she was secretly really envious of Skeeter’s independence and courage. 2. Character Development – I felt like I knew all of them.3. I loved how I felt like I was right there with them. I think that says a lot about the Author. Bringing the reader into the equation is so tricky sometimes and doesn’t always work. She did a brilliant job.A quote from Bethany at another book club, about Kathryn's writing, "...her writing is like life, because you never know the whole story at once. You get tid bits at a time."This book was almost hard to read at times. It made me feel guilty for not understanding more what the black people of that era went through. Especially the women. I am not sure that I am tough enough to have survived that. What a brilliant first novel for an author that was turned down 40 times before someone agreed to publish her book. I can't wait to read more from her. I am thinking that there are a lot of publishing companies out there who are kicking themselves for not taking this book.

Love yall,

P.S. I loved the movie also. When little Mae Mobley said at he end “I is good, I is kind, I is important” my heart broke just a little.

Such a powerful little book. I give it 5 stars.