Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Virtual Foreign Vacation

Summer is traditionally the time of year for family vacations. It is not always feasible to go to the places you wish to see, so for this task..

A. Read a fictional book that takes place in a country that you have always wanted to visit but have never had the chance to.
B. Read a book that was originally written in a foreign language.

Book Title/Author: The Taming of the Duke by Eloisa James
Publisher/Year Published: 2006 by Avon
Where I got it: It haunted me from the end cap at Wal*Mart... and I gave in to it's awesome cover
Rating: 3/5 stars

This book is the third of the four in the Essex sister's quartet of books. There are no plot spoilers other than what you would find in the summary on the back of the book, but just in case this is my warning.

This was a reread for me. I loved the tension between Imogen and Rafe throughout this series. This book, their book, is book three and the culmination of that, but the "big reveal" wasn't enough for me and was kind of a "Wait... what?" I still thought it was good, and I still really love the secondary characters. It just seems that there was not enough time spent with just Rafe (and I mean Rafe) and Imogen. It was like their relationship was on the back burner.

But I can't hate this book. It is still so wonderful. And it introduced me to Eloisa James as a writer.

In another note, the cover is to die for and may be my favorite cover that I own.

Book Title/Author: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind
Publisher/Year Published: 2001 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published 1985)
Where I got it: Library
Rating: 3/5 stars

I sort of stumbled into this book. I don't normally read whatever genre you would call this, so I went in with a little trepidation. I like plot driven novels more than character driven, and unfortunately this falls mostly in the latter. There were times when Grenouille was doing something that I was completely engaged, turning pages to see what would happen next. And others, especially during chapters told from people I just met, where I wanted to get back to the point.

It was an interesting novel though, and at some points I was really thrown. I did not expect the ending at all but it was fitting for this story.

The idea of scent as the main focus is intriguing to me. I always found it one of the harder senses to capture in media. But Süskind (or his translator I guess) does a good job of helping me smell what Grenouille did through vivid vocabulary. The evolution from form to perfume also really interested me.

So I give it three stars. It's a good book, just not the kind that I fall in love with.

1 comment:

  1. I have not read the book Perfume yet, but I saw the movie and I really enjoyed it. I feel bad for Grenouille's struggles to find the scent that imitated the first girl's scent that he killed, but at the same time, I hated what he was doing as the killer of so many girls. I also believe the ending is fitting to the story (If the book ending is the same as the movie).


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