Monthly Archives: June 2017

Tenth of December by George Saunders: My Chivalric Fiasco

My Chivalric Fiasco is set in a theme park which is based on medieval court life. One night Martha from scullery gets raped by the theme park’s boss, and Ted, a janitor is the only one who knows it. The boss tries to get away with it by promoting both Martha and Ted in exchange […]

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (Book vs. TV)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous Poirot novels and considered to be a cornerstone of vintage crime fiction. The novel’s wow factor was not clear to me at the beginning; it started out quite ordinary. Roger Ackroyd knew too much about the affairs of the woman he had been […]

Tenth of December by George Saunders: Home

Home is a story about Mike, a veteran returning home. His house (his Ma’s house, actually) looks the same, more or less, but the people who make that house a home aren’t the same except for his Ma who is fiercely loyal to Mike. Ma’s old partner has moved out and her new partner, Harris […]

Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age by Bohumil Hrabal

The novella Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age is written as a single (unfinished) sentence! Long sentences that run for pages are not my usual cup of tea. I still remember how daunting it was to read Gabriel García Márquez’s (he is one of my favorite authors) The Autumn Of The Patriarch. And that […]

Tenth of December by George Saunders: The Semplica-Girl Diaries

The Semplica-Girl Diaries has a dystopian feel to it. Its epistolary narrative is written by a man who just turned forty. Although he hasn’t given up on the American Dream, his family with his wife, Pam and three children, Lilly, Thomas, and Eva are not well off. The narrator is a good man, caring for […]

The Little French Bistro by Nina George

Marianne, in her sixties, has been married to Lothar, her controlling husband for forty-one years. During a trip to Paris unable to take Lothar’s mistreatment anymore, Marianne decides to end her life only to be saved thanks to a Samaritan. The episode doesn’t win Marianne any sympathy from Lothar, who chides Marianne and leaves her […]

Tenth of December by George Saunders: Al Roosten

The setting of Al Roosten is a Local Celebrity Auction, a charity event organized by a small town chamber of commerce to raise money to fight drugs. According to Al Roosten, the title character, himself and Donfrey are “the twin pillars of the local business community.” But in reality, Al is running a failing business […]

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Here and Gone follows the story of Audra Kinney. Audra is running away from her abusive husband to San Fransico with her two children. In Arizona, she gets pulled over by the local sheriff who charges her with possession of marijuana. But when she gets to the station, her kids are gone, and the sheriff […]

Tenth of December by George Saunders: Exhortation

Now I’m not sure what this was all about. In a memo, Todd, a low-level manager explains the importance of positive outlook to his underlings. He tells them about the dead whale which he and a few of his friends had to lift onto a flatbed. They had first tried to lift the dead carcass […]

The Wine of Solitude by Irène Némirovsky

It is said out of all Irène Némirovsky’s novels The Wine of Solitude is the most autobiographical. Dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships are a recurring theme in Némirovsky’s novels I have read, but none of them have examined those relationships up close like The Wine of Solitude. In The Wine of Solitude, Hélène Karol’s mother is a beautiful […]