Saturday 6 December 2014

Six Degrees Of Separation (The Narrow Road To The Deep North; Richard Flanagan)

The first Saturday of the month means only one thing! It's  time for Six Degrees Of Separation! As usual it's hosted by Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith!

This month's book is 'The Narrow Road To The Deep North' by Richard Flanagan. I do actually own a book by the same author, though I haven't got round to reading 'Gould's Book Of Fish' yet!

Though I haven't read it, Flanagan's book was the winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize. So too was Yann Martel's 'Life Of Pi', which fortunately I have read. The book was well written and contained a beautiful story. I can see why it was chosen!

'Life Of Pi' centres on a young boy who is adrift at sea and cut off from the world. The children in 'The Lord Of The Flies' by William Golding are also stranded after a horrific disaster (though this time on an Island). This book is a Classic too, and I know that many consider 'Life Of Pi' to be a Modern Classic. They are both great stories, with important messages behind them.

'The Three' by Sarah Lotz, like 'The Lord Of The Flies' involves plane crashes and surviving children. I thought it odd while reading Golding's book that only the children survived. In 'The Three', surviving changes the children in strange ways that no one expects. The two books are a lot more similar than you would imagine them to be!

When I read Eli Horowitz's 'The Silent History', I couldn't stop thinking how similar in style it was to 'The Three'. Rather than having an actual plot, they both tell their stories through the use of accounts, interviews, police and health reports, eyewitness testimonies and articles. I found this to be a unique method of story-telling that takes a lot of getting used to!

I received 'The Silent History' from Netgalley, and so my next link is to Erika Johansen's 'The Queen Of The Tearling'. Both speculate about the future in their own way: Horowitz's book focusing on the immediate future while Johansen's looks very far forward. 'The Queen Of The Tearling' has a lot more of a Fantasy feel to it however.

In all honesty, 'The Queen Of The Tearling' disappointed me in many ways. While on the subject of books that left me feeling flat, I come to my last link: 'A Red Tale' by Nicola Mar. It too is set in the future and includes a magical, fantastical feel in it's plot line. Neither book engaged me enough that I could say I really enjoyed it however, and they had some very fatal flaws within.

How bizarre that I started with some impressive books that are considered the top of their respective publishing years, and ended on books that disappointed me!

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