Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder is a historical novel following Lib Wright, an English nurse and trainee of the famous Florence Nightingale (the pioneer of modern nursing). She is brought to rural Ireland at the request of a committee of locals to act as sentinel to an 11-year-old girl named Anna O’Donnell. She and her family claim that through God’s will she can live without eating, and has supposedly done so for three months already. Lib’s job, working in shifts with a nun, is to continuously watch the girl for two weeks to see if she is indeed a miraculous child or merely conning her community and the people at large who flock to see her.Read More »
If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino is not just one novel, but several. Told in the second-person, the frame narrative tells the story of an unnamed Reader who buys a new book, If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino, only to find that there was a binding issue printing the book and after the first 32 pages the same chapter is repeated throughout, leaving him unable to continue reading after a moment of suspense in the story. Trying to find a complete version of this initial novel he is mistakenly given a completely different novel by another author, which he resigns to read anyway. This too stops short at a moment of suspense, leading him further down a madcap pursuit of novels that he simply wants to finish reading.Read More »
Goodness it has been a long time since I wrote one of these; disappointingly long now that I actually look at when #6 was posted. I think it is safe to say the experiment that has been these posts has failed. Setting deadlines for myself in this way has not led to the results I was hoping for.
At any rate, I still want to post one of these periodically, just to get things down and hopefully spark some of that drive despite the lackluster results in the past. I do have things to share too, so I’m not just posting this point out how much I missed my targets.Read More »
The Saturday Night Ghost Club is the latest fiction novel by Canadian author Craig Davidson. Neurosurgeon Jake Baker knows that the brain is a much more complex organ than we realize. He even paints himself as nothing more than a glorified mechanic; he can help treat a physical malady like a tumour, but the deeper workings of the mind and memory are a mystery even to him. In this novel Jake recounts when he was twelve years old living in his home town of Niagara Falls—or Cataract City, as the locals called it—and the summer of the Saturday Night Ghost Club. It was organised by his eccentric uncle Calvin to explore the supposedly haunted places of the city. During this life-changing summer Jake discovers that this club is unearthing something more horrible buried in his uncle’s past, something that has been kept from him all his life.Read More »
Elevation is the newest book by Stephen King, taking place in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine, the setting of a great number of his stories. This novella follows Scott Carey, a recent divorcee who suffers from a bizarre illness; he keeps losing weight, yet it has no effect on his physical appearance or how he feels. If anything he feels better. He has more energy and feels lighter on his feet. Despite this, he does wonder whether it will stop, or if a day will come where he weighs nothing at all and what that will mean. His troubles don’t stop there, as tensions develop between him and his lesbian neighbors over dog poop on his lawn, which ends up cluing him in to the way the largely conservative community of Castle Rock has alienated the couple, who struggle to keep their new restaurant up and running.Read More »
Goodness it has been a minute since I wrote one of these. I’m sure I’ve gone this long if not longer before, but when I wrote number five summer was still trying to murder me with humidity. Now autumn is starting to chill my bones. Despite me neglecting writing a report last month I did not completely neglect my goals. I do need to start making progress on new things, however, plus I’d like to let you know how things have gone.Read More »
Well, this certainly isn’t August 1st. I seem to be having a bit of trouble keeping to my own deadlines. That’s not to say I don’t work on the writing I want to be working on, but my pace is much slower than I’d like. That may change once I start actively moving on to other stories, but only time will tell. I was initially going to write one of these closer to the 1st regardless of my progress, but I decided I’d be better off waiting until things were in a finished state before putting out another one of these.Read More »
Our narrator should be happy, shouldn’t she? She’s young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, works an easy job at a hip art gallery, lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. But there is a dark and vacuous hole in her heart, and it isn’t just the loss of her parents, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her best friend, Reva. It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong?
My Year of Rest and Relaxation (2018) is the latest novel by Ottessa Moshfegh. The story follows an unnamed narrator who is fed up with her life such as it is. Both her parents are dead, her recurring ex-boyfriend is a high-class dirtbag, and her only consistent relationship with her friend Reva is toxic. Life offers nothing of meaning or value to her. Everything is a superficial façade. In an attempt to remedy her existential dilemma, with the help of a terrible psychiatrist, the narrator embarks upon a journey of self-renewal. She begins taking a myriad of sleep aids and medication to keep herself sedated in her apartment as often as possible for an entire year, believing that by the end of this time she will emerge restored in mind and spirit.Read More »
Goodness, it has been a bit since I wrote one of these. Nearly two months to be specific. There have been some small pieces of news on the writing front, though nothing major. I think I really do need to write these more frequently, as some apparent lapses I’ll get in to might be attributed to my failing to keep this corner of my blog updated.Read More »
It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these, hasn’t it? A little over a month? About time I checked back in with another report. In terms of meeting the goals I did better this time around, though I feel I lightened the load a little. I’ve relaxed a little too much since meeting the goal, so now’s a good time to push myself again.Read More »