Book Review – Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Exit West

Exit West is a 2017 novel by Mohsin Hamid that blends fiction and magical realism. The story follows dual protagonists Nadia and Saeed, a young woman and man who live in an unnamed city that is gradually beset upon by militants. Though Nadia is more independent and outspoken, which goes against tradition, and Saeed is generally more conservative, the two begin a romantic relationship. As they try to survive day-to-day in their city, with the militants encroaching further and further, mysterious doors begin popping up there and around the world, linking places many miles apart. As life in the city becomes nearly unlivable the two seek out one of these doors to escape the daily violence and build a new life far away.Read More »

Book Review – Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson

Phasma

Phasma is a Star Wars novel by Delilah S. Dawson, published in 2017 as a part of the “Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi” series of books released in anticipation for Episode VIII. Despite this banner, the story is largely separate from the plot of that film. Resistance spy Vi Moradi has been captured and taken aboard the First Order Star Destroyer Absolution. She is kept in an interrogation room in the bowels of the ship, where a crimson-armoured stormtrooper—Captain Cardinal—keeps her secret from his superiors. He wants to learn everything Vi knows of his counterpart and rival, the mysterious Captain Phasma, who threatens his place of prominence in the First Order. Vi divulges to him Phasma’s elusive origins on the world of Parnassos, long left for dead by the galaxy at large, and the strange odyssey she took to join the ranks of the First Order. By the end of her story, however, Cardinal may have learned more than he bargained for.Read More »

Book Review – Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt

UndermajordomoM‌inorCover

Undermajordomo Minor is the newest novel by Patrick DeWitt, published by Anansi House Press on September 5, 2015. DeWitt is well known for his previous and bestselling novel The Sisters Brothers, which received significant acclaim. The story follows Lucien “Lucy” Minor, a young man going out into the world to seek something more from life, gaining employment as an undermajordomo at the mysterious Castle Von Aux. Promotionally, the novel is described as “A love story, an adventure story, a fable without a moral, and an ink-black comedy of manners.”Read More »

Book Review – Ablutions by Patrick DeWitt

AblutionsCover

This past week I finished reading Ablutions, the first novel by Patrick DeWitt — published in 2009 — who is better known now for his award-winning novel The Sisters Brothers. Structurally, the novel is a collection of notes, anecdotes, and recollections of the nameless protagonist’s experience working as a bartender in a seedy Hollywood bar. The story explores many of the bar’s vagrant, down-and-out regulars and employees, as well as the protagonist’s own spiraling life centred on an excess of Irish whiskey and popping pills.Read More »

Book Review – Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

LullabyCover

Though it took me longer than I had planned, this past week I finished reading Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk. The novel follows Carl Streator, a reporter who discovers that unsuspecting parents are reading a deadly poem to their children on page 27 of Poems and Rhymes from Around the World — an ancient culling song meant to give a painless death to the old or infirm. The lyrics of the culling song kill whether spoken or even thought. Streator begins a cross-country quest to destroy all remaining copies of the song and save humanity from its disastrous effects.Read More »