I miss the Amazon link thing that Vox had for posting book covers!
By the end of October I’d finished 51 books this year – this despite not finishing one single book in the month of September!! You’d think with all that time in airports and planes I would have, but nope, not one. I did start one though and it was the first one I finished in October:
This book is VERY heavy on detail. Published in 1991 Moore gives his characters many, many textures, layers and secrets. The story is set in Patpong, in the underworld of Bangkok and most of the action occurs in a nightclub where businessmen, gangsters, corrupt police and politicians, pimps and tourists interact with each other and the women who sell themselves.
Lawrence Baring is an LA Attorney who finds papers after his wife’s death suggesting that she never stopped loving another man, Tuttle. Baring is invited to Bangkok by Tuttle, who intends setting him up to lose something valuable just as he, Tuttle, had lost the girl to Baring many years ago. Set amongst the turmoil of this strange Thai society the story is about the conflict between these two characters and the change in their perceptions of each other.
The novel has a lot of descriptive atmosphere, the characters are introspective and philosophical (the book seemed longer than 270 pages!). There are many twists and turns and quite frankly when I got to the end I wasn’t really sure what the ending was.
This was not really a metro train book as it required more concentration than I like to give while commuting. I have since finished the second book in the trilogy (November) and found it much easier going but you need the background of this book first.
*** Private: James Patterson & Maxine Paetro. A good commuting book – short chapters; short attention span required. Patterson/Paetro (I wonder how much Patterson actually writes himself) introduces a new character, Jack Morgan.
*** Still Missing: Debut novel by Chevy Stevens. This is written as a series of psychiatric sessions of a woman who is kidnapped, held captive and forced into routines we’d rather not think about. It took me a while to get into and then it drifted occasionally but it made a good commuting book. Interesting plot twist near the end.
*** Bitterroot: A Novel – James Lee Burke. Billy Bob Holland is an ex Texas Ranger who accidentally killed his best friend in Mexico. Now Billy Bob, full of guilt, sees L.Q. Navarro’s ghost and has conversations with him which affects his ability to form relationships with the living. Billy Bob visits old friend Doc Voss in Bitterroot, Montana and gets caught up in Doc’s war with local militia bikers and a mining company. Billy Bob Holland is the type of character who believes in justice but not necessarily within the law. This book was 480 pages long but it was a quick read.
**** Comedy in a Minor Key by Hans Keilson. Keilson is a German Jew who survived WWII hiding in Holland. This book is one of two novels Keilson began writing during the war – the other is Death of the Adversary which is on my to-read pile. After the war Keilson became a psychiatrist and published the first systemic study of the trauma children experienced under Nazi persecution.
This book is about a Dutch couple agreeing to hide a Jewish man who dies whilst they are sheltering him. It is only from the couple’s point of view; we never find out anything about the man, what he is thinking or feeling. There is really nothing humorous about the story but there is plenty of irony and black absurdest comedy. It is a short book (144 pages), it’s lean, engaging and well worth reading.