Rating 4 stars
The first book in Virginie Despentes’s trilogy about a down-on-his-luck former record dealer is a domino effect romp through the music world and its parallel den of vainglorious excess, the French film industry. The title character, Vernon Subutex, has in his possession a set of video tapes in which Alex Bleach, a recently deceased rock star, interviews himself and shares his wisdom with the world.
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It has been a while since I last did a Six Degrees chain. Life got a lot busy over the summer, and I haven’t been reading as many books as usual, never mind keeping up with my fellow bloggers. But here I am, only five days late (what do you mean, more like four months late?), and to celebrate, I’m going to do things properly this time, and not count the first book in the chain as part of my six. Hooray!
The Outsiders by S E Hinton is the start of this month’s Six Degrees book chain. I’ve never read it or seen the film, so let’s see where I end up. Continue reading →
Rating: 3 stars
Sharlene Teo’s debut novel won a prize before it was even published and was the subject of a bidding war between publishers. Usually, I steer clear of books that have this kind of hype around them because I’ve been disappointed by Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome before. I decided to reserve this one at the library, though, because the debate on Twitter around an allegedly biting review in the Observer intrigued me. Continue reading →
Rating: 4 stars
This time two years ago I read Goodbye to Berlin, Christopher Isherwood’s collection of short stories that describe life in Berlin in the years leading up to Hitler seizing power. Mr Norris Changes Trains is an earlier novel that deals with the same period. It’s part comedy of manners, part espionage thriller. Continue reading →