Saturday, May 29, 2010

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (recommended)

I just finished And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. It is a murder mystery/suspense book. I enjoyed reading the book, especially the end; I thought the end was very satisfying. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a short, fun and enjoyable read.

In the book, ten people are invited to come to an island. Each person has a hidden past, a wrong unaccounted for. One by one, each person is murdered in the manner described by an old nursery poem. The murderer is one of the ten. The remaining people try to figure out which one of them is the murderer as they try to protect themselves.

The book is short (only about 275 pages). It read very quickly. The writing is simple and easy to read. The pace was good. The only weakness that I noticed was the predictability of the murders but this weakness didn't detract from the enjoyment of the book.

NOTE: If read carefully (and if you are smart enough), you can figure out which one of the ten is the murderer before the crime is explained at the end of the book. I was not smart enough but esta bien. :)

I would recommend And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I thought it was a short, fun and enjoyable book. Good times.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (highly recommended)

I just finished The Joy Luck Club written by Amy Tan. In comparison to the last book I finished, The Godfather written by Mario Puzo, The Joy Luck Club felt like a breath of fresh air. The Godfather was written like a supermarket novel and The Joy Luck Club is, if I may be so bold, literature. I really enjoyed reading this book. I would highly recommend it.

The Joy Luck Club is something in between a novel or a collection of short stories. It is a collection sixteen short stories or vignettes each told from the perspective of one of the eight main characters: four Chinese mothers and their respective daughters. The shorts stories are loosely connected together; the characters are reoccurring in each others stories and sometimes, the same event is described in separate stories. This gives the book a pseudo feeling of a novel.

The book is clean. I can't remember anything in this book that would be inappropriate for a junior high school student.

Amy Tan's writing is superb! She has an incredible economy of words. The pacing of the book was very fast especially for the subject matter, relationships.

Amy Tan's is an outstanding writer. Some of her stories brought me to tears. Most of the stories has a melancholic feeling but in a good way. Some of the stories were written beautifully. I would classify her writing as literature, worthy to be studied. (NOTE: But I might more affected than normal because the last book I finished was The Godfather which was written poorly. It was essentially a supermarket novel on par with Nicholas Sparks or Stephanie Meyer.)

This book affected me. The Chinese-mother/American-daughter dynamics described resonated strongly with me. It reminded me that my mother is indeed a real person with real feelings and at one point in time, she was a real young lady with her own hopes and dreams. It is good to be reminded of this from time to time. The book is written well. The stories are endearing and engaging. I very much enjoyed reading this book and I plan to read this again. I would highly recommend this book. Good times.