Wednesday, July 18, 2007

BOOKS | Sabriel and the Inglorious After Dark

I'm on a few reading challenges right now, so it was probably foolhardy to have done so - but I've picked up Garth Nix's Sabriel recently. Imani, Chris and Nymeth gave their thumbs-up for the trilogy, so when I found it just lying there on the library trolley last week, I brought it home.

I'm 56 pages into the book, and I thought it started well. We start with a death and a birth, and Abhorsen confronts a dark spirit for the life of a child. I like the world that is created, where the dead spirits are always escaping into the mortal world, and necromancers like Abhorsen has to bind them or cast them back to the gates of the afterlife. I'm looking forward to reading more of the book. (Big thanks to the fellow-bloggers who recommended the Abhorsen trilogy.)

I've also recently brought back from the office the proofs for Inglorious by Joanna Kavenna and Haruki Murakami's After Dark. My boss was finally done with After Dark and has kindly passed the proof onto the next person (me).

I have Joanna Kavenna's earlier book, Ice Museum: In Search of the Lost Land of Thule , which is on my 100 Books to Read 2007 list, so I recognised her name when I first came across it. Inglorious is a work of fiction, and the premise sounds interesting:

Rosa Lane is a dynamic journalist in her thirties, already the picture of London achievement. Her handsome boyfriend is something in politics and her other friends are confident, prosperous and ambitious. But one afternoon soon after the death of her mother, staring at her computer screen at work, she fails to see the point, walks out of her job - and begins her long fall from modern grace.

It seems like a modern tale of a successful woman who suffers an existentialist moment of doubt and questions all that she has taken for granted. Her newfound shift in her outlook gradually alienates her from her friends and all who claims to love her. Her life as she knew it falls apart as she muddles her way towards something more meaningful. It promises to be funny and heartwarming, and it's the kind of story I like - realising you f**ked up in life, and learning to startover, except instructions are not included.

So, that's my new book acquisitions of last week. When my pay comes in later in the week I'll probably have a few new books lined up.

4 comments:

Stephanie said...

I bought my brother the Abhorsen Trilogy for Christmas a few years ago. I actually picked them up from him a couple of weeks ago in a bunch he had to trade with me. Glad to hear good things about them!

Nymeth said...

I'm glad to hear you're enjoying Sabriel. I really liked the dynamics of the world - it was one of my favourite things about the trilogy.

Sabriel is mostly a self-contained story, but the next two pretty much work as a single book. So when you get "Lirael", it's good to have "Abhorsen" at hand too.

I'm quite curious about "After Dark". I've read both positive and not so positive reviews.

Kim said...

Inglorious sounds like it could be on of those deliciously ironic titles.

Nice haul :)

Dark Orpheus said...

Stephanie: Well, i liked what I've read so far. Will probably be able to post more on the book when I read more. Or if I'm not too lazy. ;p

Nymeth: It seems like an interesting world, and me being what I am, I'm particularly intrigued by the world Afterlife element.

After Dark - what I realise about Murakami is that his books can be uneven. It's like music - on the same album there wil be some great singles, but then there will be some songs that just don't cut it.

Kim: I think you're right. Life, and this book, is ironical.