09 January 2007

The Thirteenth Tale

I don't read much fiction, and even less contemporary fiction, but I succumbed to the hype and read The Thirteenth Taleby Diane Setterfield. What a great book. I usually complain about books that use dysfunctional families to move the plot along, but I didn't feel that way at with this book despite this family being so dysfunctional that all the things that happen aren't really believable. It was simply a good plot by an author that knows how to write. Highly recommended.

I really ought to read more contemporary fiction; all non-fiction really can't be the only option. Maybe I'll try The Emperor of Ocean Park as per Julie's (and my sister's mother-in-law's) suggestion. Actually it's just nice to have time to read again. Practically all I managed to get through in December was Harry Potter again.

8 comments:

  1. Have you read Hamid Ismailov, The Railway? That's fiction - and contemporary Central Asian fiction, to boot! I received it for Christmas and am nearly finished - and have enjoyed it hugely. Quite wonderful, in places.

    ReplyDelete
  2. No, I haven't read it. Thanks for the suggestion- I'll see if I can get it. It looks like it's not widely available.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, it was only published in English for the first time last year, but in fact it was published in Russian back in 1997 (the Uzbek version remains unpublished, though). By way of additional praise, the translator, Robert Chandler, has done a superb job; he also translated the recent edition of Platonov's Soul which I think you reccommended on one of yr posts last year. As Chandler's introduction to the Railway notes, it was his and Ismailov's shared love of Platonov which cemented their working relationship.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You know exactly what to say to convince me to get the book. It looks like a new edition will be published in the summer; I'll get it then. Too bad my Russian isn't up to par. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  5. There's a review of the book, plus an interview with Ismailov, by translator Chandler, in the inaugural issue of Steppe. I am really enjoying the magazine, and am in line for the book at a local university library.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I saw that you've been enjoying Steppe, Anna. I'd love to get it, but it's pretty expensive. Maybe I'll splurge though.

    And the nearest copy of Railway to me is 300 miles away in another state, so my public library couldn't even get it for ILL. I bet it's at the bookstore in Bishkek though.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Can you put Amazon.co.uk titles on your wish list? You never know . . .

    ps - another book recommendation, Susan Palwick's The Necessary Beggar. An allegory of exile, immigration, bearing the sins of others, and redemptive love beyone death. One of my best reads of last year.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the suggestions, Anna. I've put it on hold at the library.

    ReplyDelete