Monday, 26 April 2010

Shutter Island ~ Dennis Lehane

My brother read this book, and he asked me to read it, too, so he could have someone to talk about it with. I had seen the previews for the movie, and thus I knew that this was a thriller and/or scary book. Normally I don’t read books in that genre. Okay, I NEVER read books in that genre or watch movies either. But I figured I’d give it a try for my brother’s sake.
U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels has been assigned a mission to locate a missing woman at Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane on Shutter Island. He and his partner Chuck soon learn that things are not what they seem at the hospital. During their investigation more questions arise than are answered. On top of that a hurricane is raging around them. Will Teddy and Chuck discover the secrets regarding the island and its hospital? Will they ever leave??
Surprisingly I kind of enjoyed this book. It certainly held my interest. There was also a plot twist at the end of the story. Unfortunately there was some bad language. And since the hospital housed criminally insane people there were some disturbing scenes. Would I recommend this book? Probably not. Will I read a novel from this genre again? Probably not.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ~ Washington Irving

Ichabod Crane is a school teacher who enjoys telling and listening to ghost stories. And the part of New England where he resides, Sleepy Hollow, is filled with tales of spooks and specters and most famous of all: a headless man who rides on a horse at night.

Ichabod tries to court the most sought after beauty in the county: Katrina Van Tassel. Ms. Van Tassel is warm to Ichabod’s feelings, but she is also being wooed by “Brom Bones” Van Brunt, Ichabod’s rival.

Both Crane and Van Brunt are invited to a party given by Katrina’s father. Many scary stories are told the night of the autumn festival, and Ichabod was rather skittish when he left the Van Tassel farm. Not long into his journey home he finds that he is being pursued by the notorious Headless Horseman himself! Ichabod is so frightened by his late-night encounter with an actual ghost that he leaves Sleepy Hollow, never to return.
Because of this book’s history, and the fact that it is so famous, I was expecting a long story filled with adventure and intrigue. You can imagine my surprise then when I discovered that Mr. Irving’s well-known tale is a short story! Its lack of pages though was no indication of its plethora of words. Washington Irving used so many archaic terms that I had to have a Post-It note and pencil next to me at all times so I could write down all the unknown words I found to look up later. And his style of writing is out-of-date which made it difficult to read. I would only suggest reading this story so you can say, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Oh, yes. I’ve read it.” You’re probably better off just watching the movie.

Rebecca ~ Daphne Du Maurier

This story follows the life of a young female attendant to a wealthy matron. The young lady and her employer are vacationing in Italy when they meet a famous Englishman, Max de Winter. Two weeks later Max and the young woman are married, and he brings his new bride back to England to his stately home, Manderley. But all is not blissful for the newly married couple as the new Mrs. de Winter soon discovers that life at Manderley is haunted by the shadow of Max’s first wife, Rebecca. The mystery of Rebecca’s death grows throughout the summer. Finally, all of Mrs. de winter’s questions are answered through a series of startling events.

This famous 1938 gothic novel completely surprised me (in a good way). I was puzzled by the story right up until the very end. But I enjoyed reading this book because it had such a fantastic twist, and Daphne Du Maurier is an excellent descriptive writer; the reader can easily picture everything that is happening. One other thing that was unique about this tale is that you never find out what the new Mrs. de Winter’s first name is. She is only called by her surname. This was an interesting novel for adults.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

P.S. I Love You ~ Cecelia Ahern

I started reading this book and got to the third chapter, I believe, but I couldn't finish it.  There was so much swearing that it was hard to over-look.  I know the story is sweet and I was interested to see how Cecelia actually wrote the book but I couldn't read it.  I don't recommend this book for that reason, since I didn't get too far into it, I obviously don't know much about the rest of the book and cannot rate it on the rest of the contents.