I realised I haven’t posted in this thread for a while. Here are a few I finished recently (IE since the end of January)
Ottessa Mosfegh - Eileen Read this because I was reading the reviews from Sundance of the movie adaptation. Very curious to see how this works as a film as so much is internalised. I really like Thomasin McKenzie and based on her performance in Leave No Trace, I reckon she might be able to pull it off. Felt a bit like this was a book of two halves - one a character study that was all kinds of delighfully weird, and then kind of plot-heavy in the second half. Quite liked it though, and although Patricia Highsmith is kind on an obvious comparison, it’s also one I don’t mind because I love Highsmith. This book also kind of has a twist (or not, it depends on how you interpret it) that will absolutely suck in a movie adaptation if they decided to reveal it.
Bret Easton Ellis - The Shards I mean, you know what you’re going to get from a BEE novel and as someone above posted, this is super long. I’m not sure if it was unnecessarily long, I kind of like it when Bret Easton Ellis pads out chapters with unnecessary stuff, like the lists of names at the beginning of each chapter Glamorama and this book he is just dropping names of songs and artists playing on literally every strero that appears in the book, so you get a song title pretty much every third page. Made the experience kind of fun, as I just loaded up the youtube video each time and it was a nice soundtrack. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this has a similar plot elements to The Secret History as Ellis and Donna Tartt either went to the same college or something like that. This is basically a mashup of all of his previous books in the form of a doorstop / Airport novel crime thriller.
Stanley Tucci - Taste Read this purely because I love Stanley Tucci, not because I have any interest in food. Liked it for that reason. Kind of skipped over the recipes, some of which are like, to serve 10 to 12 people. Sometimes famous write books because they’re famous and whatever, but I like his writing style - somehow balancing pretentious with humble, and he’s absolutely not afraid to take the piss out of himself and his primary work as an actor.
Stephen King - The Shining Read this is amy ongoing “Kubrick films are better than the books they are based on” theory, which I realise has already fallen not even at the first hurdle, but before I even started because Nabokov’s Lolita is way better than Kubrick’s film. But whatever. I thought, based on King’s reaction and what most people have told me, that this was going to be so different from the film that they would be incomparable. Not so! The basics are all there - family go to look after a hotel out of season, and madness ensues. Totally get why Kubrick ommitted some of the more wacky things and and added things. Yeah, the film is better, but the book is not so different or inferior as I expected.
Dizz Tate - Brutes The blurb for this book screams “The Virgin Suicides meets The Florida Project” which sounds a bit trite but it got me to read the book, and it’s not exacfly inaccurate. The Virgin Suicides comparison comes from the fact that it’s mosty told in the first person plural, IE “we” and it’s about a group of kids (8th graders from what I remember) who hang around in this Florida suburb and a girl goes missing. This is not a long book (just over 200 pages) and I think I probably would have enjoyed it more if I didn’t have to read it in 30 minute bursts spread out over two weeks
Ted Chiang - Stories of Your Life and Others - Widely acclaimed collection of sci-fi short stories.The title story (‘Story of Your Life’) is the one that the film Arrival is based on. This ended up being my favourite story of the collection, but I liked almost all of these. I’m not an avid sci-fi reader, but I like it in short story form. I particularly liked ‘Understand’, which is one of those ‘what if someone took a pill or an injection and got super intelligent’ things like Limitless or Lucy, but much smarter and literary so the character doesn’t learn how to do kung-fu or whatever to beat up goons, but has to evade detection.