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En créant le personnage de Zénon, alchimiste et médecin du XVIe siècle, Marguerite Yourcenar, l'auteure …


5 stars

So much to say about this book. First I have not read the English translation but personally I think this work is impossible to translate in any other language. The mastery of French as writing material the way a composer masters music, combined with the beauty of it's use in this novel and finally the many levels of meaning make translation an impossible task. This one of the very few works that have been matured during the whole of an author's life and the sheer mastery of the result is humbling. And for those men who still think that women are not equal to man I dare you to read and understand any book by Yourcenar and keep thinking and saying this. I've read Memoirs of Hadrian when I was relatively young and that book has had a very deep influence over my whole life.

Even the Darkest Night 2 stars

"A first, prize-winning work of suspense from the internationally acclaimed author of Soldiers of Salamis. …

Bad mix of "literary" novel and thriller

2 stars

Very long work (read the ebook but would guess around 500 pages) where the action is always interrupted by long literary digressions and the literary flow is cut in by sudden action.

Maybe just me because the book has lots of very good reviews on other sites.

Slow horses (2011, Isis) 4 stars

Slough House is Jackson Lamb's kingdom; a dumping ground for members of the intelligence service …

As good as they get

3 stars

Read the book after watching the series of the same name that just came out. Both very good. Granted not the complexity of John LeCarre but the style is something else. Herron's style is dripping " spy novel" and every sentence is a pleasure to read.

Beautiful World, Where Are You (Hardcover, 2021, Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 4 stars

Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d …

Tightrope writing

3 stars

Sally Rooney likes to play with fire. She writes an impressive quantity of words about nothing ( what some would call "bird brain" talk) but manages to slip in those incredible insights about life and relationships that keep you wanting more and keep you reading just as you're just about to quit . I'm usually not very tolerant of insignificant chatter but I have to admit that I was hooked in this case. And she achieves that in a very classical structure with an intro, a development and a conclusion.

The Paper Palace (Hardcover, 2021, Viking) 4 stars

I don't understand why so many readers have talken offence at the abuse evocations and other sexual content.

These things do happen in real life and not talking or writing about them doesn't make them less real. And it's not like she goes in lengthy details, she just mentions the fact that they happened. And she certainly doesn't give any indication that she approves them.

But what does get me is her style where she does go on details after details on the fly hitting the screen doors and it goes on and on.

Too many many details and endless narrations going nowhere.

I left after the first third.

The Law of Innocence (2020, Little, Brown and Company) 4 stars

Defense attorney Mickey Haller is pulled over by police, who find the body of a …

Very solid writing based on proven recipe

3 stars

Connelly has always done good work and the results are reliable and predictable.

He had even found a way to iron out small quirks that kept irritating me such as lengthy descriptions of Los Angeles.

As usual I enjoyed this new book from him.

Matrix (2021, Riverhead Books) 4 stars

Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn …

Sadly usual anachronical vision of the middle-ages

2 stars

Very well written with a vocabulary that does make you feel you're somewhere around 1160. But the premises of the novel are not very believable. For instance the hero, a 16 years old teenager doesn't believe in God. Don't forget that not only was the church back then very powerful and very present in everyday life (mass every day, many saints birth and death days were celebrated every week) but also science was obviously still in infancy which means that people back then didn't have obvious explanations for many aspects of life such as illnesses and natural events such as floods, forest fires, etc. Believing in God then was easy and not believing was not very likely. Add to that the fact the this young lady transforms an abbey from starting to super rich with nuns fighting and winning against villagers and you realize that this doesn't make for a …

The Anomaly (2022, Michael Joseph) 4 stars

In June 2021, a senseless event upends the lives of hundreds of men and women, …

Original conundrum but quite awkward

3 stars

Read the French version. So how do you react when you find yourself facing yourself literally, meaning another version of you, same DNA and same memories? Descartes' credo becomes " I think that I think therefore I am".

Little Black Lies (2015) 4 stars

Admirably constructed thriller

4 stars

Never thought that the Falklands could be the settings for so much tension.

After a somewhat slow few pages the pace picks up real quick and never releases you until the last page with many surprising twists along the way.

I'll let you guess how the main character can commit 176 murders and get away with it.

Né d’aucune femme (French language) 2 stars

As dark as they get

2 stars

19 th century in France, a girl is sold by her father and is badly mistreated. The narrative alternates between the voices of said daughter, father and mother. The only narrative that carries the story is that of the daughter and the reader doesn't really see what the other narratives are contributing to it. Gets repetitive real early and not too convincing.