Boy’s Life – Robert McCammon

Boy's LifeBoy’s Life starts off with the promise of a great novel about to unfold. I mean, just take a look at the opening passage:

“CORY? WAKE UP, SON. IT’S TIME.”

I let him pull me up from the dark cavern of sleep, and I opened my eyes and looked up at him. He was already dressed, in his dark brown uniform with his name – Tom – written in white letters across his breast pocket. I smelled bacon and eggs, and the radio was playing softly in the kitchen. A pan rattled and glasses clinked; Mom was at work in her element as surely as a trout rides a current. “It’s time,” my father said, and he switched on the lamp beside my bed and left me squinting with the last images of a dream fading in my brain.” Continue reading

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane-neil-gaiman“Memories were waiting at the edges of things, beckoning to me.”

 When I was a little boy – I must have been six, or seven, or eight – I would sometimes get these very odd flashes of… I’m not even sure how to call it. “Feeling” is too general a word, no, this was disembodied and physical sensations, memories and premonitions all bundled together in an indivisible whole. It came when I was alone and felt like a place, somewhere, somehow. One moment I would be in my room, or wherever I was, the next I would be there. And it would last for just a second or two, but those seemed ominously stretched. It was a scary place, to be sure, mostly because I didn’t understand it and didn’t know how and why I was being taken there. And I knew it was probably a place in my head, little that I was, but it felt vaster than that. It felt like all the knowledge of the world was there and also all the things that I would love and lose. It might have been a good place, but it scared me every time. Continue reading

The Fractal Prince – Hannu Rajaniemi

Step into the Palace of Stories, taste their body of fractals…

I gobbled The Fractal Prince up in just a few days, hungry to devour as many pages as possible during my daily commute between tube stations. Or maybe trying to slow down and savor them, sorry to see the book come to an end. Anything inducing such paradoxical states of mind must be more than just good. The follow-up to The Quantum Thief is full of such curiosities. It is pretty short as novels go and yet it feels vast, infinite even. The story is involved to the point of obfuscation, but each day I would sink effortlessly into its winding ways and half an hour later would pop out of the underground, one or more self-contained stories sparkling like exotic jewels in my mind. It is a labyrinth and a room full of mirrors where you can easily lose yourself (occasionally even your self) and where subliminal glimpses of massive creatures moving hidden underneath the surface will startle you, grand colorful illusions will dazzle, memes will burrow and most of what you know will be revealed as nothing more than shifting sands. Continue reading

Физика на тъгата – Георги Господинов

Двете най-силни книги, които съм прочел тази година, са български. Чак ми е странно колко много ме радва това. Някакво неоформено усещане за лъх на претенциозност дълго време ме държеше настрана от Физика на тъгата (за втората книга може би друг път), но накрая го преодолях и сега съжалявам, че го е имало. Нищо, грешките учат.

Всъщност разбирам защо ми е лъхало на претенция. И тук както и в Естествен роман от същия автор в сърцевината на книгата е отказът от добре отработената форма. Даже цитатите в началото си го казват това: “Чистите жанрове не ме интересуват много. Романът не е ариец”, “Читателят е свободен да приеме тази книга като роман…” Continue reading