Monday, May 24, 2010

Review: Listen

by Rene Gutteridge

Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois (2010)

'Where (or of what) one cannot speak, one must pass over in silence' (Wittgenstein)

'Xiphos titroskei soma, ton de noun logos' (Ancient Greek Proverbs)
The sword wounds the body, the word wounds the spirit.

The community of Marlo, a quiet village, go upside down when private conversations are posted on the web. So everyone knows the real thought of friends and neighbours, and grow troubles.
The web give the rules of a new morality: everyone have to restrain saying something that could hurt someone else.
'To hear people's private conversations ... it kind of lets you know who they really are. It's almost the only way to know who people really are. That's when their guard is down' p. 171-2

The shocking novel's start and the detective passages (where the police are close to find the person responsible of the posts in the web), in my opinion save this book from to put down.
'Listen' shortened of almost half pages would become a fast and readable book; many passages, useless, describe boring ordinary life.

Meredith: 'Can anyone hear me?' - 'Nobody answered' (p. XII). Sometimes no words wound the body.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Review: Man in the Dark

Man in the Dark
by Paul Auster
Henry Holt and Company, New York (2008)
Macmillan Audio (2008), Audio CD

A book in one night and two parts.

August Brill (August is a bright month) is the main character of Man in the Dark. Affected by insomnia, he tells himself stories.
In the first part of this book August invented a war inside Usa and a character, Owen Brick, who has to kill someone.
The second part: August recounts to his grandaughter, Katya, the story of his marriage and after he rethinks the kidnapping and murder of Katya's boyfriend in Iraq.

Auster, with August's help, wants to build a new world, a parallel world of bricks that lasts (Owen Brick = Oven brick). But this parallel world destroys itself because August falls in his world again, he needs to rethink his world first.

In the first part we find Auster's stereotypes from other books, while in the second part Auster introduces the History that hits the men; maybe he is following a new path in his books.

I prefer the first part, the Auster we all know; although 'As the weird world rolls on' (p. 180)' we could accept Auster's reflections about History.