Review: Barkskins, by Annie Proulx

Barkskins by Annie Proulx My rating: 1 of 5 stars Apparently I really am not a fan of anything Annie Proulx writes. I found The Shipping News lacking in real understanding of, and research into, life in Newfoundland, Brokeback Mountain infuriatingly misrepresentative of gay life and understanding, and I’ve found the same true in Barkskins. However, at least with the former novels there was a clear end in sight. The novels did tie up all…

Review: Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee My rating: 5 of 5 stars If a person were to write only two books in their lifetime of the calibre of Harper Lee’s small canon, then they would have achieved something very great indeed. While I realize there was much controversy surrounding Lee’s sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, which I first discovered and loved in English literature class in secondary school, for this devotee of literature…

Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Allan Karlsson

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jónas Jónasson My rating: 1 of 5 stars Writing humour, I believe, is probably the most difficult literary discipline, because humour is such an individualistic concept. What one person finds gut-bustingly funny, another finds offensive, or ridiculous, or just plain not hilarious, not even worth a Sheldon Cooper breathy ha-ha. Given that introduction to this review, you’re going to think: ah, she really didn’t…

Review: The Wreckage, by Michael Crummey

The Wreckage by Michael Crummey My rating: 5 of 5 stars I have become mesmerized by Michael Crummey’s considerable writing skill. His prose is precise yet lush. His characters are real, understandable, compelling, even though their particular experience may be utterly foreign to the reader — such is Crummey’s ability to create from only words living, breathing, knowable individuals. And his ability to create a plot, hang a story from it, replete with sensory surround,…

Review: Adult Onset, by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald My rating: 1 of 5 stars It’s not that I’m insensitive to the topic, or the author’s own struggle with abuse. My problem with Ann-Marie MacDonald’s novel has everything to do with writer’s craft. And that’s where art is very much subjective. So, there are likely many readers who will find my review irrelevant, perhaps even a point of anger, and that’s fine. This is, after all, my review, and…