Six YearsI

sixyearsSix Years
by Harlan Coban
read by Scott Brick
2013 / 369 pages
rating:  A/ crime

I’ve had this on my wish list for a long, long time.  I’m not sure about Coban, but I do like a good Scott Brick once in a great while – Brick could wring high suspense out of the dictionary.This book, perhaps all of Coban’s, deserves the honor. Anyway – our 1st person protagonist, Jake Fisher,  discovers that his beloved girlfriend’s husband, the man she dumped him for,  has died.  He’s pined for her for six years. >>>>MORE>>>> 

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The Taliban Cricket Club

talibanThe Taliban Cricket Club
by Timeri N. Murari
2012 / 341 pages
read by Sneha Mathan / 10h 59m
rating:  4

From the front cover and the title this looks like it could be a fluffy little thing, huh?   Well,  trust me – it is.   And worse than that,  it’s a romance!  I got suckered again (It doesn’t happen often.)  I really enjoy lighter fare once in awhile and I don’t mind a bit of  a love story in a tale –  think “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand,”  but The Taliban Cricket Club just doesn’t have the fun and originality of Major P.  –  Except for the setting (Afghanistan – circa 1999) it’s a fairly clichéd plot and the characters are no better, imo, of course.  lol

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by Richard Powers
2014/369 pages
rating: 9.5  / contemp fiction

OMG!  One of my favorite books of all time is The Goldbug Variations by Richard Powers. And although I’ve read much of what he’s written since, nothing has come anywhere near the mark he set with that one – until now.   No, Orfeo doesn’t match Goldbug,  but it at least approaches that level.

The title is the name of  the Greek god of music and instruments as well as the name and subject matter of several operas.  According to Wikipedia the protagonist, Peter Els,  was inspired by the life of Steve Kurtz.

A frame story has the 70+-year old Peter Els grieving the death of his musically inclined dog, Fidelio, and being suspected of bio-terrorism by some feds. >>>>MORE>>>>

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Fourth of July Creek

fourthofjulyFourth of July Creek
by Smith Henderson
2014 / 480 pages -
read by MacLeod Andrews, Jenna Lamia
15h 41m
rating:  8 / literary thriller

I just picked this up on a whim – from the blurbs and sample it sounded like it would be good escapist fare.  It’s more than that because of the structure and writing, Faulknerian, McCarthian, strong, Biblical,  but definitely Henderson’s own.

Once again,  as is typical with contemporary novels, we have two  interwoven plot threads.  Both take place in 1981 and involve the same protagonist,  Pete Snow, a rural Montana social worker with some difficult problems of his own. >>>>MORE>>>>

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The Conservationist

conservationistThe Conservationist
by Nadine Gordimer
1974 / 270 pages
rating: 9 / 20th century

Mehring is a very rich, white,  South African man who has purchased a 400 acre cattle farm in rural South Africa. This is during the days of apartheid and it all makes him think that he is happy – he works in the city, flies to Japan, rests at his farm, plays with his mistress – life is good – except that he is increasingly isolated in an unfriendly world.

I suppose the title comes from the way in which Mehring wants to “conserve” his world – others, leftists, want to conserve the rhinoceros but Mehring is not concerned.  No one, it seems, wants to preserve the black people who live there.  >>>>MORE>>>>

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The Farm

thefarmThe Farm
by Tom Robb Smith
2014 /  369 pages / 9h 24m
read by James Langton & Suzanne Toren
rating:  B+ / crime-suspense

When Daniel, our  single first person narrator,  answers his phone one evening he has to listen as his father, Chris,  tells him that his mother has gone mad.  At first Daniel really thinks it’s a joke.  Nope. His father is serious.  But a few minutes later his mother, Tilde,  calls and tells him she’s on her way to London to clear things up.  They emigrated to Sweden and bought a farm several years prior.

When she gets to Daniel’s home he realizes there is a very good chance his father is right –  >>>>MORE>>>>

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The Chatham School Affair

chathamThe Chatham School Affair
by Thomas Cook
1996 / 335 pages / 10h 6m read by George Guidall
rating A+ (8) / literary crime

I’m certainly catching up on my listening and crime books since my 3-month hiatus from the genre and medium!  lol –  And good literary crime is a favorite genre –  literary meaning that the narrative  likely has an interesting structure, thought provoking metaphors and allusions,  some unusual insights into characters or the human condition and,  possibly an interwoven theme or two.   (Note to reader – literary fiction is not always that great, nor is it always appropriate for the general story).  I don’t even use the term “literary” except as an adjective – I don’t really think it’s a genre although that could certainly be argued.  >>>>MORE>>>>

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