“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
Rest in peace, Ray Bradbury.
Beautiful covers from Vintage for Yukio Mishima’s novels.
I’m really enjoying this series, its really filled the Hunger Games hole in my life. This sequel lived up to all the promise of the first book, but it didn’t rest on its laurels, things really stepped up. While the first book was all about personal choices and Tris finding her place in life, Insurgent takes things a step further and her coices have sweeping consequences that effect the entire society. We get to learn a lot more about the other factions which is fascinating and the cracks start to show beneath the perfect veneer of the factions.
In this book Tris really develops as a character, now that her Dauntless initiation is behind her she starts to see the problems with the Dauntless ideal and to realise that perhaps she doesn’t completely fit in after all. She struggles with the lessons she learned while growing up in Abegnation, she must find a way to honor her parents legacy within her own life.
Her relationship with Four also develops with all the usual twists and turns. Roth finishes off with a really shocking revelation that left me breathlessly awaiting the next book.
“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
Penguin have done a great set of covers for Ayn Rand’s books using paintings by Tamara de lempicka. Divinely deco.
“I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self respect. And it’s these things I’d believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all she should be. I love her and it is the beginning of everything.”
A stunning debut novel from a unique new voice in Scottish literature. This is one of the Waterstones 11, a group of the best debut novels published this year and chosen by Waterstones bookshops. So far this is the second one I’ve read and it was really a fantastic novel. The Panopticon is a facility for troubled teenagers in care located in a remote part of Scotland. In the centre of the building is a watchtower which can see into every room, there is no privacy for the children, but despite this scrutiny they don’t protect the inmates from terrible things. Anais is brought to the Panopticon after being accused of putting a police woman into a coma but she knows she didn’t do it. The only trouble is that Anais can’t remember what did happen that day due to the amount of drugs she had taken. Her time in the home is interspersed with flashbacks from the past, other episodes in her life which were traumatic or happy. Her life has not been an easy one and this novel paints a very bad picture of the care system and the situation of those children who end up lost in it.
Her writing is raw and powerful, she doesn’t pull any punches and it can be quite shocking and uncomfortable to read at times. She writes with a Scottish dialect which does take a little getting used to and at first seems kind of awkward but it becomes natural after a few pages. There are definitely some Trainspotting episodes in the book, Anais is quite heavily into drugs and you can see the influence of Irvine Welsh’s books in these passages. It’s not all grim though, the novel is interspersed with moments of happiness among all the brutality of life. In the Panopticon Anais finds some people to connect with, the inmates become a family and through them Anais finds some hope for the future.