Archive for December, 2010

‘When You Are Engulfed in Flames’ by David Sedaris

December 19, 2010

Funny, entertaining, a nice read — but what I really love are his descriptions of his childhood days, e.g. in Naked, suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder and having a weird family. If you haven’t read anything by Sedaris yet, read Naked. If you have read Naked and didn’t like it then don’t bother reading Engulfed — except if you didn’t like it because it was too weird and over the top for your taste: then you might possibly like Engulfed, because it’s tamer.

Sedaris writes mostly about himself and his friends and family. With Naked, I used to wonder how much of it was true and how much poetic license.

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‘Heroes of the Valley’ by Jonathan Stroud

December 19, 2010

This is a new fantasy novel by the author of the (very good) Bartimaeus trilogy, which is now a tetralogy. It’s a very nice read, funny, gripping, also very thrilling in parts. Like Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books, these seem to be intended for younger readers, and like in the case of the former, I nevertheless enjoyed these a lot.

At the end, I was slightly disappointed because of the supernatural ending. Before, the book did a good job of demystifying the legendary heroes of its world.