Recent Reads Review [Turbulence and Where Reasons End]

April 18, 2019

 

I recentrly finished 2 short books (less than 200 pages) and I thought I should share my thoughts with you guys.

Lets get to it…..

Turbulence

 

Book Details

Title: Turbulence

Author: David Szalay

Published: 3 February 2019

Genre: Literary fiction

Imprint: Random House UK

Publicist: Lauren Mc Diarmid

Pages: 136

Summary

A woman strikes up a conversation with the man sitting next to her on a plane after some turbulence. He returns home to tragic news that has also impacted another stranger, a shaken pilot on his way to another continent who seeks comfort from a journalist he meets that night. Her life shifts subtly as well, before she heads to the airport on an assignment that will shift more lives in turn.

In this wondrous, profoundly moving novel, Szalay’s diverse protagonists circumnavigate the planet in twelve flights, from London to Madrid, from Dakar to Sao Paulo, to Toronto, to Delhi, to Doha, en route to see lovers or estranged siblings, aging parents, baby grandchildren, or nobody at all. Along the way, they experience the full range of human emotions from loneliness to love and, knowingly or otherwise, change each other in one brief, electrifying interaction after the next.

Written with magic and economy and beautifully exploring the delicate, crisscrossed nature of relationships today, Turbulence is a dazzling portrait of the interconnectedness of the modern world.

My Thoughts

The writing style is amazing, its fast paced yet you are able to follow along with the story line. The story is not character building based thus if thats your style then you won’t enjoy the book. The book is constructed with 12 linked stories each of them presenting a brief glimpse into the life of a solitary air traveller. I enjyed the fact that the first strory ties in together with the last story. I dont want to lie at the beginning I was really confused by the structure and how the diffrent stories tied in together but that was eiminated when I noticed that the stories are almost the same, same location and one storyline. Szalay presents us with lives that are messy, stalked by the threat of disease or bankruptcy or domestic violence, lives in thrall to atavistic animal impulses yet suspended in hi-tech bubbles far above the earth.

The book looks at characters who are mostly travelling and are not at home. Neatly organised as a series of plane journeys in which the narrative focus is passed between a dozen different characters, it begins and ends in London with a stifled fiftysomething Englishman awaiting the results of his cancer treatment. 

Turbulence gives us a series of lives strung between places, making unhappy compromises, at home neither here nor there.

Overall, I enjoyed some of the stories and I’d truly recommend this book if you are looking for tsomething thats fast paced, well written and not character based.

Rating

Where Reasons End

 

Book Details

Title: Where Reasons End

Author: Yiyun Li

Published: 5 March 2019

Imprint: Penguin UK

Publicist: Lauren Mc Diarmid

Pages: 170

Genre: Psychological Fiction, Biographical Fiction

Summary

The narrator writes, “I had but one delusion, which I held onto with all my willpower: we once gave Nikolai a life of flesh and blood; and I’m doing it over again, this time by words.

Written in the months after the author lost a child to suicide and composed as a story cycle, this conversation between mother and child unfolds in a timeless world. Deeply intimate, poignant, and moving, these conversations portray the love and complexity in a relationship across generations, even as they capture the pain of sadness, longing, and loss.

In writing this book, Yiyun Li was inspired by a line from Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past “Ideas come to us as the successors to griefs, and griefs, at the moment when they change into ideas, lose some part of their power to injure the heart; the transformation itself, even, for an instant, releases suddenly a little joy.”

Meeting life’s deepest sorrow with originality, precision and poise, Where Reasons End is suffused with intimacy, inescapable pain, and fierce love.

My Thoughts

Where Reasons End takes the form of a dialogue between a grieving writer and her son after his suicide.

I do not tend to read the synopsis of a book before I start reading just because I don’t like to know much about it. I enjoy formulating my own thoughts when I read a book. I was captivated by this book from the beginning up untill the end. The book is amazingly written, poetic and it flows perfectly. The author did an amazing job at potraying everythin, she managed to paint a picture about the book and it was like I was in her head. You get to understand the type of person her son (Vincent) was through the conversations.

I actually loved the concept of the book (writing a memoir in an unusual format), it was the first time I saw this in books and I loved it. It makes the book stands out and its a very fast paced book just like you are reading a normal conversation that is in a form of poems.

This book potrays someone who is dealing with grief and showing that one needs to grieve in a way that works well for them. For her, as a writer, writing was the only thing she went for to deal with the situation. As painful as it might have been for the author, I am glad she wrote this poetic book, its amazing and I’d really recommend it.

 

Rating

Those were my thoughts on these book and I would like to say thank you to Penguin Random House South Africa for sending me review copies. I am so grateful.

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Until next time, let’s keep reading.

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