Feb. 4th, 2010

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5) Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Like the Handmaid's Tale it's told by alternating chapters on the "present" with flashbacks from the protagonist. In this case the flashbacks seemed less well integrated. They're more linear, and with less obvious triggers for why the protagonist should be recalling that episode.

I actually quite liked the protagonist. He may be a self absorbed w*nker, but he knows he is. And it makes a change to have a protagonist who is below average amongst his peers.

Triggered my bad movie physics *twitch* towards the end. No one thing in particular it's just that a lot of the "science" in it is there as decoration, and doesn't really work if you think about it. Occasionally a bit heavy on the symbolism and the polemic she wants, rather than the story.

For all that, it's an entertaining story. Is it wrong that I want a Buckets o' Nubbins from ChickieNobs now?

6) Persopolis by Marjane Satrapi (graphic novel)

Originally published in French, the English language editions are divided into two "books".

The second book is a fascinating autobiographical tale of the journey to adulthood of the young Marjane. It starts of with her first days sent to live overseas. She went through some severe culture clashes, and isn't afraid to show the readers some of the negative sides of her time. It's a moving story, and I'm glad I read it.

The first book is the reason I'd picked it up though. This is the tale of a child born during the Islamic revolution in Iran, and growing up with relatively liberal parents where the country round them is getting more restrictive (and getting bombed by Iraq).

I don't know nearly as much modern history as I'd like, so recommendations for engaging first person narratives would be welcome.

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