Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Two Short Book Reviews

Cell (Stephen King)

A chillingly crafted novel channelling the dystopian world that unravels after mobile phones have the ability to send people into crazy killers, and how those who weren’t affected by “The Pulse” try to survive as the initially mindless “phone crazies” begin to get smarter. The protagonist Clay, is a likeable, resourceful guy who we can root for, and his sidekicks Tom and Alice, are good foils for him, interesting enough in their own right without detracting from Clay's voyage - to get to Maine to find his son. The story sometimes moves a little slowly, with Stephen King being particularly languid with Clay’s voyage, but there are shocks galore throughout the book, as well as dark laughs. Well-written with descriptions so vivid you could actually imagine this happening, this is a science fiction novel that even I could enjoy. Grade: A-

Hickory Dickory Dock (Agatha Christie)
Hercule Poirot gets up to another one of his adventures, this time, introduced to him by his assistant, Mrs Lemon. Mrs Lemon’s sister works at a youth housing centre, where things have inexplicably gone missing or been sabotaged. These petty thefts, however, are soon owned up to, but the perpetrator then appears to have committed suicide… or did she? As with most Agatha Christie, the joy isn’t in so much as the whodunit (though I never would have guessed, I was foiled again!), but in getting to know the characters, this time, the boarders in the hostel. Each have their idiosyncrasies and quirks, and it is to Christie’s merit that she pulled the wool over my eyes once again, and got me suspecting completely the wrong people. Grade: A-

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