Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Dead Girls by Jorge Ibarguengoitia / The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka / Brodeck's Report by Philippe Claudel

The Dead Girls by Jorge Ibarg├╝engoitia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Buy the paperback from Amazon.co.uk
Buy the Spanish language paperback from The Book Depository

I read The Dead Girls in August 2013 and this is one of a few mini book reviews from that time which never got blogged so I am rectifying the oversight now with this trio of reviews and a smattering over the next book review posts!

I found this novel in my local Oxfam bookshop in English translation. It was only £2 so I didn't have great expectations but was pleasantly surprised. The story, fiction but inspired by a true event, is written with dry humour in a style that often reads like police reports interspersed with witness statements. The plot is not that of a standard crime thriller and incorporates a lot of black humour. The characters develop as we discover more about them and all their actions are completely believable given the circumstances in which they find themselves. The Dead Girls is very readable and Jorge has great understanding of human nature and motivation. An enjoyable read and a satisfying novel.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Jorge Ibarguengoitia / Crime fiction / Books from Mexico


The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Buy the ebook from Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

My first Kafka book which I approached with a little apprehension as I wasn't sure I would understand the story. My fears were unfounded as Metamorphosis is a very accessible story. I listened to it on audio and I think that hearing the words at speaking pace was good because I tend to rush when reading which, in this case, would have meant missing a lot of the more subtle meanings.

Gregor Samsa's transformation is the most obvious in Metamorphosis, but all the family undergo a change in their characters caused by his situation. I found myself able to identify with aspects of his sister's behaviour and his father's distance, as well as Gregor's sense of isolation.
Metamorphosis was an excellent introduction for me to Kafka's work and I shall seek out more of his stories.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Franz Kafka / Fantasy fiction / Books from Czech Republic


Brodeck's Report by Philippe Claudel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Buy the ebook from Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

Another surprisingly excellent book which was £2 in Oxfam! The story of how an isolated mountain village copes with the aftermath of war is horribly real and all too understandable. We see through the eyes of Brodeck who was exiled to a concentration camp at the start of the war. He returned to find his name on a monument of the dead, his wife mute, and his position within the community irrevocably changed. Brodeck's Report is a powerful book of the depths to which humanity can sink when driven by hate, by fear, or by power.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Philippe Claudel / War fiction / Books from France

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