domingo, 18 de noviembre de 2012

A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, after receiving rave reviews when it was published. It is a collection of linked short stories that tell us about the pretty messed up lives of different characters at different times, past and future. They are more or less closely related and converge at different moments. Some are beyond redemption but there's hope for others.

Goon squads were originally groups of violent thugs who would beat up anyone opposed to certain labor unions and corrupt political machines. As one of the characters says: 'Time's a goon, right? You gonna let that goon push you around?'. This is the main theme in the novel, how time and circumstances shape people's lives.

Now, it might seem like a dark, depressing book, but actually it isn't boring at all: it's fast-paced and there are funny stories too, like the one about the public relations manager who represents a dictator. A particularly touching story -my favorite- is just a slide presentation! The last story describes a future in which the music industry is driven by toddlers.

This is definitely a good read and I highly recommend it. Of course, it is available at our library.

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sábado, 3 de noviembre de 2012

Life of Pi

I'm pretty excited. Later this month opens Life of Pi, based on the wonderful novel by Yann Martel. Born in Salamanca of Canadian parents, Martel won the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Life of Pi, which was translanted into 40 languages and stayed in The New York Times Best Seller List for 57 weeks.

In the story, Pi Patel's family own a zoo in India but decide to emigrate to Canada. Unfortunately, the ship where they're travelling along with their animals sinks and 16-year-old Pi is stranded in a lifeboat for 227 days. His only companion, a Bengal tiger.

Pi's real name is Piscine Molitor, after a famous swimming-pool in Paris. With a name like that, you can expect he has trouble at school, so when he changes schools he decides to go by the name of Pi, as in the number. However his plan backfires, as his classmates then call him 'lemon pie.'

The film is directed by Ang Lee, winner of an Oscar for Brokeback Mountain and nominated to another for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; he's also responsible for the very successful Sense and Sensibility. With these credentials one expects a brilliant movie, and it certainly looks spectacular, as you can see in the trailer.

Life of Pi is available at our library.

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