Monday, February 2, 2009

Another Slight Deviation - 3 Novels Worth Reading

Another quick deviation to note three novels – none new I’m afraid – that have historical themes that I’ve read recently that I think worthy of note. As I'm snowed in at my house in England for a few days due to this ridiculous weather I've been sorting out some old books and found a few worthy of note. None of these books are China-related but I enjoyed them all for various reasons. If you like novels that use history as their basis these might be good reads.

Wrack – James Bradley – I strolled into a bookstore in London and saw Bradley’s Wrack on the shelves. I was surprised as I read the book a few years ago after he appeared at the Shanghai International Literary Festival. He was good, Wrack was good and as James was staying in Shanghai a while we had dinner a few times – he was fine company. The new edition of Wrack is out as James has been very successful in England with his novel The Resurrectionist which was a pick of the Richard and Judy Book Club (yeah, I know, they’re ghastly, but their endorsement shifts loads and makes you a few quid and James is a nice guy so he might as well have the money).

Anyway Wrack. An archaeologist is searching for a 400-year-old Portuguese shipwreck off the coast of New South Wales. Such a find would rewrite the history of Australia. But instead he unearths the body of a man murdered fifty years earlier, and begins to unravel a more personal kind of history. An elderly recluse, dying in a nearby shack, seems to know something of the corpse's identity - and also its

connection to the shipwreck. A good story based on the real issue that the Portuguese sailed along the Australian coast first which would make Britain’s claim on Oz a little harder to justify historically.

Small Island - Angela Levy – it took me years to get around to reading this much acclaimed novel and it is excellent. Levy’s novel covers multiple historical themes – the men of the West Indies who fought for Britain in WW2; the Home Front and the Blitz; the British army in India; women left to fend for themselves in war-torn London; the post-war Jamaican immigration to London etc. Levy handles all well and with good historical detail and background. The Independent on Sunday’s review summed it up best I think: “What makes Levy's writing so appealing is her even-handedness. All her characters can be weak, hopeless, brave, good, bad - whatever their colour. The writing is rigorous and the bittersweet ending, with its unexpected twist, touching... People can retain great dignity, however small their island.”

Blood of VictoryAlan Furst – I’ve plugged Alan Furst before in a Deviation Posting but if you want historical novels he is the best around. All are equally good but I just read Blood of Victory which is very good and has a White Russian theme. It’s November, 1940 and I.A. Serebin, a writer from Odessa and former decorated Hero of the Soviet Union, is on his way to Istanbul following a cryptic letter from a former lover. Ostensibly there on official business for the International Russian Union, an emigre organisation based in Paris, he is drawn into a clandestine world of international spies and political players. With war in Europe drawing nearer, Serebin is recruited by the British secret services - his mission to stop the export of Roumanian oil to Germany. In a race against time, Serebin's journey will take him from the glittering salons of Paris to the back alleys of Bucharest and the Black Sea ports, in a covert operation to staunch the flow of oil, the precious 'blood of victory'.

Anyway, three I thought worth reading if you haven't already.


Buy Tera Gold said...

You can adjust both your considering and, when desired, your behavior to develop sure your job stays on course. When you want to start your own enterprise, before you even do anything else, you probably already have an strategy of what you want to do. But, if you don't, you have to sit down and do some considering. Selecting what you want to do with your enterprise is the most essential piece. After all, if you don't have an strategy, you have nothing. Here are some excellent enterprise thoughts for persons to help them select what to do.
WOW Gold
RS Gold
Tera Gold
Cheap RS Gold
Tera Online Gold
Buy Tera Gold
Eden Gold
Tera Gold Cheap
Buy Runescape Gold

Buy Cheap WOW Gold said...

i enjoy your writing ,its so readable ,pleasurable and easy to read .. thx .

Buy Runescape Gold
Buy Diablo 3 Items