Thursday, January 18, 2018

Iain Pears' "Stone's Fall" - review

After reading Pears' "An Instance of the Fingerpost" and liking it I decided to read next book I came across from this author and surely it was another quite remarkable piece of fiction.

The story in "Stone's Fall" spans time period of 40 years from 1860s till 1908. It is divided into three sections and goes backwards in time to tell the history behind the story of main characters.

Interestingly, when first part ended I thought book was finished because story came to some natural conclusion. But I was mistaken. To my surprise not even the second section of the book could truly explain the reasons behind the first section. Only after reading the 3rd section of the book and basically only reading the final pages one can realize how deep and unexpected way it is connected to the first pages. 

It is quite remarkable story. Moreover, writing style is so easy to follow. I liked both of his books I read. Highly talented writer.

posted by David Usharauli   


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Lem's "Solaris" remains true to its concept

I remember reading this famous book when I was teenager but could not recall much of it so I decided to re-read it. 

I got two impressions out of it: 

The first half is quite "scary" especially if you like to read books before going to sleep and it is dark around. 

The second half is incomprehensible. I did not understand it and lost interest. Thankfully it is a short novel so I finished it quickly.

In the end I will say that this novel copies its narrative and remains true to its core idea that people are not equipped [yet] to understand behavior of an alien life form. Unintended side effect of it is that reader will find herself/himself at a loss after reading this book.

posted by David Usharauli
     

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Akhenaten Dweller in Truth - review

This book is written by the famous Egyptian writer. It tells the story of Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten (known also as Amenhotep IV or Ikhnaton). 

Akhenaten is one of the most recognized of Pharaohs for two reasons: he was world's first known religious reformer who promoted cult of Aton, a first known monotheistic religious about  God who wants love and peace, and he was married to Nefertiti, a famed beauty queen of Egypt. 

The novel is written in a style similar found in "The Daughter of Time" or "An Instance of the Fingerpost" where story about Pharaoh is told from different people's perspective. These people were real historical figures, close associates of the Pharaoh.

In my opinion, this novel lacks that little something that supposed to make it more clear the history behind this enigmatic Pharaoh. I did not learn much about him from this novel beyond to what is generally known about his reign. It did not advance any narrative that could explain the Pharaoh's behavior and his decision to change the Egypt. But it was sufficiently interesting book to pique my curiosity so much so I decided to read other books about Akhenaten. 

posted by David Usharauli


Saturday, November 25, 2017

"I, The Sun" - A novel of the founder of Hittite Empire

Many historical novels in English literature are written about well-known historical people, kingdoms or episodes in history. However, such topics limit the author's ability to fully express his/her talent as a fiction writer. So, I decided to read historical book depicting less well known episodes in history.

Hittite Empire existed between 18th-12th century B.C. and occupied territory of today's Turkey and Syria. It was one of the 4 great Kingdoms of ancient world. Online book repositories such as Archive.org and Openlibrary.org have several freely available books about Hittites history. I especially liked reading C.W. Ceram's The Secret of the Hittites: The Discovery of an Ancient Empire. Remarkably, for 3000 years, until late 19th century, no one knew or imagined that in 2nd millennium B.C. in Asia minor there were people speaking and writing in Indo-European language who were the military superpower of the ancient world.

This novel, "I, the Sun", is a fictional account of the time when Hittites became Empire under its greatest King Suppiluliumas I (14th century B.C.). His rule coincides with the Egyptian Pharaohs Akhenaten (Heretic Pharaoh) and Tutankhamun and especially religious reformation conducted by the Egypt's Heretic King is widely discussed in the novel. In general, the novel pretty accurately follows historically verified evidence about King Suppiluliumas I reign. It is a good read for someone who wants to learn more about ancient world. 

posted by David Usharauli