Sunday, June 2, 2013
Tiny titles with a lot to say.
Life is short: let's not waste words, shall we?
HHhH by Laurent Binet (M)
"HHhH: “Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich”, or “Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich”. The most dangerous man in Hitler’s cabinet, Reinhard Heydrich was known as the “Butcher of Prague.” He was feared by all and loathed by most. With his cold Aryan features and implacable cruelty, Heydrich seemed indestructible—until two men, a Slovak and a Czech recruited by the British secret service, killed him in broad daylight on a bustling street in Prague, and thus changed the course of History." publisher
C by Tom McCarthy (M)
"Serge Carrefax spends his childhood at Versoie House, where his father teaches deaf children to speak when he's not experimenting with wireless telegraphy. Sophie, Serge's sister and only connection to the world at large, takes outrageous liberties with Serge's young body — which may explain the unusual sexual predilections that haunt him for the rest of his life. After recuperating from a mysterious illness at a Bohemian spa, Serge serves in World War I as a radio operator. C culminates in a bizarre scene in an Egyptian catacomb where all Serge's paths and relationships at last converge." publisher
V by Thomas Pynchon (M)
"Having just been released from the Navy, Benny Profane is content to lead a slothful existence with his friends, where the only real ambition is to perfect the art of "schlemihlhood," or being a dupe, and where "responsibility" is a dirty word. Among his pals--called the Whole Sick Crew--is Slab, an artist who can't seem to paint anything other than cheese danishes. But Profane's life changes dramatically when he befriends Stencil, an active ambitious young man with an intriguing mission--to find out the identity of a woman named V., who knew Stencil's father during the war, but who suddenly and mysteriously disappeared." amazon
S by John Updike (M)
"In a moment of sudden inspiration Sarah Worth - S - has walked out on her husband to join the Ashram Arhat. Famous for his transcendent wisdom and divine immobility, the Arhat has transferred his ahram from India to Arizona, where he and his enthusiastic entourage are attempting to make the desert fruitful." publisher
N or M? by Agatha Christie (M)
"A group of wartime spies and saboteurs are operating out of an English seaside resort. Tommy and Tuppence are sent to investigate! It is World War II, and while the RAF struggles to keep the Luftwaffe at bay, Britain faces an even more sinister threat from 'the enemy within' -- Nazis posing as ordinary citizens. With pressure mounting, the Intelligence service appoints two unlikely spies, Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. Their mission: to seek out a man and a woman from among the colourful guests at Sans Souci, a seaside hotel. But this assignment is no stroll along the promenade. After all, N and M have just murdered Britain's finest agent!" publisher
H by Lin Haire-Sargeant (M)
"Returning home from Brussels, Charlotte Bronte shares a train compartment with Mr. Lockwood and spends the night reading a letter from Heathcliff to Cathy explaining his absence. Nelly Dean had been charged with delivering the letter, but she chose instead to keep it hidden for 60 years; then she seeks Lockwood's assurance that she had done the right thing. In the letter, Heathcliff describes his experiences as the protege of Mr. Are of Thornfield. While the conclusion belies Emily Bronte's vision of Cathy and Heathcliff, the story is suspenseful and well told. Those familiar with the Brontes' work will be fascinated with Haire-Sargeant's conception; others will find that the story stands on its own." Library Journal