Friday, 21 August 2009

Sunday Salon: Travelling from the Sofa

Africa - Sudan
Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih

A young man returns to his village after many years and finds that a stranger has moved into town and managed to work his way into the tightly knit community who are normally wary of strangers. In this place where each persons heritage is known the stranger is a rarity, it isn't even known from which village he comes from.
When he finally meets the stranger he becomes obsessed, the stranger suddenly talks to him in well-spoken English,revealing at first a small part of his past.
The past is revealed in more detail when we discover that the stranger had been taken to court and held on the charge of murdering his own wife, and being the named cause of the suicide of many of English women. When the stranger suddenly disappears into the floods one night, feared dead, the obsession doesn't end it only becomes stronger.
999 (tbr + Arfican reads)

Crossing Midnight by Mike Carey, Jim Fern and Mark Pennington

This fantastic graphic novel tells the story of twins Kai and Toshi. During the mothers pregnancy the father promised a sacrifice in payment for the birth of a healthy child. Unknown to him (and the doctors) his wife was expecting twins.
Boisterous children they quickly learn that Toshi is incapable of coming to harm through knifes and sharp objects. This knowledge leads her to be brave, disobedient and confident unlike her brother Kai.
One night Toshi wakes up to find a large man, surrounded by hovering knives leaning over her, he demands that she is his, the payment for the sacrifice her father made. When she refuses to go with him her dog is dismembered into tons of pieces. The creatures keep returning and the payments for refusal get higher, Kai ends up fighting to save the whole family from the instrusion of these mythical creatures.
This is my first violent graphic novel, I tend to stick to memoirs, and I really enjoyed it. At the back of the book the author writes about Japanese mythology and folklore which has made me want to discover more.
Graphic Novel
Japanese Literature Challenge
Orbis Terrarum

America (and the spiritual world)
A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

I picked up this book because the cover resembled the fantastic Siobhan Dowd novel
A Pure Swift Cry, I had no idea what the book was going to be about as the synopsis is written in a pale blue against a moss green background making it hard to read.
The ovel starts with Helen, a Light, a ghost trapped on earth. She is doomed to walk the earth following a host - a person she has chosen as a life line, if she moves away from this person she feels herself being pulled into hell.
Helen follows after Mr Brown, an English teacher and is always present in his life, unbeknown to him, until she realises that a pupil can see her. The pupil James, was also a light until he learnt how to inhabit the body of a dead soul.
The pair join up and quickly become tied to each other, they struggle with their own lives plus the lives of the host body they have come to inhabit.
I haven't done this justice at all, this is a great read - its intense, gripping and your pulled right into their world. (YA for older teens).
YA 2009
A-Z (Name)


Rhinoa said...

I love the Crossing Midnight series. Sadly there are only 3 and I highly recommend getting your hands on the other two.

Vivienne said...

I loved A Certain Slant of Light. I really wanted to read her next book, but it has been slated.

katrina said...

Rhiona - they are ordered fromthe library already.

Vivienne - I looked at it but wasn't sure whether to reserve it or not, i didn't look as appealing.

Richard said...

I just reviewed Season of Migration to the North on my own blog, Katrina, so I was interested in hearing whether you liked it or not (I loved it myself). Funny us reading the same novel so close in time out of all the millions of books out there!