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Bloody Shambles

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Pale Fire: A Poem in Four Cantos by John Shade
Vladimir Nabokov, Brian Boyd
Pale Fire
Vladimir Nabokov
Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
Michael Moynihan, Didrik Søderlind
Under Stones
Bob Franklin
The Erotic Potential of My Wife
David Foenkinos, Yasmine Gaspard
A Corner of White
Jaclyn Moriarty
Winter's Bone
Daniel Woodrell
Progress: 99 %
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
Neil Gaiman
The Beetle
Richard Marsh
Wreck This Journal
Keri Smith
Blindness - José Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero First, I'll start by saying that this book is a masterpiece. I could read this over and over, and still learn something new about it every single day. There are scenes in this book which will remain with me forever, and that's how I measure the quality of a book.It is by no means a perfect book. The style of prose, while sometimes elegant and lyrical and with a rolling momentum, can also be at times laborious. The minimal punctuation meant that I often found myself re-reading paragraphs to determine who was speaking. Sometimes the sentences went on and on, changing tense, changing voice and tripping over themselves, for no good reason that I could see. I've included an example of this below. The book took much longer to read than I expected, and really seemed to drag in places. I don't think I ever managed to read more than 15 pages of it in one sitting, and even that took some perseverance. At each sitting I felt bogged down by the book at least once, but I also found something wonderful each time. I noted down more quotations from Blindness than from any other book I've ever read. There are also several passages that I've flagged for review some time in the future, because I know they have more to tell me, which I don't yet understand. I suspect that when I wake up tomorrow, I'll understand more about this book than I did at the moment I finished it. Everyone should read this book for whatever it is they can take from it.DIARY ENTRIES...28 August 2011 - Wow. Just... wow. There is a scene between the doctor, his wife and the girl with the dark glasses that is just stunning. I don't believe in giving spoilers, and I won't. But the scene I have just read is reminiscent of the scene at the end of The Grapes of Wrath. An act of supreme compassion and sacrifice for the comfort and wellbeing of another. All with no explanation given, or needed on the part of the donor or the recipient of the kindness. This is the sort of scene that stays with you long after you've forgotten everything else about the book. Amazing.26 August 2011 - For the most part, Saramago's unique style of prose has a sense of momentum, a lyrical and intuitive quality that works really beautifully. And then you hit this passage:"From this point onward, apart from a few inevitable comments, the story of the old man with the black eyepatch will no longer be followed to the letter, being replaced by a reorganised version of his discourse, re-evaluated in the light of a correct and more appropriate vocabulary. The reason for this previously unforeseen change is the rather formal controlled language, used by the narrator, which almost disqualifies him as a complementary reporter, however important he may be, because without him we would have no way of knowing what happened in the outside world, as a complementary reporter, as we were saying, of these extraordinary events, when as we know the description of any facts can only gain with the rigour and suitability of the terms used."Keep in mind, this is only two sentences. I weep for the translator of this book.