ManBooker International Fiction Review: Fish Have No Feet by Kalman Stefansson

Fish Have No FeetFish Have No Feet by JΓ³n Kalman StefΓ‘nsson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ll always keep saying this: TRANSLATED FICTION is EVERYTHING! If at once, you write a book in a certain language, and someone wants to consider it for translation, then your book is pretty good. Sadly this isn’t always the case.
I’ll always say this: Fish Have No Feet is EVERTHING! I’m almost tempted to read the original to find if the translator captured every rhythm, every poetry, every music behind the original lines, letting no meaning, no beauty sink through the rigors of the language where the untranslated accumulate and are left ignored.
Fish Have No Feet is BEAUTIFUL. The voice of the narrator, who’s very much passive, makes this whole work literary. Trust me, I’ve read some books with passive narrators that aren’t worth recommending. But this Book! This book is likely to win the MANBOOKER!
The characters, Ari, who the book is focused on, his life, his family, all sing, all fly off the page, all ask questions that need to be asked in fiction, in life. The questions about family, love, happiness. At a point the writer zones out of the beautiful prose, posing the reader with a lot of questions we don’t have answers to. Questions that make us stare into the distance for a while before getting on with this book. All the characters, all the vignettes. It was enjoyable!
The setting contributed much to beauty of this novel. It’s not Iceland, it’s Keflavik, the darkest place on earth. The sea, the scenery, it all contributed to the masterpiece this was. And every minute, you’re not aware of your surroundings, every flip of the page you feel yourself transporting, sinking into the depths of this beautiful novel. Until a hand is waved at your face (which happened a lot to me!)
And the shocker at the end! When you find out what actually was our lead’s purpose returning to Iceland, Keflavik. How even the most reliable narrators can at once be unreliable.
Now, you need to read this book because I say so. I’ll tell you not to read it if it was shit, trust me.

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Review: The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman by Mindy Meija

Imagine This: Your life’s a movie.
You’ve been playing so many roles you’re not sure who you are. There’s the you who is the good daughter, there’s another who’s the good friend, another who’s the good girlfriend and a student. Yes, a student who has the hots for the new English teacher.
The student, you find, is the only self that allows you to be who you really are. If there ever is a thing such as ‘who you really are’. You’re pursuing love finally, you’re fucking your teacher in an old barn in your small town eventually.
One night, he’d promise you the two of you will leave for New York. Then something unbecoming happens: the unbecoming of you. In which you’re stabbed in the heart and several times in the face.
You’ll never get to live your dreams, you’ll never get to be whoever you wanted to be. Your true self. Though now, all is not lost. Your dead self could help us solve the mystery of your life.
Who killed you?

My review.
Sometimes, you read all around that there’s this brilliant thriller, that’s original and suspenseful. But then you pick it up and you wish you hadn’t picked it up. Please, this book isn’t like that.
The storyline is original. The point of views are refreshing and intriguing. There’s Hattie Hoffman the lead character who’s twisted and manipulative, although she’s Amy Dunne with soul. There’s Peter, the teacher sleeping with Hattie. There’s Del, our lead investigator who has a creepy relationship with Hattie’s dad (you will have so many assumptions running through your head. I loved each and every one of them)
Well, why I think this is original:
1.      Ever read a thriller which is enacted around a Shakespearean play? You should love this thriller if you are literature fanatic(—which you are, that’s why you read)
2.      Del, our lead investigator is not a clichΓ©. I have DNFed a lot of thrillers because the lead investigator’s point of view and even his character is so clichΓ©d you want to cry. Like really cry. If you wanted crime fiction you might as well go get it.

3.      Yes, a lot of crime fiction takes advantage of the fact that they can only be plot-driven and read terribly. The writing of this one is fine, almost literary. So you won’t be DNFing this one because of its inexistent crappy writing.


Book Review: The Vegetarian by Han Kang

I was defended this book to some fellow bookstagrammers who described it as strange and weird as a book that rightly depicts mental disorder and for that reason needed to be strange and weird. This book spoke to me in so many ways, topics such as mental disorder are close to my heart. For this reason I am thrilled it won the Manbooker International Prize!


"Even though I've stopped wearing a bra, I can feel this lump all the time. No matter how deeply I inhale, it doesn't go away. | Yells and howls, threaded together layer upon layer, are enmeshed to form that lump. Because of meat. I ate too much meat. The lives of the animals I ate have all lodged there. Blood and flesh, all those butchered bodies are scattered in every nook and cranny, and though the physical remnants were excreted, their lives still stick stubbornly to my insides..." 😣 Disgusted. That's how I feel as I read this book. The husband's plight of dealing with a wife who won't eat meat. The wife's sordid dreams that make me want to vomit. Too much blood. Too much sick. Nothing to help it. 😷 Read pg50 and I wonder if my buddy-readers (@tackfiction and @sandwavesandbooks) occasionally felt the sick rising up their gullets. 😫 Cat, are you Almost done? I saw meat and turned it down. Beef, to be more specific which our lead character hates. The mum stared at me weirdly, then, "well more servings for the rest of us." She's not going to force it down my throat like it's happening with our lead and her father. Sadly, I must rather admit, sadly. Want some meat pushed down my mouth, my face slapped so I could spread apart my teeth (—which I assure you wouldn't be clenched!) But right now, I'm disgusted with meat. Must finish soon! πŸ˜” #bookstagram #bibliophile #foodporn #bookporn #rice #african #TheVegetarian #vegan #diet #GHANA #accra #foodie
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Might never lead a healthy life! But don't crucify me, this is what I feel like making my #foodporn tonight! 😜 Anyway @sandwavesandbooks and @tackfiction and I are reading #TheVegetarian together and sharing our thoughts on it. The two are way ahead because I'm supposed to be the worst buddy-reader balancing schooling (#PurpleHibiscus) with fun! 😞 So 25pgs and I believe I should have read this earlier! Loving the writing! I had thought it would be written from the wife's POV, as she's who the blurb is about. OMG moment right from the start. Not far into the story, but feel the scandal a mile ahead. There's a reason it beat LaDivine(—another good read!) to the Manbooker. Would continue tomorrow! 😁 #bookstagram #manbooker2016 #currentread #supper #malereader #menwhoread
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Book Review: Good As Gone by Amy Gentry

This year, I've read and dropped and didn't finish a lot of thrillers. I was scared the same would happen with Good As Gone, but then I read the first page, and I knew this was one thriller I'd be finishing in a long while. You have my review:

This book was one hell of a good one! I loved it entirely! From start to finish! The kind of book that when done you just have to read the author’s acknowledgement note to get more of a glimpse of her than her bio allows. πŸ˜‰ Amy Gentry writes well! This year I’ve started and stopped, started and not finished a lot of thrillers, because they weren’t well-written. I mean, if you want to keep me glued to my seat holding your book whilst ignoring a splitting backache, your book has got to be literary and well-written! Suspenseful! Original story-telling! πŸ˜‰ Imagine This: Your daughter gets kidnapped, according to the version of events of your youngest daughter who must have stayed hidden in the closet and screamed three hours later after the shock wore off. Though with help of the media, the cops, the posters you put around, the fake callers who tell they might just have spotted an exact girl being clubbed somewhere, the search is getting nowhere. Now, years later, you have got to keep on living. Even though your life has become this unfeeling void. Now that you’re done with hope you’ve got to reclaim the pieces of what is left of your family: a daughter who changes her hair colour than she does her underwear, a husband whose hoping you’re beginning to find cloying and irritating. Then one day, YOUR DAUGHTER APPEARS. You’re happy and relieved. But there’s this nagging thought that her eyes are a shade darker than the original. Who’s this girl and what does she want with your family?πŸ˜„ #Goodasgone #amygentry #bookstagram #malemodel #bookporn #bibliophile #menwhoread #African #KNUST #thrillers #goodmorning #blackman
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Book Review: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Joanna Bolouri

Joanna Bolouri is always on my must-read list! I read her debut, The List, last two years, and I've been promoting her as the funniest Chick-lit author on the block. She cracks me up! Her leads are hilarious! Her characters so easy-to-fall-in-love with even when they are cocky as hell.

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year was no different! But I did wish, it was as better than her previous, I Followed The Rules. Either way, it's a go-buy-go-buy!

"Maybe not. Look, if he loves you, he'll put up with your family. Between you and me, I cannot stand John's mother, but I only have to see her once or twice a year and, well, she'll be dead one day. Anyway, he's my boyfriend—it's not such a huge sacrifice." πŸ˜‚ Imagine This: Your boyfriend decides to bail on you on seeing the family for Christmas—due to a shocking reason for which you really hate him now. He's garbage. He's an asshat. You deserve better. πŸ˜‚ Your family wants you over for Christmas with your man, and you can't stand their pitiful, condescending looks and the jokes they might have at your expense when they are stoned (—because your family is nuts). Your neighbor. He's good on the eye. You hate him for his louder parties and his even louder sex. But, really your cuckoo mother, your bugging little sister, your brother's bad table manners and his girlfriend, might be too much even for a fake boyfriend.  Have a merry Christmas as you encounter the biggest, bestest Christmas holiday with your fake boyfriend and your wacko family. All the while, your boyfriend who your fake boyfriend is impersonating is lurking in the shadows, waiting to attack. πŸ˜‚ #bookstagram #bookporn #malemodel #themostwonderfultimeoftheyear #hilarious #bibliophile #menwhoread
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Book Review: Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Theine

Loved this books so! So worthy to be on the Manbooker shortlist. Here are my thoughts on it!

Great read! Took me a week to read it because, well, School, and it didn't feel like a book you needed to finish in a sitting. It's slow plot documents the happenings in both present and past. Showing the effects of communism in China from the past to the present. While I loved Madeline Theine's writing style (very literary!), and loved her characters (though it's written in English you could still feel the peculiarities of Chinese culture in the language used and in the mannerisms and words spoken by the characters), and the documentation of the horrors lived through that dark time in China's past (very fast-forward scenes but still you could feel the pains in the evocative writing), I found it hard relating to this. Because a) I have no background in music and b) I'll be biased because The Sellout is a novel that portrays, describes my being and existence. πŸ˜” I feel sad for the judges who are on this panel. While I don't want all the other three books I haven't read to win, I'm bloody frightened this novel may take it! Bloody frightened. But we'll see. πŸ˜₯ Anyway, do eat something this morning. I pushed my Brunch to earlier this morning. 😎 #MadeleineTheine #DoNotSayWeHaveNothing #Bookstagram #Foodstagram #bookporn #foodporn #manbookerprize2016 #African
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