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

Fish Have No FeetFish Have No Feet by Jón Kalman Stefánsson
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 cliché. I have DNFed a lot of thrillers because the lead investigator’s point of view and even his character is so clichéd 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! 😔 #bookstagram #bibliophile #foodporn #bookporn #rice #african #TheVegetarian #vegan #diet #GHANA #accra #foodie
A photo posted by Kobby Ben Ben (@bookworm_man) on

A photo posted by Kobby Ben Ben (@bookworm_man) on