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Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften I: Erstes und Zweites Buch
Robert Musil
A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement
Anthony Powell
Sweet Tooth
Ian McEwan
A Family and a Fortune - Ivy Compton-Burnett Too much bickering, funny for a while but rather annoying after about 100 pages of it. The style is entertaining but the story line is just too slow to carry the myriad of bitter comments about each other.
Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family - Thomas Mann, John E. Woods, T.J. Reed Hello everyone, I am currently re-reading it in German and want to recommend it to an English friend of mine. Could you please let me know who translated your book and if the language was very precise and fitting to the period? I'd like to give it to him as a present but want to make sure the translation is good.
Many thanks
The Half Brother - Lars Saabye Christensen, Kenneth Steven Manny recommended it.
Riotous Assembly - Tom Sharpe Very dark humour, sometimes laugh out loud funny
Ragtime: A Novel - E.L. Doctorow I did not get on with this book at all, which is entirely due to his style of writing. It somehow failed to keep me interested, to involve me in the story, to make me part of these peoples lives.
I found the jungle by Upton Sinclair the better book dealing with similar topics.
Foucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco, William Weaver It is repeating over and over again ludicrous religious conspiracy theories. If you are not easily fooled by magical mumbo jumbo, it is pretty unbearable to read, since you can not empathise with the main characters.

Eco is funny at times but this book is too long. I like all his other stuff so will not give up on him. He is a genius, the book is not IMHO.
A week in December - Sebastian Faulks I thoroughly enjoyed this book since it is a view on the state of our society represented by several intertwined characters that start off as apparent stereotypes but than the complexity and detail of real life is added to their stories. In my mind it is a good representation of 'the state of the nation'. I liked the 'playing' with the cliches of the terrorist bombers, the hedge-fund managers, the North London house-wife etc and the twist to those cliches that gave them more credibility and that made thm serve as mirrors to who we have become. Well done.
The Winter Queen - Boris Akunin, Andrew Bromfield Light entertainment, a little Russian noir, but too fantastic whilst too formulaic for my liking.
The period background is enlightning, but that's where my interest stopped.
Won't read more of his.
The Poet - Yi Mun-Yol, Yi Mun-Yol Korean fiction is only recently beginning to be translated into English. The first major author translated was Yi Mun-yol (The Poet, a historical epic, and Our Twisted Hero, a parable about living under dictatorship set in a boys' school)
Lost in a Good Book - Jasper Fforde Much better than the Jane Eyre affair and a nice and fast read. Good entertainment.
There but for the - Ali Smith This is a must read if one is interested in language and psychology packaged into a little mystery that is nicely harmless but definitely weird.
The Murder of Halland - Pia Juul, Martin Aitken A little gem and not really a crime novel, but very realistic and emotional as well as insightful into how grief is lived/experienced.

Whilst most crime thrillers are far better organised and far more real than one's own life, this story is not. And that is what I like about it most. Most of the story takes place in the grieving women's mind and is therefore a great psychoanalytical novel.
Independent People - John A. Thompson, Halldór Laxness The blurp says: This magnificent novel—which secured for its author the 1955 Nobel Prize in Literature—is at last available to contemporary American readers.
My guess is that the translation into modern English spoilt it for me. I could not keep going since the story line was rather straight but the events were so blandly described, that I lost interest.

Since there are so many positive reviews, I would like to try again in a different translation to maybe give it the justice it deserves.

Never thought that matricide could be a fascinating topic,With honesty, irony and insightful wit, this little gem carves a realistic path through a whole raft of family issues.
New Finnish Grammar (Dedalus Europe 2011) - Diego Marani This was a fast and exiting read, and no knowledge of Finnish was required.
If one ever wondered how language is related to identity, this is a good start to get the thoughts coming. Tragic, yes, but insightful.
The Blue Afternoon - William Boyd Boyd never disappoints. But this is not one of his best, a little too much action and complication cramped into the plot line and the various characters were not totally believable to me. But still far above the average contemporary writer.