Shiver

09/05/2014 at 11:08 AM (Books) (, , , , )

Shiver is the very first novel written by Nikki Gemmell, the author of very controversial book, The Bride Stripped Bare. Although Shiver is described as a novel, it seems autobiographical given her inspiration for writing the story came from her own personal experiences.

Shiver1-200x300

We are introduced to Fin, a radio journalist who works the police beat for the early morning shift. When an opportunity arises to undertake an observatory expedition to Antarctica, she volunteers. In real life, Nikki Gemmell went to Antarctica to cover a scientific expedition, courtesy of radio station Triple J. In the southernmost continent, she crosses a boundary of journalism by falling for someone she interviews. Guess what happens in Shiver? There isn’t much to read between the lines. But falling in love comes at a cost in both the real and fictional worlds  and so we are fed the saccharine but trite parable of not giving up and following your heart.

The plot although it has potential felt rather dull. The characterisation of the all the different men in Antarctica was too brief because I felt a new potential suitor appeared every 15 pages and and nothing about their personalities comes through the narration apart from the fact sexism is rampant and mostly tolerated. I will admit though she has a knack for writing imagery in poetic and lyrical prose. However that can be easily be disillusioned by sentences like, ” I’ve been in one of these in Bass Strait, and a bag of vomit was passed from person to person, and there was vomit on vomit” and “I’ve done one very large **** and it’s not going anywhere. I can see bits of my dinner from last night in it”. So while I was interested in her portrayal of landscape, I found her descriptions of human interaction and functions jarring. I wondered if the beauty in prose about landscape and the grossness in prose about human needs was purposefully done  but I’m doubtful about that interpretation of Shiver.

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Kane and Abel, The Bride Stripped Bare, Prey

01/31/2010 at 10:32 AM (Books) (, , , , , , , , )

Okay I was a bit late in updating this so I’ll just give micro-reviews for three books I read last week. Instead of going for the completely new I opted for some oldies that are not quite cult classics.

Kane and Abel Book Cover

Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer: This was an exhilarating read from start to finish. The complicated tangle of love, lies and deceit culminates in tragedy. When you discover the truth, the ending is utterly heartbreaking even if predictable.

The Bride Stripped Bare

The Bride Stripped Bare by Anonymous. (or Nikki Gemmell if you want to be pedantic about it). This particular tale of  love, lust and adultery stupefies with its confounding and mysterious finale.

Prey

Prey by Michael Crichton. I am usually not a fan of science fiction but this was written in an enticing  way with the house-husband business and supermarket nappy discussions paralelling the looming threat of an evolving nano-virus so it works well as a futuristic thriller.

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