Tag: AWW13

The Engagement by Chloe Hooper

Posted January 6, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Gothic, Literary Fiction / 0 Comments

The Engagement by Chloe HooperTitle: The Engagement (Goodreads)
Author: Chloe Hooper
Published: Penguin, 2012
Pages: 256
Genres: Literary Fiction
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Liese Campbell is an English architect working in real estate trying to make ends meet, but she is in a financial crisis. Enters Alexander Colquhoun, the heir to a pastoral dynasty who is looking for a city apartment; or maybe something more. The two enter into an erotic game that includes sex for money. This leads to a weekend away in luxury, in what is known as the girlfriend experience. But is this just a fun game or is this a disaster waiting to happen?

I’ve not read a book like this, at one point I thought it was Indecent Proposal and at other times I thought it was going to turn into a Pretty Woman scenario. There is an air of mystery and or something much more sinister with the situation and I couldn’t put my finger on the real motivation of both Liese and Alexander.

I really got emotional at this book; at some points I thought it was exciting, at times I thought it was disturbing. Then there were the times I wanted to throw the book across the room and yell at the characters to ‘sort their shit out’. I guess this emotional investment is what made this book so enjoyable. I like a book that makes me rage and keep me coming back for more and Chloe Hooper’s The Engagement did just that.

There was this quote going around that called this the literary version of Fifty Shades of Grey which really bothers me; for one this isn’t an erotic book this is more a story of a disturbing situation. More like a modern take of a gothic novel. There were even elements of this book that reminded me of Rebecca; not the plot but the idea that the protagonist has someone acting to take her down.

Emotionally thrilling novel, The Engagement was not something I would normally read but I’m really glad to pick it up because it really was worth reading. It’s a dark psychological tale that is sure to be enjoyed by many people. I do like that hint of erotic thriller within the novel, while it wasn’t arousing it has the whole sex and power element that really helped this novel. This is a quick exciting read for anyone looking for a deliciously cynical novel.

By the Book by Ramona Koval

Posted January 2, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 0 Comments

By the Book by Ramona KovalTitle: By the Book (Goodreads)
Author: Ramona Koval
Published: Text, 2012
Pages: 239
Genres: Non-Fiction
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: Book Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Ramona Koval’s By the Book: A Reader’s Guide to Life is a memoir of the author’s reading journal. From her mother’s influences to her first library card all the way though to her career as a literary journalist. Ramona Koval writes this as a love story to the books that have influenced her life and career.

Not only is this book very easy to read, it might even offer some interesting titles for you to read. I know my ‘to read’ list suffered especially with the introduction to Richard Holmes; I’ve now added a heap of his books to my wish list. I almost read this in a sitting and I would’ve if I didn’t have to go to bed. I was drawn to Kaval’s literary journey and the reasoning behind reading some of the books.

It might be just me but I find people’s reading histories really interesting and give me a little confidence in my own journey. Personally I think I have an interesting journey and this book as inspired me to document it in better detail. I’ve started to build a slight obsession with memoirs about people’s reading history’s having recently read Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry and moving onto Through the Window by Julian Barnes after finishing this one. I have asked my readers for recommendations similar to these books in a recent blog post so I hope to read many more memoirs of bibliophiles.

By the Book is an entertaining read with some real gems; like borrowing Kafka from a library at a very young age and asking her mother to buy her a copy of the Kama Sutra. By the Book is not only an entertaining reading journey but hopefully it will inspire reader to share their own history with the world; I know I would like to read about them. It might be just my love of books and books about books but I really enjoyed this biography and recommend it to all serious readers.