Posts Tagged ‘experimental’

Man in the dark

October 17, 2012

Book JacketAuthor: Paul Auster

Title: Man in the Dark

Genre: Literary Fiction

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 180

Geographical Setting: Vermont

Time Period: 2008

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: August Brill spends his days watching movies with his granddaughter, Katya and his nights creating stories when he cannot fall asleep. Man in the dark is a bleak novel about August Brill’s stories of the alternative history of modern day America. The alternative America that August Brill comes up with is that America is in a war with itself and individual states have become their own republic. August Brill envisions this thought provoking story through the eyes of Owen Brick in which he is brought to kill the man in charge of the war. August Brill’s fictional story about the modern day civil war reflects his own life and the family surrounding him. August was never able to fight in the war, he recently lost his own wife, got into a car accident and had to go live with his daughter Miriam. Also, his granddaughter lost her boyfriend Titus in a terrible accident. Man in the dark is a spare, stylistically complex and descriptive written novel in which it has a lot of plot and detail for a shorter book. The main question is how does his story of the modern day civil war relate to his own life?

Subject Headings: Memories; imaginary wars and battles; senior men; imagination; father and adult daughter; married women – death; murder victims; former critics; forgiveness; civil war; violence

Appeal: bleak; contemporary; descriptive; disturbing; experimental; gritty; flawed; intricately plotted; leisurely-paced; melancholy; reflective; spare; stylistically complex; thought provoking

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: bleak; spare; stylistically complex

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

– Butler, Blake, Nothing: a portrait of insomnia (true story of a man who has insomnia and creates stories that based on his past experiences)

– Cowley, Robert, What if?: the world’s foremost military historians imagine what might have been: essays (historians look at how wars could have ended different if something different happened)

– Foote, Shelby, The Civil War: a narrative (describes the real civil war between 1862-1864)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

– Banville, John, The Sea (stylistically complex, reflective, dealing with family after wife died)

– Evaristo, Bernardine, 1959-, Blonde roots (alternative history about the United States)

– Updike, John, Toward the end of time (creates stories about fictional wars in the U.S. with China, bleak, descriptive)

Name: Samantha Biegel


October 11, 2011

IliumAuthor: Dan Simmons

Title:  Ilium

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy Fiction

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 592

Geographical Setting: Mars, Earth in the far furture

Time Period: The 40th Century

Plot Summary:  High atop Olympus Mons on Mars the Gods of ancient Greece watch the battle of Troy play out over and over again for their amusement.  The reader first meets the main hero Thomas Hockenberry on the battle field as an invisible observer.  Raised from the dead he is forced to work for the gods or risk being sent back to the grave.  When he gets caught up in the machinations of Aphrodite he sets off a series of event that threaten to take down the gods themselves.  Meanwhile down on Earth life is far different since the post-humans have disappeared.  Humans have all of their needs taken care of but their knowledge of the world is limited to the borders of the few cities still populated.  Harman, a man living his “last twenty”, is determined to search beyond the walls to find out what really happened to the post humans.  At the same time in deep space sentient robots speed towards our Mars on a mission to hopefully prevent a catastrophe that could potentially destroy the galaxy.

Subject Headings: Homer. Iliad. – Influence; Trojan War; Mythology, Greek ; Artificial intelligence; Genetic engineering; Gods and goddesses, Greek; Warriors; Wanderers and wandering; Robots; Space flight; Imaginary wars and battles

Appeal: Intricately plotted, Dramatic, thought-provoking, stylistically complex, Experimental, measured pacing, philosophical, suspenseful, detailed, engaging, character-centered, layered, multiple plot lines,

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: intricately plotted, thought-provoking, engaging

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

The Trojan War by Carol G. Thomas

The Trojan War is an event that stands at the very foundation of the Western and the epic tradition, and this volume provides readers with an opportunity to experience it in as direct and as varied a manner as is possible.

Genetic Engineering: Principles and Methods by Jane K. Setlow

Genetic Engineering: Principles and Methods presents state-of-the-art discussions in modern genetics and genetic engineering. This series covers gene therapy research, genetic mapping, plant science and technology, transport protein biochemistry, and viral vectors in gene therapy, among many other topics.

100 Characters from Classical Mythology: Discover the Fascinating Stories of the Greek and Roman Deities by Malcolm Day

This book charts 100 of the most important characters from Greco-Roman mythology. Beginning with the primordial deities, the author goes on to describe the great gods of Olympus and the shadowy inhabitants of Hades. Addressing universal themes such as love, jealousy, anger, ambition, deceit, and beauty, these stories are as relevant today as they were in ancient times.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Voyage by Stephen Baxter

This book creates a recent past in which President Kennedy survives an assassination attempt to set in motion the next great NASA mission, a manned voyage to Mars, in a story of NASA’s detailed plans to visit the red planet.

The Iliad by Homer

The story of the darkest episode of the Trojan War. At its center is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his conflict with his leader Agamemnon. Interwoven in the tragic sequence of events are powerfully moving descriptions of the ebb and flow of battle, the besieged city of Ilium, the feud between the gods, and the fate of mortals.

Ender’s game by
Orson Scott Card

A veteran of years of simulated war games, Ender believes he is engaged in one more computer war game when in truth he is commanding the last fleet of Earth against an alien race seeking the complete destruction of Earth.

Name: Jason Rock

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

August 1, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Author: Riggs, Ransom

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Fantasy

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 348

Geographical Setting: Florida, island off the coast of Wales

Time Period: Present Day, September 1940

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Jake Portman has always loved his grandfather’s unusual stories. Abraham Portman led a harrowing life. After fleeing pre World War II era Poland, the elder Portman lived on a remote island off the coast of Wales in an isolated orphanage run by an older woman known as “the Bird”. However, as Jake ages, his grandfather’s stories of terrifying monsters with tentacles and levitating children seem less like reality and more like the ramblings of an old man. When Abe Portman is brutally murdered, Jake decides he must uncover the truth about his grandfather’s past. On the mysterious island of Cairnholm, Jake discovers disturbing facts about the orphanage his grandfather lived in. This compelling mystery, featuring a cast of unusually gifted children, will keep mystery and fantasy readers turning pages. Including photographs and letters, Miss Peregrine’s Home of Peculiar Children offers a fascinating mystery, with a fantastical twist.

Subject Headings: Orphans-fiction; Islands-fiction; Orphanages- fiction.

Appeal: Atmospheric, creepy, fast-paced, compelling, haunting, suspenseful, experimental, character-driven, off-beat, descriptive, eccentric, mystical

3 terms that best describe this book: Atmospheric, fast-paced, off-beat

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors: Corbett, Judy Castles in the Air: The Restoration Adventures of Two Young Optimists and A Crumbling Old Mansion (Welsh setting, older houses, mysterious and eerie tone); Golabek, Mona The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport (biography of a woman fleeing pre war Vienna to a London orphanage); Rothbart, Davy Found II: More of the Best Lost, Tossed and Forgotten From Around the World (photographs and images similar to the ones in the book).

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors: Rendell, Ruth The Water’s Lovely (atmospheric mystery); Poe, Edgar Allen Complete Stories and Poems (Mysteries with a fantasy edge); Grant, Helen The Vanishing of Katharina Linden (protagonist of a similar age, mystery suspense).

Meg Cichantk