Strange book. Nothing like I expected. This book was banned in the Soviet Union and didn't get published until decades after it was written. I actually bumped into someone who had read it as well, who had a version where the censored bits where in Italics, completely ridiculous.
I am a fan of Russian literature, I am a huge supporter of freedom of speech, I expected this to be a big political novel about Russia under Stalin. It isn't. Obviously if you read well, there are parts where you can see the state being critisised, but in the end it is just a fantasy story with a strange twist. And I am not a fan of fantasy. I like children's books, but I am not tempted my Harry Potter and however much people recommend Discworld novels (I know at least two LJ-friends who do), I started reading them twice (two different ones that is), but never managed to get beyond the second chapter.
But in the end this book fascinated me enough to finish it. The devil himself makes an appearance in Moscow and within a couple of days the city has goon bezerk. Things go from bad to worse. Interesting story, good book, do read it, though be prepared to let your imagination do some good work.
73. Saul Bellow - Mosby's memoirs and other stories
Short stories by bellow. Nice intermezzo. Good stories as well. He seems to manage to write from the perspective from a lot of different charachters and manage to make them seem real, which in my opinion is worth a compliment. Though apart from the outside circumstances, a lot of the main characters seem to have the same problems in life, the same sort of thoughts. If that was done deliberately or coincidentally I don't know, don't know the author well enough, can't remember reading anything by him yet. Might be tempted to read more though, but I am sure I am not running to bookshops and libraries to see what's in store.
74. Iain Johnstone - Cannes the novel
The cover looks trashy, the book is. I wouldn't have read this one if it wasn't for the fact that I read a good book by him before (Wimbledon 2000, written in the early '90's). This one is an easy read, not much thinking, just get to page 300-something and put it aside. The plot isn't bad I have to say, though it always takes a while before the different story lines do finally come together, in Cannes obviously at the filmfestival, and one knows why you had to read all the backgrounds on the different characters. Not a bad book.