The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy -A Book Review

I might have been the last person on earth who didn’t read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I know if that was true, then there would be no purpose for this book review, but, I am sure there are some of you who still haven’t given it a try and for those of you I say: “if you want a good laugh then go read it”. I am now starting to wonder what took me so long to pick it up.

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Well, I have just finished listening to the audio book “Just One Damned Thing After Another” by Jodi Taylor (which I reviewed on this blog) and was looking for my next audio book when I stumbled, somehow, onto this one.

This book was not what I expected, at all. The story is something you would never imagine, talks about a space journey of Arthur Dent and his alien friend Ford Prefect after the earth is demolished by another alien race to build a galactic freeway. I know it sounds silly, but it’s filled with moments that would make you forget the silliness and just enjoy the ride, and it even has a depressed robot named Marvin, who is perhaps my favorite character in the book.

Even though there was no deep plot to it, it was funny and enjoyable with lines like these:

The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.

The book was narrated by Stephen Fry and it was awesome. Great voice acting. You’ll get the shouts, the sighs, the tiredness, all of it. I don’t think I have laughed this much out loud listening to a book like this before.

It turns out that this book is part of a series. I look forward to picking up the next one although it’s unfortunate that Stephen Fry is not narrating it. The next book is narrated by Martin Freeman (the same actor who played the lead role in the movie adaptation of this book, and Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit movies) but I think he would also be a good narrator. We’ll see.

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The Golem and the Jinni -A Book Review

I bought this e-book on sale last year and after failed attempts to read Lirael (I know it’s a great book, but it seems I picked it up at the wrong time, I plan to get back at it later on), looking at the books I already have on my Kindle I found The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.

15819028Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.

The Golem and the Jinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

The details in this book were impeccable. I read somewhere that it took the author nearly 7 years to write this book. I would say that the amount of research done is clearly shown in her writing, the author described the various cultures referenced in this book clearly and based on many reviews I’ve read they were also described accurately.

The first half of this character driven book was a little bit slow but not to the point where you would lose interest. It focused on introducing the characters — at first I thought I would get lost with all the characters and who they are, but I didn’t— they were all clearly defined and interesting. After getting familiar with the main story line and characters the book starts to pick up pace and by the last 25% I couldn’t let it go.

Without giving any spoilers away I just want to say I loved the ending. It was perfect. Even though the book has violence, sadness and action, it left a peaceful feeling that resonated with me for a while after finishing it — I need to find more books like that.

I highly recommend checking this book out, the author announced that a sequel to the book could be out by 2018 so I look forward to that.