Tv book club (translation alternatives )


The tv book club started again on sunday and yet again has no translated books in the list so I ve looked at the books on the list and choose world lit titles some classic some new . that have similar themes or characteristics to the chosen books .


Now the help is set in the south of the us in 60’s about a women raising children ,Now weep not child Thiong’o debut novel set in Kenya deals with the change in colonial rule and  and a young black boys struggle to better himself ,time wise books set similarly ,both books are about people struggling in an unjust society one in us the other in Kenya .

The reunion by Simone van der Vlught (the man who disappeared)

The man who disappeared ,is about a wife who is searching for the truth about her husband who is accused of a crime and how much she knew him ,now the reunion concerns Sabine and her friend from school Isabel who disappeared whilst at school ,a school reunion makes Sabine want to find out what happened to her friend .

The frozen heart by Alumdena Grandes (the legacy) –

Erica in the legacy goes to her grandmother’s house and unravels family secrets and histories ,Now in frozen heart a women turns up at funeral and opens the secrets life of the man being buried ,going back to the civil was in spain and second world war frozen heart is an epic spanish novel .

the Castle in the Pyrenees by Jostein Gaarder (the bed i made )

The bed i made follows Kate who has to escape an obsessive love .Castle is about two lovers coming together after thirty years apart ,as with most Gaarder books this book makes you think about place time and ultimately love ,as you see a couple remember what made them love one another .

My name is red by Orhan Pamuk (stones fall)

I loved stones fall when I read it last year ,Now chosen My name is red as it has mystery elements ,historical facts in the vein of stones fall like Pears Pamuk is a wonderfully vivid writer .

patience stone by Atiq Rahmi (Ellis Island )-

Ellis island is about Elie a Irish girl who is went to the us a and then had to return to rural Ireland and adjust to the change of life that she seems to have outgrown .The patience stone follows a wife looking after her comatized husband discovering freedom of thought and dealing with her place in the world ,put these together as they both seem to be about women that glimpse a bit of freedom .

Running by Jean Echenoz -(The devils acre) – 

The devils acres follows Samuel’s colts secretary and a involvement in murder ,I choose running as it is also a fictionalized account of  a famous figure in this case the runner Emil Zatopek I read one of Jeans other books and love his style so sure this is a winner .

beside the sea by Veronique Olmi (the weight of silence ) –

The weight of silence seems a powerful story about two girls disappearing and not being heard from and people being under suspicion .well beside the sea involves two children and their mother ,this too is a powerful and touching story .

Now this choices are subjective and in a lot of case very tentative links to tv book club summer reads list but ,as Lou reed says if you want to take a walk on th wild side give some of these a whirl along side the summer reads and see what you think  ?

Beside the sea by veronique Olmi

Veronique Olmi has written numerous books and plays beside the sea (Bord de mer ) was her debut novel and won the alain fournier prize in france ,this is her first novel to be published in english ,the story follows a unnamed mother with her two sons Kevin and stan(these are the names in the french version and not anglianized).

Kevin wanted his pyjamas ,his hotel pyjamas ,the ones with Mickey mouse on on them , and its funny how it reassured him putting them on ,they smelt like home , he said  .Well its really worth the trouble taking them away !I thought , but the smell cheered me up , too, it smelt of my washing powder and of damp ,the smell of my little boy ,I put my head against his neck ,necks are the softest bit on a child .

early on in the book staying at hte hotel by the seaside .


 On a trip to the seaside in the usual french fashion in summer when the hoards decamp from the city to the coast ,staying at a small hotel ,they spend day by the beach and on amusments mother taking good care of the boys but there is always a sense of some forbodding may be the mother is to careful ,the real world is a scary place,the book is narrated by the boys mother a lady that as the story unfolds over the 110 pages get more unbalenced leading to the shocking climax of the book .This is the first of the peirne titles no1 .In what Mekie the publisher calls movie books a book short ,yet touching at the same time ,so the reader can sit and read within  a couple of hoours ,it would also make a great commute book I d imagine small easy for a jacket pocket or small bag ,now this story is like a film from the kitchen sink era of films in the late 50 and 60 ‘s ,ordniary life but with extraordniary events happening within those lives .Also the french film le boucher has a similar feel to this novel ,first off everything seems ok the main charcater seems ok on the surfacebut like the mother in this book hides a very dark secret .the lack of detail like the mothers name actual setting dosen’t stop this story flowing off the page ,the beauty of the writing is in the description of the boys and the mothers internal fellings . Amanda my wife wants to read this book too which is nice she mainly reads true life books .

June 2010


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