Friday, September 10, 2010

Two More Books

I read Shadow Tag because I read everything Louise Erdrich writes.  Through her, I've learned a good bit about American Indian culture.  I've laughed and cried with her characters.  "Master Butcher" was spectacular, "Last Account" amazing, and so on.

So I reserved Shadow Tag when I heard it was published without reading any reviews.  And when the library notified me it was ready, I plunged right in.

This book is very different from anything else I've read of hers.  There is no funny.  Rather, there is a lot of sad, a lot of pain.  Reading reviews after finishing it, I learn that it is a fictional account of her relationship with her ex-husband, now deceased.

The book is disturbing.  It is suspenseful.  I don't know whether I'm glad I read it or not.  And I don't know whether to recommend it or not.

The Typist, on the other hand (when the first hand has not been mentioned), is a fine little book.  I picked it up impulsively from the new fiction section when I went to the library to retrieve Shadow Tag.  Picked it up because I identified with the title.

Van joins the US Army in 1944, near the end of the war.  His skill as a typist (95 words per minute) land him a post on General MacArthur's staff in occupied Japan, out of harm's way.  He turns out to be the calm at the center of a storm as his life intertwines with those of his disturbed roommate/black marketer, the General and his difficult wife and engaging young son, and a couple of  panpan girls.  Jolted by news from his war bride, he sees out his tour of duty and tries to make sense of things around him and things back home.

It's a good book.  Not great, but solid, good writing.  It would be an excellent selection for a book club.  And I'll look to read what other books Michael Knight has written.


Nancy said...

so it looks like a lot of Louise Eldrich books are listed on Paperbackswap. Which do you think I should start with?
Of course the one you just read is too new to be listed..

Tanya said...

I've never read Louise Eldrich but I look up one of her books.

I sure did enjoy the Major Pettigrew book you pointed us to!

Lurline said...

Nancy I really admire your time-management! Those are gutsy looking books!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Susan said...

I, too, enjoyed the Master Butcher's Singing Club and have Erdich's Plague of Doves on my I-touch to listen to. Shadow Tag is on reserve for me. I've had her late husband's book (The Broken Cord by Michael Doris) on my bookshelf for years, but have yet to read it. It's about the son he adopted who turned out to have fetal alcohol syndrome. I'm hoping to get to it before Shadow Tag comes in.