Friday, 18 September 2009


The good news is I finally finished The Angel's Game, the bad news, it was so not worth the weeks I wasted away on it. But that's another story. I finally get the chance to read something new, like The Book of Rapture by Nikki Gemmel aka my choice for next week's book club. I started this afternoon and I am already having second thoughts seeing as the structures is just plain weird.

The blurb looked promising: "Three children wake up in a basement room. They have been drugged and taken from their beds in the middle of the night. Now they are here. Alone. Where are their parents? Who can they trust? The family has been betrayed to the government and Salt Cottage, their home on a cliff top above the ocean, is no longer safe. Their mother's scientific work has put them all in danger. To protect them, she must let them go. She must put her faith in an old family friend -- and in her children's own resilience and courage. Searing, provocative and unputdownable, The Book of Rapture challenges our beliefs about science, about children, and about trust. As passionate as The Bride Stripped Bare, it will compel, seduce and haunt you." Good right?

It kind of reminded me of Margret Atwood's phenomenal Oryx and Crake mixed with The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan which was basically the only book he wrote that didn't literally annoy me. I've only read the first 30 pages and I'm already getting slightly irritated. The chapters are only 1 or 2 pages long and the story is being told out of synch to one of the characters, the mother, which is odd to say the least.

I had never heard of Nikki Gemmel but she was the writers of the month a few months back on the glorious BookDepository so I got to "know" her a little better plus I loved the cover. Apparently, Gemmell is Australian and has written several internationally and critically acclaimed works of which I knew none. She is considered "one of the most original and engaging authors of her generation", the French even describe her as the female Jack Kerouac which is quite unnerving. Her breakthrough novel was the 2004 anonymously published The Bride Stripped Bare which has been described as literary pornography, hence the anonymous part probably. It's about a good wife and mother who decides to go on a voyage of sexual awakening, all in a days work.

I don't know, maybe it just takes a little getting used to but The Book of Rapture surely is a very strange and experimental book. I wanted to try something new and I definitely got what I paid for. I read somewhere that 50% will hate the book, the other 50% will adore it. I just hope most of the book club members are part of the latter.

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