[ARC] The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

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New York, end of the sixties. The four Gold siblings, as a game, to show their courage, decide to visit a sensitive able to tell when a person will die.

From this point of the novel, on, we will follow singularly the lives of Simon, Klara, Daniel and Varya, in a sort of passing the baton game.

The four of them start completely different paths, and this allows the author to describe different lifestyles and historical events: the AIDS, the life as con artists, USA post 9/11, the animal used in research, OCD syndrome.

The theme that connects all the stories, and that is the backbone of the whole novel, is the opposition between destiny and free will: the Gold’s lives would have been different if they did not visit the sensitive? With respect to this thematic, the most interesting story is Klara’s the one who wants to be more powerful than destiny, her being always balance between reality and illusion.

The immortalist is a nice novel, in which some episodes are way better than the other ones because they are more focused on the main theme and not “distracted” by other events.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.


* The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin ★★★☆☆

*I read this book in english

Little Apple by Leo Perutz

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Vittorin, back to Wien from the war in Russia, is not peaceful. His distress is due to the memory of his superior Seljukov, disdainful man who let a soldier die due to his superficiality.

Vittorin is back to work, but his only purpose is to gain enough money to go back to Russia and carry on his revenge.

This way a manhunt begins, a desperate and determinate one: Vittorin will be the main actor of lots of adventures, but nothing will be able to change his will.

And while the main character follows Seljukov through the whole Europe, the destiny seems to make use of this travel to influence the life of the other people.

Little Apple is a good novel; it starts low paced but the end redeems this. Unfortunately the references to the war are quite hard to follow, in particular to the ones who do not know in detail the story of Russia and East Europe.


* Little Apple by Leo Perutz ★★★☆☆

*I read this book in italian

Lord of All Things by Andreas Eschbach

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Il rapporto tra Hiroshi e Charlotte sembra voluto dal destino. Conosciutesi in Giappone da piccoli, lei figlia dell’ambasciatore francese, lui figlio di una lavandaia dell’ambasciata, diventano subito amici, attratti l’uno dall’altra. Lui da quella bambina capace di parlare subito una lingua sconosciuta, lei da quel bambino serio, capace di aggiustare le cose.

Il destino farà sì che Hiroshi e Charlotte incrocino i propri passi anche da adulti, avvicindandosi e allontanandosi, divisi dalle proprie scelte. Lei con un occhio sempre al passato, grazie alla sua abilità di vedere l’origine delle cose, lui con lo sguardo puntato a un futuro in cui la scienza colmerà il divario tra ricchi e poveri. Lei in balia di diversi amori, lui devoto all’unico amore della sua vita.

Lord of All Things è un meraviglioso romanzo in cui l’autore, tramite Hiroshi e Charlotte, parla delle ingiustizie sociali e delle potenzialità offerte dalla scienza, sfociando nel paranormale e nella fantascienza per spiegare il ruolo dell’uomo nell’universo e sulle nostre origini.

L’autore sceglie di non entrare eccessivamente nei tecnicismi, rendendo il romanzo appetibile a tutti i palati, e non ai soli affezionati della sci-fi, e coniuga diversi generi narrativi senza che la trama perda di coerenza.

E’ bella la costruzione della storia, ed è bella la storia di Hiroshi e Charlotte, che non manca di coinvolgere il lettore. Il risultato è un bellissimo romanzo difficile da dimenticare.

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The relation between Hiroshi and Charlotte seems to be meant. They met in Japan as children, she the daughter of the French ambassador, he son of a worker in the embassy laundry, and they become friends. He is attracted by that girl able to speak a foreign language easily, she by that serious boy, able to fix things.

The destiny makes Hiroshi and Charlotte paths cross also as adults, getting closer and further, divided by their own choices. She with a focus on the past, thanks to her ability to see the origin of things, he looking always to a future when science will be able to fill the gap between rich and poor. Charlotte and her many lovers, Hiroshi devoted to the a single person.

Lord of All Things is a wonderful novel where the author, by means of Hiroshi and Charlotte, speaks about social disparities and the potential of science, with paranormal and sci-fi elements to talk about the origin of humanity and it’s means.

The author choses to avoid technicalities, and this makes the novel suitable for any reader and not to the only sci-fi lovers. The novel also puts together some narrative genres without losing in coherence.

The overall novel is beautiful and hard to forget, and it is also nice the story of Hiroshi and Charlotte, able to engage the reader.

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Lord of All Things by Andreas Eschbach ★★★★★

Watchmen by Alan Moore

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There are some things I find impossible to comment about easily, and among them there is Watchmen by Alan Moore, too full of quote, connections to external and internal works, concepts, symbols to be commented without deep analysis.

This said, I do not think Moore a universal genius, since he did not write always masterpieces, but this is truly his best, a jewel absolutely deserving to be read.

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