Sunday, 7 July 2013

146/111 - Tampa by Alissa Nutting

This is the first full book I've read on my iPad, however the only reason I read it on the iPad and not in a book is because this isn't due out in paper format until next month. Next month?? That's how they're going to get me - make me wait for the paper copies of the books so I'll have to read more ebooks. Lame!

Anyway, I read about this book on Flavorwire and I just had to read it as soon as I heard about it. It's about a woman named Celeste who is a paedophile who specifically has a preference for 14-year-old boys. She begins working as a high school teacher in order to get closer to the teenage boys and eventually begins a relationship with Jack.

This book was incredibly gripping. So so gripping. Because it's horrifying. The author has done such a good job of creating a convincing paedophile that a lot of it was incredibly creepy and uncomfortable to read. However it's really quite conflicting because in the story, although Celeste eventually destroys the boys she has relationships with, they love it and are consenting parties in the relationship.

Celeste is a monster and she was such good fun to read - she is shallow and calculating, perfectly manipulates her husband Ford and evades his touch wherever possible only staying with him for his family's money and to maintain the facade of being a good wife and teacher.

The really uncomfortable parts weren't so much the sexual parts, but more the grooming. The way she picks out the boys and manipulates them. The way she watches them and calculates her every move. It was really easy to imagine the tables being turned and it being a male teacher and female pupils. I guess it would have turned out a little differently in the beginning, in that a female pupil would probably be more likely to say no at first. However Celeste being a young, attractive woman makes this disturbing in a different way, as it's as though no one really wants to punish her, like in that South Park episode where Ike has an affair with his female teacher, and when the police find out, all they can say is "niiiiiccccceeee'...

Really really good reading.

145/111 - Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas

I bought this on the recommendation of Bust magazine after reading a short review when I was on holiday. I'm quite interested in the mind and mental conditions so I thought I'd give this a try and see what the author has to say.

This is an anonymous autobiography written by a woman who runs a blog called sociopath world. From what I gather, she started this blog off as a way to connect to other sociopaths and find out more about herself, and the book is an extension of that I guess. She talks about different areas of her life, her diagnosis, her childhood etc, and I was hoping that this might actually be quite interesting.

Unfortunately I didn't enjoy it much. I found it to be fairly average writing, and it reads like a stream of consciousness and doesn't seem to be that strongly structured. I read one review which asked is it any surprise that a book written by a supposed sociopath lacks depth or emotion? Hilarious!

I was left feeling unconvinced of the authenticity of this account - there were many times when the author held back regarding events which would have somehow proven the sociopathic aspects of her personality, which was irritating. Lots of annoyingly coy references to things she may or may not have done. She uses the guise of protecting her family in order to keep their reputation safe, however I was left feeling really unsatisfied.

I could write more about this, but I'm done. Totally bored.

144/111 - N0S-4R2 by Joe Hill

I should have written this entry ages ago! Especially since I was so excited t get the book. It came out very shortly after I read Joe Hill's book of short stories. It just so happened that Joe Hill was scheduled to be at my old branch of Waterstones signing his new book on the day of its release, so below are some grainy photos of the day!

I asked for a photo and I got one, hee hee! He was really friendly and happy for us to have a picture taken. Pretty starstruck, which is why I have a huge grin on my face.

My copy of the book

My signed copy!

I was really surprised to see lots of people ahead of me in the queue with a big stack of books and who didn't want dedications. It was pretty obvious from this that they were getting the books signed to sell on eBay or something like that.

Anyway, onto the book.

I read this several weeks ago now but I've been on holiday a couple of times since so I don't remember everything I wanted to write, but I really enjoyed this. It was a massive, massive book, which was really exciting when I picked it up, but lugging it around in my bag soon tired me out! It was really gripping and really enjoyable. Can't wait for the next one.