The Nine Cloud Dream

The Nine Cloud Dream is a 17th century Korean novel attributed to Kim Man Jung about a young Buddhist monk from a sacred mountain who falls from grace by obsessing over earthly pleasures. One day, upon returning drunk from the kingdom of the Dragon King, the young monk Hsing-chen meets eight beautiful fairies barring his…

Revelation (Shardlake Series #4)

London, 1543.  King Henry VIII is about to marry his sixth wife, Thomas Cromwell’s head has been rotting for some time on a stake atop a wall, and the papists and reformers are still battling it out to be the dominant religious group in England.  This is the setting of Revelation, which is the fourth…

The High Mountains of Portugal

The High Mountains of Portugal is the latest novel by Life of Pi author, Yann Martel.  Published in 2016, the novel consists of three separate stories that are loosely connected and set or end up in the remote High Mountains of Portugal. The first story, which is titled “Homeless,” is set in 1904 and starts at…

Smaller and Smaller Circles

When the body of an adolescent boy is found, eviscerated with heart and penis cut off and face skinned, at a city landfill in Manila, it seemed like just another unfortunate though brutal crime.  But when bodies sharing the same signs and markings start showing up every month at the landfill, the head of the…

The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing

India’s Most Private Investigator, Vish Puri and his slew of sleuths are back in Tarquin Hall‘s second book in the Vish Puri series, The Case of the Man who Died Laughing.   Like in the first novel, The Case of the Missing Servant, Vish Puri must solve a murder. But unlike the Case of the Missing…

The End of The Affair

Over the weekend I successfully finished listening to The End of the Affair – my first ever audio book.  The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene, was published in 1951.  The audio book I listened to was narrated by distinguished British actor Colin Firth. Told from the 1st person perspective of a writer, The End…

1Q84: July to September

Got through the second part of 1Q84 rather quickly – quicker than the first part, anyway. There was a gradual build up of events in the first part of 1Q84, ending on a critical part of the plot, urging readers to continue on to the next part of the novel in hopes of getting some…

1Q84: April-June

After two weeks, I finally finished the first part of Haruki Murakami’s 3-inch-thick novel, 1Q84.   1Q84 is divided into three parts –  from April-June (Part 1), to July-September (Part 2), and finally October-December (Part 3) – of 1984. Having just recently finished the first part – April-June, I felt that I should post something…

A Murder Most Foul

Murder Mysteries is a short story and graphic novel written by Neil Gaiman about love, passion, vengance and a fall from grace. Murder Mysteries is a wonderfully complicated story with deep moral and theological issues, deceptively disguised as a simple whodunnit riddle. It will engage readers to question, not only the true identity of the…