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Four books from May to August: Saga, Slaughter, Satire and Sappy

In the months of May to August, I listened to four audiobooks. Here are four micro-reviews.

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Circe

by Madeline Miller

A positively delicious retelling of a classic, is a modern-day epic. As someone who appreciates classic literature but doesn’t pretend to always enjoy it, this was the perfect novel. The prose rarely drags and there were a number of times where I rewound the audio to listen back to a particularly succulent sentence.

Read if: you want to feel sophisticated but don’t want to read something in classic Homeric Greek

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

by Michelle McNamara

This one was hard to get through at times, but I’m glad I did. The late Michelle McNamara didn’t live to see the capture of her investigative subject, ‘The Golden State Killer’ — but her novel about the prolific serial murderer explores his entire timeline and her journey working to track him down. This sometimes muddled piece of non-fiction deserves a giant trigger warning for descriptive sexual assault, murder and other acts of indecency.

Read if: you want to trace the graphic steps of a monster

The Sellout

by Paul Beatty

Satire is hard to write and harder to read, so kudos to Beatty. This novel is dense with wonderful and confusing references — Google is your friend. All about race-relations, The Sellout is so shocking it almost makes you question whether you should be laughing. Don’t worry, you’re allowed to! But don’t listen to this loud enough for anyone else to hear, because without context people are going to question your morals.

Read if: you like learning about slavery, psychology, and 1930s television

Less

by Andrew Sean Greer

This novel was so sweet I got a cavity. It was so sweet that at times it was mildly nauseating. I wanted to root for Arthur Less: the poor, gay, heartbroken main character. At points I truly felt for him as he dragged himself around the world in an effort to escape the further pain of his ex getting married. But at other times it missed the mark. Apparently this was supposed to be a “satire of the American abroad” but, as I mentioned above, satire is difficult.

Read if: you want to see the world through the eyes of a Less-than-popular novelist pining for love

Written by

An arts and culture writer, focused on language, linguistics and life 🐭👟 || Words here: mouseinsneakers.com || Work there: madebybridget.com

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