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July, 2010:

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt VonnegutI think it’s fair to say that Kurt Vonnegut’s writing tends to polarise people, you either love his work or hate it. Always quirky and full of the unexpected, he has a knack of exposing the madness of the everyday world and laying it bare in a way that is often highly amusing.

Breakfast of Champions which was first published in 1973, certainly continues in this theme, having many of those all too rare “laugh out loud” moments.

Kurt Vonnegut died in 2007, several weeks after a fall at his home in which he suffered brain injuries. I would say genius is a much over-used word, but certainly one that is safe to use when referring to the late Vonnegut.

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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniKhaled Hosseini was born in Afghanistan in 1965 but has lived in the United States since the age of 15. Both of his first two novels, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns turned out to be international best sellers. The Kite Runner alone has sold in excess of 12 million copies.

Hosseini’s ability to weave a great story into the tragic background of Afghanistan’s recent past, serves as an excellent way for us to learn more of how the turmoil in this country affects the lives of its ordinary people.

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Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry

Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry

Rohinton Mistry easily ranks as one of my favourite modern authors, every single one of his novels I have enjoyed immensely (not to mention his excellent collection of short stories – Tales from Firozsha Baag). Such a Long Journey is clear evidence that Mistry’s skill in crafting engaging and likeable characters was present even in the early stages of his writing career. Even his bad characters always seem to have some redeeming features and traits. Interwoven with a colourful (and often pungent!) Bombay backdrop his novels always seem to display a pleasing mixture of the day to day and the exotic.

Rohinton Mistry was born in Bombay but has lived in Canada since 1975. Such a Long Journey was published in 1991 and is his first novel.

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