The Information, by James Gleick: A Review

The books which surprise you the most often are books you have never read about, written by authors you have never heard of, upon which you stumble unsuspectedly. I can recall only one such case prior to the book I am reviewing today: “The Shadow of the Wind”, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, currently my favorite fiction novel.

Indeed, I had never heard of James Gleick or his books when I found a peculiar black-and-white paperback on a dusty shelf during the annual “Braderie du Livre” at the USJ-CSM campus, a book clearance/sale kind-of event. Being a hunter and devourer of books tackling scientific subjects in a literary style, I immediately picked it up and added it to my ever-growing science book collection. This proved to be a good decision.

The book I am talking about is called: “The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood”.  Continue reading “The Information, by James Gleick: A Review”

The Casual Vacancy, by J. K. Rowling: A Review

J. K. Rowling is renowned for her minutiae in creating a fully functioning microcosm: in her novels, each character has a unique personality, distinctive habits and a revelatory past, clinging to his/her every word and action. Places and villages have their own identity and play key roles throughout her stories. It is common knowledge that she has written entire biographies of every single character from her Harry Potter saga, no matter how insignificant to the main story. This, I believe, is the instigator of the distinct touch of realism found in her novels, to which we can all relate, even in the more fantastical settings she has penned.

The Casual Vacancy is one of the most realistic novels I have ever read, non-fiction included. No, it is not Harry Potter. It is not full of magical incantations and fantastical beasts. It is not a suspense/crime novel either. Continue reading “The Casual Vacancy, by J. K. Rowling: A Review”