Wednesday, 26 June 2013

#book review: more local-ish books.

Having read Readings 2, I went on a little local(ish) spree:

Readings From Readings: New Malaysian WritingReadings From Readings: New Malaysian Writing by Sharon Bakar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm rather ambivalent about this book. I'd rate it somewhere between "it's ok" and "I liked it".
There were some outstanding gems, such as Brian Gomez's "a/p", Jade-Yi Lo's "The girl with the ruby red shoes" and Rafil Elyas' "Progress report", and some pretty good pieces, such as Dina Zaman's "How to stay married", Clarissa Tan's "The visit" and Janet Tay's "The airport" but the overall feel of the book was an underwhelming meh.

The second anthology, Readings 2, is a much better read and it was a good thing I picked that one up first. If I had started with this I would most likely have given that one a miss.

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Followed by:

A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder (Inspector Singh Investigates #1)A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked up A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder because it was RM8 for a hardback. I'd been wanting to read it for a while, but paying Rm30+ for an author I'd never read before... and have hardly heard off was always a little too off-putting, especially when there were always cheaper books around by more well-known authors. But anyway, so it was cheap so I took the chance. *shrug*.

Chelsea Liew, a Singaporean, has been accused of killing her rich Malaysian husband. In a bid to appear as a caring government, Singapore sends Inspector Singh to Malaysia to help solve the case. It was a quick, breezy read; nothing to puzzle your head over too much; the ending... well. Hm. I don't know, it just wasn't quite that satisfying, which is why this isn't a 5 out of 5.

It has a very local feel to the story, and I enjoyed the Malaysianisms thrown into the story, though at times I felt that she over-explained things. The language is a little too simplistic for my taste, possibly because she also writes children's books, though that's beside the point.

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Next on my (local) to-read list is KL Noir: Red.

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