Who should take the Iron Throne?

To begin with, I’m not sure why anyone would want to sit on something that uncomfortable, but in any case, there’s only one person in the seven kingdoms who deserves it, so I’m siding with the rest of the Interweb:


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Book review: Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco

ocean_seaSome books I read for the excitement, some books I read for the clever plot twists; I’ve even been known to read some books just to study the punctuation. Alessandro Barrico’s works I tend to read just for the sheer pleasure of looking at the words. Ocean Sea is no exception. I think the stark way to describe it is a very long Italian poem translated into English (and it’s in the translation that many books like this fail in my view). If you go much deeper then Ocean Sea is a work of magical realism. It tells the story of some quite ordinary people who share desires and life experiences  that drive them to this magical inn by the sea. Sometimes I need a bit of a firm grounding when I’m reading the book; I thought that I would have liked to have been a little more certain what this place actually was. But as I often find with Barrico’s books, it’s best to stop worrying about the intracies of the story and just let yourself get carried along by the prose and the subtle humour. I liked the idea, though I wasn’t sure there was enough there for a book of its length. It did tend to meander a lot through the characters lives, and so I think I was mostly lost in the use of language and phrasing than the story itself. There were some moments in the book that were quite moving; I was fascinated by the man writing love letters to a woman he was yet to meet, and the man who was researching the nature of endings. It really did go off the deep end in a few places and I found myself struggling to keep up; this is where the book lacked the smooth storytelling that the author/translator demonstrated in Silk (still my favourite book of all time). But as a study in the use of poetic prose, Ocean Sea is stunning.

Seven out of ten.