26Farewell My Lovely – Raymond Chandler: Marlowe ❤
27Playback – Raymond Chandler: see above(s).
28Cousin Bette – Honore de Balzac: A nice book, reminding me that the inaction and cold emotion-suppression in english novels may not necessarily be the best kind of fiction. It also completely altered my opinions on mistresses, with the character of Valerie putting a shuddering end to my fantasies of becoming such a charmer.
29The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett: This was kind of tame in comparison to Red Harvest, but I liked the descriptions, and I liked the depressing air, and I liked Sam Spade.
30The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand: I loved this the way only fresh fans of Ayn Rand can. Howard Roark is a bastard but I adore him anyway. Its a long book but its worth reading, if only to explore the ideas.
31The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett: Another Hammett! A good book. It was one of those mystery novels that delight in giving you absolutely no clue as to who the real murderer is, so that the ending hits you harder. It hit me pretty hard. Still tamer than Red Harvest though.
32Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett: I was pretty much in awe after reading this. The slow corruption of the guy who was supposed to be solving things, the volley of depressing murders that ended up taking place on the road to solving the case, and the sheer fascination of the book is beyond commendable. I don’t think any book so connected to gangsters and the dark sdie of american life could’ve held my attention as beautifully as this did. An amazing novel.
33Frankenstein – Mary Shelley: Classic horror, basically. I read it because I was tired of being a stephen king/anne rice buff and yet having no knowledge of the old masters. But it sort of proved that different loves (such as my love for horror and my love for classics) sometimes shouldn’t be mixed. On the whole I found it boring
34Dracula – Bram Stoker: This was much better. I particularly liked the sense of creeping, real-life horror that comes from the way this is written, in fragments of diary entries and newspaper clippings and journal entries. It was also good story-wise, building up the suspense to an exciting end.
35American Gods – Neil Gaiman: Gaiman is about the only author that can make fantasy complex enough for it to be enjoyable even at my age. The length of this was a bit much, but I liked the concept of how migrants from other places brought their gods with them to America, where their gods suffered from lack of faith. And the whole story is definitely worth reading. I liked Neverwhere better, but this was still a fantastic book.
36Nero Wolfe – The Second Confession – Rex Stout: One of the 40 or so novels starring Nero Wolfe. It was pretty good as far as they go. Nero Wolfe is no Sherlock Holmes, but he comes close enough. He’s been described as an American version of Mycroft Holmes, and he really is that good. A good one-day mystery novel.
37The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things – Carolyn Macker: Hehe, this book was an indulgence. I hadn’t read cheesy teenage fiction for so long, not since I finished the fifth or sixth Princess Diaries book in grade 11. And it was funny and cute too.
38The Oxford Book of American Detective Stories – Tony Millerman and Rosemary Herebert: Notable book, spanning authors from as far back as Poe and all the way to Rex Stout and more recent authors. No holmian fiction here – most of the short stories were typical of the hard-boiled street-smart detective fiction that made Chandler and the lot famous and was the stuff of pulp magazines for years. A comprehensive collection – I liked it a lot.
39The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler: Last Chandler book 😦 Oh woe is me. What will I do now?
40Bible Camp Bloodbath – Joey Comeau: I love Joey and his writing, as a.p. can testify, and most of his fiction up til now has been gross and twisted but still made a sort of sense, had a sort of logic, even if completely random on the surface. I didn’t get the point of this one though. What the? It was like a slasher flick, only in words. yech.
41Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin: Kudos to the author for making me laugh. The book is nice if you prefer dim-suspense-type horror, boring if you like violent-murder-gore type horror. The whole book is simply suspense added layer-on-layer til by the end you are screaming for something to happen. And then the ending is so anti-climactic its hilarious. I definitely recommend this book.
42Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro: Um, good if you like Wyndham-type sci-fi scenarios overall, but the way genetics and organ donation and the ethics of cloning is dicussed here is brilliant though, better in some ways than anything Wyndham wrote. It takes a roundabout way to instil that awareness, but it does so with more effect. A highly recommended book.
Phew! glad that’s finally done with 😛 see you guys soon! with something less bookish, hopefully 😀