Tuesday, 13 December 2011

tuesday titles 003..


'House Rules' by Jodi Picoult
as you'll have no doubt gathered from previous reviews, i'm a fan of Jodi Picoult..i've never picked up one of her titles and finished it with a sense of disappointment, and this book was not an exception..

as with any of her books, House Rules deals with issues which one would not necessarily come to expect from the 'women's fiction' section of your local library..the main character, Jacob, suffers from Asperger's Syndrome - a disorder which, before reading this i didn't know much about..{one thing you can't argue about Picoult is that she does seem to do her homework; by the time i reached the end of the novel, i felt as though i had devoured so much information about Asperger's Syndrome that reading the book would have been worth my while even if i hadn't enjoyed it}..the descriptions of the family characters' lives and how they have been / are constantly affected by Jacob are written in a way which makes them easy to relate to, even for someone who has not had any exposure to an 'Aspie' - i particularly admired the way in which Picoult wrote about how hard Jacob's father had found it to face up to having a disabled child..i guess i can't really say how accurate the information is, but i have read some reviews from people who have a day-to-day contact with the disorder, and have summised that the information presented on Asperger's is correct..

without giving too much of the plot away, Jacob is put into a trial situation; certainly not his usual routine, which is a big deal for someone with Asperger's and therefore difficult to cope addition, the key traits of his disorder are the very traits which are making the police, and potentially the jury who are hearing the case, think that Jacob could be guilty of the crime he is accused of..

if i had to read any criticisms of the book, i would have hoped that the ending could have been a little longer..i hadn't quite figured out the twist at the end, but after the length and detail of the descriptions earlier in the book, i would have maybe expected a little more than the last few pages to throw the ideas into a completely new direction..

that said, i wasn't disappointed by the book, and would search out others by Jodi Picoult..

and now for something a little bit different to both what i would usually choose to read, and to what i would expect to enjoy..'Once more, with feeling' by Victoria Coren and Charlie Skelton

i'll start by saying this is not the kind of book you are likely to enjoy if you're a little bit prudish..althought i should point out that this is not a book of porn, rather a book about porn, as there is a distinction between the two, given that it's the story of a couple of journalists who have been reviewing erotic movies for extra cash, and then decide to go on a 'quest' to make 'the world's best porn movie', i doubt you'd expect it to be the type of book you'd want to be discussing with your granny..however, i will start by saying that i thought it was hilarious..the writing style took a few pages to get used to, the two authors, also the two main characters as they write about their journey, share the writing in the first person, so it may take a little getting used to in terms of determining which part is being written by whom..once i got used to the quirky narrative, i was able to sit back and enjoy the comedy..i guess as you'd expect from a comedian (skelton) the book is very follows the journey of Charlie and Vicky as they travel, first to Las Vegas (my only criticism at this point being that whilst amusing, this part didn't seem all that relevant to the plot), through LA, and then eventually making their way to Amsterdam to find their actors and let the filming commence..

as you may expect given the subject matter of the book, there is a lot of sex..from talk of HIV testing, to the descriptions of Charlie and Vicky being on-set whilst a porn movie is being filmed, and a lot of references to all kind sof toys and contraptions you probably wouldn't find in your local ann summers!

the book also touches upon, (again, perhaps obviously given the subject matter) briefly, the moral issues surrounding those working in the industry, although this certainly is not the backbone to the story in any way, and not the title to choose should you be looking for a well-measured argument on the issue..

i enjoyed this book for what it was - i would say that's a frolic along with the two writers on their journey to discover a little more about the porn was funny, and in some places so much so that it made me laugh aloud..but i wouldn't take it that seriously, as i would suspect that neither did either one of it's writers..


  1. I think I've only read one JOdi Picoult book before - will def check this one out :) x

  2. I think this is the only book of hers I'm yet to read,
    we have it though so I might start it later.