Sunday, October 4, 2015

Two Books: Dog Stars and Orley Farm

Two wonderful and very different books I read last week. Wow, such talented authors, Peter Heller writing now and Anthony Trollope in the 1880s.

Dog Stars by Peter Heller
"Dog Stars" is set in the American west ten years after a flu pandemic has cut the world's population to close to zero. Here are the first words in this book, which kept me reading fast!
"I keep the Beast running. I keep the 100 low lead on tap. I foresee attacks. I am young enough, I am old enough. I used to love to fish for trout more than almost anything."
I posted this review:

Dog Stars is one of the best books I read this year, with a brilliant plot of Hig trying to survive in a post apocalypse world, with his beloved dog by his side, and with his ally Bangley, a man who is a survival and weapons expert who relentlessly leads in protecting the three residents. The three of them create a perimeter around the small airport in a wild area of Colorado where they live and where Hig keeps his old airplane, The Beast. They defend the perimeter without mercy in this brutal new world. Hig is the gardener and the one who flies The Beast to get essential supplies like the soda they enjoy. Eventually Hig can not resist putting them in danger by flying to an airport where he received an answer to his plane radio broadcast. This is a stunning and mesmerizing story. A few people did not like the way some of Hig's thoughts are written, rather fragmented, but for me, it seemed natural, and Hig being Hig. And Hig is a good guy.

Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope
This is a review I posted on Amazon and goodreads and librarything:

I have quite a crush on this author. I discovered the pleasure of reading his books this year and this is the 7th book I have read by him. He knows people and their motivations so well. This book contains love interests between young people, and secrets that torment people (I am being vague to avoid giving anything away), and describes living in country homes and in city houses, the rules of society then, and some humor sprinkled in. The event that pulls this book along relentlessly is the trial to see who has the right to own Orley Farm, either Lady Mason and her son Lucius Mason, or the half brother of Lucius, Mr. Mason of Groby Park. Mr. Mason is full of rage against Lady Mason and pushes with all his might to get Orley Farm.
Trollope uses some fun surnames for characters and he injects himself with humorous asides along the lines of  "if I were a better author I could readily explain ...". If you are like me you will long remember some of these characters like Lady Mason, Sir Peregrine Orme, Sophie Furnival, Felix Graham and many more. Trollope's books make me happy!

Blog friends who like Trollope, there is a Facebook group "Anthony Trollope Society" with lots of interesting posts. We are hoping to have 1,000 members by Christmas so come on by.


donna baker said...

Will have to pick up THE DOG STARS. Sounds good. I so have trouble finding things to read that I like. I am reading KAVILIER AND CLAY by Michael Chabon. ???

Carol Z said...

Always enjoy your reviews. "Dog Star" has been on my to-read list for quite awhile, but I'm going to push it up. I'm finishing Sue Grafton's "X" and enjoying it a lot. A little too much plot going on, but the main story is very engrossing.

JoAnn said...

I'm reading Trollope's The Small House at Allington at the moment - my 5th Trollope this year - and has has fast become one of my favorite authors. Will add Orley Farm to my list and go check out the Trollope Society on Facebook. Thanks!

Denise said...

nice reviews

Harvee Lau - Book Dilettante said...

Congrats on liking Trollope. I may try him again sometime as I think I have some of his books on the Kindle.

thisisme said...

Always good to read reviews of books that others have read, and your reviews have certainly made me want to read these two books!

Rebecca said...

The first two I probably won't read - but I WILL definitely find Trollope's. I haven't read all of his.... I DO like Joanna Trollope's writing, too (Makes me wonder if I've missed her late ones....haven't heard of any recently.)