To delve into the work of an author for the first time is both a thrilling and unnerving experience. While to read a book by a writer we are familiar with feels like returning home, to immerse ourselves in the work of an author new to us is a foray into uncharted territory. Although sometimes we end up discovering a new favourite, it is also possible to get highly disappointed. Below are some of the authors whom the only book that I read by didn’t impress me much (I rated it with either 3 or 2 stars), but whom I want to give a second chance to.
I made my first foray into Ali Smith’s work with Autumn, the first book in a planned seasonal quartet. The plot isn’t easy to explain, because it wanders amidst the flow of the characters’ thoughts and reminiscences. It delves into the bond forged between Daniel Gluck and Elisabeth Demand, as well as into some current events, including Brexit. I was left with mixed feelings, being both in awe of the way Ali Smith managed to craft some sentences and bored by the lack of plot development.
At first, I thought that I wouldn’t want to read Winter, the second book in this collection of standalones, but so many people have been praising it that I’ve changed my mind.
Orlando was the first and only book that I’ve read by Virginia Woolf so far. It’s a fictional biography of a 16-year-old who is alive for a few centuries. I totally understand why this book is considered to be so ground-breaking. The topics discussed are extremely thought-provoking – how a person can have characteristics associated with both sexes and various women’s rights. My problems with it stemmed from not being able to establish a connection with the characters and sometimes being confused by the stream of consciousness. Nevertheless, I want to read at least one more book by Virginia Woolf, before deciding if I like her style or not. I just don’t know which one to read next yet.
I read Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World more than three years ago. So, I don’t recall much about the plot. I remember it featuring many science-fiction elements and consisting of two strands, which were neatly connected in the end. However, the characters lacked development, and I liked one of the strands far more than the other. After finishing the book, I read that it was not the best place to start with Murakami. Thus, I want to read another of his many books, probably Kafka on the Shore, before I form an opinion about his work.
I had high expectations for Os Memoráveis by Lídia Jorge, but they definitely weren’t met. Although I was enjoying the book at first, I soon became quite bored and even irked with almost all the characters. I was expecting to learn more about the Portuguese revolution of 25 April 1974, but instead I got a story about people who struggled to adapt to present-day life. Nevertheless, I’ve already bought another book by Lídia Jorge and will hopefully like it. My choice fell on A Costa dos Murmúrios (Murmuring Coast in the English translation), which is set in the early 1970s during the colonial war in Mozambique.
Have you read any books by these authors? Which ones do you recommend? Tell me in the comments!