Thursday, June 2, 2016

Book of the Day/ The Fall of the Stone City by Ismail Kadare -short review


Quote of the day: 
Virtue is a positive quality developed by taking a firm stand for the right in temptation, or by the suffering endured in consequence of wrongdoing. 
-Max Heindel 




image: bol.com


One of Sun Tzu's sayings about conflict goes thus: The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.  Much of the story in this book explores the effect of war and its psychological effects on a nation. The Fall of the Stone City, a book written by Albanian novelist and poet Ismail Kadare is just about right for quick reading at just 168 pages.

It explores how the townsfolk of Gjirokastër in Albania with their values and culture go about their daily lives, most of it spent speculating about two doctors in their town who are held in high esteem. Imbued with metaphors and sometimes comical narration, Kadare weaves a believable tale and one can't help but be left with a certain affection for the characters.

The novel starts around the year of 1943 and the highlight of it is the arrival of German tanks entering the town with no single shot fired, only to be taken over later by communists after their departure. In the course of the invasion, one of the doctor will help to shape how the rest of the story evolves.

It is a brilliant novel by Kadare, but the book leaves so many unanswered questions and maybe it was done so as to leave the reader with some pondering to do. However, I do look forward to reading more of Kadare's books.

I'm still on track with my goal of reading at least 5 books each month, as was the case last month. You can view my book reading list for May 2016.

What books are you currently reading? Do feel free to recommend in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by.




Other books I'm reading this month: 



George Orwell -Keep the Aspidistra Flying



Kazuo Ishiguro -The Unconsoled 



Franz Kafka -The Castle



William Wordsworth -Selected Poems




Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Foster The People - Pumped up Kicks







33 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good book. I'm reading "A Hero of France," by Alan Furst, among others.

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  2. This book sounds very interesting. I'm currently reading "Cutting for stone" by Abraham Verghese. It's a decent read.

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  3. Thanks for the reading tip, I have just taken this book off the library shelf to borrow. I'm reading a small non-fiction book 'Bendable Learnings' by Don Watson because I am interested in the way words are used.

    Ms Soup

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  4. Very interestig books on your list this week! Valerie

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  5. Lovely post dear! Have a great day! xx

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  6. Hi Blogoratti - many thanks for letting us know about this book - it's interesting and important for us to learn more about life in other places - it is now on my list ... for the sometime of a read! All the best and happy reading in these longer days -cheers Hilary

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    1. Hello Hilary,
      I'm glad you find it important to learn about other aspects of the world. I hope you find it as interesting as I did. Thank you and have a good start to the weekend!

      Delete
  7. A Booker winner ought to be something. Thanks for highlighting it, B!

    Hank

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  8. I must read this book - I visited Albania four years ago, an intriguing and mysterious place cut off from the rest of the world until fairly recently.

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    1. Hi Rosemary,
      I'm sure you have a lovely time, it certainly is on my travel list. And it is indeed a fairly decent read. Greetings!

      Delete
  9. Interesting. You always pick reads I have never heard of. Thanks for the suggestion. Erika

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  10. Sometimes leaving the reader pondering isn't a bad thing indeed

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  11. I enjoyed your review of this book, but honestly it will not be on my reading list. Nevertheless, I appreciate your comments and am glad you are enjoying the read. Currently, I have no books of noteworthy significance to recommend. Recently, I have read a couple of Womens' Murder Club mysteries by James Patterson and others. These are fast, fill in the time reads but hardly great literature.

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    1. Hello, I do appreciate your visit and your frankness :)
      I like James Patterson, and now that you mention it, reminds me that its been a long while since I last read anything by him.

      Warm regards,
      -B.

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  12. Hello, thanks for sharing your book review. It is great your are on track with your monthly reading goal. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day and weekend ahead!

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    Replies
    1. Hello, you are most welcome and thanks for stopping by which is really appreciated. Have a fantastic weekend ahead!

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  13. Sounds interesting. I like your goal of reading 5 books a month.

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  14. Wonderful review for this, it definitely sounds interesting!

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  15. This was a genuinely interesting read. I read somewhere years ago that was how WalMart took over the world of big box stores. No fighting, barely noticed, it started in small communities until it reached a stronghold that couldn't be broken. Then big cities were attacked. Sounds a bit weird to think a big box store could be compared to the Nazis and a war in Albania, but your review reminded me of this scenario. I really enjoyed this. It sounds like an excellent read.

    BTW, I saw the book crossing post below. We have those in the States, and I have three in my neighborhood. However, if they don't meet city standards, the owner of the box (which is placed in the front yard) can be fined and the box will be removed. I hope that doesn't happen in England.

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    1. Hi, thanks for stopping by, Its an interesting story you've shared about Walmart and now I also recall having read that about the stores reaching a stronghold. And I do get your comparison with war.

      As for the book crossing, I am yet to see any in front of people's yards here -or maybe I just haven't been specifically looking for them. Good idea about keeping standards met though.

      Many thanks!

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  16. I'm reading The Railwayman’s Wife


    In a small town on the land’s edge, in the strange space at a war’s end, a widow, a poet and a doctor each try to find their own peace, and their own new story.

    In Thirroul, in 1948, people chase their dreams through the books in the railway’s library. Anikka Lachlan searches for solace after her life is destroyed by a single random act. Roy McKinnon, who found poetry in the mess of war, has lost his words and his hope. Frank Draper is trapped by the guilt of those his treatment and care failed on their first day of freedom. All three struggle with the same question: how now to be alive.

    Written in clear, shining prose and with an eloquent understanding of the human heart, The Railwayman’s Wife explores the power of beginnings and endings, and how hard it can sometimes be to tell them apart. It’s a story of life, loss, and what comes after; of connection and separation, longing and acceptance. Most of all, it celebrates love in all its forms, and the beauty of discovering that loving someone can be as extraordinary as being loved yourself.


    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Hi Sandee,
      That's a great excerpt from your the book you are currently reading, it sounds refreshing and many thanks for sharing.

      Do have a wonderful rest of the week!

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  17. I've read 'Keep the Aspidistra Flying' two or three times, as I have with many of George Orwell's books including 'The Road to Wigan Pier', 'Down and Out in Paris and London', '1984', 'Burmese Days' and 'Animal Farm'. All the above are worth reading.

    My book of the moment is Roald Dahl's 'James and the Giant Peach' which I'm in German translation valiantly hoping to see some improvement in understanding the finer points of this most difficult Sprache.

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    1. I will certainly take your word for it about those titles being worth reading.
      Appreciate your comment and visit sir!

      Delete
  18. Sounds interesting to find more about the Stone city.

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  19. It is good, if you can read...................

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  20. Americans don't know much about Albania as it was behind the Iron Curtain for so many years. Looks like an interesting book.
    I'm currently re-reading Martha Grimes books. She has a terrific sense of language with a good ear for accents. Thank you for stopping by my blog and making a comment. That's always appreciated.

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  21. Nice books! I am currently reading a Chinese/Mongolian book which is very good. I do not know the english name but the author is Jiang Rong :)
    Xx
    Larissa
    conscious lifestyle of mine

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  22. Ah, Wordsworth! Excellent. :-)

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  23. I've read several books by Kadare (including this one) and enjoyed them all.

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