This book is a great book. I started reading Douglas Coupland when a friend handed me Girlfriend in A Coma and I couldn’t put it down. That was several years ago and, building software for a living, I had to read Microserfs. I guess I’ll get around to reading JPods soon enough.
But this book get a strong eight-out-of-ten. It’s different; in the way that Pulp Fiction was different and Isaac Asimmov’s The Culture series is different. It doesn’t feel like anything else I’ve read. Ever.
So what’s it about? Well, Cheryl, Jason, Heather and Reg. These four people form the chapters of this book and each chapter is written as a stream of consciousness from each of them. They don’t overlap the same events in the same way as the Gospels, they kind of move on in time gently, and sometimes less gently. I guess the most obvious thing is that each character is talking about losing people. This could be depressing and dark, and in parts it is a little dark, but I found it made me wonder more and more about what goes on in other’s heads.
This trilogy by Jonathan Stroud consists of The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem’s Eye and Ptolemy’s Gate. They chronicle the adventures of a talented young magician called Nathaniel and the witty Djinni Bartimaeus whom Natahaniel has, just, managed to control. The books are set in a magical version of London run by magicians and travels a little to other countries. The other main character who features is Kitty, part of a resistance movement working against the rule of the magicians. Along with the human inhabitants are a suitable number and variety of creatures from the tiny and snivelling ??? to the living clay monster Golems.
I found the first of these book, The Amulet of Samarkand, while looking for something less vacuous than Harry Potter. This trilogy falls into the category of children’s fiction also, which sits nicely with my attention span. I waited anxiously for the second and found it well worth the wait – not a copy of the first with different monsters as the Harry Potter series has been so far.
The third part of the trilogy is sat next to my bed waiting for me to finish some non-fiction books before I really get into it as I know it will take over my reading time as soon as I open it.
Would I recommend these? Definitiely.
“The Amulet of Samarkand” by Jonathan Stroud, Doubleday Oct 2003, ISBN: 0385605994
“The Golem’s Eye” by Jonathan Stroud, Doubleday Oct 2004, ISBN: 038560615X
“Ptolemy’s Gate” by Jonathan Stroud, Doubleday Sept 2005, ISBN: 0385606168