The Danes – Clarke (Review)

the danes.pngA blonde, blue-eyed baby is born to a non-white family in Copenhagen. A DNA test proving parentage does little to stop accusations of infidelity. Shunned by her family and supported only in secret by her husband, Sorraya raises her child alone.

Soon, similar cases appear across Europe – thousands and thousands of apparently illegitimate children. Racial tensions rise as society grapples with ideas of culture and identity. There is a panicked scramble to search for a cause, or even a cure. Continue reading “The Danes – Clarke (Review)”

Beck – Mal Peet & Meg Rosoff (Review)

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Beck is the story of an eponymous mixed-race orphan in an uncaring world. After the death of his mother, Beck is shipped off to Canada, where he deals with abusive priests, abusive farmers, and violent mobsters (plus more) while he searches for a place to belong.

This is a book that desperately wants to have an important message. It’s just not clear what that message is. Every event drips with unused significance. He is neglected and abused as an orphan, but it ends there – any larger point about man’s inhumanity to man or poverty fizzle out as he pushed the memories behind him and wanders on. Instead of an exploration of society or identity or anything else, each plot point is simply another event in a series of them with no real purpose. Continue reading “Beck – Mal Peet & Meg Rosoff (Review)”

The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu – Sax Rohmer (Review)

the-mystery-of-dr.-fu-manchu-feb-2012The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu was originally published in 1913, and then followed with a succession of other novels dealing with the evil mastermind. They were recently (2012-ish) all reprinted, and I leapt, very slowly, at the chance to read a series which is poorly-remembered but had a giant cultural impact.  Continue reading “The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu – Sax Rohmer (Review)”