Weekly Geek #16

Last week's Weekly Geek required us to pair up and interview a partner on a book we were reading and then post both interviews.

I had a great time interviewing Gautami about the novel she is currently reading, Novel About My Wife by Emily Perkins. Below is her interview, as well as my interview on Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark.


What was it that made you pick up this novel in the first place? I personally find the title to be quite intriguing; did this play a part?
I did not pick it up. It is gift from a friend of mine who lives in UK. He knows about my love of books and gifted it to me along with a few others. Yes, the title intrigued me! The protagonist is writing a novel about his wife, in flashbacks.

For those not in the know, why don't you give us a brief run-down of the novel so far.
It is about being married, the intricacies of it, the intimacy of it. Tom is very much in love with his wife, Ann, who is pregnant. They move to a new house and she sees a man stalking her. Is he real or just an imagination of her mind?

This novel is told through the narrative perspective of the character Tom, a bitter, middle-aged man (who is, obviously, telling the 'novel about [his] wife'). Do you find Tom to be an interesting character? Is his voice compelling?
Tom is not bitter. He is very much in love with his wife. Yes, I found Tom interesting, his thoughts compelling. One continuously needs to know his thoughts about Ann, their relationship and their friends.

What do you think of Perkins' writing? How would you describe it to someone who has not read her work before?
Perkins has a way with words. Her writing has many layers to it. I found the novel almost surreal and mystical at places. Intense too. I couldn't put it down after halfway through.

I've seen it written that Perkins "writes brilliantly about dismal people". In your reading of this novel, would you agree with that assessment?
In a way, she does. However, she makes those dismal people likeable and endearing. That drew me into the novel as soon as I started reading it.

They always say you should never judge a book by it's cover, but what the hey, what are your thoughts on the cover of Novel About My Wife?
I think I would have picked it up for the cover and the title. I found those arresting.

Would you recomend this book to others (why/why not)? If so, to what audience would you present it to?
Yes, I would. For couples. Who are in the verge of a relationship or committed to each other. Also to single persons who need to know the finer nuances of marriage, love, relationships and the feelings and emotions that go with it. Understanding is another aspect of it. Frankly I liked reading it.


Tell me something about the author. Have you read a lot of her books?
I've never actually read anything by Charlaine Harris before, nor had I heard of her before I picked up the book in the library (naturally one right smack-back in the middle of the series). She's written several other series, but this is the first series of hers I've really looked into.

Did you like the book?
I did, actually; I quite enjoyed it. I didn't really know what the series was about before I started reading - only that, in the world of Sookie Stackhouse, vampires were 'out' and trying to live an ordinary life. With the spate of vampire fiction currently available (most of which I find to be hit-and-miss), I was suprised at how original the story was.

Sookie can read minds. In what way?
Sookie was born with the gift of telepathy. There was no radio-active spider involved, nor any strange and unusual lineage - she just can. After living through an early childhood of parental disbelief and many therapy sessions she (after her parents' death) comes to live with her sympathetic grandmother in, it turns out, a much cookier town. Sookie doesn't advertise her gift, in fact she goes out of her way to block out the constant thoughts of others (her family, her friends, her co-workers), living with the endless strain of maintaining these blocks ... until the day she meets Bill, a vampire, whose mind is peacefully silent.

Is Sookie a lovable character?
I'm not so sure I'd go as far as 'lovable' - though she is certainly likeable and you do really feel for her at times; her life is far from easy. Sookie is strange enough to always be interesting, but normal enough to be relatable. At the end of the day, however, there were other characters in the book that I found to be more loveable.

Are vampires interesting characters? Did you like Bill? Why or why not?
The vampires in this book (series) are VERY interesting - I don't think I've seen vampires presented in such a manner before.

As I mentioned, vampires have come "out of the closet" - their identity has been made public (thought they are maintaining the more palatable line of having contracted a 'disease' rather than actually being dead), and they are adjusting to a normal way of life ... and the normal way of life is adjusting to them. Bars and restaurants are stocking synthetic blood and vamps are getting their own little following - everything from specialist prostitutes to a roaring business in the nightclub scene.

Some aspects of the vampires (even the 'good' vamps), however, are more traditional. Bill for instance is quite the gentleman, despite his associations with more intimidating vampires. You couldn't help but like Bill. For a vampire, he was just an all-around nice guy.

What did you like about the book?
I liked the book's sense of humour and fun - specifically in places where Sookie peppered Bill with questions about what it's like as a vampire ("Do you have a phone... do you shave ... do you watch TV?"). But mostly I liked the unique yet up-front approach: yes there are vampires, yes she can read minds, why? well because it makes a good story, that's why.

What did you hate about the book?
I did feel in time that the writing was a bit weighed down, as if I had to occasionally wade through a heavy paragraph to get back to the story. Having said that however, it by no means stopped me from enjoying the novel as a whole, nor would it prevent me from recommending it.

Can you tell us an interesting episode?
Hmmm ... there are so many interesting little parts, but what to tell that wouldn't give something away. Okay. Well, at one point Bill arranges for Sookie have a bodyguard watch her and her house while he's out of town for a few days. This bodyguard is a very strange vamp (there was a problem with his transformation) ... and he is somewhat familiar. Might have something to do with his Graceland t-shirt, and oh, that voice. Don't mention his name though, he goes by "Bubba".

How do you rate it? And why?
I'd give it a four out of five stars - I really enjoyed it and am very much looking forward to getting the next in the series. There were just a few little things that stopped it from being perfect.

I have never read any Vampire books. Is Charlaine Harriss a good author to start the genre?
I think it's a nice place to start. It's a nice easy read, not too heavy on the horror or the horror of vampire myths, and you're guaranteed a few laughs. I've not read a lot of vampire books myself, but if you're looking for an in to the genre without going down the currently rampant path of the Twilight series, then this would be a good bet.

Other Reviews
Have you written a review for either of these book? I would love to incude it, comment below and I'll add your link!


gautami tripathy said...

Rebecca, that was a great interview. I liked being interviewed by you and interview you!

gautami tripathy said...

Rebecca, that was a great interview. I liked being interviewed by you and interview you!

Serena said...

I loved this interview. Fantastic books, both of them are going in the TBR list! I love the premise Dead Until Dark! Vampires out of the closet! LOL