Ripple Effect of Life
Scribner; April 2003
Set in California, Liars and Saints follows
four generations of the Catholic Santerre family from World
War II to the present, as they navigate a succession of
life-altering events-- through the submerged emotion of
the fifties, the recklessness and excess of the sixties
and seventies, and the reckoning of the eighties and nineties.
In a family driven by jealousy and propriety as much as
by love, an unspoken tradition of deceit is passed from
generation to generation, and fiercely protected secrets
gradually drive the Santerres apart. When tragedy shatters
their precarious domestic lives, it takes astonishing courage
and compassion to bring them back together.
Opening with a wedding and ending with a funeral, Maile
Meloy puts together everything imaginable in between, and
manages to maintain a cool, elegant prose style throughout.
Doubleday; March 2003
Ethan Levin, programmer at a database start-up in the mid
1980s, has a serious bug to find, one that freezes the whole
programme. However, the elusive bug cannot be reliably reproduced;
it seems to rear its ugly head only during high-stakes demonstrations
for venture capitalists and prospective clients. As the
bug continues to elude Levin and Roberta, the software tester,
the idea that it has a life of its own seems less and less
a joke, and more believable.
While this novel can be enjoyed for its humour, there is
undoubtedly deeper meaning behind the individual trials
of Levin and Roberta. Ullman's poetic and philosophical
inclination shine through a story that is, on the surface,
about technology. However, readers may gain a closer understanding
of the way people interact with technology, the way small
things can have huge ripple effects that profoundly affect
people's lives, the way life itself reveals its meaning.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill
DC Comics; October 2002
In the waning days of the Victorian era, a cast of five
agents is instructed to save England. Each agent had been
a respected member of society, but for various reasons (divorce,
drug addiction) they have all dropped out of public favour.
Whom they work for is uncertain; the group's leader, Miss
Murray, believes that it is the famed detective Sherlock
Holmes, back from the dead. Against an atmosphere that is
both exciting and repressive, Moore and O'Neill have superimposed
a drama that is inventive and full of suspense.
Acclaimed comics authors Moore and O'Neill have combined
their love of 19th-century adventure literature with an
imaginative mastery of its 20th-century corollary. This
delightful work features a grand collection of signature
19th-century fictional adventurers, covertly brought together
to defend the empire.