Monday, 24 June 2013

Book Review: Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa

Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa
Author: Benjamin Constable
Published: June 4, 2013 by Gallery Books


A suicide note. Hidden clues. A deadly game of wits. An imaginary cat. A paean to a strange and addictive friendship. Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa is a compelling invitation to indulge in simple delights and explore a shadowy world where the boundaries between truth and invention are blurred.

Ben Constable and his friend Tomomi "Butterfly" Ishikawa live in Paris. They drink in late-night bars, smoking and laughing, caught up in a seemingly endless conversation-- until Butterfly sends a letter saying she's killed herself. Haunted by the loss, Ben follows her final instructions on a mysterious treasure hunt, revealing unexpected joys and obscure faces of the cities she has lived in. But the deeper he digs, the darker the past he uncovers. Butterfly's life was less innocent than he could have imagined. In a game he thought had been devised for his amusement Ben starts to suspect he is fact the plaything. And the real and surreal overlap, making it difficult to judge what comes from the heart and what could be dangerous. 


Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.

"I'd like to write a book where the two main characters are me and you."So begins Ben Constable's bizzarre, whimsical, dark, and yet, somehow, humorous novel. Ben Constable has written himself into an adventure in which nothing is quite what it seems, but nothing is ever truly revealed for what it really is. 

I sit here, at a complete loss as to what to say about this book. It grabbed me and my curiosity and held on tight. Until the very end. And still has it in its grip. I am not entirely sure what I read or what it was really about. I am left with questions, questions and more questions, and I am not entirely sure that I really gained anything from reading the book other than some eccentric and perplexing entertainment. 

While Ben Constable becomes convinced that he is the plaything, I am pretty sure the real Ben Constable is actually the puppeteer, playing with his reader. I can only imagine how much fun he had writing his riddle, and how much he is enjoying watching it all play out among readers around the globe.

I want to tell everyone I know to go read this book just so that I can have people to talk to about this 354-page mind-game. If anything, read it as a group with the specific intention of having some drinks and settling in for a long, late-night conversation (like Ben and Butterfly). I will be waiting for my invitation...

"... because you know that endings do not always come last, and that they are only a question of definition..."

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Adventures in Moving: Week 1 Recap

Also known as the week from H. E. Double Hockey Stick or more affectionately known as the week Mama Kujo lost it (like, actually).

To be fair, it's not just moving and new house troubles that nearly caused my complete mental breakdown this week. As I hinted at previously, we are enduring some occupational complications as of late. Overall, it's been a week of dealing with a lot of inconsiderate, nasty, disrespectful human beings across the board. I really wish common courtesy was something required to be learned by everyone in life before being allowed to interact, unsupervised with other human beings. Don't you?!

Now that the rant is over, thank you for letting me spew that negativity all over your day/evening. :)

I am beyond exhausted, so this recap will really be the briefest possible debrief before I shut down for the night and crawl into my warm, cozy, always-courteous bed.

Remember when I shared this beautiful photo of what our new home looked like...?

Well, THIS is how we actually received it. Disrespectful, inconsiderate, and rude only scratches the surface of what I actually would like to say.

Aside from the mess above, the inside wasn't much better. (You DON'T want to see some of THOSE pics!) We also had to fight and argue and threaten in order to actually get all of the keys to the house the day AFTER we were supposed to.

Then there were the conflicts with our new city's public works department. I won't even start with the lovely "welcome to the neighbourhood" experience I've had this week with certain individuals at the City of Cote St Luc. I won't call her out by name, but suffice it to say I was treated in such a fashion that I left the office in tears (after 3 days of trying to rectify the above trash situation which we did not cause). And let me tell you... it ain't easy to break this Mama down in public. So, yeah, thanks for that Public Works Lady!

Aggravated yet?! And that's only the most surface coverage of what has ACTUALLY transpired these last few days (on top of my job stressors). Thank heaven and every guardian angel I might have for my daughter, my husband, and few VERY key mummy-friends out there (you know who you ladies are!) for helping me find a way to keep it together this week! And an EVEN BIGGER thank you to my hubby's family for helping us out with keeping Little Miss entertained while we deal with all of this grown up stuff!!!

On a positive note, our contractor, David, from Dash Construction and his entire team have been absolutely wonderful to work with, and TOTALLY respectful ;) . Awesome to work with, super helpful, great at what they do, and I am LOVING the results so far! (Full before and after pics to come!)

In the meantime, check out this little bit of transformation so far:

Can't wait to share all of the excitement with you! Stay tuned for more fun (and WAY less negativity, I PROMISE!!!)!

Nighty night!