Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bartimaeus

Want a funny and enjoyable summer read? Check out the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud.



I read the trilogy earlier this year, and now I'm reading it aloud to The Rock (I like reading aloud and he's sweet enough to indulge me). He likes the books enough to regularly request that I read to him. It's hard to leave the characters in their predicaments not know what's going to happen (hence, I pulled a few late nights to finish the books quickly because my sense of Patience is not as strong as his). Plus, the books keep us laughing.

The books recount the adventures of a young magician, Nathaniel, and the djinn who serves him, Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus (whose name should be said to the tune of Rock Me Amadaeus), is hilarious and slightly cynical and makes the books a delight to read. The books are also wonderful because despite the silliness, the underlying issues are serious. What are the consequences of revenge? How do you deal with the consequences of your choices when the results far more serious than you imagined? How do you change the world when it seems impossible? What do you do when the cause you're fighting for turns out to be ineffective, or worse, is corrupt?

I love too that the characters are flawed: they are all (usually) struggling to do what's right, even though they don't always succeed. They're learning as they go, and as a reader, you see their progression, cheer them on, get fed up with them...all without the author shoving a moral down your throat. In short, these are fun stories that delve beyond mere entertainment. I heartily recommend them.

--Lu

2 comments:

REC said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I am always looking for a good read and since Car and Sar grew up I don't keep up with the YA literature as much.

Amanda said...

I love these books too! I started the third one back when I was in the hospital having my son (3 yrs ago) and somehow amidst new motherhood never finished it. So now I am reading them again and then I will probably read them to my husband too. Because you can never read a book too many times right?