Opinião: Uma Fortuna Perigosa, de Ken Follett


Uma Fortuna Perigosa

de Ken Follett
 
Edição/reimpressão: 2015 
Páginas: 568 
Editor: Editorial Presença 
  





Resumo:
Inglaterra, 1866. O verão anuncia-se quente e, numa tarde de maio, um jovem morre afogado numa pedreira inundada de água. O incidente ocorre em Windfield School, uma escola frequentada por rapazes oriundos de classes abastadas, permanece encoberto em mistério conduzindo a uma trágica saga de amor, poder e vingança que envolve sucessivas gerações de uma família de banqueiros.

A história decorre entre a riqueza e a decadência de uma Inglaterra vitoriana, entre a City londrina e colónias distantes. O leitor acompanha a família Pilaster durante o período áureo do império britânico. Ken Follett inspirou-se num caso real de bancarrota ocorrido no século XIX para escrever este romance extraordinário.
Críticas de imprensa
«Um livro fascinante que prende o leitor da primeira à última página... pleno de emoção… grande rigor histórico... suspense permanente.»
Los Angeles Times

«Intrigas políticas e amorosas, assassínios a sangue-frio e crises financeiras… entretenimento genuíno!»
San Francisco Chronicle

«Um livro que deixa o leitor sem fôlego... verdadeiramente cativante.»
The New York Times

Rating: 4/5
Comentário: Há muito que Ken Follett se tornou um dos escritores da minha eleição. Com enredos de encher as medidas e encantar, o autor consegue transportar-nos para os mundos que recria com genialidade, atenção ao pormenor, capacidade de envolvência do leitor e acima de tudo, imaginação pura e com o toque de realismo que atribui aos momentos agridoce das suas estórias a essência da vida. E da ausência de contos de fadas plenos.
Em meses de tremenda ocupação profissional, o tempo e disponibilidade mental para ler andam em baixo. A aproximação a uma dita "ressaca literária" revelava-se a olhos vistos até que "Uma Fortuna Perigosa" me passou pela mão. Afinal, Ken Follett tem o dom de pegar no leitor mais letárgico e de fazê-lo envolver-se nas páginas de um mundo intricado de personagens sedutoras, enredos atrativos e sonhos, muitos sonhos refletidos em rostos e em estórias familiares a desvendar. Um dos grandes pontos fortes de Ken Follett é sem dúvida a sua capacidade de criar personagens com fundamento real, com aspirações e desejos, ambições e crueza, vontade de mudança e paixões, numa constante mistura acre e sedutora, que reforça a natureza cinzenta que alberga o bem e o mal, e que não caracteriza na totalidade ninguém.
Em "Uma Fortuna Perigos", deparei-me com um enredo espectacular, rico, cheio de intriga e de malhas de actuação, com esquemas e romance, crime e suspeita, ganância e poder misturados num único cenário digno de avaliar.
As personagens são como sempre o ponto forte deste livro. Acompanhando as várias gerações de uma família sem se perder pelos caminhos intricados dos saltos temporais, Ken Follet traz-nos uma coexistência de carácteres e vontades que decorrem ao longo de mais de 20 anos, sem que estes se tornem enfadonhos no livro. As diversas passagens temporais também foram assinaladas com classe, de forma que a progressão temporal ainda que registada, não é vista como um momento retorcido. Foram realizados os apanhados necessários para contextualizar o enredo sem repetir elementos temporais, fazendo com o que o avanço de várias décadas ao longo de 500 páginas fizesse sentido e não soasse apressado.
Ao nível do universo de composição, o autor traz-nos dois verdadeiros vilões como já não encontrava há muito! Não porque o seu nível de maldade ultrapasse o que poderia ser considerado minimamente aceitável, mas porque só o olhar atento e pouco pretensioso do leitor ou de uma personagem demasiado perspicaz para sua previdência são capazes de denotar.
Galanteadores, envolventes, dinamizadores e criadores de pólos de atração, estes lobos vestidos de cordeiro trouxeram um elemento-chave ao enredo capaz de manter o leitor agarrado a cada página com um certo fascínio, questionando-se quanto mais tempo uma certa dose de sorte se iria prolongar, querendo simultaneamente vê-los triunfar e falhar.
As restantes personagens secundárias são um doce. Lutadoras, destemidas, com coragem para enfrentar parentes e ambições possivelmente difíceis de alcançar, com a dose certa de força, charme e de ausência do que perder, vemo-las percorrer caminhos íngremes, frágeis, por vezes momentâneos em que só a preserverança e o apego aos valores morais com que foram educadas as tornam mais resilientes às peripécias da vida.
Adorei Hugh, até nos momentos em que algumas construções da sua personagem me pareceram algo forçadas só para atingir os momentos de exaltação certos. Ainda assim, foi uma daquelas personagens facilmente gostáveis, com humor e carisma, e pelas quais torcemos até ao fim. A sua evolução ao longo do livro, acompanhando o decorrer dos tempos e o crescimento do menino franzino e tranquina para um homem adulto de família é deliciosa de ler. As personagens femininas que o acompanham, desde a mãe continuadamente viúva à irmã dócil e fácil de agradar, passando por uma mulher interesseira e por um amor de adolescência são pontos fortes de contrabalanço num livro onde a presença masculina é dominante, ainda que não dominadora.
É um livro que cativa e prende a atenção exactamente pela essência extraordinária que cada uma das personagens transmite. É uma estória bem contada, envolvente e capaz de nos levar pelas mágicas mãos de Ken Follet ao Reino Unido do séc. XIX. Gostei muito e recomendo a leitura!
 
Cláudia
Sobre a autora:
 
Maratonista de bibliotecas, a Cláudia lê nos transportes públicos enquanto observa o Mundo pelo canto do olho. Defensora da sustentabilidade e do voluntariado, é tão fácil encontrá-la envolvida num novo projeto como a tagarelar sobre tudo e mais alguma coisa. É uma sonhadora e gosta de boas histórias, procurando-as em cada experiência que vive.

Review: Arsenic for Tea, by Robin Stevens

Arsenic for Tea
by Robin Stevens
Edition: 2015
Pages: 352
Editor: Random House Children's Publishers UK
Summary: 
From the author of Murder Most Unladylike. Schoolgirl detectives Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are at Daisy's home, Fallingford, for the holidays. Daisy's glamorous mother is throwing a tea party for Daisy's birthday, and the whole family is invited, from eccentric Aunt Saskia to dashing Uncle Felix. But it soon becomes clear that this party isn't really about Daisy at all. Naturally, Daisy is furious. 
Then one of their party falls seriously, mysteriously ill - and everything points to poison. With wild storms preventing anyone from leaving, or the police from arriving, Fallingford suddenly feels like a very dangerous place to be. Not a single person present is what they seem - and everyone has a secret or two. And when someone very close to Daisy looks suspicious, the Detective Society must do everything they can to reveal the truth ...no matter the consequences. Read the first pages here!

Rating: 4/5 stars

Review:
I had just about finished reading Murder Most Unladylike when I found out that the second volume of the series was about to hit the shelves which as you can imagine left me immensely happy.
In Arsenic for Tea Robin Stevens continues the amazing adventures of the Wells and Wong Detective Society. This time Daisy and Hazel are at Daisy's house for the holidays and Daisy's birthday party. Guest are flowing to Fallingford and we finally get to meet the mysterious and dashing Uncle Felix. (Does he really work for the secret service? Well I can't really tell you that!)
As it will obviously became a trend, murders seem to follow the girls anywhere they go and Daisy's house is no exception, If Daisy's family and servants weren't peculiar enough her new matron and the guest for the party help to create a very picturesque image of England's finest that leave poor Hazel missing her home in Hong Kong more than ever,
Like the first book, the case is fast passed and the girls are always alert learning and creating their theories as they go. As we are reading Hazel's notes on the case there isn't much space for conjecture but I have to admit that Hazel is not biased and it's fun trying to solve the case as the girls are. Although I do confess that I have left the detective skills for the girls in this case as I was enjoying more the house and characters interactions than the hunt for the murder.
Daisy and Hazel are very interesting as characters and it's interesting to see their interactions and their growth. After all they aren't 13 anymore, or at least Daisy isn't. Even so they are teenagers and are traveling in hormonal waters and with murders following them.
If the first book hadn't made me a fan of this series the second one would definitely have done so and I now eagerly await the third volume where not only are our heroines on a train but there will be other members of the public trying to solve a murder! (I can just picture how much fun that is going to be!)
If you, like me, liked Enid Blyton book's about boarding school you should definitely pick up the first volume of the series and embark on a magnificent journey. I give it 4 stars and do recommend to all boarding school/mystery novels fans.

 Cat / Ki
Known bookaholic and writer on every other weekend Cat loves books and everything that's related to them. Sometimes she has feelings and opinions about books and the world and she writes about them (mostly in her blog Encruzilhadas Literárias). She also has a personal GoodReads account and she believes the world is a better place for it (AKA no more repeated books from relatives as gifts). She lives in the UK and can often be found either in Waterstones or the Charity Shops.

Review: Husband Hunters, by Genevieve Gannon

 
Husband Hunters
by  



Edition: 2014
Pages: 323
Editor: AUS Impulse



Summary: 

Three old friends team up to find life partners - this isn't love, this is business.
Clementine, a psychologist specialising in couples counselling, is reeling from the discovery that her boyfriend is married. Annabel, an ex-model, only seems to attract men who want her as a trophy. Daniela, a civil engineer, is stuck in the friendzone.
Abandoning the romantic notions of true love that haven't worked out for them, the three decide to use their considerable professional skills to find a partner. This isn't about hearts and flowers; it's about being practical.

Warm and witty, Husband Hunters is about what happens when you try to engineer love. For fans of Zoe Foster, Lauren Weisberger and Mhairi Macfarlane.

Rating: 3/5

Review: 
I will start this review by saying that I received an online copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange of a honest review.

Feminine literature isn't one of my fortes but sometimes I like to read one or another to distract my mind during the busiest weeks.That was the main reason I choose to read "Husband Hunters" from Genevieve Gannon. I must say that in this kind of readings usually I'm expecting clichets and lot's of "I've seen this before", however since I know they are there for a purpose it doesn't upset me quite much. And although I did found some in this book I also found a scent of originality, which surprised me very much and made me read it with more pleasure.
The initial concept is what it is: 3 women looking for husband material, changing the premisses and the paradigms of first dates in order to improve their capability of choice with the aim to find the perfect fit. Of course it is to much constructed and rehearsed, which couldn't work well...
This book present us 3 different women, with different weaknesses, desires, expectations and dreams and definitions of what is a perfect man. What I liked the most is exactly the paradox of discovering that the essential true of good and well matched relationships doesn't appear from a guide of external factors but from the essence of each person.
I also enjoyed the balance between the romance with other subjects and secondary stories that gave a profundity to the plot and with style. Subjects such as relationships, feminism, entrepreneurship, prejudice, gender equality, death, perseverance and capability of dreaming were all explored, with the certain dosage, since this wasn't the kind of book to take them too serious and with profound analysis and reflections. But even so it was able to create a fun reading without goofy characters (just to be make fun on) and added a touch of originality to the story.
The other important idea is the possibility of starting again, of creating refreshing moments and the idea that having the courage to change isn't something just to the beautiful girls, or perfect ladies, but that is created from the courage of every single person -  they just need to want that.
 
Cláudia
About the author:
 
Addicted to the library Claudia loves to read on the move and we can usualy find her sitting in a train or bus reading while commuting to and from work. But don't be fooled she is also keeping an eye on the landscape and all around her. She is an avid defender of sustainability and volunteering and it's as easy to find her starting a new project as it is to find her chatting with her friends. She is a dreamer and loves good stories so she keeps looking for them in her personal life.

Review: Rooms, by Lauren Oliver

Rooms 
by Lauren Oliver 
Format: Hardback / Paperback / E-book
Nr of Pages: 352
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Synopsis:
Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance. But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. 
Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb. The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Rating: 4 stars

Review:
How great is it that Lauren Oliver is actually writing books quicker than I can read them? I mean I just finished Rooms and Vanishing Girls is already out! It's every readers dream come true.
If you have been around for sometime you probably know that Lauren Oliver is actually the only writer that has a tag on our blog, we read her first break series Delirium and are major fans and we have actually interviewed her for the blog.
This means, of course, that we tend to keep tabs on what she is writing or working on at the moment, I actually follow her tumblr and I have no shame in saying so. The truth is plain and simple, I simply love the way Oliver writes. When I was reading Rooms I found myself eating every word and imagining this old house populated by ghosts. Oliver sometimes writes the way poetry sounds, it's a gift that she is mastering and makes her books art. (I really can't explain it any other way.)
In Rooms Oliver plays with more adult themes (like sex and affairs) and explores the paranormal (life after death, ghosts). I personally quite enjoyed the book with it's twists and turns. There's also a book within this book and that tends to make me happy because I like bookceptions!
The story had a good pace and it was interesting to see several points of view, this is specially true since the ghosts tend to contradict one another which adds to the whole mystery.
Ultimately I think Oliver understands people and she understands them at a deep level. Her characters tend to be round and relatable and more often than not you actually understand their motives and kind off cheer for them.
In a way and up to this moment (and think about all of her books that I have read) I have to say that the book that I am reading at the moment is my favorite Lauren Oliver book, even Panic which isn't the most loved of her books was a fantastic adventure (and power to the older sister!).
I enjoyed the end of the book, I think it was rather a blow and made me think about several things. It also shows how literature can sometimes help us cope with things and ultimately survive our own lives.
Right now I canºt wait to get my hands on Vanishing Girls!

 Cat / Ki
Known bookaholic and writer on every other weekend Cat loves books and everything that's related to them. Sometimes she has feelings and opinions about books and the world and she writes about them (mostly in her blog Encruzilhadas Literárias). She also has a personal GoodReads account and she believes the world is a better place for it (AKA no more repeated books from relatives as gifts). She lives in the UK and can often be found either in Waterstones or the Charity Shops.

Entrevista: Maria V. Snyder


Ser livrólico é ser fã. E ser fã significa que se fazem coisas um pouco ridículas de quando em vez, como por exemplo ficar duas horas numa fila com sapatos de salto alto que magoam para ter um livro autografado e fazer uma entrevista de três perguntas.

E isto foi o que aconteceu no passado Domingo quando fui à Waterstones de Deansgate para me encontrar com a autora Maria V. Snyder, como eu no entanto, estavam mais cem pessoas na fila e a autora, que me confessou não esperar tanta afluência, fez das tripas coração e gastou pelo menos cinco minutos com cada leitor, passando assim as duas horas que tinha marcadas para dar autógrafos.

Por respeito às pessoas que estavam na fila e à escritora limitei-me a três perguntas.

1- Há uns tempos li numa entrevista que actua todas as cenas de luta. Ainda o faz?
Sim, actuo todas as cenas de luta. Faço-o para ter a certeza que os movimentos que descrevo são viáveis e que a luta se poderia processar dessa maneira.

2- Escreve tudo directamente no computador ou ainda escreve à mão?
Computador.  Sem dúvida. Não teria tempo de outra maneira.

3- Ainda está a escrever o próximo livro da saga?
Não, o livro vai ser lançado em Janeiro do próximo ano. Isso significa que já está para revisão com a minha editora.

Maria V. Snyder lançou este ano Shadow Study o quatro livro da saga Yelena Zaltana, sexto volume d'As Crónicas de Ixia ou primeiro da trilogia Soulfinders (conforme preferirem chamar à colecção e conforme a editora onde os compram).

Passatempo: Serpentina, de Mário Zambujal (Exemplar Autografado)

Boa noite Encruzilhad@s,

É com enorme prazer que vos trazemos um novo passatempo em parceria com a RG Livreiros, e com mais um nome já conhecido do panorama da literatura nacional. 

Aproveitando a vinda do autor a Cascais numa nova sessão da iniciativa "A Voz da Escrita Com...", da responsabilidade da livraria em parceria com a Biblioteca Municipal de Cascais - Casa da Horta da Quinta de Santa Clara, será sorteado um exemplar autografado do mais recente romance de Mário Zambujal -  "Serpentina".

"A Voz da Escrita Com..." realizar-se-á amanhã, dia 10 de Abril pelas 21H00 na biblioteca e conta com a vossa presença! Mais informações no evento do facebook, consultável através do link. 


"Para Mário Zambujal, o mais importante é saber que os leitores se divertem com os seus livros. É nisso que se concentra quando agarra na caneta e se põe a imaginar peripécias, enredos e personagens. "Serpentina" não fugiu à regra e arrisca-se a ser o romance mais divertido do ano. Nele acompanhamos as reviravoltas na vida de Bruno Bracelim - primeiro a partida da família para o Canadá, quando ainda menino, e depois um acidente de trânsito, já em adulto - e divertimo-nos com as situações armadilhadas de um destino tão imprevisível quanto animado. Num estilo inconfundível, eis um supremo divertimento em que a imaginação e o humor se entrelaçam com a reflexão e a emoção. "

De resto, nos resta desejar-vos sorte e um óptimo fim-de-semana!

Atenção: A pedido da RG Livreiros este passatempo só está disponível para residentes na área de Grande Lisboa.

Regras do passatempo 
1) O passatempo decorre até às 23h59 do dia 25 de Abril de 2015.
2) Todos os dados solicitados (incluindo Nick de Seguidor) devem ser devidamente preenchidos e completos.
3) Os participantes deverão seguir publicamente as páginas de Facebook do Encruzilhadas Literárias e da RG Livreiros
4) Só serão aceites uma participação por pessoa e morada, na área de Grande Lisboa. 
5) O/A vencedor/a será sorteado de forma aleatória (random.org), sendo o resultado anunciado na página do blog e o contacto efectuado por e-mail. 
6) O Encruzilhadas Literárias e a RG Livreiros não se responsabilizam pelo extravio ou danos causados pelos CTT nas encomendas enviadas.


Review: The Restoration of Otto Laird, by Nigel Packer


The Restoration of Otto Laird
by Nigel Packer 



Edition: 2014
Pages: 352
Editor: Sphere 


Summary: 
Elderly architect Otto Laird lives a peaceful existence in Switzerland. Once renowned for his radical and controversial designs he now spends his days communing with nature and writing eccentric (and unposted) letters to old friends. But his charmed life is rudely interrupted when he learns that one of his most significant buildings, Marlowe House, a 1960s tower block in south London is to be demolished.

Otto is outraged and wants to do everything in his power to save the building. So, he reluctantly agrees to take part in a television documentary that will mean returning to London for the first time in twenty-five years to live for a week in Marlowe House. As he becomes reacquainted with the city he called home for most of his life, his memories start to come alive. And as he explores his past, ponders his present and considers the future -- for himself and his building -- he embarks on a most remarkable journey.

Rating: 3/5

Review: 
I will start this review by saying that I received an online copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange of a honest review.

Sometimes writers have beautiful stories to be told. Sometimes they don't even know they are doing it. This stories about moments and characters just appear in the pages of amazingly well written books and push us inside of narratives that can completely distract us from the world we live in. Reading "The Restoration of Otto Laird" was like being inside the mind of an old man, with so much to tell but at the same time so lost in his memories and disgraces and so afraid of the world. Otto is an interesting man, trapped on a time where he was ahead of his peers and prepared to be an avant-garde personality in the British (and European) architecture world.
The first pages show the reader how far away from this reality Otto is in the beginning of the story, living haunted by past decisions and indecisions, the mixed feelings of the desire of activating the dream once more and the need to let it go and stay in the past.
 The book is constructed as if we were inside of the mind of this scared and inconsequential and inconvenient man that is only trying to finish his own story and make peace with the past. It's not only the words and what is being said that make the reader feel that way, but the fact that all speech is paused, rhythmical and long. This makes this book sometimes difficult to read as if you are looking for something quick to read because it keeps going on ramblings - sometimes beautifully connected, sometimes just mixed about everything, from family to work, from colleagues to diseases, from dreams to anchievements. 
Marlowe House and its foundations creates a parallelism between an human being and a building dealing with the same issues and involving the reader in all the conclusions and reflections that appear in every page. 
The unposted letters are manifests from a free mind willing to break strings with conventions and social rules that doesn't make us more happy but only unfaithful to who we are. They are also a enlightenment about the different moods that Otto is experiencing during all these confronts with his past, that appear through an young face that reminds a love from the past, a worn road which used to be the one of more dynamics and used decades ago, some forgotten articles in newspapers that rekindle untreated wounds (but still with possible repair.
"The Restoration of Otto Laird" is a great book that I enjoyed to read without any doubt, but you should take time to enjoy it and not rush through it. It was a beautiful trip to a past on a previous London, where a man still looking for himself finds a way to discover the true about what moved him and created the privileged opportunity to follow him on this marvelous crossroad. 
 
Cláudia
About the author:
 
Addicted to the library Claudia loves to read on the move and we can usualy find her sitting in a train or bus reading while commuting to and from work. But don't be fooled she is also keeping an eye on the landscape and all around her. She is an avid defender of sustainability and volunteering and it's as easy to find her starting a new project as it is to find her chatting with her friends. She is a dreamer and loves good stories so she keeps looking for them in her personal life.

Resultado do passatempo: Uma Fortuna Perigosa, de Ken Follett

Boa noite Encruzilhad@s,

Com a Páscoa e para quem não se pode render a chocolate, deixamos uma surpresa docinha. Após análise de todas as participações, já sabemos quem será o/a felizardo/a que ganhará um exemplar de "Uma Fortuna Perigosa", de Ken Follett - o mais recente lançamento do autor em Portugal pelas mãos da Editorial Presença!.


Sem mais demoras, e porque queremos que possas celebrar ainda dentro da época festiva, os nosso parabéns a:

Alina Dobrovolska, de Aveiro!

Para os restantes, irão surgir mais passatempos, basta que estejam atentos e participem na hora H! ;)