TRL REVIEWS: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

1Q84 takes place in Tokyo and follows the parallel stories of Tengo and Aomame. Tengo teaches at a cram school and aspires to be a full-time writer. His editor, Komatsu, drags Tengo into a scheme to rewrite a manuscript entered into a literary contest by an odd seventeen-year-old girl. Tengo works with the girl, Fuka-Eri, and ghostwrites the original manuscript. The book becomes an instant success, but now Tengo and Fuka-Eri have attracted the attention of a religious cult that Fuka-Eri is tied to. Aomame, on the other hand, is a personal trainer and assassin who specializes in killing men who abuse women. In a taxi on the way to one of her “jobs,” the taxi driver says to Aomame, “things are not what they seem,” as Janáček’s Sinfonietta plays on the radio. Aomame is late and the taxi is stuck in traffic on the highway. She leaves the car and, per the taxi driver’s instructions, walks down an emergency shaft from the highway to the city. And so the stories begin…

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TRL REVIEWS: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Meditations is Marcus Aurelius’ personal writings and private notes to himself serving as a guide for self-improvement. His writings, though likely meant only for his own use, espouses the tenets of Stoicism and his views on Stoic philosophy. Meditations is split up into 12 books written over the time period between 161-180 AD. Though he was a Roman Emperor, this piece of literature is applicable to not only the “common person,” but also applies as much today as it did two thousand years ago. Meditations is not a long read but packs a hard punch with no sentence wasted. 

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TRL REVIEWS: Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

He is perhaps the best known detective, fictional or not, of all time. Books, films, television shows, plays and more have been written about Sherlock Holmes, derived from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s seemingly endless supply of stories. Holmes is a consulting detective, he works privately, and is known for his logical reasoning, proficiency, observational skills and use of science. He takes on all types of cases for any kind of client, from private citizens to Scotland Yard. This review takes into account (almost) all stories/novels/short story collections of Sherlock Holmes, including:

A Study in Scarlet

The Sign of the Four

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

His Last Bow

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TRL REVIEWS: The Complete Patrick Melrose Novels

Never Mind. Bad News. Some Hope. Mother’s Milk. At Last. These are the five books that make up The Complete Patrick Melrose Novels written by Edward St. Aubyn. Oh, Patrick. A troubled boy with a troubled childhood which he made up for with drugs and booze and women and lies and general self-destructive tendencies. The books take place during his childhood, his twenties, his sober period, his fatherhood days and an amalgam of it all, while he tries to survive in London, New York, the English countryside and France. They follow Patrick and his friends and family in the deep, dark underbelly of the miserable lives of inherited wealth.

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TRL REVIEWS: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré

It’s the height of the Cold War. Alec Leamas, British spy based in Berlin is in the twilight years of his career, which is still young for an active spy. But he has one last dangerous assignment. Pose as a disgraced drunken ex-agent defecting to the East Germans in a revenge plot against the man who killed one of his agents on the East side of the wall. What happens is far from the ordinary, and a mess of plots, counter-plots, twists and turns ensue, always reminding the reader that war is war no matter how it is fought.

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