Sunday, January 11, 2009

Confessions of a Fallen Angel

There were two things from this book that caught my attention as I was heading out of the bookstore a couple of weeks ago. Number one was the book cover: I loved the design. The second was the opening line:
“Dying was the easy bit. It was during my life after death that things started to go wrong. A conspiracy of coincidences perhaps or else maybe some higher power was having a laugh at my expense. But when I returned from the other side I brought something fearful back with me.”

I didn’t buy the book immediately of course (purely because I was already heading OUT of the bookstore and had put my credit card to good use with an extensive amount of book purchases already), did some research and found a couple of positive reviews on the book, including one from Valentina’s Room which made me decide to buy it and read it a week after I saw it at the bookstore.
Confessions of a Fallen Angel is a debut novel by Ronan O’Brien who specialises in criminal law in Dublin (which probably helped in the development of a very violent character featured in the book called Norman who seems freakishly real). The book talks about the life of Charlie who, after a near death experience at the age of ten from a severe asthma attack, was able to foresee the deaths of the people closest to him. Charlie grows up with the guilt of not being able to save the lives of those he loves and the heartbreak and bereavement is truly moving (especially with Ashling’s death).

This book is very character driven and is narrated from Charlie’s point of view. It addresses death and the emotional complexities he faces after the passing of those he loves. There are times when I get really frustrated with Charlie’s self destructive behaviour but he was a really nice guy and I wanted to know what happened to him and that encouraged me to read the book till the end. The only REAL problem that I had with Charlie’s character was that he hated Little House on the Prairie... (Seriously, how can anyone hate that show, anyone who grew up in the 80’s would know that this show was THE best series, next to Dynasty of course!... and maybe V. Okay I’m digressing...)
Overall, Confessions of a Fallen Angel offers a light and easy writing style. What I like the most was the humour, Charlie can be pretty damn funny when he wanted to be but I thought that the self pity bit was too lengthy. Unlike other books that provide an ending with love conquering all fear and providing positive inspiration to move forward in life, this book had a very morose closing. Overall, Confessions of a Fallen Angel was an ok read but I was a bit disappointed with the lengthy description that felt like it went on forever.


valentina said...

it's good to read different perspective sometimes. It worked for me although I know what you mean about Charlie being very self pitying. But I think I'd be too, although I wouldn't fall into heavy drinking like him. My frustrations were more directed on the knowledge that if he only didn't do anything....but I might spoil the story for somebody...
I'm glad you liked the humour. The first part is especially hilarious!

Ms Ulat Buku said...

Agree with you about the knowledge. That was frustrating too!

Alice Teh said...

Sometimes when a book is read from a different perspective, it brings out a whole different light.

Coincidentally, I finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower and the protagonist's name is also Charlie. If I read the book as an adult, I may find it annoying (I know a lot of adults love it, so it's purely my opinion), but when I read it as a teen (again coincidentally I was the same age as Charlie in 1991), it's a wonderful story.

Ms Ulat Buku said...

Yup. True. Agree with you on that. The take out for each book will be different for each reader, definitely.

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