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Book Bites: 23 August 2015

ConsumedConsumed
David Cronenberg (Fourth Estate)
***
Book thrill
The debut novel by the acclaimed pioneer of the “body horror” film genre, who brought us The Fly, Crash and Videodrome. But Consumed is less gruesomely organic than Cronenberg’s films. Central to the tale are journalists Naomi and Nathan, a power couple who spend most of their time chasing scandal. They are surrounded by wildly expensive electronic devices, slaves to the umbilical cables that keep those objects alive. The plot escalates brilliantly into a global conspiracy featuring North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. A story about sex, paranoia, technology and murder.
- Jennifer Malec @projectjennifer

One of UsOne of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway
Åsne Seierstad (Little, Brown)
*****
Book buff
On 22 July 2011, Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 Norwegians – 69 of them children – in a shocking act of domestic terrorism. Through first-hand accounts, police records, psychological evaluations and social service reports, Seierstad shows how Breivik felt rejected by society and found solace in the ideology of white supremacy. But One of Us is not only about Breivik. Seierstad masterfully tells the story of those who died or were maimed in the attack. This deftly-woven narrative forms a multiplicity of voices of those who lost their lives.
- Annetjie van Wynegaard @Annetjievw

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13 BThe Unlikely Hero of Room 13 B
Teresa Toten (Walker Books)
*****
Book monster
A support group for young adult OCD sufferers is the improbable setting for this charming love story. The members give themselves superhero code names – but for 14-year-old Adam, his Batman secret identity is more than just a coping mechanism. Everyone in his life needs saving: gorgeous Robyn, who steals his heart the moment she walks into Room 13 B; Adam’s mother, whose hoarding tendencies are spiraling out of control; and his little brother, who needs him more than anyone. The quintessential crossover novel that will be adored by adults and teens alike.
- Fiona Snyckers @FionaSnyckers

The ChildThe Child
Sebastian Fitzek (Little, Brown)
***
Book thrill
First published in German, this is the tale of a Berlin lawyer, Robert Stern, suffering from depression after the death of his infant son. 10-year-old Simon comes into his life, a frail boy suffering from a terminal brain tumour. He leads Stern to the body of a gangster murdered 15 years before, which sets off a chain of events that brings back memories of the night Stern’s baby son died. Or did he? A rollicking ride through the underworld of paedophiles, baby traffickers and dodgy cops, with reincarnation and romance thrown in. It does, however, get a little lost in a fairly poor translation.
- Gabriella Bekes @gabrikwa

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