Sunday, 19 October 2008

The Eight by Katherine Neville

“Chess is Life” – Bobby Fischer

the eight

I just finished this book a few days ago and have been gradually compiling a “review.” In my reviews I may or may not include my opinions on the book, and pictures, and character profiles, and my soundtrack for the book, and quotes, and whatever other crap I end up posting. :D But anyway. I don’t want to give too too much away but I DO want to ramble about stuff from the book so I’ll do my rambling and warn you before hand if I do end up telling you something you may not want to know if you plan to read the book in the future.

I was completely enthralled by The Eight. I have to say I was totally fascinated, and, most of the time, confused. It’s one of those books that just has so much happening and so much information is being shoved down your throat at times it’s well . . . very hard to swallow! It’s one of those books I could read like a dozen times consecutively and just obsess over it and analyse everything and figure everything out in detail. I have to, sadly, return this book to the library in like three days which will hardly give me enough time to do so. I’ll have to purchase this one! But as I was saying, I would love to map everything out on a piece of paper and write out whom everyone is and who they are related or “related” to. Moving on.

Here’s the review from Amazon.com -
Katherine Neville's debut novel is a postmodern thriller set in 1972 ... and 1790. In the 20th century, Catherine Velis is a computer expert with a flair for music, painting, and chess who, on her way to Algeria at the behest of the accounting firm where she is employed, is invited to take a mysterious moonlighting assignment: recover the pieces of an old chess set missing for centuries.
In the midst of the French Revolution, a young novice discovers that her abbey is the hiding place of a chess set, once owned by the great Charlemagne, which allows those who play it to tap into incredible powers beyond the imagination. She eventually comes into contact with the major historical figures of the day, from Robespierre to Napoleon, each of whom has an agenda.
The Eight is a non-stop ride that recalls the swashbuckling adventures of Indiana Jones as well as the historical puzzles of Umberto Eco which, since its first publication in 1988, has gone on to acquire a substantial cult following.


So basically, throughout the entire book it switches back and forth between Mireille’s story in the 1790s and Cat’s in 1970. You get to go with Mireille on her adventure concerning the Montglane Service, the chess service from the legend of Charlemagne, which had been buried for so long in the Montglane Abbey before having to be removed. And then you also follow Cat’s story as she get’s pulled into The Game and meet’s the mysterious Alexander Solarin and various other characters. You discover with her the Formula (I’m not sure if I should tell you what the formula is for) and make an important decision concerning it and the rest of her and her friends’ lives, just as Mireille did almost two hundred years previously. I love how the whole book is a chess game. It’s like a whole huge extended metaphor. Like...majorly extended.

I can’t say how surprised I was at Sascha and Slava’s reunion. (I know it seems like I totally gave something away but I didn’t :P) It’s really amazing how things just sort of fell together at the end. How The Game and The Montglane Service and The Formula and The Knight’s Tour and everything were all so linked together.
Anywho...

My Soundtrack for the Book would definitely include I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab For Cutie (that song is just so perfect, seriously) and Someday We’ll Know by Mandy Moore and Jonathan Freeman, Trust Me by the Fray, No Cars Go by Arcade Fire (This song cracks me up now because I think of Cat and Lily in the desert...you gotta read it to understand,) Vienna by the Fray (not sure why...it just fits) and Fall Away by the Fray (wow....most of these songs are by the Fray, but seriously, I could add a couple more them...seriously, so many of their songs are PERFECT for this book, I think anyway)

But really. Just read the book, and then we can obsess over it together because I don’t want to tell you all about it before you read it because it’s just that awesome. Knowing the end to this mystery would totally ruin it I think.

So Imma shut up now, and you should go read this book.

Over and Out,
-LTC (latuacantante)

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