“Napping,” she told him, as she began to make a pot of coffee. “He and Joey played their little hearts out. No Dad yet?” And then a little...moreA few quotes:
“Napping,” she told him, as she began to make a pot of coffee. “He and Joey played their little hearts out. No Dad yet?” And then a little while later: “Quietly,” Jenny cautioned. “Waaboo’s napping. He played his little heart out this afternoon.”
This: The same almost white blond hair and glacier blue eyes. And a few pages later: The sun had set, and the light outside had turned a cold steel blue.
He holstered his cell phone, killed the car engine, and went inside the sheriff’s department to have a conversation that he was looking forward to about as much as he looked forward to athlete’s foot.(less)
I borrowed this from my library to put onto my Kindle--what a strange book to "read" on a device! My screen is one of the smaller models, so I couldn'...moreI borrowed this from my library to put onto my Kindle--what a strange book to "read" on a device! My screen is one of the smaller models, so I couldn't read everything written, but I got the gist--and I think it's a clever concept, a nice gift book, OR, as I'm seeing in the comments, a really smart tool to use in the classroom. I could imagine this as being a good book to use in a creative writing class on writing portrait poems or finding a way to take a few elements and develop character (clearly would work better if students picked a person they are not familiar enough with in the first place). Or a way for younger students to pick a historical figure to study more in depth. Or for art students, etc.(less)
Perhaps even a four, but I couldn't quite settle there--I felt as if not every section, a kind of vignette adding up to all the possibilities of sprea...morePerhaps even a four, but I couldn't quite settle there--I felt as if not every section, a kind of vignette adding up to all the possibilities of spreading lineage--not every section was as strong. Or maybe I needed them to curve around each other a bit more.
I can say this: the first chapter is devastating. And gorgeous. And I held my young son in my lap, rocked him to sleep as I read it. Of course I'd have him so vulnerable as I read about the struggling twins and I could feel those babies in my own arms.
There are some gorgeous moments of prose: "he felt panic scudding in his chest," "his anxiety was replaced with an ecstasy that spun in his chest like a ball of fire," "the soft shirring of the leaves," "A gold flare rose above the treetops and peacocked into a fan of light," "What I feel for Sala has eclipsed anything I thought was love."
Definitely grateful to this new voice, looking forward to more.(less)
**spoiler alert** Many smart people have already highlighted the reasons why I was far less than enamored with this recent book by Dave Eggers. (And I...more**spoiler alert** Many smart people have already highlighted the reasons why I was far less than enamored with this recent book by Dave Eggers. (And I will say: the first half of Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is one of my favorite stretches of prose, so I'm on the hunt for a repeat and have not been finding it. I still have yet to read What is the What, and I'm hopeful.)
I want to say, before I point out the things that didn't work for me, that I admire Eggers' work at McSweeney's and his activism work. I think he's an important figure, but I'm afraid, for me, he's been a one-hit wonder and his best work is as a public figure and one who works behinds the scenes.
Some frustrations: - I felt the concept of the book was hugely unoriginal. We already have a classical foundation for this Big Brother element, and other strange twistings of modern times are stronger. - Even still, I found myself fully disinterested in having the point-of-view coming out of The Circle itself and from a protagonist incapable of thinking her own thoughts. The brainwashing is interesting, I think, but why not let her be a secondary character. Why does she carry the book? - This might have actually worked as a short story. So often I think that of a novel that really crashes--what if Eggers were given a briefer word count? So much of the book was redundancy (how many times did we need to read the CE sequences? if what's his name--Francis?--didn't really take any kind of turn in the book, why did we have to keep returning to him?) - The ending. I'm not saying it had to be different, that Mae could have made a different choice, though this is true--if it ends the way it does, why not more gracefully? - And the metaphor of the aquarium. Another reviewer mentioned that though there is content that might not belong in the realm of the young adult, the book itself seemed to be written for a younger audience. I think so too. It's extraordinarily dumbed down and unsubtle.(less)
I should have read this when I was in middle school; I can image how much I would have loved turning its pages! I can see why it's lumped in with book...moreI should have read this when I was in middle school; I can image how much I would have loved turning its pages! I can see why it's lumped in with books like Gone With the Wind--that whole blousey, saga-y feel, the family and land sprawl, the ego, the melodrama. I'm glad to have finally seen what the hullabaloo was about this book--it's a fine escape, though I'm not sure by not reading it I would have been missing out on much. Really, I should have read this a decade and a half ago, maybe two. (Oh dear, when did I become so old that middle school is so far back?) (less)
This was delightful and yes, to respond to the glimpse at other reviewers' notes: a CULTURAL history and not scientific, though science does, of cours...moreThis was delightful and yes, to respond to the glimpse at other reviewers' notes: a CULTURAL history and not scientific, though science does, of course, work its way in on many occasions.
I am greedy and wanted more: I wanted more for my own purposes, so more on the lungs and on childbirth. But how big can a book get? A sequel, Hugh Aldersey-Williams, if you please!(less)