This originally was my read-at-home-only-book. Reasons being: 1) it's heavy, 2) I didn't want to look like a pretentious douche toting War and Peace aThis originally was my read-at-home-only-book. Reasons being: 1) it's heavy, 2) I didn't want to look like a pretentious douche toting War and Peace around, 3) my embarrassment at not having read it yet, and 4) it's heavy.
This ended up being so good, I actually ventured outside with it more than once. Sure, the book is all over the place, Tolstoy throws in quite a few hate-filled Napoleon rants, and the boring strategic war scenes are kind of awful, but still, this was AAH-MAZING. (Even with that second epilogue. Good God, what was that?)
But really, this was great. There were so many great characters--even the ones I hated I still loved. I know Andrey, Natasha, and Pierre will stick with me forever....more
Real review to come, but I just have to address this book cover. This hideously bad, 1978 Avon Books paperback edition cover. I read this in public anReal review to come, but I just have to address this book cover. This hideously bad, 1978 Avon Books paperback edition cover. I read this in public and certainly got some strange looks. That guy's mustache and sideburns are killer.
This almost beats my copy of Winesburg, Ohio for the Best Book With the Worst Cover Award....more
NOT A REAL REVIEW...JUST SOME QUOTES THAT I LOVED.
Tomas did not realize at the time that metaphors are dangerous. Metaphors are not to be trifled withNOT A REAL REVIEW...JUST SOME QUOTES THAT I LOVED.
Tomas did not realize at the time that metaphors are dangerous. Metaphors are not to be trifled with. A single metaphor can give birth to love.
Tereza saw herself threatened by women, all women. All women were potential mistresses for Tomas, and she feared them all.
Ouch. That one brought back some not-so-good memories.
Her soul had lost its onlooker's curiosity, its malice and pride; it had retreated deep into the body again, to the farthest gut, waiting desperately for someone to call it out.
Man, that whole scene just showed how disgusting and beautiful love can be.
"It is much more important to dig a half-buried crow out of the ground," he said, "than to send petitions to a president."
I'll stop before I end up quoting half the book. Though really, there's so much more. The reference to Plato's Symposium was fabulous, and pretty much all of Part Seven had me near tears. There's just one more quote I have to include, which pretty much sums up the reason I love to read:
The novel is not the author's confession; it is an investigation of human life in the trap the world has become.
Thank you so much again, Ben. What better gift is there than an amazing book? Nothing I can think of....more
Ok, after typing out my real review for this, I went to post it, but then was taken to that "Goodreads is temporarily unavailable" screen with the picOk, after typing out my real review for this, I went to post it, but then was taken to that "Goodreads is temporarily unavailable" screen with the picture of the little girl sitting in a chair, reading. GRRRR. So, in fear of if happening again, (and because I'm feeling lazy today) I'll try and keep this short.
I rounded up a star since I think this is one of those books that reads best in one or two sittings. With all the holiday bustle, I read through the first part while standing in lines here and there. Other people were practically snarling at each other because of the long wait, but I was perfectly content waiting and getting caught up in Calvino's tale. After getting through the beginning, my start-and-stop style of reading made it kind of difficult to get in to all the different stories though. I would have to remember what story I was actually on, who the different characters were, and so on.
Once I could really get into it, I loved it. Finding out how and why all these stories were connected was fascinating. The Father of Stories? Awesome. The Sultana who had in her marriage contract that she would never be without new books to read? Nice.
I've always loved books about books, and Calvino nails the characteristics of a bibliophile so accurately, it made me laugh out loud at times. I think any Goodreader or book-lover could appreciate this one, just for the book descriptions alone. Wait, or am I the only one that loves even reading about descriptions of libraries, stacks of books, and bookshelves? In any case, this book was entertaining, frustrating (in a good way), and if definately makes me want to check out more of Calvino's work.
I have a confession to make that I'm sure will drive some of my GR friends crazy. I wrote in this book. A lot. And not even that, this book is now filI have a confession to make that I'm sure will drive some of my GR friends crazy. I wrote in this book. A lot. And not even that, this book is now filled with notes, underlining, and...dog eared pages.
*braces for attack*
I couldn't help it. You know how sometimes when you're reading a book, and a line hits you on such a personal level, you have to pause, really take it in, and then just sit and re-read it over and over again? That happened to me on almost every page of this book.
Standing in line at the post office yesterday, trying to hide the tears streaming down my face while reading this, I had that same nauseous feeling in my stomach that only a broken heart can give you. I had heard and thought so many of the exact same things in this story, it made me feel like I was going through it all again.
I'll have to come back to this review to add some of my favorite quotes when I have the book with me, though that might make this pretty long-winded! This book was amazing, and I can't recommend it enough....more
I finished this last night. At about 1:30 in the morning. Honestly, I have no idea how to even begin a review for this book. I kind of have the same pI finished this last night. At about 1:30 in the morning. Honestly, I have no idea how to even begin a review for this book. I kind of have the same panicky feeling I had when people would see me reading and ask what this book was about. I started blurting out incomplete sentences and even stammering all the while. I knew there was no way I could convey the brilliance of this book in just a couple light-conversational sentences. I think that might be the same case here, so my apologies in advance.
Okay, I've been sitting here for awhile trying to get my thoughts together, and I realized I'll have to get the book out and go over the insane amount of notes I took while reading this to make any sense. And while I've gotten pretty good at pretending to work while I'm actually playing around on Goodreads, I'm not that good...yet.
I think I went through an entire thing of Post-Its, that are now sticking out of the book every which way covered with crazy quotes and questions. (Here, I'll sneak a pic for a visual aid)
I don't think I've ever gotten so involved in a story before. Frantically taking notes, decoding a 3 page letter, and getting out of bed at midnight last night to play a sequence of notes on the piano...it really made me identify with Johnny's obsession. This book really isn't one of those supernatural/gory/monster horror novels, but more of a oh-my-god-I'm-losing-my-mind horror, which to me is one of the scariest things of all. ...more
When I first started this one, I was immeadiately sucked in and hooked by the end of the first chapter. Woland and his gang's tricks played throughoutWhen I first started this one, I was immeadiately sucked in and hooked by the end of the first chapter. Woland and his gang's tricks played throughout Moscow were funny and entertaining. As it went on though, I began to think, "Okay, where's this going?" It started to drag a little bit, though it did have one of the best chapter titles ever: Ivan Splits Into Two.
Once I hit Chapter 13, and read the Master's tale, it all started to come together. I was so hooked from then on, I couldn't put it down! Some of my favorite parts were the man who disappeared, yet his suit remained moving as if he was still in it, a group of people uncontrollably bursting into a perfectly harmonized opera-like song, and reading about the guests at Satan's ball.
I wish I was a little more knowledgeable about the politics of Moscow during that time, maybe I would've understood more of the satire, but either way, I really liked this one.