A classic that is worth exposing yourself to. However it is just so long...(I listened to the unabridged audio version) And overall it isn't very progr...moreA classic that is worth exposing yourself to. However it is just so long...(I listened to the unabridged audio version) And overall it isn't very progressive in that it just goes back and forth and back and forth.
Things I liked: 1) Extremely poetic (it is an epic poem) and fluid.
2) Starkly honest about humanity and war. The bloodshed was vivid and harrowing.
3) I found the embedded Greek theology fascinating. Greeks weren't caught up in the paradox of a perfectly loving God and pain and suffering. They dodged this paradox by subjecting their Gods to human passions, and when stuff went wrong it was sometimes just because their Gods were bastards. It was an intriguing concept.(less)
I debated weather to give this 3 or 4 stars. It got four just because of its humor, adventure, vulgarity, and fun ideas.
Robbins' babble is sometimes o...moreI debated weather to give this 3 or 4 stars. It got four just because of its humor, adventure, vulgarity, and fun ideas.
Robbins' babble is sometimes over the top for me, and at times I don't think that he takes his readers seriously. He'll build up an idea and then spout a sentence that seems to be spawned from his recent bong hit.
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and find the metaphysical web that he weaves to be fun and whimsical.
This is a book that is hard to synthesize, but I would say that it is about beets (the vegetable not the -nicks), perfume and the pursuit of immortality. Really, I find it to be a commentary on social, political, and religous issues.(less)
Very worthwhile read, especially with historical context. The satire was poignant and applicable to today's bizarrity too. The two points that I enjoy...moreVery worthwhile read, especially with historical context. The satire was poignant and applicable to today's bizarrity too. The two points that I enjoy are Voltaire's general assertion that the philosophy of optimism (in its historical definition) creates apathy, and removes motivation to change and his overall idea that chasing unattainable, illogical, and fantastic ideals can be disillusioning. Both resonated well with me.
Its simplicity, coarseness and lack of idea development is why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. I feel like some of his more subtle ideas are so important that he could develop some a bit more instead of just throwing them out there so tersely. (less)
I have mixed feelings about this book, but for reasons other than those that are sometimes mentioned.
Positives: Offers quasi-progressive theological id...moreI have mixed feelings about this book, but for reasons other than those that are sometimes mentioned.
Positives: Offers quasi-progressive theological ideas for those who have not repeatedly ground out the paradoxes of God and scripture in there own mind. Probably creates some discussion among some circles.
Negatives: First...some people get upset because this book does not follow literal interpretation of scripture. I am NOT one of those people, and in fact I enjoy seeing people challenge conventional religious thought. Nevertheless, I just don't think that this book is that good.
1) The ideas that it presents pretend to be revolutionary, but they really lack substance so you are presented with occasional theological discussion that isn't that fulfilling, but are then bombarded with a bunch of fanciful filler material that I found utterly useless.
2) **SPOILER** The ending is silly in that it avoids a situation that the main character would have to confront people about the "reality" of his theophany. I think this was more out of laziness than for any real literary merit.
3) The author takes the presumptuous stance that this story and book are a gift from God to the world when really it just presents some different ideas about the nature of God that anyone with a questioning nature has probably already examined themselves... The author say the following: this book is becoming a "story that is becoming a gift to the world." What?! This is not life altering literature, but rather a conversation piece for various Christian circles.
I think that the book served it purpose as a therapeutic exercise for the author, but I would not recommend it to anyone. It wasn't that engaging, and it wasn't that revolutionary.(less)