I've managed to finish the book without seeing a promo for the movie, so before I find out the actual cast, I would just like to declare Marion Ross aI've managed to finish the book without seeing a promo for the movie, so before I find out the actual cast, I would just like to declare Marion Ross as Miss Peregrine and Zach Greiner as Martin in my brain-adaptation.
It's surprising how different Kazuo Ishiguro's books are. Never Let Me Go focused heavily on the characters' feelings. In The Remains of the Day, theIt's surprising how different Kazuo Ishiguro's books are. Never Let Me Go focused heavily on the characters' feelings. In The Remains of the Day, the reader deduced Stevens' (and everyone else's) feelings by reading between the lines of the very stoic narrator. In The Buried Giant, there appear to be no feelings at all—just dialogue and events. Characters talk to one another, stiltedly, and their words are delivered as drily as the pages on which they're printed. Hidden motives come out of nowhere and receive little reaction. One character reveals an evil plan, and the other character is nonplussed, offers him a horse and wishes him godspeed on his way.
One common link between this book and his others is its temporal flow. He'll start with the outcome of an event and then spend the next few pages telling you how we got to that point. There is the occasional flashback within a flashback. A character recalls a a sunny morning three weeks ago when his wife said something that reminded him of something that happened five years ago. For a book that is predicated on widespread amnesia, there's certainly a lot of remembering, and remembering about remembering.
I really love Ishiguro, so I was disappointed in this book a little bit. Maybe I wasn't quite the right audience for it since it prominently features Sir Gawain, and I'm not well-versed in Arthurian legend....more
Maybe it was a little too clinical for me? I'm not sure. I guess I was expecting to be drawn in more and I just wasn't. There were some stories I likeMaybe it was a little too clinical for me? I'm not sure. I guess I was expecting to be drawn in more and I just wasn't. There were some stories I liked a lot, but on the whole, it was a 233-page book that took me a month to read.
Also, maybe it's unfair of me to mention, but I was surprised by how acceptable it was for a medical professional to call the intellectually disabled "morons," "idiots," "simpletons," and other insensitive terms. Full disclosure: I had to google "mentally retarded" to find out what the currently acceptable term is, and intellectually disabled is a mouthful. On my own, I might have come up with developmentally disabled, but that's a far cry from "moron." It's clear that Sacks felt warmly toward these patients, so the words certainly didn't mean harm, but I'm surprised there's no disclaimer or publisher's note....more
I loved this trilogy, and the ending absolutely did it justice. MaddAddam starts where Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood end, after a quick "LaI loved this trilogy, and the ending absolutely did it justice. MaddAddam starts where Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood end, after a quick "Last time on MaddAddam" catchup, which was helpful. Part of the book follows the drama from there, and the other part is yet another reflection, this time back to a time before the events of both previous books, telling the story of Zeb. The story is told in three formats: via the narrator, in dialogue between Toby and Zeb, and in a humorous bedtime story-like setting with the Crakers listening intently to Toby, incessantly interrupting with questions and song. "Please stop singing."
I strongly recommend this series to any fan of Atwood, dystopia, and the life sciences (plenty to enjoy from gene-splicing to beekeeping). I'm also anxiously looking forward to the HBO miniseries, and am very about how they'll portray the Crakers and the Pigoons. I predict a lot of CGI....more
Written in the 70s with cover art from the 80s and a TV adaptation produced in the 90s, this book is "fantabulous," to use Connie Bradshaw's word. WheWritten in the 70s with cover art from the 80s and a TV adaptation produced in the 90s, this book is "fantabulous," to use Connie Bradshaw's word. When I first started reading it, I wrote down everything that leapt out of the narrative as exceedingly seventies. I stopped doing this around page eight when my note card had filled up, and the process of stopping to write things down became tedious. Then I lost the note card so I can't even share with you what I wrote.
Almost a period piece, the book is still fairly timeless. Published in small three-page chapters, as I assume it originally appeared in its serial form, the book is very digestible, and easy to pick up and put down. I will probably continue the series, and excuse me while I continue to devour the miniseries starring Laura Linney....more
Thank you to Sara for reacting to my revelation that I still haven't read Kurt Vonnegut by up and sending me this book. He's definitely a new favoriteThank you to Sara for reacting to my revelation that I still haven't read Kurt Vonnegut by up and sending me this book. He's definitely a new favorite. I loved Vonnegut's style and sense of humor, and space travel is always fun. The characters were remarkably despicable, which may have cut down on my enjoyment a little (I don't mind an evil character here or there, but everyone?). It's extremely clever and taught me a bunch of new words (blog post to come).
I mentioned it in a status, but I have to bring up again that there is one reference to homosexuality in the book, and not a positive one: "There was nothing offensive in this love. That is to say, it wasn't homosexual." I realize this book was published in 1959 and anything more accepting of homosexuality than that would have been groundbreaking, but it was still a jolt to read that. It made me happy to be alive now and not then. Although to be gay in the 50s might have been easier than going through the ordeals described in the book....more
I found this book fascinating, informative, and accessible. Geography has always been an interest of mine, but mostly the knowing where things are andI found this book fascinating, informative, and accessible. Geography has always been an interest of mine, but mostly the knowing where things are and what they're called, and not so much the how they got that way and what it all means. Prisoners of Geography looks at each global power, and when it runs out of those the continents, and lastly the Arctic, and discusses how each one' geography (mountain ranges, coastal plains, river networks, etc) has effected their development, their partners in trade, and their enemies at war. For me, it was an eye-opening reminder of my naive, sheltered life that keeps me far from war.
Oil, gas, and coal come up a lot, water power comes up a little, and wind and solar do not make an appearance (since they're accessible to everyone regardless of geography). He doesn't really discuss the ramifications of coal mining, oil drilling, or shale gas extraction, except for a brief, very veiled allusion to fracking in the Latin America chapter. He also takes a neutral stance on global warming: acknowledging the danger of rising ocean levels to low-lying countries, but pointing out less Arctic ice means easier navigation and a smaller carbon footprint, plus an increase in vegetation and arable land. I've never heard this point of view, and I worry he's not accurately assessing the risks of climate change.
But to sum up, a great read. It filled in a lot of holes for me regarding international relations in the Middle East and Afghanistan, how the US got and keeps its power, and who's friends with who on the global stage....more
This was enjoyable and well done. John Green easily disappears into the role of a nerdy teenage boy, or three of them rather, surprising no one. So doThis was enjoyable and well done. John Green easily disappears into the role of a nerdy teenage boy, or three of them rather, surprising no one. So do I, and I have to admit reading the book's Part One made me anxious (just go home!). Clearly Green's description of the adventure was palpable. Nicely melded with the action and the high school drama were poignant observations about life. I enjoyed the moral that "you have to be careful which metaphor you choose, because it matters." It reminded me of "careful the tale you tell; that is the spell," from Into the Woods....more