Kratak roman o tome da reči zapravo nisu uvek neophodne. Štaviše u najvažnijim stvarima su čak i suvišne. Ne samo da nam je to jasno iz priče koju priKratak roman o tome da reči zapravo nisu uvek neophodne. Štaviše u najvažnijim stvarima su čak i suvišne. Ne samo da nam je to jasno iz priče koju priča već i iz same forme romana. Naime, vrlo je kratak, konkretan, bez detalja koji bi nas odvojili od glavne priče (čovek je nekoliko puta prevalio put od Francuske do Japana i natrag uključujući i jahanje hiljadama kilometara kroz Sibir pa ipak, svako od tih putovanja je opisivano gotovo istom (jednom!) rečenicom a svakako da je samo jedno putovanje moralo imati materijala za zaseban roman). Možda (verovatno) zbog Japana ali kao da je haiku roman, podeljen na vrlo kratka (haiku) poglavlja. Ljubavna priča ali je čak i ona nekako sporedna, više kao scenografija... više priča o toma kako je ispunjenost (ne nužno i sreća) moguća u pukom saznanju o nečijem postojanju tamo negde daleko (gde "daleko" ne igra nikakvu ulogu). ...more
A birthday gift from a friend who unkowingly and rather accidentaly has saved Salinger in my heart. There is an eternity from the last Selinger I haveA birthday gift from a friend who unkowingly and rather accidentaly has saved Salinger in my heart. There is an eternity from the last Selinger I have read (for reason) and I'm happy to say that my love for Seymour can only rival my disgust for Holden. Beautiful book!...more
I liked the book but it's not typical Mary Roach in the way it's not as funny. But I'd say it would be rather weird if that wasn't the case. There areI liked the book but it's not typical Mary Roach in the way it's not as funny. But I'd say it would be rather weird if that wasn't the case. There are many readers who either have experienced what she's writing about or have someone who who did (and especially those who had that someone). So, it's quite slippery field to be a mocking bird. That doesn't mean it's dry and humourless. She makes jokes, on her own account.
We aren't involved into military industry nor we have troupes that brings democracy anywhere and consequentially we don't have industry that deals with vast majority of issues described in the book. Therefore I found this a quite interesting and informative read. I really like how she's bringing to the light somethings that many don't think about whatsoever. When you think about injured soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan the image is usually an amputee (in recent months there is an influx of amputee models in the fashion and photography industry but "Despite or possibly because of their low profile, the less visible injuries of war can be the hardest kind to have." Not surprisingly I was very interested in chapters about phalloplasty. Who thought about those kinds of injuries? I never did and of course if you can lose a leg you most certainly can lose your junk. Crafting a working penis from other parts of patients body (forearm skin, or urethra tissue made from the tissue from your mouth (it's always moist and doesn't have hairs which tells us that they tried with other tissues that has hair follicles and you can imagine problems caused by hair producing tissue in your urethra!!!)). Then penis transplantation (obviously from cadaver) and making a manual how to use reconstructed penis (touchy subject writing some weird variant of Kama-Sutra for phalloplasty patients but apparently quite necessary one. There is one soldier whose comment was something how he had thirty-something operations on his penis but not a single word about how he should use that new one). Also it was quite striking reaction of one medical worker when author asked the rate of divorces, she said that's not an issue, the real question is the rate of suicide. Also very interesting (and again something I never thought about) was the reason why they never transplant testicles. The reason is quite logic: the child would be a biological/genetic offspring of testicle donor and not the guy who actually had sex and made that child.
Also very interesting chapters were with maggots (who are our allies this time!) and diarrhoea. I love the reaction of those tough soldiers when she [author] said it's a silly topic and they replied "no it's not, thanks for asking". And of course used tampons to attract/repel sharks (now I have an idea how seal smells LOL!)....more
I didn't have a clue what I'm reading and where the story will lead me. I was reading it aloud enjoying in rather lovely crafted sentences. EverythingI didn't have a clue what I'm reading and where the story will lead me. I was reading it aloud enjoying in rather lovely crafted sentences. Everything was going fluidly which is why I had some suspicion about the game. It crossed my mind the purpose of (to avoid spoilers) boys' activity at the beginning but only jokingly. However after a while that suspicion was back. And also my reading increasingly became mumbling: it was fast and the change of the expression was apparent (and listener had to become reader in order to finish the story).
*there might be spoilers here* I have so many questions: mostly why? Then I was struck with the children's reaction (they "beamed and laughed" upon opening their papers). There was such a horrifying nonchalance among all of them: the villagers but also members of the family. And they know how neighbouring villages abandoned traditions (to which one old villagers responded: "Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves..." oh what an irony!). Now one can think about ancient tribes who make human sacrifices to the gods so it's brings goosebumps when you see the same among people who wear jeens. Then, the way everything is done: horrific. One just cannot to shake of the words, screams, the irreversibly of the act. But the worst thing is lets-done-with-this-and-go-back-to-our-chores attitude ...more
"I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." this is how Sinclair commented public reaction on his novel. Since I am fam "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." this is how Sinclair commented public reaction on his novel. Since I am familiar what happens among the walls of slaughterhouses it punched me in the heart. Quite! But also reminded me (as if that was needed) why I'm distancing myself from the meat on the plate. I've heard about the novel mostly because of its graphic descriptions of the meat industry, its sanitary issues etc. It apparently had a massive impact on American society and has triggered some laws and regulations to be created. Fantastic example how book can be influential. Then of course the story of immigrants and their horribly tough life they were facing in new homeland. All tricks and traps they couldn't miss, their misfortunes that are piling up with every page. It fills you with rage. And then by the end of the book its political twist reminds you how similar problems but better disguised and more subtle still pretty much exist. And it goes beyond nationalities (but of course doesn't neglect them either). I'm not an American but I do follow US elections that are ongoing now and I see shockingly minuscule difference between what political candidates were saying in the book addressing social injustice and inequality across the (well, not nation) but people of Chicago and what Bernie Sanders are saying. Jungle is still very much alive and I so feel the Bern. Sadly it doesn't look good but it's very good that predominantly young people are also feel the same. Very good book! ...more
Želeo sam da pročitam "Cenu soli" pre nego odgledam "Kerol". Naravno da sam čitajući roman video Blanšetovu i Maru što nije nužno bilo loše. Međutim,Želeo sam da pročitam "Cenu soli" pre nego odgledam "Kerol". Naravno da sam čitajući roman video Blanšetovu i Maru što nije nužno bilo loše. Međutim, izgleda da su moja očekivanja ipak bila prevelika. Zanimljiv je svakako u tome gde slika život u Njujorku sredinom dvadesetog veka ali u toj centralnoj vezi, odnosu koji je tema romana, nešto mi nije leglo. Nekako, kao da fale emocije. U jednom trenutku (pri kraju) se govori o zaista ogromnoj žrtvi ali je nekako došla poput iznenađenja jer je nije ispratila emocija. Neuporedivo mi je bolje i snažnije (emotivno) opisan odnos i šta se dogodilo između Tereze i Ričarda nego nje i Kerol. OK roman ali nije ispunio očekivanja. ...more
Such an elegant little novel about loss. Primarily loss of a partner, Jim who died in a car crash and he (George, the main character) is still in earlSuch an elegant little novel about loss. Primarily loss of a partner, Jim who died in a car crash and he (George, the main character) is still in early stage of coming to terms with the tragedy. George is an Englishman, middle aged professor of literature at University in LA and his grieving is quite according to that. He sticks with his daily routine robotically, trying to deflect his emotions. He's trying to find solace through failed attempts to create meaningful interactions and relations with other people. And it's heartbreaking. There's that cut that splits George into two: his mind and his body that goes through the novel as two almost independent entities. While his mind wanders everywhere his body is on autopilot doing what is expected from him to do. It emphasizes disconnection George feels with his surrounding and the lack of wholeness. Even in a front of mirror he can't see himself as one entity. And that separation that is mirrored in so many things: when he think about the life he lived without fully realizing those relics are part of the past and dead so some parts of him are still living it, his longing, his need to preserve the surface intact that remain in presentable state that is expected. And of course there's his sexuality but I really think labeling this novel as "gay fiction" disserves it immensely because it will repel some readers which is surely such a shame. It's a gorgeous, humane novel that everyone should read.
And yes, I saw the film and loved it very much and therefore couldn't expel Colin Firth (and the rest of the crew) from my mind while reading this. I guess Tom Ford has done marvelous job in casting so I don't think it affected negatively the experience of reading. ...more
I didn't expect I'll read this one so fast. I had some vague idea what this novel is about and therefore I thought it will take me longer to finish itI didn't expect I'll read this one so fast. I had some vague idea what this novel is about and therefore I thought it will take me longer to finish it. In the end I've read it in two sittings. Now, I'm usually quite bothered with overly religious texts and this one is heavily loaded with metaphors related to biblical texts (which I'm not too familiar with). So many references are from the bible and even the language they speak seems to be biblical. However it perfectly fitted into the milieu, the scene that I really couldn't imagine being different. But I probably missed something in those preaching moments. I could recognize the parallels with the Bible. The predominant theme is birth and (more) rebirth, therefore genesis which made astonishing contrast with the actual world characters are living in: depressing, filthy, unjust, miserable and above all sinful. Sin is everywhere and especially where you least expect. Those who are most pious or at least leaving such impression are loaded with all sorts of sins.
All characters have biblical names that supposed to mirror their personalities. Now I'm not very familiar with all of them but surely Gabriel can not be anything remotely similar with his biblical counterpart (except that he delivers the word of God to his flock). Deborah is however very similar with her biblical counterpart with exemplary faith and courage. They same is with Elisha who in the Bible ministered mainly among the common and poor people. He was very sensitive to the needs of the suffering and performed miracles to alleviate their pain. Elizabeth, a Virgin Mary's cousin, very devote woman whose son was John the Baptist and in the novel Elizabeth is John's mother. The plot concentrates on John, who is turning 14 and wrestling both with the natural physiological transformation that is taking place within him and with his confused social and religious status. John sees himself connected to evil. Also because his father, Gabriel told him that he is ugly and that the face of Satan can be seen in his features. But John also feels this way because he is reacting as a normal young male reacts who, during puberty, is confused by the irresistible urges of his new sexuality juxtaposed to the social, religious, and parental proscriptions against them. And to add nuance his sexual/moral conflict is emphasized with the possibility of John's homosexuality (he's terrified by his "sin" of masturbating in the restroom of his school while thinking of the older boys who competed to see "whose urine could arch higher"). John is indeed a tortured soul who struggles hard to find a place for himself in his body, in his home, and in his life.
The character with the most thematic significance is Gabriel, who has a major impact on every other character's life. Gabriel is the product of the racist environments in which he has existed from birth. He suffered the anxiety of the Southern, newly freed, slave environment and the angst and ego-devastating environment of the Northern oppression and bigotry
Generally, the novel has scriptural tone that demonstrates biblical influence in everyday life of the community but also in the very language they speak among themselves. And truth, that can be a bit tiring because from time to time Baldwin interweaves present and past and the bible and visions and when all is painted in those sacred colours it can be hard to notice the boundary where one ends and something else begins. I had to re-read some parts because I found myself walking through the darkest valley of confusion.
All characters are Afro-Americans (and the language used here I'm sure is pretty much politically incorrect) so the race and racism is a big, fat shadow that levitates above the novel. We can see the lives in the South and the North and the difference and how black people were treated by white majority. It's pretty much what we already knew. Every character is predominantly the result of racist concepts, racist values, and racist activities. There is one very graphic illustration of the racism in the form of castrated African-American soldier: sex and sexuality has been tightly linked with the issues of race (present even nowadays!) in the form of white fears and myths related to sex organs, interracial rape, etc. Racism is evident in nearly every paragraph of the novel.
There are few vignettes describing the past of characters. It's incredible how little love there are in the lives of such pious people. With few exceptions, it seems they are all driven by sheer hatred. Incredible! And (but this can easily be cultural difference) it somehow goes along the decibels one produce praising the Lord: louder one is more sinful turns out. Now I must say those religious deliriums people are experiencing in the church are quite foreign to me so I was reading it with eyebrows up: language one is shouting, visions they have and physical appearances are really more like a show. But then, all that is very authentic. It really fits perfectly into scenario.
Very good and apparently very important novel....more
What a satisfying read this was! I didn't realize how much I miss real, fat, classic novel! I've read his "The Collector" few years back and it wasn'tWhat a satisfying read this was! I didn't realize how much I miss real, fat, classic novel! I've read his "The Collector" few years back and it wasn't as satisfactory as I hoped it will be so when I picked up "The Magus" it was more because it happened to be the "closest to my hand/Kindle/whatever" and I kinda had intention only to lurk a bit until I decide what I'll read next. But I was so hooked. The narrative is absolutely brilliant and even though the pace was rather slow it was incredibly enjoyable. And when it set foot on the Greek island ... well the only reason I *know* I wasn't there is the fact that "Phraxos" does not exist. Geography proved me wrong! That's how Fowles was good.
The story ... wow I have no idea where to start and when I do where to go. It's such an amazing mishmash of many invented and real histories, philosophy, Greek mythology, psychoanalysis, theater, when you think you know one character it turned out he or she is someone else and quite probably not even that. I have no idea how to categorize it (or even if that's possible!): it's an allegorical romance, a hilarious charade of mystery and suspense, sophisticated account of modern love, galvanizing chase through the labyrinth of the soul, stream of consciousness, twilight-zone-ish, provocative, erotic, compulsive, inventive, horribly theatrical but surely convincing. Convincing! Isn't that the point of magician's trick? To leave you convinced :)
I'm not going to summarize the plot. Now, that would be quite unjust and I'm not even sure if it would be possible (plus it would be full of spoilers) so I'm not going to even try.
But why I liked this book so much? Sure, give me stylish writing and I'm fine with the weather-cast. The language and style were so lovely but there's more: from time to time I felt as if I'm not holding book but the mirror. Those moments were not pleasant whatsoever. Those mind-games that pulled me under left me in daze more than once. It forced me to analyze myself and how I see things that surround me, situations I'm involved in and emotions I feel. That can be related with those of the main character of course. So apparently I've read "The Magus" in very right time. I needed this for so many reasons, not only related with nostalgia for a good old classic novel, but many more.
"Love may really be more a capacity for love in oneself than anything very lovable in the other person" ...more
The year is 1987, upstate New York and it's winter. Plus the cover art looks fantastic so I took it. It's a horribly bleak story and it's amazing howThe year is 1987, upstate New York and it's winter. Plus the cover art looks fantastic so I took it. It's a horribly bleak story and it's amazing how life was cheap. It's unimaginable really from this distance. There is no happy place here between these covers and I guess it suits the season. Ah the season, it's so bloody cold that you see spring out of your window :) Very strange story, very strange and numerous sins that are only piling up. From time to time I felt fed up and solely for the sake of finishing it this year and complete challenge I forced myself to keep on reading. In the end, it was quite nice debut but I definitively need something less dark. ...more
OK, I'm not a fan and therefore I took this one with non-existing expectations and as it happens when one doesn't expect much, I liked it. Very much aOK, I'm not a fan and therefore I took this one with non-existing expectations and as it happens when one doesn't expect much, I liked it. Very much actually. It was quite surprising fusion of two very well known fairy-tales that kept only their very well known shell. But substantially tales are completely changed. And they are beautifully changed. Beside it 's a dark and creepy story it's a sort of feminist tract that is crushing image we grew up with about woman (princess/queen) in a fairy tale and what she stands for (or better, lie for). In this one, she's the man! :) Down to Disney!!! And indeed, why prince charming shouldn't be a lesbian? And of course, illustrations are stunning! But I'm kinda more impressed what Gaiman did with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. It's fantastically subversive version of these two that every parent should read to their daughter. I'm so buying this to my niece ;) ...more
I like to be challenged with the narrative an the language and style which is why I'm not quite a fan of books in which the narrator is a child. It'sI like to be challenged with the narrative an the language and style which is why I'm not quite a fan of books in which the narrator is a child. It's a tricky because it's either not challenging enough or the kid is so eloquent that is unconvincing. So, I guess I'm hard to please with that one.
When I started reading, I was afraid it'll be the same case with "Best Boy". Narrator is not a child but a fifty-something autistic man and the way they speak is quite similar. However, it worked very well with Todd (narrator of this one). It was very new angle to see the world. I don't think I ever heard the story from such character. It was so touching seeing a grown up man expressing himself and explaining his world, his emotions with such language. Of course he's innocent and pure and vulnerable and honest both in describing his own emotions but also the world that surrounds him. It worked lovely his lack of ability to elaborate more profoundly his wish, his longing to go home. I think if he used one more word in his "When can I come home?" it would be less convincing. It really aches spotting his brother's refusal to pay extra for a better medicine or playing on wife's card expecting, insisting on gratitude and threatening with his withdrawal while acting as caring one. For me that was worse than his experience with his violent father.
I have no experience with autistic people but to me this book and the way this beautiful mind works were quite believable. Yes there is a diagnose but behind it is a person, human being who is much, much more than what diagnose is saying. And sometimes we need to be reminded of that. ...more