I LOVE Eat pray love. I haven't finished it yet, but it's like that great dessert you have to savor..
But this was truly the worst collection of shortI LOVE Eat pray love. I haven't finished it yet, but it's like that great dessert you have to savor..
But this was truly the worst collection of short stories I have ever read. The book had a morbid, dark, depressing pall, no point to the stories, and really, I don't know what in the world she was getting at when she wrote them.
Read it if you dare, but I almost didn't finish it. Felt like a huge waste of time (in my opinion, of course, which doesn't really match the other reviews on here for this book...)...more
This book was pretty good - I really wanted to know what happened at the end - enough so that, when the cassettes I had borrowed from the library gotThis book was pretty good - I really wanted to know what happened at the end - enough so that, when the cassettes I had borrowed from the library got me only through to the last chapter before my ancient tape player ate them, I went today and got the CD version to listen to the rest (I didn't realize it was so little, or I would just have ferreted out a printed copy).
I think the author raised some good questions about mental health, religious belief, dogma, etc. But I intensely disliked, well, most of the characters. I begrudged them their selfishness, their mental illnesses, their ignorance, their lack of respect for the other characters. And I don't think the author dealt any sort of kind hand to the possibility of truth behind spiritual knowings or miracles. It was like reading a book on religion written by an atheist..
sort of strange, and from reading other people's reviews, i don't think this is a common reaction to this novel, but there you have it - I'm an uncommon kinda girl ;). I would certainly recommend it, especially to those who have any interest in Mother Mary symbolism and mental illness...but it's not first class literature or anything, or even in the top 20 best contemporary books i've read lately.
would be interested in anyone's feedback after reading the book..
A far cry from Garcia Marquez (although favorably compared to Marquez on the book jacket), this book was a disappointment. Barely coherent ramblings,A far cry from Garcia Marquez (although favorably compared to Marquez on the book jacket), this book was a disappointment. Barely coherent ramblings, a weak attempt at dark magical realism, and a bleak outlook on humanity and people's ability to overcome obstacles. Also a distorted and disturbing look at love. I guess I didn't really like it that much at all, but I finished it, and I suppose there were some redeeming qualities that are keeping me from only giving it 1 star (although I can't remember what they are, even though I just finished the book 2 days ago..)...more
You know, the writing was really good, I must say that. But the subject matter and the characters were SO messed up! If you liked Six Feet Under (on tYou know, the writing was really good, I must say that. But the subject matter and the characters were SO messed up! If you liked Six Feet Under (on tv) then this is for you. Just weirdness in real life, I guess.
For me the stories were haunting, though, and I had trouble sleeping well if I read it while in bed...
To be honest, I just don't think I'm a short story kinda gal - so much drama in so few pages, DRAMATIC endings that leave way too many doors open...nope, I prefer a novel, where you can connect more readily through more experiences and pages with the characters, and there generally seems to be more resolution......more
Wow. This book knocked the wind out of me on more than one occasion - wow. The writing is gorgeous, the horrible subject is dealt with so lovingly andWow. This book knocked the wind out of me on more than one occasion - wow. The writing is gorgeous, the horrible subject is dealt with so lovingly and tolerably. The characters are, with no other description available, completely unforgettable.
Heartbreaking. HEARTBREAKING. Yet hopeful...never read a book that is able to pull off that balance so well.
Just read it. You'll never think of the Holocaust (or human nature, or "man's inhumanity to man") the same way again....more
This book was really a series of horrible events that makes me glad I live in North Carolina NOW rather than 100 years ago. Listening to it may not haThis book was really a series of horrible events that makes me glad I live in North Carolina NOW rather than 100 years ago. Listening to it may not have been the way to go, as the narrator had the most annoying accent (NOT NORTH CAROLINA) and the most awkward timing of any narrator I have ever heard.
The dialog in this book between characters can be described as strained at best, and a lot of the meaning of the relationships between the characters comes from reading between the lines.
But, all in all, it's a punishing novel that reminds you to not take anything in your life for granted, 'cuz it could be SO MUCH WORSE.
I began to feel like if I heard "such and such WOULD have been ok but for..." one more time I was going to toss the library's copy of this audiobook out the window of my car, but I got over it :).
Anyway, it was a fast, interesting (except for the dialog) read, and I'm curious as to Oprah's take on it (since it was a fairly early pick of the book club..), especially since it is written from a female perspective by a MAN!! If you read it, you'll note the irony in this as well ;)...more
Ok, to anyone who thinks that Asheville is a pretty cool city and wants to know why, DON'T READ THIS BOOK! It's plastic and pathetic and whiny and onlOk, to anyone who thinks that Asheville is a pretty cool city and wants to know why, DON'T READ THIS BOOK! It's plastic and pathetic and whiny and only minutely amusing in some instances. I was SO looking forward to reading this book - with great comic writers like Celia Rivenbark and Laurie Notaro raving about Reinhardt's talent and even a comparison to DAVID SEDARIS!! But no, my dear friends. This one fell WAY short of the marketing madness that must have been paid for in large sums of cash money to appear on the cover of this book.
The author is so superficial it's almost painful at times (ahhh....after the chapter upon chapter of the debate over whether to get a boob-job with generous helpings of her internet boob-job support chatroom, she reminisces about how many men she could control when her bottom was the size of a teacup as a teenager). Yeah, I wish I was kidding too. And all that talk about being a Southern Baptist? It was too much. She's still trying to convince herself it was ok she got that boob job in addition to her readers, I guess, by proclaiming again and again to her Southern Baptist-ness. Spare me, ok?
You want North Carolina humor? Read David Sedaris. Read Amy Sedaris. Read Celia Rivenbark. Read Laurie Notaro (ok, she's not even close to being from NC, but I love her books so much!). Don't bother to read this one. And please, please, please don't judge the wonderful, fabulous city to which I am moving this week by this Barbie-wannabee lame-o 'comic' writer.
In true Southern fashion (and I wasn't even raised here, but I'm a convert!), I'm giving this book 2 stars instead of 1 bc she IS from NC, and I think I chuckled once....more
I picked up this book hoping for another "Girl with the Pearl Earring", but was sorely disappointed.
The main thing that struck me about the book wasI picked up this book hoping for another "Girl with the Pearl Earring", but was sorely disappointed.
The main thing that struck me about the book was it's incredible length, and unbelievable non-action. There was no climax. There was only weak plot. It took FOREVER to listen to the 12 discs that made up this audiobook, and I was counting the minutes after the 4th disc. That's a lot of minutes.
Also, there was a lot of "twinkling" and "dimpling" mentioned in this novel...as in, he "twinkled" down at his lovely daughter, or she dimpled at the memory of her happy childhood studies...it was annoying. I think at one point some of the children's legs actually twinkled in the air while they were being held by their father, and i almost gave up on this book altogether at that point. Oh, another good line was that during a sex scene the man looked down at her body harpooned under his on the forest floor. Um...ew. Since when is "harpooning" sexy?
But for some reason, I stuck it out, and I'm not entirely happy I did. Of interest with this novel is that it is actually based on truth - all of the characters and much of the goings-on are documented history - the story centers around Sir Thomas Moore and his family during the time of King Henry VIII's reign in England. This was at the tale end of the Renaissance, with the Boleyn saga as a distant background. So, I watched "The Other Boleyn Girl" while reading this book, and they enriched each other, as they gave me a better backdrop over which to place this fairly pallid story. So, if you freaking LOVED that movie and want to know more about the times at King Henry's court surrounding the seduction of the king by Anne Boleyn, this would give the reader a little bit more info.
But otherwise, unless you're obsessed with post-Tudor England, reading about Renaissance men who love to marvel at the sizes of their own intellects, men possessed with religious righteousness to the point of feeling justified in torturing other human beings for wanting to read the Bible in a language they would understand (English) rather than listening uncomprehendingly week after week to latin masses, and women who could think of nothing more than marrying and having babies, perhaps there are other books you could be reading......more
This is SUCH a cool book! About 1/3 of the pics come from my town, which is neat anyway, but it's really interesting how the author has come up with sThis is SUCH a cool book! About 1/3 of the pics come from my town, which is neat anyway, but it's really interesting how the author has come up with so many different ways to find representations of the Buddha hidden in ordinary life around the world..
VERY cool artsy book, especially for anyone with a hint of a Buddhist slant :). ...more
This was a book that was rollicking good fun to listen to - the narrator is just FANTASTIC, the dialogue hilarious, and the characters so ordinary yetThis was a book that was rollicking good fun to listen to - the narrator is just FANTASTIC, the dialogue hilarious, and the characters so ordinary yet so over-the-top...I just loved them :).
If you liked Bridget Jones' Diary, and you appreciate British humor and some of the quirky language they use, you'll like this book. It's just about being a very imaginative teenager in suburban England with wacky parents, a too-perfect best friend, and a 'bum that's too big'.
I laughed out loud lots of times - people in my town must think I'm crazy when they see me commuting back and forth to school..
Now, I will say, the plot is not incredibly difficult to decode, but it's just a fun read. I can't wait to see what messes Jess gets into in the sequel (which picks up just exactly where this book leaves off..) and I have a true soft-spot for the Granny with the addiction to gruesome details...all very ridiculously humorous ;)...more
While a quick and enjoyable read, this one doesn't even come close to living up to the awesomeness that is the Giver. The language is awkward, and soWhile a quick and enjoyable read, this one doesn't even come close to living up to the awesomeness that is the Giver. The language is awkward, and so are the moral lessons. ...more
You know, I really loved the Japanimation movie made from this story when I was little, but I didn't find reading this book to be all that gratifyingYou know, I really loved the Japanimation movie made from this story when I was little, but I didn't find reading this book to be all that gratifying of an experience. It took way longer than it should have for such a thin novel - I even quit reading before bed for over a week to avoid this one. While lyrical, some of the prose was hard to follow, and I did NOT enjoy all the strange songs randomly put in here and there.
This was another fun listen, with the same FANTASTIC narrator, but the story was just ok. I felt myself hoping for it to end, which is unlike me. So..This was another fun listen, with the same FANTASTIC narrator, but the story was just ok. I felt myself hoping for it to end, which is unlike me. So...3 stars. Funny, but pretty transparent, and the overly flamboyant characters started to get on my nerves like they never did in the first book - DON'T read this one first if you're considering these! And if you only read 1, read Girl, 15, charming but insane....more
I am unimpressed with this book. I've gotten through 9 of the 16 disks, and I'm uninspired to finish listening. As other readers have mentioned, the dI am unimpressed with this book. I've gotten through 9 of the 16 disks, and I'm uninspired to finish listening. As other readers have mentioned, the dialogue is often not-quite-right since the author is British and most of the characters are American. This book is laden with dialogue-heavy scenes, and the characters don't seem to be saying much. The book isn't going anywhere, I'm not invested in any of the characters, I don't even care about the fate of the Belsey family or the feud with the Kipps family....Smith just hasn't done a good job of MAKING me care.
And, a lot of the conversations are SO academic in nature as to repel me - I couldn't figure out what in the world these snooty professors were talking about, and I've been attending a fairly prestigious university for 8 years now! How much academia does one need to decode this crap? They seemed to be talking out their asses more than anything else...