I read this for a Race and Diversity class in college and while the subject matter was fascinating and horrifying, the writing was lacking. The authorI read this for a Race and Diversity class in college and while the subject matter was fascinating and horrifying, the writing was lacking. The author focuses on the statement that every child learns in elementary school: Slavery ended after the Civil War - and proves how false that statement is. It was enlightening and terrible at the same time. I had no idea how ignorant I was about that section of America's history. African-Americans were basically re-enslaved for 75 years through the use of the legal system. In the South they would pick African-American men off the street for non-existent offenses such as "vagrancy" or "offensive acts" - which could mean almost anything - convict them, charge them exorbitant fees that they couldn't pay, and then sell them to lumber mills, coal mines, and the rail roads to work off their debt. When those men got there, the conditions were inhuman, they were whipped and beaten daily, and for most of them no records were kept of their court appearance and conviction, so they had no way to leave. Most died within the first few months, and the few that survived were once again in a lifetime of servitude. This only ended in 1941 because the country needed African-American men to fight in World War II and to actually believe in the cause and their country.
The two-star rating is for the writing, not the subject matter. I found the authors style to be repetitive and heavy-handed. He also tried to follow one family and man throughout the years of this new form of slavery and it didn't work at all. There was no personal attachment for me for this character he tried to create. I understand that he was trying to get his point across and make sure readers understood how awful this system was, but he didn't have to repeat everything multiple times. I do recommend the book however because I don't think nearly enough people are aware of what was going on in the South between 1867 and 1941....more
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series but the later novels have gotten bloated and pedantic. Every story is extremely similar. I was glaI really enjoyed the first two books in this series but the later novels have gotten bloated and pedantic. Every story is extremely similar. I was glad this was the last book because I wouldn't have read the rest....more
I'm not exactly sure what to say/think about this book. What this woman went through was horrific and it also transcended all boundaries. Just becauseI'm not exactly sure what to say/think about this book. What this woman went through was horrific and it also transcended all boundaries. Just because she was wealthy, privileged, and was part of some sort of artistic elitist class that I'll probably never associate with is no reason why she would not feel horrible grief and pain at the loss of her husband and her daughter's illness. It doesn't lessen her suffering and as cliche as the phrase is - "Money doesn't bring happiness" - it's certainly true in this case because it didn't bring her any (though it DID get her daughter better treatment. But that's not on the author that's just the American health care system at work which I won't get into now) she was just as bereft and alone in her Upper East Side apartment as I would be in my tiny suburban house outside of Philadelphia if the same thing happened to me. I also don't dispute her right to write a novel about what happened to her - everyone has a cathartic release and this is her's. I think she should have acknowledged how fortunate her lifestyle was. It is difficult for me to feel completely sorry for a woman who can jet off to Hawaii and Paris whenever she would like.
I identified with the way she disconnected with everything that was happening around her, it's very similar to the way I deal with grief. I loved the running theme that "everything changes in an instant" because it just rang true with me. To make it personal: One minute you're sitting at the lunch table in middle school, and the next your best friend is telling you that she has cancer. It happens that quickly, your entire life turning upside down. I know what that's like and I could see in her writing the attempt to wrestle with that idea.
Her detachment is ultimately what gave this book such a low rating. I think it would have benefited from at least another years perspective. She was too much of, as she called herself, a "cool customer" for me to dig up any true sympathy for her. She was very clinical, very precise, and I never felt any true emotion anywhere in the book. ...more
I love the Firefly universe but I've never been a comic book fan. I never read them as a child and I've never been able to get into them as an adult.I love the Firefly universe but I've never been a comic book fan. I never read them as a child and I've never been able to get into them as an adult. I found that the trademark banter of the characters was a little slowed down because I was constantly trying to figure out who said what first(I attributed this to being a comic book newbie). I still loved the story and I felt all warm and fuzzy seeing the crew again...even if they were illustrated. The illustrations were actually fantastic, though I thought the male characters suffered. Kaylee, Inara, River, and Zoe were all drawn beautifully. Some of the male characters, specifically Wash and Simon were not done very well in my opinion. Maybe their faces are just hard to get. Anything that continues the Firefly story I will read, but this isn't something that would get me started reading other comics. ...more
I got bored rather quickly at some parts, and at others I couldn't stop turning the pages. Never thought I'd know so much about the minute detail of tI got bored rather quickly at some parts, and at others I couldn't stop turning the pages. Never thought I'd know so much about the minute detail of the CIA and police investigations. This was my first(and most likely last) Tom Clancy novel. It's not that I didn't like it, I just wouldn't choose to pick up something like this again....more
This was horrifically violent and gory. I could barely stomach it. The women were either villainous and cast as whores, or were chaste and then raped.This was horrifically violent and gory. I could barely stomach it. The women were either villainous and cast as whores, or were chaste and then raped. It was awful. ...more
The main character was so frustrating that I couldn't get past it. I know that he has a behavioral disorder, but I couldn't sympathize, empathize, pitThe main character was so frustrating that I couldn't get past it. I know that he has a behavioral disorder, but I couldn't sympathize, empathize, pity, or, truly, even care about him. This did not seem like a groundbreaking work of fiction. Why was it being recommended and hailed so much? Because the narrator has behavioral problems and the author doesn't? I just can't see what all the rave reviews were about. ...more