If there was a special circle of Hell devoted to washed up hipsters, this would be their reading material. Now, that may seem like I didn't like the b...moreIf there was a special circle of Hell devoted to washed up hipsters, this would be their reading material. Now, that may seem like I didn't like the book. I did...and not just because it won the Pulitzer this year. (After all, that criteria didn't help me with Tinkers.) I really enjoyed the way each story was written in a unique style, yet flowed so nicely from story to story. I was entertained by the famous 'Power Point chapter' and amused by many of the characters (see: "Kissing Mother Superior, incompetent, hairball, poppy seeds, on the can."). Also, using the music industry to tie the stories together was wicked cool and made the music industry seem like another character in the story, if not the main character. Ultimately, I walked away with the moral of the story(ies) being 'life sucks and then you die,' which left me feeling a little pummeled. If that sounds like your bag, baby, pick it up.(less)
Boooo. I really thought this would be great, but unfortunately, it should be renamed Stinkers. More than anything it was just an overwhelmingly verbos...moreBoooo. I really thought this would be great, but unfortunately, it should be renamed Stinkers. More than anything it was just an overwhelmingly verbose, slow-paced snoozefest. I think I read every page twice because my mind went on little field trips after a few sentences. One of the longest short books I've read in quite some time.(less)
Well, of course, my first observation is that Olive Kitteridge greatly reminds me of Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, only better executed. While...moreWell, of course, my first observation is that Olive Kitteridge greatly reminds me of Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, only better executed. While Anderson beats you over the head with the sick sadness of the inhabitants of his small town, Elizabeth Strout tells simple stories of her town's citizens, some with Olive Kitteridge front and center, some with Olive making only the smallest of cameos, and somehow, the melancholy just manages to drift over you.
I absolutely adored the characters...even the ones I couldn't stand. Does that tell you something? They made me proud, disgusted, enchanted, depressed, excited, annoyed, and more. But, more importantly, I felt like I actually knew these characters of Anytown, USA and I felt for them, as well. I can't stop thinking about them...nor do I want to.
Bravo, Ms. Strout, for your wonderful novel and your well-deserved Pulitzer!
A collection of short stories that are so rich, you actually feel as if you've read several novels in one sitting. Lahiri's writing style is flawless;...moreA collection of short stories that are so rich, you actually feel as if you've read several novels in one sitting. Lahiri's writing style is flawless; she has the ability to suck you in with the first sentence. This book is as decadent as dessert and deserving of all its accolades. I fell in love.(less)
Well, considering I read this book in what, August?, and it is now January, I guess the review didn't foll...more4.5 stars.
Review to follow shortly.
Well, considering I read this book in what, August?, and it is now January, I guess the review didn't follow so shortly after all.
Poor Oscar. You can't help but feel for him. And you can't help wanting to beat the ever-loving shit out him either. Just ask the narrator. Um, the main narrator (there are actually two, but the second narrator appears oh so briefly)...although, you won't know who the main narrator is for the first half or so of the book. That may sound important, but it's really not. You'll find out when you need to. Keep reading.
For the first, I don't know, quarter of the book, I was cracking up! Sure there were a lot of sci-fi/pop culture references that I wasn't cool enough to get (or geeky enough to get? The verdict's still out...), but OMG! could Oscar be more pathetic??
However, then the hilarity came crashing to an end. One could probably surmise that from the title. Not exactly uplifting, is it?
There is a lot of back story into Oscar's parents and grandparents that really puts everything into perspective. Depressing as hell, but necessary to understanding Oscar's plight.
I knocked the book by half a star because there was a little smidge at the end that annoyed me. I won't spoil it for you, but Díaz really left a bad taste in my mouth with his sentimental pap. I just wanted to shout, 'Don't give me that bullshit, Díaz!! That's a total cop-out!!' But, alas Mr. Díaz doesn't care about what I think of his ending. He's got his Pulitzer to keep him warm.
Overall, it was brilliant!
One final note:
Please don't be discouraged by the footnotes. Read them. There are some little nuggets of gold to be found. The info on Trujillo was especially compelling.(less)
So, I know I gave this book the same rating as McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, but No Country really had a lot more going for it.
Don't get me wrong...moreSo, I know I gave this book the same rating as McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, but No Country really had a lot more going for it.
Don't get me wrong. The Road was a decent enough read. A post-apocalyptic story of survival. Father and son traveling a road with their cart and their 'fire'. Nothing but ash and the ruin of mankind along the way. Very bleak, but nice...neat...tidy.
And I'm thinking...huh???
I check the cover several times and it always says Cormac McCarthy on the front. But, it just can't be.
Where are the blood and guts? Where are the piles of dead bodies stretching on for miles? Where is the sadistic S.O.B. that wrote Blood Meridian...a book that gave my friend nightmares for 3 days, that made her almost vomit while reading?
This can't be that Cormac McCarthy!
Sure, there is talk of cannibalism in The Road, which may sound shocking, but trust me...for Cormac McCarthy, that is WEAK! I mean, I think there was a dead body in the first page? page and a half? of No Country for Old Men...and that was just a warm-up!
So, while The Road was a decent enough read and all, it really was just Cormac McCarthy-lite, in my opinion. Despite the post-apocalyptic setting, it wasn't as gritty as his other works.
And with regards to the Pulitzer? No. No. NO. Just no.(less)