I've tried this twice...don't hate it. Just can't get into it despite wanting to.
11OCT09: Just started Part 2 and am liking this better than when I fiI've tried this twice...don't hate it. Just can't get into it despite wanting to.
11OCT09: Just started Part 2 and am liking this better than when I first times I tried it. (JK tries a little too hard sometimes. An awful lot of "pensive skies"--or that sort of thing if not that particular phrase--are visible in Jack's world, but it's not too distracting.) Bumping it up to three stars...
24OCT09. Well, I got though it...YEE-YOW!! (Not a good sign when describing one's reaction to a book...) Back down to 2 stars. Not horrible, I'm just not seeing whatever it was that makes this thing iconic, so "gone". My only explanations are a) is how novel it was (pardon the lame pun) for its time, and b) how it played right into the postwar "f*** the establishment" movement that was just getting its wings. Hell, OTR here might have been a driving force in the massive change that the 60's brought, for all I know. But as for being a "road book," I've read others I would recommend more strongly:
"Travels With Lisbeth" by Lars Eighner "Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Pirsig "Angels" by Denis Johnson "Sweet And Viscious" by David Schickler and why not "The Crying of Lot 49" by Thomas Pynchon?
(And am I the only one creeped out by the Mexican brothel scene near the end?...a little to close to outright pedophilia, to say nothing of the leering mob drooling through the window over it. Other repulsive attitudes like this appear in the book - racism, sexism, etc. But the book DID make me want to listen to Jazz.)...more
14JUL11. My second time through this (on audio this time) and it was just as gripping as the first "dead tree" reading. Beck Weathers's story still ma14JUL11. My second time through this (on audio this time) and it was just as gripping as the first "dead tree" reading. Beck Weathers's story still made me weep with joy, and Ian Woodhall's story still made me shout with rage. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- 14MAR04. It's been a long time since I realized I would read this book someday. I've had many chances to buy it, but finding a copy for $1 was the tipping point, and this occurred last Thursday. I read a few pages initially, but REALLY curled up with it yesterday, finishing off the final 270 pages over the course of the day. Like The Perfect Storm, another famous adventure book, Into Thin Air, is mighty quick reading.
After finsihing the book I went online and discovered Anatoli Boukreev's response to the book, as well as Krakauer's response to Boukreev. (Boukreev was being paid $25,000 to guide paying clients--over twice what other guides were paid, and ten times what the Sherpas were paid--but wasn't doing that especially well according to Krakauer. It all gets complicated because much of this ordeal took place in the middle of the night, during what was basically a hurricane, and well above 25,000 feet, where there is a third of the normal amount of oxygen in the air and one's brain rapidly turns to bean dip. And it's grown even more complicated because Boukreev has since perished in another mountaineering disaster.)
It's no exaggeration to say this is The Double Helix for the 21st century. Far more technical details here, and, due to the unavoidable nature of lattIt's no exaggeration to say this is The Double Helix for the 21st century. Far more technical details here, and, due to the unavoidable nature of latter-day high-end science, a lot about corporate politics and finance. Fun fact: James Watson is kind of a dick in this one too!!...more
A mid-50's scientist was on the verge of real discovery in the realms of DNA research, and nothing happened. Decades later a librarian wants to know wA mid-50's scientist was on the verge of real discovery in the realms of DNA research, and nothing happened. Decades later a librarian wants to know why. Where'd he go? What happened?
If you liked Gravity's Rainbow you might want to give The Gold Bug Variations a look. It has perhaps not quite a Pynchonian level of technical discussion and detail, but a lot nonetheless; Power's voice is hard work, but after awhile I found it growing on me. Rich characterization, imagery, and arcane references abound. (Many appear to be included to aid with chronology. The book is non-linear. Not to a fault, but almost.)
7-29-05. Just finished, and the question that keeps turning over in my mind is: so, why CAN'T this be my favorite book of all time? I think it might be. It's got music (and lots of it), it's got science (just a little more than I could get my head around—not a bad thing), it's got aching romance (I've discovered I have a bit of a taste for romance here as I plow into my 40s), it's got suspense and puzzles and art and trivia, to say nothing of just being wonderfully erudite and well-written and DIFFICULT. [The really good books that I've gotten lost in have been books that rewarded study. Like the good old Queen's Gambit back in November, I might have found myself doing an instant reread, were it not for this puppy's 600+ page count.]
14OCT12. over 1/3 the way through the long-overdue reread. Interesting how I found the science too much seven years ago...before I taught high school bio for three years! Viewed with these better trained eyes the science discussions are on the level of the stuff I taught in my honors classes.
09DEC12. Have a look at my Gold Bug Variations page. You might find it handy as a scene spotter or a reading companion, but I created to break down the chronology of the novel's three narrative time frames....more
I'd seen the Guy Ritchie/Robert Downey Jr movie when it came out, and liked it, but didn't give it much thought after that. I happened to surf into itI'd seen the Guy Ritchie/Robert Downey Jr movie when it came out, and liked it, but didn't give it much thought after that. I happened to surf into it again last month on HBO and have been almost obsessed with it ever since, which of course leads me to the horse's mouth. And it turns out there's a reason these ancient stories and characters are discussed to this day: because the writing is terrific. And for me, it's great fun to recognize a miniscule detail from the movie upon finding it in Doyle's words: Ritchie wasn't kidding when he claimed (or whomever I heard claim it on his behalf) that the 2009 film is the version that remains truest to the books.
STRONGLY RECOMMENDED FOR FANS OF THE TV SHOW HOUSE. House is basically written in the margins of Sherlock Holmes, and there are so many parallels I can't believe I didn't notice it sooner....more
Stephenson's sort-of-sequel-to-Snow Crash imagines a world consumed by nanotechnology (or so I'd describe it after 260+ pages) and a systemic overhaulStephenson's sort-of-sequel-to-Snow Crash imagines a world consumed by nanotechnology (or so I'd describe it after 260+ pages) and a systemic overhaul to the public education system that can only be described as radical. :-)...more