An anonymous third person narrative and no real plot tells a somewhat structureless story of the adventures of a little girl of the Victorian era as...more An anonymous third person narrative and no real plot tells a somewhat structureless story of the adventures of a little girl of the Victorian era as she travels through an absurd surreality. Her explorations and the characters she meets qualify this as an adventure story, and what a dream-like adventure it is! Alice makes her way through a land full of talking animals and foul tempered royalty, none quite as logical or polite as she. While the wildly colorful verbal illustrations and the seemingly random nature of nonsensical events will appeal to children, this story is one than can just as easily be appreciated by adults of any age. The classic tale is packed with witty wordplay and details of the story perhaps serve political and geographical connotations of Carroll’s post WW11 time, although the numerous possible allegories are open to interpretations. An adult may consider that Alice, the curious, polite and brave protagonist of the story, is an adult among adults who behave like children. As young and lost as she is, she is the character who is most grounded, until she wakes up, that is. Having fallen asleep in her sister’s lap, she reveals the dream and her sister is left in her own sense of wonderment, pondering the possibility of Alice to eternally maintain her childlike sense of wonder.
“I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then. “ –Alice
Alice: But I don't want to go among mad people. The Cat: Oh, you can't help that. We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
"Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it." –Duchess
This was my first in-depth exposure to Islamic law and ethics of any sort. Like the codes of any religion, some of it made sense while other component...moreThis was my first in-depth exposure to Islamic law and ethics of any sort. Like the codes of any religion, some of it made sense while other components seemed completely ludicrous. The book, written by Islamic feminist Kecia Ali, was told in a mostly neutral and diplomatic voice, offering the reader the opportunity to explore their own feelings for what is good and what should be examined further within her religion. Due to the texts she focuses on, however, it is easy to assume that she is urging that changes be made to some inconsistent, unreasonable and sexist commands of this books highlighted questionable holy texts. Sexual Ethics & Islam is an informative read for anyone wishing to understand the intimate practices and sexual attitudes of those who subscribe to traditional Islamic law and jurisprudence. (less)
Instead of buying the book, I chose to download this vintage erotica off ITunes and listen to it from my ITouch as I prepared myself for my own sexual...moreInstead of buying the book, I chose to download this vintage erotica off ITunes and listen to it from my ITouch as I prepared myself for my own sexual escapades. While I liked the series of fantasies presented, I did not care for the narration and dialogue. "Opened my sex" is just not language I can relate to or be stimulated by. Anais Nin has me interested in her mind, but not her tongue. Almost-but not quite there.(less)
The synopsis of the story is explained quite simply in the last chapter of the book by the stories leading man, “It was a love story. Me, Gemma and...more The synopsis of the story is explained quite simply in the last chapter of the book by the stories leading man, “It was a love story. Me, Gemma and junk.” It was a love story, and a distressing one at that, but the details within it and the issues the love story revolve around are what set this book apart from any other love story. The narrative style of Junk is one that offers each principal character their individual voice and version of the story. The unusual technique of making every chapter a different character’s perspective is helpful in allowing the reader to consider the given situations from different perspectives. I find this incredibly effective in encouraging a young audience to give all situations (both in this book and in life) fair and balanced consideration before passing judgment. I also give much praise to Melvin Burgess for so well handling the heavy subject of this book. The story of Tar and the people he meets through his journey allows the audience to understand how “normal” young people can so easily descend into a criminal, drug influenced lifestyle. Also addressing teen pregnancy, abuse, alcoholism and prostitution through fearless description, Junk permits young readers to understand these subjects in a way they may never have been able to understand if they were relying on their parents or classmates alone for information. These are not the things people typically feel comfortable discussing with kids the age of the intended audience, yet they are so incredibly valuable, as the age of the intended audience is the age people will soon be (if they haven’t already been) confronted with making decisions about these subjects in their own life. The book ends on dialogue from the struggling protagonist, Tar. He describes the negative effects on his addiction on his life without being preachy. It’s a very candid account that allows the reader to feel as if they’re speaking to a friend, which is consistent throughout the story and perhaps once of the reasons this story is so engaging. Regardless of what trouble Tar gets into, the reader is still routing for the best. The end of Tar’s journey has him trying to clean up. He’s got a job at a warehouse and is attempting to surround himself with new people. Life is difficult and he battles with bad decisions in his recent past, but he is hopeful and doing what he can to put himself on a good path. Neither uplifting nor depressing, this 278 page story is one that is full of the sort of much needed realism that a preteen-teen audience can benefit greatly from.
“I liked being in love. It’s like giving part of yourself away. Love is forever! Yeah, well, I don’t believe that any more. It’s something that happens to you, like anything else. It starts and then it stops. Being an addict…now that lasts forever. “ p.274
“…you have to be positive before you can get anywhere.” p.278 (less)
In the first of this two-part novella, I found myself charmed by Sagan’s poetic narrative more so than the story. The story itself was interesting as...moreIn the first of this two-part novella, I found myself charmed by Sagan’s poetic narrative more so than the story. The story itself was interesting as it portrayed a young, well-to-do French girl enjoying a Mediterreanean party lifestyle free of responsibility. The family composition and moral attitude not typical for the 1950’s era it was written in also conributed to the interest of this story. However, when the setting and situation of a motherless girl partying with her playboy father on the French Riveria was stripped away the story actually struck me as a story depicting something very normal. Teen angst, confusion, a question of responsibility and sexual experimentation are all highlighted in this book. Seventeen-year-old protagonist, Cecile, was essentially just embracing the teen experience. She did, however, express it in a way that was unusually well-spoken and thoughtful considering Sagan was only 18 at the time she wrote this book. It wasn’t until the second part that my curiosity peaked and my fondness was completely won. When Cecile became aware of things like her own selfishness and the needs of other people, I found myself developing more of an attachment to what I was reading, as this was the point that I could see Cecile as a whole person. Although in many ways she is a child, she is also is also in many ways a grown up. Her laziness, combined with the decisions that she makes solely on her own desires are reflective of her youth. However, her ability to not linger on the small things or take the actions of others too personally is mature and admirable. I also enjoyed the way she found beauty and fault in all the characters mentioned. She seemed to be personally interested in the human character and her descriptions of those around her were affectionate yet honest. Descriptions of herself and how she felt her social position was in relation to the other characters was of interest to me as it offered yet again another candid and introspective observation from in a voice perfectly suit for a narrator stuck in an age somewhere between child and adult. The unsuspected and sudden ending, although sad, was just the sort of thing I was content to leave with as I felt confident that this would lead to a maturing or faster self realization for all the characters involved. (less)