I’ll be honest. I’ve never really been interested in world affairs or politics. The only time I would be interested in either one of those, is if I ha...moreI’ll be honest. I’ve never really been interested in world affairs or politics. The only time I would be interested in either one of those, is if I happened to be having an affair with a politician. But that wasn’t the case. A friend of mine told me that I needed to buy the book and spread the word. I promised that I would. And because it seemed to mean something to him, I told myself that I would read it front to back, regardless of how painful it might be.
The fact that after having completed the prologue, I was actually interested in reading the first chapter was a shocker to me. But the talented Aram Roston does such a delightful job at creating a vivid picture of twisted characters and scandals that I wanted to see more. I kept reading and thinking, “Wow. I might actually read a good story, learn something new…and like it!”
The whole subject is new to me, so it’s difficult to give a detailed review in anything other than a lay persona terms…and I do mean lay. In a very abbreviated nutshell, here’s my hazy ADD style skinny on the story:
This Iraqi teen goes through some crazy drama. Traumatized, indeed, but he is also smart. When he gets older, he goes into academia. He can’t stick with it, though, so he does the thing that his family wanted him to do and goes into banking. There, he loses a lot of peoples money, yet still manages to live like a king. He screws a lot of people over and somehow manages to always get away with it every time. Then America becomes interested in him and gives him some money to work with the FBI. Because of his power and experience, politicians take an interest in him and he somehow magically began to woo and influence congress. Then September 11th happened and some crazy business went down, which ultimately leads to the questions, is Ahmad Chalabi responsible for Americas involvement with the current war in Iraq? It’s up to you to decide. And through the compilation of interviews and facts that Roston dug up, you will have sufficient material to form an educated opinion. It’s exciting, really. It’s a story of extravagance, travel, terror, money, the FBI, the CIA, The UN, money, mistresses, business, lies, money, vivid characters, mystery, revenge, money, scandal, death, manipulation…oh… and money.
In addition to the fact that it’s just a good, educational story that can entertain even politically unsavvy readers, this book just makes you feel more desirable by simply carrying it around. It actually worked as both a fantastic conversation piece and an unexpected pick up tool. Wear pumps and be seen reading this book. Smart men everywhere will ogle you in a way that you have never been ogled before. They will actually approach you in a respectable manner and ask you about your thoughts on literature and the state of world affairs. It has been a most unusual and refreshing experience. It’s also good for chasing the dumb and undesirable away. When seen holding this book, you will actually intimidate them.
**Hint: take this book to a car wash near an affluent neighborhood. This has been proven effective. Also consider reading this at your doctor’s office while your waiting to be attended to, especially if the doctor is cute and single.
In summary, this is simply just an awesome book. It’s expanded my interests in things that happen outside of the little sphere I usually hide myself in, and it’s given me a new sort of knowledge and confidence.
If you want to learn more, or say, get an actual review of the book, a good place to do this is at: www.aramroston.com.
The most positive thing I have to say about Erica Jong is that she has been very very lucky in regards to her career. Good for her. I found Fear of Fl...moreThe most positive thing I have to say about Erica Jong is that she has been very very lucky in regards to her career. Good for her. I found Fear of Flying to be a tragic and unreadable piece of, er, literature. What's inspiring about Erica is that if she can so successfully publish crap like this, then I have a hell of a chance at a damn good future as an author. At least I can tell a coherent story.
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)
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
Until one of my writing projects became a romantic drama, I would never have thought to pick up a book in this genre. In an attempt to research and un...moreUntil one of my writing projects became a romantic drama, I would never have thought to pick up a book in this genre. In an attempt to research and understand this type of story better, I decided to order this book online due to it being written by an esteemed author and having a synopsis that had similar characteristics as my own. While there were moments I thought "this is cheesy", I spent the majority of my time in tears. This is a compelling story, even for those who don't consider themselves fans of chick lit and the overly amorous. Should you decide to pick it up yourself, my only warning to you is to make sure you are near a box of tissue and to make sure it's full. Half empty simply will not do. (less)
Packed full of delightful quotes and vibrant descriptions, Coraline is a book that can easily be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. It had my affectio...more Packed full of delightful quotes and vibrant descriptions, Coraline is a book that can easily be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. It had my affections in a way that wouldn’t let me “cheat” in my reading, as I tend to do with books less captivating. The dialogue was very odd and thoughtful and kept me taking notes along the way. The fantasy and imagery kept me wanting to read every line of narrative. The stone with the hole is a traveling object in this book. I was unaware of this literary element until it was brought to my attention in a classroom discussion and I enjoyed that it was brought to my attention. The traveling object both symbolizes the personal journey that the characters (Coraline, in this case) take as well as provide some feeling of stability in a situation that is otherwise a mystery. It is the object that remains consistent the entire way through the development of the story. The sidekick, another frequent literary figure, is, in this story, a strangely charming cat. Much like the Cheshire cat of Alice In Wonderland, this cat is a character you want to see, despite it’s arrogant tendencies. It serves as a bizarre and strangely alluring friend to a lead character who would otherwise be surrounded only in poor company in the evil other world that she has found herself stuck in after a bout of boredom with the normal world. What I did not understand was the significance of the color green. Was this a symbol I failed to recognize? It continued to be brought up and I continued to not understand the meaning of it. My inability to identify the purpose of this recurrent color didn’t stand in the way of my enjoying the story, however. Coraline is an adventure story having more to do with inward adventure than outward, but still never leaving the reader without fantastical, haunting images of the external world of Coraline’s journey.
“Everyone in the whole world will see the wonders of my mouse circus.” p.12
“Where does that door go?" “Nowhere, dear.” “It has to go somewhere.” p.17
“When you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.”p.72
“Sharper than a serpent’s tooth is a daughter’s ingratitude.” p.92
“Mirrors are never to be trusted.” p.92
“What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted?“ p.139
I bore with Shakespeare's narcissism in this collection of poetry (which is more realistically 200 versions of the same sonnet) but I read on regardle...moreI bore with Shakespeare's narcissism in this collection of poetry (which is more realistically 200 versions of the same sonnet) but I read on regardless, if for no other reason than to not feel like a quitter. (less)
Because I typically fall asleep or become distracted after a few pages of reading, short stories are ideal for me. In addition to that, a well-read fr...moreBecause I typically fall asleep or become distracted after a few pages of reading, short stories are ideal for me. In addition to that, a well-read friend of mine recommended this book to me, so I was really looking forward to exploring it. My excitement did not last long, however. I've read about four of her stories now, and I'm still wondering when things are supposed to become interesting. The book has been given plenty of awards and good reviews, but I can't quite seem to figure out why. Nothing, so far, has been compelling to me in the least. These stories are simply bland. I don't think I'll be reading the rest of them, unless the pills alone aren't enough, and I find I need some additional assistance in passing out quickly. Then again, perhaps I'll just pass it along to granny. (less)
This is a cute story although I didn’t find it particularly moving. I much preferred Coraline and Rattlesnakes-two stories that I found presented dee...more This is a cute story although I didn’t find it particularly moving. I much preferred Coraline and Rattlesnakes-two stories that I found presented deeper lessons and more colorful narrative. I found the language in Holes bland and the descriptions lacking in creativity. I wasn’t “taken there” by this story as much as I was just told what hill was being climbed or what how big a hole was being dug. It was missing the imagination and fantasy that constructed Coraline and offered no unique narrative perspective or truly educational and interesting facts like in Rattlesnakes. In contrast, Holes was more of a traditional, simple, third person narrative style. Both the story and the style, I believe, is meant for a predominantly male audience. The yellow spotted lizard keeps being brought up throughout the chapters of Holes. This recurring symbol provides a break in the action of the story, as well as a method of bringing the reader back to something familiar. It acts as a sort of thread in the stitching of the book as well a providing an opportunity for comedic lines. While I enjoy the recurring theme and break in action, I am not so sure that the spotted lizard “did it” for me. Part 3 had an interesting flash forward feature that dictated what became of the kids, and then entering into a comfortable and charming scene with the kids (now adults) gathered around a television set. Thus satisfying the reader’s curiosity to know what happened to the kids. (less)
The message of this book is that you can understand something within the first few moments of approaching it, or to trust your instincts. Ironically,...moreThe message of this book is that you can understand something within the first few moments of approaching it, or to trust your instincts. Ironically, all I needed was to read the first 10 pages of this book to understand what it would go on to repeat and repeat and repeat again. I was not impressed, as I think a message is most effective when quick and to the point. (less)