Love the premise of this book -- one day a plague of blindness strikes an unnamed city. Those blinded and under quarantine soon realize there are evenLove the premise of this book -- one day a plague of blindness strikes an unnamed city. Those blinded and under quarantine soon realize there are even worse fates than losing one's vision: it's losing one's humanity. Chilling, compulsive reading.
Saramago offers up keen insights into the human condition -- what we become in extremis, the heights we reach, the depths we sink to, and under the right circumstances, how quickly we revert to our most primal and baser urges. I love stories about what happens to "the group" that's thrust into an alien setting without social rules and obligations. It usually doesn't take long for humans to throw off the shackles of civilized conduct and resort to a more brutal "survival of the fittest" approach. William Golding showed this in Lord of the Flies, as did Scott Smith in The Ruins, and Stephen King in his novella The Mist.
I've always thought, when the shit hits the fan, I'm heading away from society, into the bush. The further away from the mob, the better.
I always thought of Lois Lowry's The Giver as the little book that could. Written almost like a parable, its deceptively simple story delivers some heI always thought of Lois Lowry's The Giver as the little book that could. Written almost like a parable, its deceptively simple story delivers some heavy, reverberating hits. I consider this little book to be a significant contribution to the genre, ranked right up there with such dystopian classics as Brave New World, The Handmaid's Tale, Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and Soylent Green. I love it because of its simplicity and accessibility; it's the perfect way to introduce younger readers (especially reluctant younger readers) to some pretty powerful themes.
It's a book that can only generate discussion and debate amongst the young and young at heart on the importance of personal choice. You fight for it. You don’t ever let it be taken from you. Sameness, calmness, serenity... these may sound like lofty goals, comforting words, but they should never come at the cost of the individual’s right to explore, question, challenge, choose.
Some readers may be left unsatisfied by the ambiguous ending; I have to admit, first time reading it I was a little frustrated. But like any good parable, the ending is probably the best launching off point to a passionate debate of "what-ifs" "maybes" and "for sures". Other readers might be put off by Lowry's lack of detailed world-building; this is a teensy book - a long short story really - and with such a small canvas there really isn't room for answers, mostly questions. There is a lot we don't know - the how and why this community came to be. But the mystery inspires some addictive speculation, especially in the context of other dysptopian tales which surely influenced Lowry here.
The Giver is a chilling bedtime story, as good at warning us and teaching us a lesson, as it is at entertaining us. That's a magnificent book that can do those things all at once. ...more
I just couldn't wait for my public library to add this book to its collection so I went out today and dropped the 20 bucks to own a copy. Very intriguI just couldn't wait for my public library to add this book to its collection so I went out today and dropped the 20 bucks to own a copy. Very intriguing premise that immediately reminded me of Stephen King's Bachman novels The Running Man and The Long Walk. Speaking of the man, Stevie gives this a rave review in Entertainment Weekly available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Hunger-Games-Su...
So this book does not disappoint. It's high octane energy from start to finish. The writing is a bit sophomoric at times, but that's reasonable to expect given the age of the protagonist (16)and the book's intended adolescent audience. Bottom line: great story idea executed with finesse. Suzanne Collins isn't inventing anything new here, but she is obviously comfortable trodding such familiar, dystopian territory and making it her own. There's definitely strong hints of King's early Bachman work, and I couldn't help be reminded of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery". How could I not?
Is The Hunger Games classic dystopian literature then?...a Lord of the Flies or Long Walk? Absolutely not, but I still had a helluva good time reading it. With reality TV everywhere we look these days, and the UFC a mainstream pastime, it's easy to imagine a Survivor where tribe members voted out don't go home, but are executed instead. I figure society's perpetual bloodlust is never as deeply buried as we think. ...more
I'm a huge fan of dystopian books, where the future is bleak and infinitely dangerous and if you're gonna survive, you better check your morals at theI'm a huge fan of dystopian books, where the future is bleak and infinitely dangerous and if you're gonna survive, you better check your morals at the door. With reality TV everywhere we look these days, and the UFC a mainstream pastime, it's easy to imagine a Survivor where tribe members voted out don't go home, but are executed instead. I figure society's perpetual blood lust is never as deeply buried as we think (or hope).
Stephen King describes Battle Royale as "an insanely entertaining pulp riff that combines Survivor with World Wrestling Entertainment. Or maybe Royale is just insane." It really is a crazy, page-turning reading experience that's driven by raw emotion and a rollicking series of action sequences. There's tons of blood and gore, so if that's not your thing, stay away.
I was pleasantly surprised to care about the six major characters Takami spends the most time developing. I thought he did an excellent job considering the main point of the story is to shock and jolt, not to inspire warm, fuzzy feelings. I'm sure the writing lost something in translation -- certain parts are choppy and a bit crude, but that didn't detract from the overall intensity of what was unfolding on the page. I was on the island with these kids, and freaked out the whole time. Battle Royale is a pulse-pounding, adrenaline ride! Not "high literature" mind you, but a great big greasy cheeseburger with fries. Yum!
Suspend your disbelief and sit back for a wild (and gruesome) ride. Shusterman's little gem is escapist, plot-driven fiction at its best. Wholly engagSuspend your disbelief and sit back for a wild (and gruesome) ride. Shusterman's little gem is escapist, plot-driven fiction at its best. Wholly engaging, a real roller-coaster ride of emotions. I wasn't sure at first if the book was a clever disguise for a pro-life or pro-choice manifesto ... but it's neither. Unwind tackles some pretty heavy ethical issues involving free will, choice, religious beliefs, and the sanctity of life, even what it means to be "alive", but I was not left with the impression he was preaching or had any definitive answers. He leaves that up to the reader and I was grateful for that. ...more
Haddix really knows what she's doing with this series; her narrative is only gaining in momentum and I can't wait to see what happens next! Why hasn'tHaddix really knows what she's doing with this series; her narrative is only gaining in momentum and I can't wait to see what happens next! Why hasn't this series been optioned for a film? ...more
This is a great series, thoughtfully plotted, to introduce young readers to the perils of totalitarian governments. Luke is a worthy hero and I'm rootThis is a great series, thoughtfully plotted, to introduce young readers to the perils of totalitarian governments. Luke is a worthy hero and I'm rooting for him (and all Shadow children like him). I like where Haddix goes in Book 4, shedding light on the Barons and their extravagant lifestyle, effectively illustrating the injustices of class exploitation. Mature themes handled very well for a younger audience. Highly recommended for the reluctant reader (Grade 5-8)
Excellent! Clever, original, fast-paced with so much heart! Great allegory for the Information Age. Dark subject matter with frightening scenes so notExcellent! Clever, original, fast-paced with so much heart! Great allegory for the Information Age. Dark subject matter with frightening scenes so not for the sensitive reader. Todd Hewitt is a perfectly realized, flawed hero - and his dog Manchee one of the most memorable literary sidekicks ever!...more
Simply put, great storytelling. Who knew a book about zombies could read with such realism and raw emotion? Several scenes had me white-knuckled and hSimply put, great storytelling. Who knew a book about zombies could read with such realism and raw emotion? Several scenes had me white-knuckled and holding my breath, while other scenes broke my heart and made me cry. Great suspense, near perfect narrative momentum. A totally, thoroughly enjoyable ride. And I love that the author didn't chicken out and try to wrap things up neatly at the end. Post-apocalyptic zombie books should leave you with questions and wanting more and that's exactly the experience Carrie Ryan provides.
The premise for the novel itself is a most welcome fresh perspective on the zombie apocalypse that we all know and love so well. Mary's is a society that's seven generations after the "Return" (a zombie plague). We're used to books (and movies) that take place during the initial zombie attacks, but Ryan sets her story centuries later and describes the living conditions for the descendants of the original survivors.
Argos's nails click against the wood of the floor as he sniffs at the crack under each door. The air up here is close and heavy with must. At the last door Argos begins to tremble, a low and long growl shaking his frame. I press a hand against the door, place my ear against the wood. I can hear a soft thump over and over again. Like the sound of a cat locked in a cupboard--it echoes my pounding heart. The Forest of Hands and Teeth, 192