Such a cute story, even though nothing really happened and the romance went nowhere. I just loved the feeling I got while reading this, and will definSuch a cute story, even though nothing really happened and the romance went nowhere. I just loved the feeling I got while reading this, and will definitely be picking up one of the other Kawakami books at the library sometime soon....more
Niet een boek dat ik me lang zal herinneren, maar het was vluchtig te lezen, ook al was het verhaal af en toe een beetje bizar. Het echte verrassendeNiet een boek dat ik me lang zal herinneren, maar het was vluchtig te lezen, ook al was het verhaal af en toe een beetje bizar. Het echte verrassende aan het boek is echter het jij-perspectief dat Mulisch gebruikt. Ik had nooit gedacht dat een jij-perspectief echt zou kunnen werken, maar Mulisch bewijst dat het kan, en nog grappig kan zijn ook.
Ik heb altijd een hekel gehad aan Mulisch (jeugdtrauma's met dank aan de basisschool, wie behandelt er dan ook in godsnaam De Aanslag in groep 7/8?), maar ik zou nu misschien toch overwegen iets meer van zijn werk te lezen....more
What a mess. Interesting story idea, but poorly executed. There was no emotional depth to the story at all - throwing in tons of facts about the charaWhat a mess. Interesting story idea, but poorly executed. There was no emotional depth to the story at all - throwing in tons of facts about the characters does not equal round characters either -, without knowledge of Russian fairytales most of this book will go over your head... and just the main plot development was lacking. A classic example of a story needing more showing rather than telling.
Shame, I really did like the premise, but that was about all there was to like....more
Oh, this book. I'm not really sure what to make of it, or how to interpret what happened. The book seemed quite straightforward up until the last chapOh, this book. I'm not really sure what to make of it, or how to interpret what happened. The book seemed quite straightforward up until the last chapter... a Murakami-twist I saw coming, but it makes for a confusing ending all the same.
I think that in order to understand this book you need to have been in a serious relationship for quite some time. It was a story of surprising realism when it comes to the maturing of relationships. That was probably the real strength of this book for me, even though I haven't been married for several years. It's a story of actions and their consequences, and how you can hurt people just by being you. It's a scary thing, really, but a good read all the same (just not his best, if you ask me).
And just thinking about this book also makes me realize how much of himself Murakami always puts into his books. For instance the jazz bar Hajime begins in this book (Murakami used to have his own bar), he's fond of jazz, and he often uses classical music in his books (generally the same composers, too..). He really has this certain set of themes, yet the stories are always fascinating to some extent. Besides these things, he always manages to teach me about Japan, in this case aspects of post-WWII Japan. It's interesting, because this way I'm reading a nice story, and I learn something. Yes, I think I really am quite fond of Murakami books....more
This book and I didn't get off to a good start. In the end, I still didn't like the book very much, but at least I don't hate it as much as most of myThis book and I didn't get off to a good start. In the end, I still didn't like the book very much, but at least I don't hate it as much as most of my fellow students seem to do.
This book is supposed to be an overview of the history of anthropology, and other fields of study that have influenced it (like linguistics, sociology, etc.). Agar mentions interesting studies, but overall the book is hardly scientific (e.g. no sources mentioned). It puzzles me that one of the supposedly most difficult courses in my university prescribes this book. It doesn't seem like a book aimed at a student audience.. I got the feeling Agar wrote this to get random people interested in anthropology. Without extensive side material and good classes, I feel this book fails as a scientific effort.
Agar has definitely had some nice experiences in his life, however. As a story teller he's not half bad (though he still has some issues there, as well). I do enjoy reading about his experiences, particularly because he's lived in Vienna for quite a while, so I expected to be able to relate to that. Maybe it's the time difference, but he and I had very different experiences. Still, I liked reading about Agar's experiences in getting used to other cultures, even if at times he really seemed overly American (and ignorant).
What I did not like was his attitude at times, mostly in the beginning. For instance his criticism on the Sie/du-issue in German. This is mostly fueled by the fact that English doesn't use this distinction, I do think. To say that most people would be happier if this distinction were to disappear altogether? Well, I seriously doubt it. I've encountered difficulties with Sie/du as well, but taking them out of the language would just create a myriad of other problems in a culture where this system is embedded, and used as a means to show, amongst other things, respect. It's a throwaway comment of Agar's, but at times it seriously made me wonder to which extent I should trust this guy as a narrator. Sometimes he's just an ass, too. When talking about De Saussure for instance, he mentions that the guy's work was published by his students, and that it was based on their notes. This is common knowledge, but his comment saying that he hopes his students wouldn't do that, because he'd seen the kind of notes they make.. well, that's both unnecessary and disrespectful. These little things bothered me while reading.
The book is also written in 1996, and quite dated in some aspects by now. The most obvious issue being that the Yugoslavian war has ended, but you do wonder what else we would question in the light of the other newfound knowledge from the past 15 years.
In short: some personal anecdotes were interesting, but on the whole.. don't bother. There are surely better introductions out there....more